Two of the biggest arguments against VDI have been (1) it’s too complicated, and (2) it costs more to buy and implement than just buying traditional desktops. (We had an interesting conversation on BrianMadden.com earlier this year around the reasons people don’t use VDI.)
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Pano Logic hopes to change the conversation around VDI complexity and capex cost with the announcement of “Pano Express,” a 50-user turnkey VDI system which they’ll sell for USD $24,450 ($489 per desktop). The Pano Express system is completely turnkey, including 50 Pano client devices, an HP server with the horsepower and RAID ready to run the 50 desktops, 50 Microsoft VECD licenses, VMware vSphere Essentials and all the virtual servers and desktop templates ready to go. You can literally be up and running in 20 minutes!
For those who aren’t familiar with Pano Logic, they make the Pano Cube zero-client device that connects to their connection broker running on ESX. Their sweet-spot is in the small-to-medium VDI deployment space. (Maybe 10 to 200 desktops?) The client devices are super tiny zero clients. (We talked to their CTO Aly Orady and got a demo a year ago on Brian Madden TV #11.)
I really like that the Pano Express bundle comes with all the VMs you need to be running quickly. You just take one of the 50 Panos out of the box and plug it in, and the wizard comes up automatically (to configure domain authentication, etc.). And I also love that it includes the VECD (well, I guess technically they’re VDA licenses now) and the vSphere stuff you need to get up and running.
What you get for $24,450:
- 50 Pano client devices
- 50 VECD licenses for 32-bit Windows XP or Windows 7
- HP DL160 G6, dual Intel E5620 CPUs (2.4GHz, quad core, 12MB cache), 48GB RAM, 7 146GB 10k SAS drives (RAID5)
- VMware vSphere Essentials (includes ESXi 4, vCenter Server for Essentials, vCenter Agent & Update Manager licensed for three dual-proc hex-core CPUs and 256GB RAM.
Each desktop virtual machine is configured for 1GB RAM, 12GB disk space, 18 IOPS. Then the server has the following pre-built VMs:
- Four templates for desktop VMs (Windows XP and Windows 7, each with and without OpenOffice(
- Pano Manager VM
- vCenter VM
- Setup VM
You can configure the desktop template to be used for many-to-one, one-to-one based on user, or one-to-one based on device. The whole process is outlined on Pano’s site.
So what do you think? Most people no twitter yesterday (when this thing was announced) thought it was cool with the only negative being that there’s no redundancy. (i.e. just one server). Although if redundancy’s important then there’s nothing stopping a customer from buying a second server and adding into the group.