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 includes 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 is in use, which is still in good working 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 which don't 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.
The missing link
Modern computer hardware with quad or even octa core processor architectures and tact rates far in the microwave range has an unbelievable computing power, which is wasted very often for "enhanced" overhead load. Due to limitations in the analytical instrument control software, it is often impossible to run multiple instrument sessions simultaneously without interference on such high sophisticated workstations. So the question is: How can we overcome this software bottle neck?
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 Microsoft Windows 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. For compatibility reasons our iStation PC's are supplied with pre-installed 64Bit versions of the Windows 10 Professional as the host operating system. That can also be changed to Windows 7 on special request.
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