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Cisco and Unidesk: How to Simplify and Scale VDI with Citrix, Microsoft, or VMware

Posted on behalf of  Ramesh Chitor, Cisco Systems and Tom Rose, Unidesk

It’s no secret that desktop virtualization has taken longer than everyone expected. As most enterprises will attest and as Gartner research confirms, the two main culprits are cost and complexity.

Top Issues That Limit VDI Deployments

Top Issues Limit VDI Deployments

Source: Is the Hosted Virtual Desktop Market Struggling to Grow?
(Gartner, April 2014, Research ID G00259186)

Yet there are so many good reasons to move forward with VDI – security, compliance, mobility, and the potential for simpler management, to name a few. The demand now is greater than ever for a simple, scalable VDI solution.

Fortunately, innovative new technologies are solving the VDI cost and complexity issues at scale. Also, more importantly, new and exciting partnerships are forming to bring these innovative technologies together into joint solutions. That’s why Cisco and Unidesk are joining forces – to help customers like the ones profiled at the end of this blog achieve desktop virtualization success.

Cisco UCS: The Optimal Infrastructure Foundation for Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon, and Microsoft RDS

According to a recent report by IDC, Cisco has achieved the ranking of No. 1 provider of x86 blade servers in the Americas, measured by revenue market share. How did Cisco demonstrate the highest industry growth in the total worldwide server market when other vendors in the top five posted flat or declining results?

The Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) with a proven and innovative technology delivers breakthrough levels of operational efficiency for cloud service providers and enterprise customers who increasingly rely on scale-out architectures for workloads like VDI. The recent introduction of Cisco UCS Mini brings these same compute scale and performance innovations to remote sites, branch offices, and small IT environments. More on UCS Mini here!

Whether you’re implementing VDI with Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft RDS, or VMware Horizon, Cisco UCS can reduce infrastructure cost and complexity.

Cisco_UCS_Integrated_Infrastructure

Unidesk: The Single Pane of Glass Management Foundation for Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon, and Microsoft RDS

With a game-changing invention called “layering,” Unidesk has transformed the management of Windows desktops in private clouds. Unidesk virtualizes everything above the hypervisor – Windows OS, Applications, and Personalization – as modular, reusable building blocks, or “layers.” OS and App layers are created once and stored as read-only virtual disks that can be attached to and shared by many VMs. The Personalization layer is a writable virtual disk that is unique to each VM.

Cisco_Blog_Unidesk_Layering

IT administrators use Unidesk to assign layers in any combination to create desktops. Unidesk file system and registry virtualization technology merges the assigned layers into a composite C: drive for each VM. Once Unidesk has provisioned the layered desktops on VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V and added them to Citrix XenDesktop catalogs, Microsoft RDS collections, or VMware Horizon View pools, end users can access the desktops through any device supported by the brokers.

Layering makes desktop provisioningapplication delivery, image patchingpersonalizationdisk space reduction, and desktop repair remarkably simple and efficient. All capabilities are delivered through Unidesk’s single pane of glass management console that can be easily mastered by Tier 1 IT administrators.

Cisco_Blog_Unidesk_Layering_UI

Unidesk’s single pane of glass console makes everyone on your IT staff application delivery and desktop management experts

Whether you’re implementing VDI with Citrix XenDesktopMicrosoft RDS, or VMware Horizon, Unidesk can reduce the cost and complexity of desktop deployment and management.

Customer Proof Points!

When it comes to VDI, reference architectures and white papers are everywhere. Cisco and Unidesk believe that the best proof points are our joint customer successes:

  • Mercer University is one of Americaʼs oldest and most distinctive institutions of higher learning. Cisco UCS, Unidesk, and VMware View are the foundation for the university’s successful “Borderless Classroom” VDI initiative. With more than 1,000 virtual desktops in production, Mercer is realizing its goal of providing a better client computing experience for students, faculty, and staff.Read the case study and watch the customer video.
  • Belfast Health and Social Care Trust is one of the largest trusts in the UK. The healthcare organization has deployed over 1,700 virtual desktops with Citrix XenDesktop, Cisco UCS, and Unidesk for 3,000+ workers. The project has been so successful they are now doubling their VDI environment. Read the customer blog.
  • Bernstein Shur is one of New England’s largest law firms. Now 100% virtualized with Cisco UCS, Cisco Invicta flash storage, Unidesk, and VMware, the firm’s attorneys are enjoying a more consistent and stable desktop experience as they move between offices, courts, client appointments, and home. Read the case study and watch the customer’s deployment webinar.
  • County of Tulare, California is geographically dispersed across 4,863 square miles. When a PC problem arose, IT technicians faced the daunting prospect of spending hours on the road. Due to the wide range of departments and job functions, every desktop configuration is different, making updates and break/fix even more of a challenge. Cisco UCS and Unidesk have VDI on track to solve these problems.Read the case study and watch their deployment webinar.
  • USF Health clinicians needed faster, more secure access to Allscripts EMR and other key apps. IT needed to reduce the effort and expense of keeping Windows and apps up to date. With 800 virtual desktops created and managed by Unidesk on Cisco UCS, everyone is getting what they need. WatchUSF Health’s deployment webinar.

