Desktop virtualization vendor Pano Logic is extending its market reach with the latest update to its desktop virtualization platform. Pano System 3.5 adds Microsoft Hyper-V to its existing VMware hypervisor support. The Pano System is a complete virtual desktop environment that includes the Pano Manager, a virtual machine manager and connection broker; the Pano device, a 1.1-pound thin client that is used to connect peripherals such as keyboard, mouse and monitor; and Pano Direct, which connects clients to centralized virtual desktops.
The new version, which includes the Pano device and all the software needed to support it, can use both Hyper-V and VMware hypervisors, provided each is hosted in a separate server environment. The Pano Device contains no operating system, software, storage or moving parts, so customers can change the supporting hypervisor yet use the same device and the same desktop virtualization software.
Additional features of Pano3.5 include support for the latest version of VMware vSphere 4.1, as well as support for ESX/ESXi 4.1 and vCenter Server 4.1. Enhancements include improved idle time and disconnect timeout behavior, as well as closer integration with vCenter Server and View Connection Server. PanoRemote also lets users with multiple virtual desktops select a specific desktop. For more on virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI, see our lab review of eight VDI vendors.
Pano Logic says growing corporate interest in Microsoft's hypervisor, and its inclusion in Server 2008, represents an untapped opportunity to expand the company's customer base. John Burke, principal research analyst, Nemertes Research, agrees. "We see 34.5 percent of data centers are already using multiple hypervisors, and we see that number growing as desktop virtualization becomes more broadly accepted. Making Pano multi-platform this way is a very important step for Pano to take, and for where the market is going: being (hypervisor) agnostic." A survey from InformationWeek Analytics shows strong interest in VDI; 32 percent of respondents have VDI in place or a pilot project underway. Another 35 percent are assessing VDI's benefits. You can find the complete report here (registration required).
Pano Logic says the value proposition of VDI is compelling for large organizations, with PC costs typically running $700-$800, versus as little as $489 for its products. In addition to the lower capital expenses, the company promises significant time and management savings, with the ability to have the appliance up and running in minutes. Ease of maintenance was the most important feature of VDI for IT professionals, according to the InformationWeek Analytics survey. Burke says virtualization won't be the only way of providing desktops, but it will become a major alternative. "I think the Pano stuff is really cool and I'm very much looking forward to what they do over the next 18 months with Citrix, other form factors and OEMs." Pano Logic says it will have future news around the Citrix hypervisor, but declined to cite specifics.