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Lots Happening at Citrix Synergy, San Francisco

There’s lots of activity at Cisco right now leading up to Citrix Synergy in San Francisco next week. Our theme for the event is the ongoing collaboration with Citrix on Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI)

Both companies have been busy since last September, when we launched our first desktop virtualization solution with Citrix resulting in high levels of interest from both customers and mutual partners. This Cisco UCS solution delivers one of the most scalable XenDesktop platforms on the market as verified in a recent report published by Principled Technologies and has been chosen as a Citrix Ready Partner Solution of the Year Finalist .

In January we published another Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for XenDesktop and XenApp on Microsoft Hyper-V to add to the existing designs with VMware vSphere and Citrix XenServer.

More recently we began shipping our first VXC zero clients with Citrix ICA support. And for the growing number of mobile users that need their desktop and collaboration services with them wherever they go – there is the Cisco Cius business tablet with Citrix Receiver support.

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Virtual Desktops are Special….

I, just like my colleague Tony Paikeday, am somewhat preoccupied these days with the fast changing world of the desktop and its impact on data center infrastructures. I wanted to pick up on Tony’s desktop virtualization “just another workload” blog back in November because it is a subject of growing discussion, especially with “cloud” being all the buzz. While desktops are an increasingly popular workload to get started with private cloud initiatives, does that mean that data center architects are mixing desktops with more traditional data center workloads?

Talking to our system engineers who are helping plan and design desktop virtualization deployments day in day out…..the more I learn there are very good reasons for treating this workload as special and separate.

The first thing I hear about is sizing of the desktop workload. A “desktop” is not a “desktop”. You can’t just characterize a generic Win 7 desktop for compute, memory, I/O and storage IOPS. You need to be able to customize the infrastructure profile to the specific user type being deployed. Therein lays the danger of mixing these virtual desktops with production workloads, where desktops could end up capturing valuable resources of mission critical services.  For example consolidating a company procurement application on the same compute pool as your desktop workloads could result in a lot of unproductive – or even worse –unhappy employees.

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Putting Your Tablet to Work with AT&T and the Cisco Cius

Cisco Cius2011 is shaping up to be the year of the tablet. As seen by overwhelming consumer demand, the trend that started in 2010 continues to rapidly gain momentum.  More and more people see value in the advanced video and collaboration capabilities combined with the mobility that tablets offer.

Within the enterprise, mobile tablets are positioned to be a critical part of a company’s suite of collaboration and communications tools.  Organizations can leverage the unified communications and collaboration capabilities of the tablet to enhance productivity for an increasingly mobile workforce.  Cisco saw the power of this tool and responded with the release of the first mobile tablet made specifically for businesses, the Cisco Cius™.

Today, May 11, AT&T announced plans to offer the Cisco Cius to its business customers, and Cisco expects the Cius to be available for AT&T’s HSPA+ network in the fall of 2011. The purpose-built Cius delivers virtual desktop integration with anywhere, anytime access to the full range of Cisco collaboration and communication applications, including full interoperability with Cisco TelePresence®. The Cius will move easily between wired connectivity to Wi-Fi and mobile broadband networks, including AT&T’s HSPA+ network.

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Cisco Cius and ūmi take Center Stage in Prime Time

Last week, Cisco solutions made a big splash across two of television’s hottest shows!

On Tuesday, May 3rd, the main characters on the hit CBS show, NCIS: LA, used the Cisco Cius tablet to help catch the bad guy and solve the case! Using the Cius across multiple scenes, main show characters Sam, Callen, Eric, and Nell use the device for a live video session while docked to analyze clues in the lab, then go mobile with the Cius to continue the video conversation and deliver proof of the crime. If you missed last night’s heart pounding episode, check out a short clip to see the Cius in action: http://videolounge.cisco.com/video/04853b-cius-helps-solve-ncis-la-case/.

This Mother’s Day, May 8th, viewers were be able to see how ūmi, Cisco’s Home TelePresence solution, is allowing people to be together from anywhere. We’re excited to announce that Cisco was a proud participant in Sunday’s episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC.  We teamed up with ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to help the Prewitt-Brewer family stay connected with their relatives across the country. Click here to watch a clip from Sunday’s amazing episode: http://home.cisco.com/en-us/telepresence/umi/emhe

Showcasing Cisco products in television and film is an exciting way to demonstrate the powerful impact Cisco solutions can make on business and in the home. Whether you are fighting crime or connecting with your long-distance family on our ever-growing Human Network, Cisco is truly changing the way people work, live, play and learn.

Check out the videos, share your thoughts and let us know what you think!

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Are You Going to EMC World? Some great VXI content awaits…

My $0.02: Skip the buffet, Celine, Cirque, and the slots, but don’t skip learning about Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) with EMC. Read More »

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