Many IT organizations are starting to come to the realization that there will be no silver bullet when it comes to desktop virtualization, given all the virtualization variants. Instead, they will probably wind up deploying two or more variants depending on the types of application workloads they are trying to support and their sensitivity to costs.
The folks at Pano Logic want to lay claim to not only one of the lowest cost approaches to desktop virtualization, but also the highest performance. The company has released the results of some testing of its zero-client approach to desktop virtualization that claim its new version 4.5 of Pano Logic has:
The lowest average CPU utilization (25.6 percent) and lowest maximum CPU utilization of 31.4 percent during a Microsoft Excel Benchmarking. This average CPU utilization is slightly more than half that of the Wyse P20.
Had the lowest memory consumption of any client (zero, thin, PC) during a MS Excel (lowest maximum memory consumed) and Microsoft PowerPoint (lowest average memory consumption) benchmarking test.
During the Excel test, Pano maxed out at 7.75 write I/O operations/second (IOPS), less than 5 percent of the IOPS created by the Wyse Xenith and Wyse P20 solutions. Similarly, for read IOPS, Pano maxed out at 6.55 while the Wyse P20 maxed out at 53.05 IOPS and the Wyse Xenith at 101 IOPS. In PowerPoint Benchmarking, Pano required a mere 1.1 read IOPS whereas the Wyse P20 required 18.85 read IOPS and the Wyse Xenith required 23.4 read IOPS.
While all benchmark chest thumping needs to be viewed with a grain of salt, the performance claims being put forth by Pano Logic highlight an ongoing debate about the performance of desktop virtualization offerings. Dana Loof, executive vice president of worldwide marketing for Pano Logic, notes that one of the reasons that Pano Logic does well regarding performance is because it makes use of a proprietary protocol to access storage over the network. Instead, a self-contained Pano Zero Client device is deployed next to each system, which connects the client to a Pano Logic server software via a bus-level protocol that requires no processing on the client.
There are, of course, a half dozen or more approaches to desktop virtualization, none of which is likely to be dominant anytime soon. That means that IT organizations are probably going to come to terms with the fact that they will be supporting multiple variants of desktop virtualization, with the choice of each variant being tightly coupled to the types of application workloads and the skills available in the IT department.
Of course, some IT organizations may choose to ignore desktop virtualization altogether. But in general, desktop virtualization that is properly deployed and managed can lower the overall cost of IT. It's simply a matter of finding the right specific variant that fits the needs of your organization. That may involve a fair amount of testing, but at the end of the day there is no substitute for actual hands-on experience where your technology mileage is likely to vary substantially based on the applications that need support.