Tag Archives: virtual workstation

Putting cloud computing to good use: Real business solutions

This is the next post in my series on good ways to apply cloud computing services to best advantage. Cloud computing is great technology but most people don’t have any idea how to actually apply it!

Today I’m going to talk about the virtual workstation, also know as the virtual desktop and why it makes sense for business of almost any size. For this recipe, choose a SwiftWater Telecom cloud powered virtual workstation as either a Linux desktop (starting at $10 per month) or a Linux/Windows Hybrid workstation that can run all your favorite Windows software as well (starting at $25 per month).

The built in VNC software means that the virtual desktop can be accessed from almost any machine anywhere with nothing but a simple web browser. The powerful Nomachine NX software allows you to print from the virtual desktop to a local printer, as well as move files back and forth to the virtual desktop with just a familiar drag and drop, all with a secure connection. Both versions come preloaded with popular software such as Firefox (browser), Thunderbird (email), Adobe Reader, OpenOffice.org (Microsoft Office compatible suite), and more.

What are the advantages of this to any business? No hardware to spend money constantly upgrading, add new virtual desktops without buying more computers, never worry about the time and expense of upgrading system software again, never lose critical business data from losing or having a laptop stolen, never worry about backups again, all data is safely stored and backed up on our highly reliable data center cloud. Turn the uncertainty of supporting and maintaining desktop computers into a simple and predictable monthly charge!

Along with the safety and reliability of the virtual desktop, the business gets the ultimate in flexibility. The virtual desktop and the critical data that employees need is never any further away than the closest Internet connection, almost anywhere in the world.

Drastically reduce the business cost of operating and maintaining physical workstations, gain the extreme flexibility, reliability, and safety of our powerful data center cloud, and go GREEN with an office of SwiftWater Telecom virtual desktops!

Call or email me today or visit the SwiftWater Telecom web site for more information or to order!


swiftwater telecom rcs cloud computing logo


Announcement: upgrading the virtual data center cloud!

Announcing new upgraded features for the SwiftWater Telecom RCS cloud computing service!

In addition to the standard web console that allows you to access your virtual server or virtual workstation from almost any computer with a web browser without having to install any software, we’re pleased to announce pre-loaded support for the NoMachine NX client! NX supports Linux (32 bit and 64 bit), Mac OSX, Solaris, and Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, and 7.

With the NX client, you can now share your local drives with the virtual workstation, making it simple to more files back and forth, share printers so you can print from your virtual workstation to your local printer, and share multimedia channels. Sharing multimedia channels allows you to play music or videos on your virtual workstation and hear it through your local speakers!

Our virtual workstations also include:

Firefox web browser with Java and Flash preloaded
Thunderbird email
Adobe Reader
OpenOffice.org (Microsoft Office compatible suite)
Pidgin Internet Messenger (AOL, MSN, ICQ, Google, MySpace, Yahoo compatible!)
Bluefish (web page editor)
WINE (run Windows software!)
Web browser console

Step up to the best equipped cloud powered virtual workstations and virtual servers anywhere!

Virtual Private Workstations
Virtual Private Servers
Cloud Powered Virtual Bundles


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Data center reliability and the virtual server

Tonight I was reading about virtualisation and questioning if it’s ready for production use. The answer is, yes, maybe, and no.

Like everything else in the data center, the risk versus value has to be considered. It’s not just virtualisation itself, it’s all of the supporting infrastructure too. Virtual servers, hardware configurations, power, it’s all part of the answer.

So what are the failure points in a virtual server or virtual workstation? Judging by recent events such as the Rackspace cloud outage, the biggest vulnerability is power. Data centers that run their power operations in a risky manner (manual testing, unprotected power) create a large threat to virtual systems.

Next failure point is the hardware. The hardware that underlies virtual systems is substantially similar to that used for single purpose servers and subject to the same frailties. Mechanical hard drives and fans are the most common failure points.

From the software standpoint, guest operating systems should be as reliable running on a hypervisor as they would be expected to be on real hardware, as should the host operating system. I would also expect any of the major hypervisors to be as reliable as any mature software.

So, a lot of the things that insure the reliability of virtual systems are the same as for traditional servers, just more so, since there is more at risk on a server handling many virtual machines. Power stability, both in design and operation, hardware quality, redundancy, and durability, and good choice of stable software all add up to a good reliable virtual server.

Of course, good choices, such as having redundant virtual servers split between multiple physical servers, multiple power sources, and multiple network connections.

Make the right choices and you can feel comfortable virtualising even the most critical application.

Vern, SwiftWater Telecom