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Distributed Virtual Personal Computer

May 11th, 2004 · 1 Comment

I came across an interesting paper by Jack Krupansky wherein he describes his idea:

One crazy idea I’ve been thinking about is what I call a “distributed virtual PC” or DVPC. The basic idea is that you have your full-blown PC with hard-drive, but the hard-drive is really just a cache, with all your data and settings being redundantly stored (and mirrored and cached) across any number of servers on the net, all transparently. The OS would need to be “upgraded” so that file changes are written through the local hard-drive cache to the distributed virtual drive on the net. If you occasionally are disconnected, such as on a plane or in the mountains, the cache changes would accumulate and then incrementally be written out to the net on future connections. Changes could also be written to a USB hard-drive or flash memory “drive” as well. Your physical PC could act as one or more virtual PCs via a logon, and more than one physical PC could be used to access each of your virtual PCs. Files on a virtual PC could be shared as defined using some access control scheme.

Now, here’s the big benefit… you’re happy with your PC, you’re traveling with all your important business presentations and settings and then… you drop your PC or it’s stolen or a virus deletes your files. Sure, maybe you remembered to create a backup disk and maybe you even remembered to bring it with you… or maybe not. With my DVPC, you could simply go up to ANY PC, log on and presto, you’re accessing your virtual PC with all your data and settings. Sure, it may take some time for the data to load into the local hard-drive cache, but with a high-speed net, that shouldn’t be a real problem.

A company which is planning to launch a product in a similar space in AllenPort.

Tags: Thin Client-Thick Server

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