Mental Ward

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VDI With Pano Logic

I visited the University of Maryland, College Park, yesterday to look at a VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure, also called desktop virtualization and hosted desktop) solution in one of their departments. I'll be writing about it at more length soon, but for now I wanted to include some interesting tidbits.

I met with Jeff Cunningham, director of information systems for the Agricultural and Natural Resources department, who had an entire room set up with Pano Logic devices. Cunningham is a long-timer there, having been around for 25 years now. And he's tremendously excited about the promise of VDI for his department, and for the school.

There are about 70 Pano devices in the department, many of which replaced Dell Optiplex 270 desktops. Since the replacement, Cunningham has seen his "putting out fires" time reduced about 25 percent, a number that he expects to increase.

He's also seen, in preliminary and informal tests, a power reduction of about 75 percent. Since U of MD is committed to becoming carbon-neutral soon, his department is already ahead of the curve on meeting those requirements.

Cunningham also says that many of his initial problems with the Pano were solved with the recent 2.5 update; especially problems with USB support. He still has some user complaints, especially about occasional performance problems like speed of startup and sometimes choppy video; but those are better problems to have, he says, than "Hey, my computer doesn't work!" issues.

Cunningham also eats his own dogfood; I saw the Pano device on his desk, so he experiences just what the end users experience. His Pano environment runs on ESX, with good results. When Pano is updated to work with Hyper-V, he says he'll look at how it works on that platform, since VMware remains an expensive solution (Cunningham in no way implied that he's ready to switch platforms; just that he'll investigate.)

That's all for now. Suffice to say that Cunningham is delighted with his Pano experience.

Posted by Keith Ward on 12/11/2008 at 12:48 PM


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