Taking a page out of old school client/server tech architecture and updating it with modern hardware and software, Pano Logic’s mini clients are definitely one to check out if you’re running a corporate IT team.
The miniature Pano Device sits at each person’s desk, and has just enough processing power to provide network access and a “dumb” terminal attached to a centralized server farm.
The pint-sized device measures just 2″ x 3.5″ x 3.5″ and has Ethernet, VGA, USB, and audio ports, and you can attach local storage devices if you’d like. But there’s no locally-stored software on the box. Instead, everything is run remotely from the data center – cutting down on application maintenance and upgrade costs and time. And each tiny terminal device consumes only about 3% of the power that a full desktop PC uses, saving on energy bills.
While I like the general idea, I’d have to guess that a system like this would be best for organizations with very homogeneous computing and software needs (i.e. everyone needs MS Office etc.) But if you have lots of specialized user needs, this sort of thing is probably not the right fit. And with initiatives like Google Chrome, more and more of the application heavy-lifting and data storage is being offloaded to “the cloud” these days anyway.
You can find more information on the Pano System over at their website.