Desktop virtualization vendor Pano Logic is casting a wide net by adding support for all three major hypervisors -- Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere/View -- in the latest version of its flagship "zero client" device.
Pano System 4.0, unveiled last week, consists of Pano Device, a 3.5" x 3.5" x 2" "zero client" with 4 USB ports, dual monitor support, display input, network connection, audio in and out, and power adapter. It contains no CPU, no memory, no operating system, no drivers, no software and no moving parts and connects over local area network to Windows XP or Windows 7 desktop virtual machines.
Pano Device works in conjunction with Pano Manager (management software) and Pano DAS (a Windows service that links peripherals to the zero client). Pano Logic's approach to desktop virtualization is to shift all processing power to the server, thereby freeing organizations from the burdens of endpoint management and boosting interoperability between the different virtualization platforms.
"All of the management and break/fix happens and is managed at the server level. This means no break/fix on client, and no security issues, which is something health-care and government agencies require," said Dana Loof, vice president of marketing at Pano Logic, Menlo Park, Calif.
The zero client approach to desktop virtualization offers several key advantages, according to Loof. Since there's no data stored on the device, lost or stolen devices are essentially useless hunks of metal and plastic. Pano's zero clients also offer energy savings because they don't require processor cooling, an attribute that makes them ideal for manufacturing environments, Loof said.
Pano Logic's secret sauce lies in its Pano Direct Protocol, which simulates a computer bus over the Web and "fools" the virtual machine into treating the zero client device as a local device. This removes the need for more complex, processor intensive protocols, said Loof.
Pano Logic has moved quickly to fill the gaps in its virtualization hypervisor support, adding Hyper-V with Pano System 3.5 in October and Citrix XenDesktop with the 4.0 release, which also includes a new compression algorithm that allows for better video playback performance.
"Our edict is no management at the endpoint," Loof said. "This enables us to work independently of any specific hypervisor."
Pano System 4.0 is priced at $389, which includes one year of support and maintenance. Premium support is available for $249 per incident or $49 per year per seat, including maintenance.