Virtualization Brings Education to the Masses

by CXOtoday Staff    Nov 09, 2009

Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL), a public sector company established by the Government of Maharashtra, has tied up with NComputing to deploy 10, 000 virtual machines across Maharashtra. The aim is to bring education within reach of the masses, with the duo announcing further plans to computerize 5,000 additional centers across India in the next two years.

MKCL’s mission is to help the people of Maharashtra join the knowledge economy by providing world-class IT literacy and skills through a network of more than 5,000 learning centers.  The learning centers are operated by small and medium IT enterprises and educational institutions to provide IT literacy, community development, and eGovernance services to the citizens.

MKCL needed a low-cost, energy-efficient computing platform for its learning centers and chose NComputing’s X-series technology which enables a single desktop PC to be shared by up to 11 students simultaneously. The NComputing solution costs less than Rs. 4,000 per station (compared to Rs. 15,000 or more for a stand-alone PC) and uses only 1 Watt of electricity (compared to 110 Watts or more for a stand-alone PC).

Vivek Sawant, MD of MKCL said, "MKCL’s goal is to expand computer learning to millions of learners who need these essential skills to join the 21st century workplace. Our challenge was to expand computing access in a highly economical and eco-friendly way and the NComputing solution was a perfect fit. We are pleased that in less than a year, we have been able to install or expand computing access in 1,000 centers and now plan to expand to another 5,000 centers in the next two years."

The MKCL learning centers are often located in areas where electricity is unreliable or scheduled for only a few hours a day.  In order to keep the learning centers in operation continuously, expensive generators and power backup systems are often required.  By using the 1 Watt NComputing devices, the learning centers can reduce their capital expenses for purchasing backup power systems as well as operating costs in the form of 90% lower electricity bills.