You’ve probably seen Cisco’s announcement on its new architectural framework for the data center, called Data Center Business Advantage. This broad framework highlights Cisco vision and strategic approach to innovation in the data center market, with the focused goal of helping customers achieve not just IT advantages, but real business advantages and models.
An important element of Cisco’s approach is creating and delivering, together with our partners, comprehensive solutions that address top of mind business challenges. And when we talk top of mind – agility, compliance and cost are pretty high up there – and therefore IT’s growing interest in desktop virtualization.
So as part of the launch broadcast on Sept. 14th Cisco presented a holistic solution for desktop virtualization. The highlight of the solution section of the launch broadcast was this month’s desktop virtualization solution announcement with Citrix and NetApp.
So does it matter – and why so – that Cisco has partnered with Citrix and NetApp to create this solution? The answers are pretty practical when you look at the solution and what the three vendors offer, in a little detail.
First, all three vendors support multiple approaches to virtualizing the desktop – from VDI (desktops on centralized server-hosted VMs) to streaming to desktops locally hosted on the PC as VMs. Each of the vendors can show how their platforms provide significantly more efficient hosting, provisioning and delivery of the desktop vs. a “glue it together approach” using standard servers, storage and networking infrastructure coupled with other virtualization approaches.
Second of all, the three vendors contribute to reducing your cost of deploying desktop virtualization. Cisco, with some compelling cost advantages due to innovations around the extended memory of UCS servers and converged Unified Fabric, overcomes typical desktop virtualization bottlenecks. Simply put this allows more virtual desktops per server and fewer network/storage connections. Second NetApp has really come a long way to helping IT address VDI storage concerns around cost. And Citrix provides flexibility of multiple desktop virtualization models that allow optimized functionality and cost according to the type of user (knowledge worker, task worker, call center etc.)
Finally, and perhaps most important for both IT teams and end users, is the speed and ease with which IT can deploy this jointly tested and validated desktop virtualization solution and start provisioning new virtual desktops. Why? Because Cisco and Citrix have created pre-packaged starter kits that significantly reduce setup time, complete with what we call “service profiles” that pre-configure the Cisco Unified Computing System to optimally support both hosted VDI and hosted shared based desktops. Can you say faster time-to-service and lower risk of error?
Add to that a detailed and validated design document for Cisco + Citrix + NetApp desktop virtualization, and you’ve seriously reduced your provisioning time, cost and potential risk.
See below for a short video presentation on this solution with Cisco, Citrix and NetApp executives.