The little boxes aren’t much bigger than a Rubik’s cube, but they are the next step in the City of Bryan’s Information Technology Department’s push for “green IT.”
The City’s IT Director, Gustavo Roman, announced this week the implementation of the first phase of PanoLogic “virtual” desktop personal computer environment.
In addition to being the first government entity in the nation to join the International “Green Grid Consortium,” and successfully implementing a server virtualization project last year, they have taken the efforts of “going green” one step further by deploying the first 15 virtual desktop computers in the City. These efforts are substantially reducing the overall carbon footprint of the City’s data center.
This technology, called Pano Devices, utilizes 96 percent less energy than a normal desktop computer, allows for centralized management and control by the IT support staff, and allows for individual PCs to be deployed in minutes instead of hours. Bryan IT staff tested the functionality and speed of the new virtual desktops in several departments and after deeming their use a success, expanded the program by outfitting their computer training room with these Pano Devices.
The Pano device is called a “zero client” system because it contains no processor, no operating system and no moving parts. Pano virtual desktops shift all of the computing processes onto a server where it can be centrally managed from a single interface that IT support staff can access from their own desks. Upgrading software applications and operating systems can be done from a centralized location and the entire virtual PC can be rebuilt in minutes. Additionally, each Pano Device uses only 3.5 watts of electricity compared to the 130-160 watts for some of the newer energy efficient PCs.
“We’ve always had an awareness of our environmental responsibility and we are always looking for ways to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of the use of technology for the City of Bryan. The Pano Devices do that for us – they’re energy efficient, they save us money on initial cost when compared to traditional PCs, and they make better use of IT staff time.” Roman said.
Although the Pano Device is not apt for all applications, Bryan IT envisions a broader deployment of the PanoLogic system and looks forward to realizing more benefits as the City continues to deploy more of the devices throughout the City.