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Unified Workspaces That Go Beyond VDI: Built on Cisco Unified Data Center

Today we introduced release 2.6 of the Cisco VXI Smart Solution, offering enhanced performance user experience and faster ROI,  with unified workspaces that go beyond VDI. VXI 2.6 offers new capabilities and enhancements to the underlying platform, spanning Cisco Unified Data Center, Borderless Network, and Collaboration pillars.  I invite you to check out posts from Phil Sherburne and Brian Dal Bello to learn more.  For now, let me turn your attention to the data center pillar, specifically the advancements that are part of this release, and as amply illustrated  in the Cisco Validated Design for VXI.

Reducing the TCO of virtual desktops

With VXI 2.6 we focused significant attention on improving performance, and driving down the cost of deploying end-to-end desktop virtualization through a combination of data center enhancements that are now part of the Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for VXI 2.6.  These include:

  • The Cisco UCS B200 M3 server blade, based on the Intel Romley- platform delivers continued leadership in virtual desktop  density.  We recently commissioned a study with  Principled Technologies to evaluate  B200 M3 performance with virtual desktop workloads – check the results we published for VMware and Citrix based platforms.  We’ve also added the UCS VIC 1240 (mezzanine LOM)  to the CVD, offering up to 80 Gbps aggregate bandwidth per Blade Server.  Bandwidth management capabilities of the VIC 1240 and its effect on delivering QoS in a mixed workload scenario of  virtual desktops and other workload types is covered in detail here.  The CVD also includes the Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnect, 6296UP, that provides up to 2 Tbps throughput, thereby offering enhanced workload scalability and overall performance
  • Support for published shared desktops with XenApp 6.5, including Jabber for Windows.  With this feature, we deliver much greater scalability while also extending our industry-leading Jabber solution support to this popular application delivery approach, resulting in a more scalable, cost-effective, superior collaboration user-experience
  • Optimizing storage costs is also a key focus area for the release, and VXI2.6 introduces support for a number of capabilities that help reduce storage costs.  With VMware vSphere 5, we have Content Based Read Caching (CBRC) addressing performance bottlenecks associated with the high read IOPS found during O/S boot and AV scans.  CBRC offers host RAM-based caching to reduce read IOPS to back-end shared storage, improving scalability and overall storage performance and end-user experience.
  • With B200 M 3 servers, we support “Tier-0″ Solid State Disk (SSD) which enables the storage of Desktop images internally on the server while user data and personalization can be stored on back end shared storage, allowing for better overall performance and reduced dependency and costs associated with  back-end shared disks  We  have also included validated testing of the WhipTail Flash silicon storage array (SSA) offering  up to 12TB of flash with 250k IOPS in a 2U array.

Want to learn more about VXI Release 2.6?  Check out the following:

And visit our website at www.cisco.com/go/vxi

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3 Paths to the Cloud (Workspace)!

I’ve been spending the last couple weeks with friends from EMC, discussing what’s top of mind re: desktop virtualization and capabilities that we agree are effectively attacking the elusive ROI of virtual desktops.  So it’s no surprise that when you put Cisco and EMC solutions together, (something we’ve done well, for a LONG time) towards the common goal of making virtual desktops and applications easier to deploy, with reduced cost and improved manageability, you end up with a very compelling end-to-end offer.

Essentially, our joint value nets-out as follows:  i) enabling implementers to balance costs, while meeting SLA’s, ii) making virtual desktops less complex and time-consuming , especially where rapid provisioning and recovery is key, and iii) addressing the desktop management equation with a simplified approach that eliminates what used to be multiple tools

In these areas EMC and Cisco are offering an industry-leading platform with best-in-class desktop hosting density and performance, engineered solutions that absorb I/O storms and dramatically improve boot times, rapid provisioning of server infrastructure using service profile templates and self-service data recovery, and simplified desktop creation with automated deployment capabilities.

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Cisco at the 2012 Olympic Games: Partnering to Build a Better Tomorrow

August 16, 2012 at 1:46 pm PST

The previous two weeks of Olympic competition held the world’s attention like never before. We were able to stream events from our phones, get info in real time, and follow our favorite athletes on Twitter.

And isn’t nice to know that our partners share something in common with the Olympic champions. Like the athletes, our partners dream big, give it their all, and work hard to hone their skills—both as technology providers and trusted business advisers. Read More »

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Cisco House and its Partners Earn ‘Gold’ at Summer Olympics

August 2, 2012 at 11:15 am PST

Courtesy of Sean Ebsworth BarnesAs you can well imagine, Cisco is excited and proud to be the Official Network Infrastructure supporter to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. But you know what else we’re proud of? Cisco House, our 20,000-square-foot connected business showcase. It’s taking our customers to new heights—literally. And our technology partners are central to its success.

Throughout the games, customers are touring the “house,” which is perched above the entrance to Olympic Park. We’re engaging visitors with a multi-media, business transformation journey, where Cisco is uniquely relevant in a landscape where organizations, cities, and even entire countries are transforming to thrive in an increasingly connected world.

And the message is coming through loud and clear. It’s not just what Cisco makes. It’s what we make possible. And sharing this not-so-futuristic story wouldn’t be possible without the help of our incredible technology partners.

So hats off to Citrix, EMC, Intel, SAP, and Schneider Electric. They’re playing an invaluable role as we highlight a portfolio of customer- and public-facing technologies such as Videoscape, Stadium Vision, iServices, and my personal favorite, the Virtual Shopper experience. That’s worth its weight in ‘Gold.’ Read More »

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VXI Walkabout at CiscoLive!

It is Cisco Live 2012, and the San Diego Convention Center is abuzz with excitement and activity, as customers throng to the World of Solutions, on this Monday afternoon, June 11. Having recently joined the Cisco VXI solutions marketing team, I am eager to check out all the VXI demos live on the show floor. Let’s pick up action with the  Desktop Virtualization demo in the Cisco Unified Data Center (UDC) booth. Read More »

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