Virtualization Can Ax PCs for SMBs - InformationWeek
Government // Mobile & Wireless
05:00 PM
Lamont Wood
Lamont Wood

Virtualization Can Ax PCs for SMBs

An enterprise with a data center can skip having PCs, and cut power consumption, thanks to virtualized desktops, demonstrates Pano Logic.

An enterprise with a data center can skip having PCs, and cut power consumption, thanks to virtualized desktops, demonstrates Pano Logic.You can struggle with the issue of getting each PC in your enterprise backed up in the face of disk crashes, and secured in the face of malware. But if you have a data center running VMware, you can get rid of the PCs entirely and provide the users with much the same experience, at much the same price, using virtual desktops.

At least that's the message from Parmeet Chaddha, executive vice president at four-year-old Pano Logic in Redwood City, CA. He explained that the Pano System resides atop an existing VMware server installation, with a LAN connection. Each user gets a two-inch cube he called the Zero Client, which has connections for the LAN, keyboard, monitor, mouse and a USB port. These connect back to a virtual machine on the server, providing a desktop experience-but there is no desktop storage to backup, and no desktop CPU to risk infection. (The Zero Client, in fact, has no processor.)

A virtualized server can support 8 to 20 users per core, he said, depending on what those users are doing, but he said that common office productivity tasks pose no problems.

The cost (counting all the software licenses) compares favorably to the cost of getting a desktop PC, which runs $600 to $800, Chaddha noted. But aside from the advantages of central management and security, the big advantage lies in power consumption-the cube draws 3.5 watts, or about 1/40th of what a PC draws. You still need the monitor, but he said users report power savings of more than 70 percent.

Tony Lux, head of IT at Boulevard Brewing Co. in Kansas City, MO, said he wasn't even thinking about power consumption when he decided to go with Pano desktops. Basically, the new German-made brewery system his firm had installed was controlled through a graphical interface running on PCs with touch screens, and he winced at the idea of one of those PCs going down, as it would interrupt beer production-and revenue.

Also, his firm was in the process of virtualizing its servers using VMware, from 20 down to three. He heard about Pano, which runs on VMware, and gave it a try, having previously wrestled with high-end thin clients to replace PCs. Two Pano cubes installed and ran without difficulty, and after two weeks he began installing others throughout the brewery.

Lately he has 42 virtual PCs running off three dual quad-core servers with 48 megabytes of RAM each. CPU utilization averages 20 percent, and memory utilization average 50 percent, he noted.

Pano is currently offering, among other things, a 50-user system with a packaged quad-core server, for $24,450, or $489 per user, Chaddha added.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll