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The VXI Journey Continues…

It’s the week before VMworld Copenhagen, and there’s already a lot of buzz around the big VXI news that came out today. If you missed it, you can get access to the web event via the Cisco Collaboration Launch Experience page here.  I’ll get back to Copenhagen in a minute, but let’s take a moment to discuss why these announcements have such a significant impact on delivering what we call the next-generation virtual workspace…

Last fall, we introduced VXI, delivering a groundbreaking system-level approach for simplifying and optimizing the delivery of virtual desktops to any end point, leveraging the industry’s fastest growing compute infrastructure purpose-built for large scale, high-performance virtualization, the Cisco Unified Computing System.  We also announced our new portfolio of Virtualization Experience Clients (VXC’s) providing new device form factors and capabilities not previously seen in the marketplace, underpinned by an end-to-end validated design that takes the guesswork out of moving from a small pilot to full-scale production.

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New Virtual Desktop Solutions Enable High-Quality Voice and Video

Did you know that the hosted virtual desktop market is expected to reach 15 percent of the worldwide enterprise desktop and laptop market by 2014? That means over the next few years, more and more of your customers will be looking to deploy virtual desktops using a solution that is scalable, reliable, and secure. With new products from Cisco and Citrix, you can equip your customers with the best desktop virtualization experience.

Today Cisco has unveiled the next phase of its Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI), enabling an uncompromised virtual desktop experience. Endpoints that are now available enable high-quality voice and video in virtual desktop environments.

Additionally, through a strategic alliance, Cisco and Citrix will improve virtual desktop end user experiences by offering solutions that ease the deployment of high-definition virtual desktops over a highly secure, “Citrix optimized” Cisco network.  Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) has been optimized for Citrix XenDesktop to  help your customers reduce the bandwidth necessary to deploy desktops virtually over wide area networks (WAN), enabling better scalability and optimal end-user collaboration experiences.

Here are additional details about what’s new:

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Can an Alliance make Desktop Virtualization Easier? Gary says yes!

Today, Cisco announced a strategic alliance with Citrix focused on helping customers simplify and accelerate large-scale desktop virtualization deployments—which means the companies will work across a broad range of technology areas, including datacenter, networking, devices, multimedia to deliver more integrated desktop virtualizations solutions.

Sounds nice, but I wanted to know than just vision, so I met with Gary Borad, Cisco’s the partner manager supporting the Citrix relationship to hear how Cisco and Citrix actually hope to deliver on this vision.  Here is what he said…
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Citrix putting the “Personal” back into the Corporate PC

Today, Citrix announces XenDesktop 5.5 with the addition of “Personal vDisk” from their recent acquisition of RingCube. To give credit, this story on RingCube broke earlier from folks like:

Having been a former member of the executive team at RingCube prior to re-joining Cisco’s desktop virtualization group, I’m pleased to see Citrix get aggressive about tackling this problem.  And the overarching problem has been that corporate PCs have evolved to become more cumbersome, less productive and less “personal” to work on in recent years.

Now you might ask – is it really important that “Personal Computers (PCs)” remain “Personal”? Well, actually it turns out even in a corporate setting, it makes a huge difference.  IT departments can dictate to some degree what employees can and can not use for business but each day we see an explosion of more usage on more personalized devices.  As knowledge professionals, these devices often operate as an extension of who we are, what we say, and what we do.

How did we get here?

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Cisco Live, VXI, and the New Convergence

As if desktop virtualization wasn’t complicated enough… let’s throw unified communications in there, and really roll the dice (sticking with the Vegas theme) with getting your small pilot/PoC off the ground.  Right?  Well traditionally, yes, but we’ve actually seen this movie before – one that tells a very similar story of convergence at the desktop that resulted in a major transformation in how enterprises leverage the intelligence in the network to bring two previously disparate worlds together (this reads better with the voice-over guy they use in Hollywood trailers). Read More »

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