Dell launches on-demand approach to networks

GCN Insider | Dell's different approach to thin-client computing

Dell has introduced a new computing approach called On-Demand Desktop Streaming (ODDS) that seems to split the difference between fat-client and thin-client systems.

ODDS is part of a broader flexible-computing approach in which Dell will offer solutions focused on managed network computing and secure access to network resources from multiple devices no matter where users are located.

With ODDS, the operating system, applications and data are streamed to 100 diskless desktops from a shared Dell PowerEdge 2950 server over a Gigabit Ethernet network.

This will eliminate administration tasks being performed at the desktop because software and data reside in the data center, Dell officials said. In Standard Image Mode, administrators can send a standard image across all systems for quick and easy changes while reducing the impact on network resources.

In addition, the centralized approach offers tighter security, eliminating risks associated with viruses and spyware, company officials said.

The security benefits address a growing concern for federal and state organizations, said Toni Duboise, a senior analyst at Current Analysis West.

However, the initial setup cost could be significant and, as a result, the solution might be better suited for organizations that are moving into a brand new infrastructure, she said. 'What Dell needs to do to move the solution forward is find a champion, a global or large deployment.'

The client portion of ODDS consists of diskless Dell OptiPlex 745 and OptiPlex 755 desktop computers, which include processors, memory and on-board graphics just like traditional PCs but without a hard drive. The desktops will be available in November.

ODDS also includes a PowerConnect Gigabit switch, Citrix Provisioning Server for Desktops software and a PowerEdge 2900 storage server. Dell is the single source for all components of the product, officials said.

The product is available at an average cost of $1,100 per user.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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