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From a hype perspective, desktop virtualization is thriving with vendors – including VMware, Citrix, Microsoft, Wyse Technology and Teradici — claiming to have conquered the next virtualization frontier with solutions that will cut customers’ costs and make more money for solution providers. Pano Logic is looking to raise the bar with an all-in-one zero client desktop virtualization suite priced at $489 per user. Due out next month, Pano Express is a pre-loaded, pre-configured 50-user suite combining VMware vSphere Essentials, Microsoft Windows 7 licenses, and server and storage hardware with the company’s zero client platform.

This is all about shifting the conversation back to cost and meeting the capex (capital expenditures) expectations for desktop virtualization, says Parmeet Chaddha, executive vice president, Pano Logic.

“In order for desktop virtualization as defined by VDI to take off, it must match capex,” he says.  He tells Channel Insider that the number one barrier to VDI adoption has been capex, with customers ending up buying cheap PCs one more time.

At less than $500 per seat, capex spending is approximately half of what virtual desktop deployments from other vendors cost, says Chaddha. In addition to the capex story, there are also opex (operational expenditures) savings with power reduction, and the elimination of endpoint security issues. With no processors, software or storage on the client device, lifecycle savings from reduced management, energy, repair and replacement costs can result in annual total cost of ownership (TCO) savings of as much as 80 percent over a typical PC infrastructure.

Targeted at small and midsized businesses and remote offices, Pano Express can be installed and up and running in under an hour. “No VDI vendor can claim implementation will take less than a few day,” says Chaddha

Pano Express includes 50 zero-client Pano Systems (zero-client Pano Device, Pano Direct service and Pano Manager), VMware vSphere Essentials, 50 Windows XP or Windows 7 virtual desktop licenses, and a custom configured dual-quad core server with high-performance RAID5 internal storage.

According to VMware’s Patrick Harr, vice president, desktop virtualization, this pre-packaged solution  will enable SMBs to tap the value and simplicity of desktop virtualization. “This suite is a powerful tool for expanding and speeding the adoption of desktop virtualization so that customers of all sizes can realize the dramatic savings and simplicity of centralized computing.”
Chaddha says the best way for the channel to sell VDI is through providing customers a phased introduction. A customer can start with a 5-unit pilot and scale up to the 50-unit offering when ready. “Our learning of the best way for a customer to adopt VDI is in a staged process,” he says. The new bundle should minimize the effort to convert from trial to production, and speed the up-sell process, he says.