Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Punjab’s largest IT project to change the fate of country

Over the last few years, multiuser computing has emerged – particularly in educational institutions – as a way to reduce computer costs and increase worldwide access to technology. Multiuser computing taps into a computer’s excess capability to enable a single host computer to support multiple users simultaneously.
If we take the local scenario or the developing countries into account, every increasing energy cost and its shortage is another hindrance in the way of technology implementation. To cope with this, technology solution providers are working hard to minimize the hardware and software cost and the energy consumption as well. The phenomenon is called virtualization.
In the picture (L-R) Former Finance Minister Sartaj Aziz and Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab at the opening ceremony of “Punjab IT Lab Project“
While VMware and Citrix get most of the attention when it comes to desktop virtualization, it turns out that probably the biggest industry leader in terms of actual deployment just might beNComputing.
India is the second largest market for NComputing after US. Currently, in India, company has already deployed 2, 00,000 seats and it expects to double that figure in 2010.
“One state in India had originally planned to buy 50,000 computers. Instead they bought 5,000 but now have 50,000 people using our technology,” said Manish Sharma, NComputing vice-president for sales in Asia-Pacific.
December 3rd was the day when this idea was implemented in the province of Punjab by the visionary administration of Chief Minister, Mian Shahbaz Sharif. The execution was called “Punjab IT Lab Project”.
To overcome the Digital Divide between the public and private sector schools Chief Minister (CM) Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif initiated Punjab IT lab project in Government schools. This project was completed in a record time of 110 days and over 4286 schools were covered in this project.
On the inauguration ceremony, Mian Shahbaz Sharif said that this initiative will revolutionize the education sector and the new generation will play an important role in the progress and development of the country with adequate IT education.
CM Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif operating the N-Computing model at the launch
In Punjab IT lab project, every school is equipped with 3 desktop PCs and 12 virtual desktops with licensed software from Microsoft, high speed internet connection and hardware solutions from local companies like Inbox, Siemens, PEL, NComputing, PTCL, New Horizon etc.
Talking to the ceremony held at Govt Model Girls High School Model Town CM Punjab said, “Some 1400 computer labs had been established in 1,400 schools of the Southern Punjab under this project. This project will empower over 3.4 million government school students every year to get the skills they needed to compete globally.”
Experts say that introduction of computer labs in the government schools will have a contagious impact. It will force the low end private schools to establish at least similar if not superior computer labs. The Punjab government may even make it mandatory in the next few years for the registered private schools to have computer labs. The introduction of computer knowledge among the children will increase the internet use in the country and expose the unexplored talent of millions who have remained deprived of this modern technology.
The idea was conceived last year by the planners of the Punjab government, and the budgetary allocations were made in the provincial budget for 2009-10. The original idea was to procure 15 desktop PCs for each school. However, the government was able to save Rs1.8 billion from its budgeted allocation by adopting the NComputing technology.
An X-series kit includes vSpace virtualization software, access devices, and a PCI card. Install the card into a standard PC, connect the access devices with standard cables, install the software, and you are all set
The NComputing solution includes both the virtualization software (vSpace) that creates the “virtual” sessions inside a PC or server, and the thin-client devices that connect the user’s monitor, keyboard and mouse to the shared computer. Thus one desktop PC can be connected with 4-10 virtual desktops. Thus instead of buying 64290 desktop PCs, the government procured 12858 PCs and supplemented the balance 51432 seats with NComputing devices.
IT Labs project can change the computing environment, especially in emerging economies like Pakistan. The decision to deploy this IT labs project establishes the Punjab government as an innovator in educational computing in Pakistan and a model for other governments, considering similar projects.
The cost will be saved on energy consumption that 64290 desktop PCs will have consumed. One desktop PC consumes 100 watts of electricity per hour when idle. A virtual desktop installed through NComputing device will consume only 1watts of electricity per hour that will translate into saving of Rs10 million per month at current electricity rates or Rs 360 million in three years.
NComputing’s desktop virtualisation technology has now become a part of the lives of millions people across the world.

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