Pano Logic Enhances Desktop Virtualization

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The Pano Logic Virtual Desktop Solution includes a small thin client-type of device which sits on a desk and consumes only about 5 Watts of power, or about 3 percent the consumption of a traditional PC.

The appliance connects to a standard keyboard, mouse, monitor, and USB peripherals on the desk. It also connects to a server on which the virtualized desktop environment, including operating system, applications, I/O, and storage, is packaged into a virtual server built using server virtualization software from VMware, Palo Alto, Calif.

New to version 1.5 is support for the latest version of VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3), including ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5, said Benjamin Baer, vice president of marketing for Pano Logic, Menlo Park, Calif. "Now, if certain users are not using their desktops, it shuts them down so their resources can be reallocated," Baer said. "It also allows migration of unused virtual machines to reallocate resources."

Also new is a kiosk mode for customers who may not be tied to a specific location. For example, Baer said, a company might install 50 to 100 Pano Logic device in a conference room or for use as printer stations so that users can log in without bringing their laptops.

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"When the customers are done, no state is left on the workstation," he said. "Customers can have their files available on a flash drive, or they can mount them on a local file server."

Pano Logic also enhanced the performance of its software and desktop devices so that most users will not notice much difference from using a standard desktop PC, Baer said. "However, certain applications are not good fits for this, like 3D graphics," he said. "That's coming."

Pano Logic currently has about 30 solution providers in the US and Canada, and is making a push to recruit VMware partners, Baer said.

"We're looking primarily for those with experience with server virtualization, especially those who already know how the back end of virtualization works," he said. "We don't want to make adding Pano Logic complex. For partners with that experience, this is a real easy add-on."

Michael Lessing, CEO and principle at ProSync Technology Group, an Ellicott City, Md.-based VMware solution provider who has been working with Pano Logic since October, said that the Pano Logic technology is extremely innovative, and more advanced than current thin client technology.

"We love it so much, we've adopted it in our own office infrastructure," Lessing said. "About half of our people are on Pano boxes, and notice no performance hit. And they get to preserve their desktop experience."

Lessing said that virtual desktops using the Pano Logic architecture cost about the same to acquire as standard desktop PCs. However, he said customers will see noticeable cost savings in terms of the personnel needed to manage them. He also said the Pano Logic hardware consumes about 5 Watts of power compared to 250 Watts to 300 Watts per standard desktop PC. "So if it's a Fortune-500 company with tens of thousands of workstations, think of how much they save in power costs," he said.

Lessing said the power of virtual desktop PCs is only starting to be tapped. "I really look forward to the day when I can walk to an airport, swipe a card, load up my desktop, use it, and then walk away," he said.