When it comes to the increasingly cutthroat virtual desktop market, making these systems as simple as possible now comprises the race to the top. After all, conventional VDI is Seriously Complicated -- with a capital S and C. Ask anybody.
Citrix's Kaviza-based VDI and MokaFive have innovative new takes on this. Cisco Systems just partnered with Citrix for the first time to bring this functionality into its high-end enterprise product line.
These are all software providers, however. There is another side to this VDI thing: hardware.
Pano Logic is one of the most unusual of the new-gen virtual desktop providers in that its client -- what the company calls a Zero Client -- isn't software but a small chrome or black box that resembles a 3.5-inch-square by 2-inch-high paperweight. This serves as the plug-in terminal for a workstation monitor, keyboard and mouse. Pano, in turn, does all the heavy lifting by connecting to the enterprise network with its own drivers.
That's it. Nothing else is needed for an employee to get on the enterprise network. True VDI plug 'n play if there ever was such thing, and there is.
So now there's even more of a simplicity angle to all this. Pano Logic has announced two Pano Express one-step VDI packages: Pano Express SMB and Pano Express HA include the complete VDI infrastructure -- both hardware and software -- required to support up to 60 power users, plus zero client endpoints.
The one-step VDI solution is delivered with pre-loaded and pre-configured servers using VMware vSphere 4, Windows Server 2008, and up to 60 Pano zero client systems. The Pano Express HA solution provides users with an added layer of protection using DataCore failover and replication technology for high availability. Thus, Pano Express makes it pretty easy for administrators to move a flotilla of 60 employees from PCs to VDI in a single step.
VDI has been hanging around on the outside looking in for more than a decade, but latency, expense, complicated installation and maintenance and negative user experiences have set it back. However, with key new advancements like this one, things have changed drastically in the last couple of years -- thus all the major-company interest in the sector. Pano Logic and some of the other new-gen companies are in a good place as interest in VDI reheats up.
Here's a bit more to consider: some market metrics from a recent Forrester study:
--More than 50 percent of companies ranked desktop and application virtualization as a critical or major initiative over the next 12 to 18 months. --Deployment levels are predicted to grow from 27 percent to 46 percent, taking the number of virtual desktops in organizations from hundreds to tens of thousands over the next two years. --In the shift to employees bringing their own device (BYOD) to work, 20 to 22 percent of organizations said they're already providing support for employee-owned laptops, tablets and smartphones, with a further 16 to 21 percent planning to do so over next two years. --Nearly 30 percent are deliberately coinciding their investments in Windows 7 and desktop virtualization.
The Station says check out Pano Logic or one of the other vendors noted here if you're thinking of switching to VDI. They may be new and unfamiliar, but they have interesting IT.