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Four years ago, when Paul Desjardins became systems architect for Denton, Texas, computing demands were rising but the city's ability to handle 100-plus physical servers was reaching a breaking point. The city -- a college town 40 miles northwest of Dallas with a population of roughly 120,000 -- also had about 1,200 employees working on different makes of laptop or desktop computers.

"We were reaching capacity with our cooling and rack space, and network connectivity," said Desjardins, who went on to adopt VMWare ESX, a server virtualization product. The city now runs 125 virtual servers on just nine physical servers.

Coinciding with the server virtualization project was a push from the Denton City Council to reduce spending, including IT expenses, Desjardins said.

"We've been able to sustain ourselves as a government fairly well without a loss of revenue or dip into savings very much because of efforts from the City Council to reduce spending," he said. "So now that we're feeling the same financial weight that others have already started to feel, that's been a driving force to see in what other areas we could create a cost savings."

Virtualization Alternatives

Faced about a year ago with a PC refresh for the city's police department, Desjardins began eyeing virtual alternatives. On the heels of the successful server virtualization, the city IT director suggested desktop virtualization as an efficient, money-saving remedy -- using Pano Logic products in the pilot project.

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Karen Wilkinson  | 

Karen is a former staff writer for Government Technology magazine.