Desktop virtualization has done wonders for IT departments looking to speed and simplify PC deployment for enterprise task workers. But rendering a 3D model over a VDI connection can be like watching grass grow. That’s about to change thanks to GRID, a series of server-side PCIe GPUs from Nvidia that time-slice hundreds or thousands of graphics cores among as many as 32 of the server’s hosted VDI users. A small Windows app works with a modified hypervisor to compress and transfer the pixels at close to real time, making apps such as AutoCAD run like they’re local. Linux and Mac OS clients are expected this summer. Pricing starts at $2500; it supports hypervisors from Citrix, Microsoft and VMware. The video card maker in May launched a site that allows resellers to test Nvidia GRID for free.
Like it or not, cryptocurrency is a fact of the modern age, and every serious business should at least understand how it works. Of the dozens of cryptocurrencies in use today, the oldest and most widely known is Bitcoin. At the heart of the the Bitcoin system is an open-source application that’s deployed by individuals or companies that compete to securely process transactions. Whenever currency changes hands, the transaction is verified by the software and a secure signature is added. The transaction is then anonymously recorded and stored in the network and a small commission (in bitcoin) is paid to the owner of the bitcoin server that “won” the transaction. In this way, bitcoins are slowly put into circulation at an ever decreasing rate and with a cap of 21 million. Bitcoins are traded in bitcoin exchanges just like those of other currencies. Transactions involve no financial institutions and are untraceable, which has drawn scrutiny from regulators.
While bank-free transactions appear to have secured a part of the future world economy, traditional bank accounts are still a part of today’s reality for most businesses. But what about physical branches? Trying to prove they’re obsolete is Simple Bank, which in 2012 went to beta with its all-electronic banking system and now has more than 40,000 customers and assets in excess of $1 billion. Accounts are FDIC-insured through The Bankcorp, a private-label banking service provider that caters to “branchless banking,” ATM transactions carry no surcharge and checks are deposited via smartphone camera. In February, Simple was acquired for $117 million by BBVA, an international banking conglomerate headquartered in Spain.