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Virtualized Collaboration: Unifying Virtual Desktop, Voice and Video

At Enterprise Connect last week, Cisco Jabber and Cisco TelePresence weren’t the only stars of the show.  Cisco’s desktop virtualization thin clients, Cisco Virtualization Experience Clients (VXC), were getting quite a bit of attention also. Some may find this surprising since Enterprise Connect has traditionally been considered a “voice” show.  But just as the market has moved beyond voice to more mobile, social and visual collaboration, it has also evolved to a world of virtual collaboration. With the resulting unexpected benefit of unification of the complete office desktop, which in turn enables a variety of mobile strategies, many companies are now reconsidering their virtual desktop projects as voice and video become a must have for the users.

Last year at Enterprise Connect, we discussed how Cisco is helping customers address the challenges with Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI), Cisco’s end to end virtual workspace solution with new desktop virtualization clients.  In addition to the VXC 2000 series that were featured on the Exhibition Hall, we offered Cisco NDA sessions on VXI, where we demonstrated a new thin client we were working on, VXC 6215.

Last week, we demoed this new device in the Enterprise Connect Exhibit Hall and got a lot of interest from the conference attendees.  The attendees immediately understood the value of VXC 6215, which unifies virtual desktops with voice and video, all in one device, without compromising the user experience.  Many of them used the word “smart” to describe how VXC 6215 eliminates the classic “hairpin” issue that is associated with today’s traditional desktop virtualization thin clients when voice and video is not separated from the display protocol.  With VXC 6215, we’ve applied the network intelligence to route voice and video traffic, point to point, without traversing back to the data center.

VXC 6215 is available and shipping today. 

For VDI, it supports Citrix XenDesktop, VMware View and RDP.  For customers requiring voice and video support with VDI, they simply need to add the optional UC firmware upgrade onto the VXC 6215. We’ve partnered with Citrix to make the UC firmware compatible with Citrix XenDesktop available today.  Support for VMware will be coming soon.

We also had very well attended VXI NDA sessions at Enterprise Connect with lots of engaging discussions with customers.  I can’t disclose what was discussed, but you can be sure that we’ll be back next year showing what was demoed under NDA on the main exhibition hall.

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