Occasionally, someone will suggest that one day, businesses will stop buying employees computers and instead, employees will cheerfully buy their own PCs or laptops and just use them to do their job. Thanks to virtualization, this topic is popular again. In fact, IT Business Edge bloggers Ken-Hardin and Rob Enderle have been debating this topic back and forth.
I'm with Ken: It won't happen. I'd go a step further: It shouldn't happen, and I have a very sophisticated reason why not - Because if it does, it will mean: A. We've all officially turned into a herd of schmucks or, B. Unions are about to experience a Renaissance.
Fortunately, thanks to virtualization, there's another option that allows companies to reduce security risks and cut employee computer costs without forcing employees to buy their own machines or use dumb terminals: the virtual desktop device.
This week, Pano Logic unveiled a new desktop device -a tiny cube that's a mere 3.5 square inches. It's specifically designed for server-based desktop virtualization. There's no OS, no CPU, no memory and no drivers in what it calls a zero client. According to the eCommerce Times article , the cube connects keyboard, mouse, screen, audio and USB peripherals over an existing IP to a copy of Windows XP or Vista, running on a virtualized server.
Pano Claims the device cuts the total cost of ownership for employee machines by 70 percent.
There's no software, so no need to worry about security on each desktop. IT obtains centralized control of all USB ports. And, according to the article, the Pano machine uses a mere 5 watts, or 3 percent of the power required by an average PC.
The device goes on sale in September for subscription prices beginning at $20 per month with another $60 per year for maintenance and support, according to InfoWorld.
Granted, it's not quite as flexible as having your own PC. But it keeps work at work, while still offering employees access to the PC tools they need to do their job ... or devolve into roving herds of schmucks.