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Indian firm jumpstarts utility computing service

Posted: 26 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:utility computing service? computing platform? India?

Indian communication services provider Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd has launched what it touts as the world's first utility computing service, which treats computing as a commodity rather than as a product and uses a low-cost home computing platform launched by Novatium.

Based on Novatium's patented technology called Desktop Utility Delivery Model, the service was developed with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chennai.

The service will help deliver computing to the state-owned carrier's fixed-line customers. The carrier hopes to usher in a "computing and broadband revolution in the country," said R.S.P. Sinha, Mahanagar's chairman and managing director.

"We are now looking at attaining a subscriber base of 25,000 in New Delhi [during] financial year 2007," said Alok Singh, chief executive of Novatium.

The Novatium netPC costs $50 without a monitor, and $125 with a monitor. It is available at a monthly subscription fee of $10, including 30hrs of Internet access. Customers will be able to store data and files on servers where hard drives or CPUs are hosted and connected by wireline or wireless media. The netPC architecture eliminates PC or thin client components. The netPC includes a keyboard, screen, USB ports and uses a central network server to run software applications and store data. It works with most network servers running Windows, Linux or Solaris OS.

Rajesh Jain, an entrepreneur who once ran one of India's best-known Web portals, and Ashok Jhunjhunwala, a professor of electrical engineering at IIT, Chennai, are also helping to promote the system.

Meanwhile, the Indian government is also pursuing proposals to make notebook PCs available for as little as $10. It is working with IIT on the notebook initiative.

The utility computing service was launched in New Delhi after a pilot program in Chennai and a national launch is scheduled later this year.

- K.C. Krishnadas
EE Times

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