LG Electronics will attempt to cash in on the virtualization craze later this month with the introduction of LCD monitors that can double as virtualized desktop PCs.
The LG SmartVine N-series line will include 17-inch and 19-inch monitors in the United States, while a 16-inch version will also be made available in overseas markets.The monitors can be used as traditional desktop displays via a standard VGA connector, however they will also incorporate embedded virtualization technology from U.S.-based desktop virtualization specialist NComputing.
To make use of the onboard virtualization circuitry, users can connect a keyboard and mouse directly to the SmartVine monitor, which in turn connects to a host PC via a standard cable. The host PC can support up to ten additional virtual desktops with the adition of two NComputing X550 PCI Card Kits and the company's vSpace software.
The 19-inch SmartVine N-Series monitor will list for $199 in the United States. The thin client solution is to be targeted primarily at education and government markets, and service sector organizations, such as call centers. NComputing executives claim that an increased industrywide focus on desktop virtualization, Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings, and Web-hosted applications will drives sales of the LG N-Series units. The Redwood City, Calif., company has released esitmates that customers of the virtualization-equipped monitors will be able to lower their computer hardware costs by 60 percent, maintenance costs by 70 percent, and electricity costs by 90 percent. The LG monitors work with both Windows and Linux computers.
The market for virtualization technology has continued to expand this year, while other areas of the technology sector faltered, because of virtualization's potential to consolidate physical resources and reduce costs in the data center. While server and storage virtualization schemes have become top priorities for corporate IT departments, interest in desktop virtualization has traditionally lagged behind its data center conterparts. For example, a recent survey of 377 federal IT managers conducted by CDW Government Inc. found that 59 percent of federal agencies have implemented server virtualization, and 51 percent are utilizing storage virtualization, but only 49 percent have invested in virtualized desktops.
However, other studies suggest that virtualized desktops may be gaining momentum in the public sector. Desktop virtualization vendor Citrix Systems announced that a survey it conducted at the recent 2009 Consortium of School Networking (CoSN) Conference found that 80 percent of technology leaders in kindergarten through grade 12 schools were interested in implementing desktop virtualization in their classrooms.