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Cisco in VMware’s Rapid Desktop Program: A Cost-Effective Approach to Deploy VDI at the Branch and for SMBs

As enterprises continue to address their business needs for BYOD, security and compliance they’ve increasingly adopted virtual desktops. However, most enterprises continue to struggle to move beyond a pilot phase when addressing how to scale desktops across their wide-area networks to branch offices without potentially compromising application performance and, ultimately, productivity.

It turns out that small & medium businesses (SMB) are just as eager to deploy virtual desktops as enterprises. A recent study found that more than 60 percent of SMBs plan to roll out or evaluate desktop virtualization this year. SMBs are keen on moving data off end points and into the data center where information can be more efficiently and securely managed. For SMBs, one major hurdle remains: the cost of implementation per desktop.

The good news is that both enterprise and SMB customers can look to their existing Cisco platforms for cost-effective answers. The widely deployed Cisco Integrated Services Router Generation 2 (ISR G2) continues to re-define the capabilities of a router. In fact, calling a Cisco ISR G2 a router is somewhat misleading, because it not only routes network traffic, it can also serve as an IP PBX, a public-switched-telephone network (PSTN) connection, a WAN accelerator, a secure remote access connector, and … the list continues.

The most notable addition to the Cisco ISR G2 is the newly announced Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) E-Series Server modules, offering enterprise grade x86-based servers that fit right into our trusty Cisco ISR G2, and allow businesses to converge their networking, computing and virtualization at the branch into one consolidated platform that can host multiple applications, including VDI.

Cisco and VMware have begun working together on VDI support on the UCS E-Series, and through the VMware Rapid Desktop Program, the two companies have validated that branches and SMBs can host 15-30 virtual desktop sessions using the Cisco ISR G2 “Office-in-a-box” with VMware View hosted on the Cisco UCS E-Series.  Organizations benefit as they can move their virtual desktop infrastructure closer to their end users to optimize application response time and improve end user performance.  IT can also save time as they can remotely manage, patch and back up users from one central location. The beauty of this deployment is that customers can integrate this capability into a device already running in most branch offices and delivering multiple services, so the installation should be quick and the footprint doesn’t increase.

This week at VMworld San Francisco, Cisco experts are showcasing this technology at our booth, 1213. VMware’s Chief Technology Officer, Steve Herrod, also gave a shout-out on the value of this solution for our joint customers during his keynote. If you didn’t make it to VMworld, you can always watch this short video (below) and hear directly from our technical experts  on how this solution works and can help your enterprise branch or SMB accelerate your migration to virtual desktops.

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4 Comments.


  1. I have used vmware workstation and I must say it is one of the best software ever designed allowing you to use multiple os in one machine without rebooting, these new softwares from VMware and Cisco will benefit small business as they are cost effective and easy to use. I hope we get to see some trial versions free for download.

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    • Raakhee Mistry

      Thanks your for your interest, Nancy. Currently, the solution elements are sold separately by Cisco and VMware, but the to companies continue to work together in development and go to market.

         1 like

  2. I think this is a great idea, savings in rackspace management , air conditioned, energy and benefits of vdi. The stability of cisco devices I hope this will be soon available in mexico with an atractive cost and delivery time. I find amazing how all the server power can be placed into an small service module. Have a nice day

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    • Raakhee Mistry

      Hello – The Cisco ISRG2 is generally available for purchase in most countries worldwide. The new Cisco Unified Computing System E-Series will be orderable this month, including in Mexico. We are pleased to hear you see the benefits of consolidated infrastructure in the branch for operational efficiency, management, space, etc.

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