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6 July, 2011 - 16:24 By News Desk

RealVNC used by Google and Intel in US bonanza

RealVNC CEO, Dr Andy Harter

The RealVNC story is one of international success. The original developer of VNC remote access technology was recognised for its continued contribution to Innovation and International Trade when it received two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise – the only double winner this year.

With hundreds of millions of VNC users around the world, Cambridge based RealVNC’s exports comprise 90 per cent of turnover. Customers range from home users to some of the world’s largest organisations.

The US is a key market for RealVNC with a loyal and established user base. Law enforcement bodies such as Alexandria Police Department install VNC on fleets of ruggedised PC’s for use in the field, allowing cops to stay on the beat.

Educational institutions such as Arizona State University use the software on computers across campus, enabling students and staff to be supported around the clock.  And IT technicians at manufacturers such as bespoke pottery producers Boston Valley Terra Cotta use VNC on iPads to monitor kiln production out of hours.

RealVNC strives to develop new and innovative applications of the software and is working with some of North America’s largest companies. In an industry first, RealVNC collaborated with Intel to embed VNC technology directly into its latest chipset, providing built-in remote access. More recently, RealVNC joined forces with Google to provide remote access technology and expertise to its Chrome products.

Images from the world’s largest optical and infrared telescopes at the W.M. Keck Observatory, perched on the summit of Hawaii’s dormant Mauna Kea Volcano, can now be viewed by astronomers across the US, thanks to RealVNC.

By deploying RealVNC, screens from the giant twin telescopes are displayed on desktops at the Observatory’s headquarters in Kamuela – on Hawaii’s Big Island – as well as at research facilities across the US mainland.

As well as helping astronomers probe the universe millions of light years away without having to climb the 4,200-metre volcano, VNC is also being used to provide remote control and management capabilities for Keck’s engineers and IT administrators.

This means they can make round-the-clock adjustments, troubleshoot, perform upgrades and install new software. VNC also gives staff members secure access to data and applications running on their office PCs, whether they are working from home or travelling.

“RealVNC is making a major contribution to our work at all levels,” said Jon Chock, IT manager at Keck Observatory. “In addition to being able to share observational data from our telescopes with colleagues as it is collected, the remote access facilities for support and office staff help to enhance the efficient running of the Observatory.”

VNC runs on a number of operating systems such as Windows, Mac and Unix and provides configurable access restrictions and control rights that can be set so that any number of users can remotely access and view the same desktop. It also supports restricted access to ensure one user doesn’t connect during another’s session.

Chock added: “We use RealVNC Enterprise Edition for remote management of our IT systems and secure user access as it provides high levels of security to protect our sensitive work.

“Enterprise Edition allows our IT team to set strong encryption preferences, access restrictions and authentication; the deployment tool makes it easy to manage with minimal disk and memory requirements. The RealVNC licensing and support package also provided us with the best price-performance. The solution has helped us reduce operating costs.”

RealVNC CEO, Dr Andy Harter, was thrilled the technology was helping astronomers “unlock the secrets of the universe.” “Keck Observatory demonstrates graphically the wide range of applications for VNC from the extraordinary to more commonplace requirements such as remote administration and teleworking,” he said.

Alexandria Police Department (APD) in Virginia has deployed RealVNC’s VNC® Enterprise Edition to over 330 mobile computers, providing a more effective method of IT troubleshooting that keeps officers out in the community.

APD Tactical Computer Section has a team of three IT technicians tasked with supporting all 330 mobile computers used by police officers out in the field.

The computers allow officers to receive vital up to the minute information and submit incident reports. Any downtime of these computers previously meant a trip back to base or radioing a technician for help.

By deploying VNC Enterprise Edition to provide IT support remotely, the APD Tactical Computer Section has established an effective means of troubleshooting and improved officers’ confidence in technology as they can see problems being fixed in real time, allowing them to remain out in the community. With downtime reduced, the section will also see savings in its IT support costs.

“RealVNC came highly recommended by other law enforcement bodies,” said Sergeant Jim Craige, Tactical Computer Section. “VNC has enabled us to give better support to our users and, most importantly, keep our officers out in the community. It is an invaluable tool that has provided us with an excellent return on investment.”

Harter said: “APD has set the standard within law enforcement. With police officers playing such a vital role in serving the community I am pleased that our technology has contributed to the success of APD’s Tactical Computer initiative, making the mobile computing system one of the best in law enforcement today.”

APD’s Tactical Computer Section embraces a community policing philosophy – with over 330 sworn and 140 civilian employees.

The police department uses 3G commercial wireless data and the tactical computer system combines laptop computers, software and institutional practices that make it one of the best mobile computing systems in law enforcement today.

• Photograph shows: RealVNC CEO, Dr Andy Harter

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