Pano Logic has unveiled version 4.5 of its zero-client system for virtual desktops, extending cross-platform support to include Citrix XenDesktop 5 while adding efficiencies that make its solution comparable in performance and user experience to a standalone desktop PC, according to the firm.
Available immediately, Pano System 4.5 extends the software's Citrix support to include XenDesktop 5 running on top of VMware infrastructure, which Pano Logic said is the configuration many of its customers in the mid-size market are using to deploy virtual desktops.
The firm already supports infrastructure based on Citrix, Microsoft and VMware hypervisors.
Pano Logic has also added support for 64-bit Windows 7 virtual desktops in 4.5, but the key focus of this update has been on boosting performance to improve the end user experience.
"Virtual desktops have gotten a bad rap in terms of performance, so we looked at having the best user experience in terms of office productivity and video quality because we're seeing a requirement for that more and more," said Dana Loof, vice president of marketing at Pano Logic.
According to Loof, the changes have mostly been in the handling of multimedia and graphics by the Pano Direct Service, a set of drivers that sits inside each virtual Windows PC and links it over the network to the Pano Zero Client endpoint device.
Unlike a thin client architecture, Pano Logic describes its system as extending the system bus across the network, so that the Windows PC simply sees the endpoint device as a standard graphics adapter.
The Pano endpoint is an appliance-like device with no processor, based on custom silicon that displays video coming from the virtual PC and sends mouse, keyboard and USB data back.
Pano Logic claims that, in tests conducted by analysts Sarrel Group, Pano System 4.5 came out on top for faster boot time and lowest CPU utilisation. The tests compared virtual desktops running on Pano's system against a comparable setup on the same server but using Wyse Xenith devices, and also two standard desktop PCs.
"We found that we consumed the fewest resources with performance equivalent or better than the average PC, which promotes greater server-side scalability to support more users," Loof said.
In particular, Pano System 4.5's video performance against rival zero-client and thin-client devices "blew them out of the water", Loof claimed.
Pano System 4.5 is available as an update for existing customers, while the pricing remains the same at $389 (£237) per seat. This includes the Pano Device endpoint and the Pano Manager server software.
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