Virtual desktop vendor Pano Logic is updating its zero client hardware and desktop virtualization software this week with a new release.
Pano Logic 4 adds new hardware and VDI management to the company’s zero-client (not a thin client) release — but some silicon remains.
The Pano System 4.0 update provides users with improved hardware that enhances USB device support as well as adds support for the Xen hypervisor. Pano Logic technology has been in market since 2007, as an alternative approach to a thin client or traditional desktop deployments.
“Effectively the way we accomplish our zero client is by stretching the system bus across the network,” Aly Orady co-founder of Pano Logic told InternetNews.com.
Orady explained that in an normal desktop PC there is a system bus that is connected to I/O ports for keyboard, display and USB. What Pano Logic has done is take everything that normally represents the PC and moved it to the data center as a virtual machine. Orady stressed that the Pano Logic device is not a typical thin client.
“A thin client is basically a stripped down PC, with memory, processor and an operating system and is running some software,” Orady said. “What we did is we built our system from the ground up, with a device that is extremely secure and has no management burden or software on it.”
Orady added that the zero client does not have a traditional PC processor in it. He explained that all the drivers for operating the device are on the virtual machine that runs in the data center.
Though the zero client doesn’t have a CPU, it does have some silicon in it.
“What is in the Pano device is a chip that we designed and in that chip is the data path for moving data off the system bus and onto the network,” Orady said. “We have a little bit of hard coded logic in there that is just intelligent enough to get an IP address using DHCP.”
The chip is actually an field-programmable gate array FPGA , and the system also has onboard memory. Orady explained that the system has a DRAM chip for local frame buffer storage, though the vast majority RAM is allocated dynamically on the back end virtual machine server.
The management piece of the virtual desktop solution is called the Pano Manager, and it talks to all the Pano devices and pushes out login screens, authenticates and associates desktops with users. Prior to the Pano System 4 release, the Pano Manager supported only VMware and Microsoft’s Hyper-V. Support for Citrix XenDesktop is now being added to the solution.
The Pano System 4 also includes new hardware that has digital video output (DVI) ports in addition to the VGA output that earlier versions of the device supported. A second-monitor port has also been added providing support for dual-displays. The system also now includes support for isochronous USB devices which were not previously supported by Pano Logic. Isochronous USB devices include webcams, headset and other devices that require real time requirements for data transfer.
“We’ll continue to expand the set of use cases for which this solution is applicable,” Orady said. “So you’ll see software updates from us over the next 12 months that will include things like better performance and management which will allow folks to run the device in more types of scenarios and run more rigorous types of applications.”
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.