Pano Logic goes out of business, forgets to tell customers

Virtual desktop vendor Pano Logic unexpectedly went out of business, leaving users wondering what to do next.

Pano Logic, a small virtual desktop vendor, has unexpectedly gone out of business, according to the company's former San Francisco-based public relations firm.

The company, headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., laid off its employees on Oct. 23, but there has been confusion among users, who are unable to get in touch with Pano Logic about what to do next and whether there would be a support plan going forward.

"If you are lucky and have a good reseller, you might get support for a year or two from them while IT works out a transition plan," said Simon Bramfitt, founder of Entelechy, a Concord, Calif.-based research firm. "But customers are in a bit of an awkward spot. It's going to be a bumpy challenge."

Pano Logic could not be reached for comment and has yet to issue a public confirmation that it is no longer in business, although its website is now missing the management and investor sections. Nervous customers have been reduced to leaving unanswered messages on Pano Logic's Facebook page.

Pano System not easy to replace

The problem for customers is that Pano Logic's virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) product was significantly different from other tools on the market. Pano System was an end-to-end solution that will require IT departments to replace the entire VDI environment and not just a few components, Bramfitt said.

Pano Logic, founded in 2006, provided both the virtual hardware and software all within Pano System. Its zero client Pano Device, which contains no storage, no processors and no software, allowed IT to move all computing to the data center or cloud. The devices connected back to the data center through an Ethernet connection, making it easy to maintain and manage virtual desktops.

More about Pano Logic

Q&A with Pano Logic CEO John Kish

Zero client technology overview

Pano Logic's approach was to offer dedicated thin clients that only work with its data center software technology. Its dedicated connection broker could interact with all the major hypervisors, including Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere, but those connections were still dependent on Pano Logic software to do the intermediation.

"Organizations aren't going to be able to spin up a competing solution in a reasonable amount of time, not without a lot of planning or headaches," Bramfitt said. He noted that the company was considered a small player in the virtual desktop space compared to the likes of Citrix Systems Inc. and VMware, but it offered innovative ideas well beyond those competitors.

At $149 to $169, plus a license for the server software, Pano's virtual desktop computing was aggressively priced compared to other options, including the purchase of traditional fat Windows PCs that are inexpensive to buy but costly to maintain over their lifetimes.

"The only good news from this perspective is it wasn't a high-cost solution, so organizations won't lose a great deal of capital," Bramfitt said.

Still, that's little consolation to IT departments that must now figure out a quick transition plan for their virtual desktop environments, he added.

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