How to Get Started

Desktop virtualization shouldn’t be costly or complex.; It shouldn’t require Tier 2 and 3 administrators for day-to-day management. It shouldn’t compromise the end user experience or limit use cases. With Cisco and Unidesk, it won’t.

Get started now. Check out the great resources at www.cisco.com/go/vdi. Download your free trial copy of Unidesk for vSphere at get.unidesk.com/trial. Or, be one of the first to try the new Unidesk for Hyper-V at www.unidesk.com/hyper-v. And see how easy it can be to scale your VDI deployment.

FREE EBOOK – Top 10 Reasons VDI Projects Fail

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Rob Lloyd on Hybrid Cloud

Recently, Cisco’s Rob Lloyd sat down with Sungard AS to discuss how hybrid cloud services are changing the way organizations use the cloud.  As the president of development and sales, Rob understands many different sides of the hybrid cloud equation.  He talks with businesses about how they want to use the cloud to grow, as well as about their concerns regarding security, cost, and complexity.  He works with cloud providers to determine how they want to provide cloud services and what they need to achieve this.  He also has intimate access to how the cloud will be implemented at the hardware and software level.

Rob had much to say about hybrid cloud.  “It’s not just about one mega data center in Iceland that is going to solve your issues, but rather a purpose-built integration of different clouds that have been provided by value-based providers focused on enterprise-class applications and security.”  In this interview, he shares not just Cisco’s Intercloud vision and strategy but how the industry is quickly bringing hybrid cloud to reality.  You can read highlights from the interview in this blog from Sungard AS.  A link to the full interview is also available.

In addition to the interview with Rob Lloyd, Sungard AS has a number of useful resources to help organizations better understand how cloud can transform their business.  For example, the whitepaper, “Building a Better Cloud”, explores what to look for in a cloud provider and how to build a partnership with your provider to meet your business goals.  If you’re interested in learning more about hybrid cloud, “The Compelling Business Case for Hybrid Cloud Services” offers key insights on questions you should ask providers before signing with them.  You can also find the best practice guide “4 Things to Look for in a Cloud-Based Recovery Solution.”

All these resources and more are available from the Sungard AS Resource Page

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Elasticsearch ELK + Cisco UCS turn massive data into massive insights

Elasticsearch Logo

The Internet of Everything continues to gain momentum and every new connection is creating new data. Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data is helping customers convert that data into powerful intelligence, and we’re working with a number of new partners to bring exciting new solutions to our customers.

Today, I want to spotlight Elasticsearch, Inc. and welcome them to the Cisco Solution Partner Program.

Press Release

Elasticsearch Blog

Elasticsearch excels at providing real-time insight into data – whether structured or unstructured, human- or machine-generated; by bringing a search-based architecture to data analytics. By combining the ELK stack with Cisco UCS, organizations benefit from a turnkey underlying infrastructure solution that provides them with real-time search and analytics for a variety of applications, from log analysis, to structured, semi-structured, or unstructured searches, as well as a web-backend for custom applications that use search-based analytics as a core functionality.

Mozilla is just one of the companies who are already benefiting from the joint solution with real-time search and analysis of data powering its defense platform, MozDef. The ELK stack leverages Cisco UCS’ fast connectivity for query, indexing and replication of data traffic. And Elasticsearch handles the full scale of event storage, archiving, indexing and searching of the data logs. The ELK stack and Cisco UCS also protect Mozilla’s network, services, systems, and audit data from hackers.

Partners like Elasticsearch are just one reason that Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure can help your company capitalize on the IoE data avalanche and deliver powerful and cost-effective analytics solutions throughout your enterprise.

Find out more at www.cisco.com/go/bigdata, or register for a webinar entitled, “Learn How Mozilla Tackles their Security Logs with Elasticsearch and Cisco”.

Register Now

 

 

Webinar Details:

Thursday, November 13th 
9:00 AM PST / 12:00 PM EST / 5:00 PM GMT


Are you interested in learning how to build enterprise applications on top of Elasticsearch and Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) infrastructure? We’re holding a webinar to delve more deeply into how to optimize ELK on Cisco UCS infrastructure.

