The Problem

In modern laboratories a wide range of analytical instruments from different manufactures are in use everyday. Every peace of instrument equipment comes with a more or less proprietary software package which special hard and software requirements for the computer system. In many cases it is almost impossible to install and run more than one dedicated software application on a workstation PC. Therefore labs are clustered with different types of computer hardware all over the valuable and limited bench space. Besides the training requirements for the different software applications itself, lab managers together with their IT professionals must take care to validate and maintain the computer systems in such a mixed environment. Things deteriorate further if older instrumentation must be used which is still in good condition, but out of support by the manufacture either for the hard or software parts. Often an older software package requires also an older operating system that would not fit the specification list of modern computer hardware at all. In such a situation when the computer hardware gets damaged, no further replacement is available and the instrument itself must be taken out of order.

Don't change a running system?

The Missing Link

Modern computer hardware with Dual Core or even Quad Core processor architectures and tact rates in the microwave range has an unbelievable computing power, which is wasted very often for "enhanced" screen saver type applications. Due to limitations in the analytical instrument control software it is often impossible to run multiple instrument sessions simultaneously on such high sophisticated workstations. So the real question is: How can we get rid of the software bottle neck?

The Solution

For the first time virtualization technology is commercial available as an option for the analytical market in our iStation PC's. Our pre-selected 64Bit hardware components together with the installed 32Bit or 64Bit Windows XP host operating system fits exactly the requirements to run multiple instrument sessions independently under its own guest operating system. Now it is possible for example, to run a 16Bit Agilent Technologies Chemstation together with its 32Bit counterpart on the same computer at the same time. Even options for different types of supported guest operating systems could be ordered together with the appropriate computer. Therefore users can control now there old 5971 MSD under Windows 95, simultaneously with the 5975 triple axis MSD under Windows XP. Please be aware that you need a valid license for the guest operating system, if it is different from the host operating system which is included in the package. For compatibility reasons our iStation PC's are supplied with either with the 32Bit or 64Bit version of the Windows XP Professional operating system installed. This will change when Microsoft Windows 7 comes out the beta testing phase. Windows Vista installations are available on special request.

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