Cisco UCS  unites compute, network, and storage access into a single cohesive system. By combining the ELK stack with Cisco UCS, businesses benefit by having a turnkey hardware-software solution for their search and analytics applications.  In this webinar you’ll learn about the various UCS hardware profiles you should consider when deploying ELK and how Mozilla built MozDef, their custom SIEM application, using ELK on Cisco UCS.

Agenda:

  • Introduction – Jobi George, Elasticsearch (5 minutes)
  • Overview of UCS + ELK reference architectures – Raghunath Nambiar, Distinguished Engineer, Data Center Business Group, Cisco (10 minutes)
  • How Mozilla Built MozDef on ELK and Cisco UCS – Jeff Bryner, Security Assurance, Mozilla (25 minutes)
  • Q&A – Jobi George, Elasticsearch (~20 minutes)

 

 

 

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#EngineersUnplugged S6|Ep15: DevOps Defined (Goat Edition)

November 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm PST

In this Season Finale of Engineers Unplugged, Joe Onisick (@jonisick) and Michael Ducy (@mfdii) discuss GoatOps. Yes, you read that right. What is GoatOps? What does this have to do with DevOps? This is all about process and the necessary changes to make Enterprise workflow flow in modern IT. This is a can’t-miss episode!

Unicorn Challenge, Goat Edition, with Joe Onisick and Michael Ducy

Unicorn Challenge, Goat Edition, with Joe Onisick and Michael Ducy

This is Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

Join the behind the scenes by liking Engineers Unplugged on Facebook.

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Lunch is on Us – Unlocking the Potential of a Well Balanced Secure Hybrid IT Strategy

Much like the MPG argument when comparing diesel engines versus regular gas engines, and hybrid gas/electric versus pure plug-in electric vehicles, similarly valid arguments can be made for any combination of IT strategies: the traditional on-premise data center and private clouds, versus IT out-sourced. What IT strategy you chose will no doubt come down to what your mission is and how IT can best support business growth, outcomes, etc.

hybrid IT

We’re seeing increasingly more interest a combination of traditional and out-sourced IT models: a well-balanced hybrid IT strategy.

Ideally, this hybrid IT environment is one where you maintain control, security, and data sovereignty as offered by private clouds, while achieving the speed, agility, and scale at a price point offered by the provider clouds, right?

Lunch Is On Us

To help you make informed decisions on how you can build such a highly secure hybrid cloud strategy and extend your existing data centers to public clouds as needed, on demand, with consistent network and security policies -- we’re coming to 16 locations in the USA to tell you about it.

Hope to see you at one of these locations. Lunch is on us.

USA North East Dates & Locations

Date Location
02-DEC-2014 Herndon, VirginiaCisco Office13600 Dulles Technology Drive Register
04-DEC-2014 Washington, District of ColumbiaCisco Office601 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.,

North Building

Register
03-FEB-2015 New York, New YorkCisco Office1 Penn Plaza,

9th Floor

Register
05-FEB-2015 Boxborough, MassachusettsCisco Office1414 Massachusetts Ave. Register

USA South & South East Dates & Locations

Date Location
20-JAN-2015 Richardson, TexasCisco Office2300 East President George Bush Highway Register
22-JAN-2015 Houston, Texas, UNITED STATESCisco Office10111 Richmond Avenue,

Suite 450

Register
24-FEB-2015 Miami, Florida, UNITED STATESCisco Miami Office8200 NW 41st Street,

Suite 400

Register
26-FEB-2015 Atlanta, Georgia, UNITED STATESCisco Atlanta Briefing Center500 Northridge Road,

Suite 700

Register

USA West Area Dates & Locations

Date Location
13-JAN-2015 Centennial, ColoradoCisco Office9155 East Nichols Avenue, Suite 400 Register
15-JAN-2015 Seattle, WashingtonCisco Office2901 Third Avenue, Suite 600 Register
17-FEB-2015 Irvine, CaliforniaCisco Office130 Theory, Suite 100 Register
19-FEB-2015 San Jose, CaliforniaCisco HQ Campus San Jose3600 Cisco Way, Building 18 Register

USA Central Area Dates & Locations

Date Location  
09-DEC-2014 Bloomington, MinnesotaCisco Bloomington Office7900 International Drive, Suite 400 Register
11-DEC-2014 Southfield, MichiganCisco Office2000 Town Center, Suite 450 Register
10-FEB-2015 Chicago, IllinoisCisco Office9501 Technology Blvd, West Office Ctr Register
12-FEB-2015 Chesterfield, Missouri, UNITED STATESCisco Office16401 Swingley Ridge Road, Suite 400 Register

 

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