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On a Quest for an Alternative Desktop

Sales teams everywhere are embracing recent advancements in technology—think smart devices, mobility, and wireless. But expectations and requirements of implementing a mobile management strategy can put a high demand on IT departments to ensure network accessibility, security, and scalability.

While business and IT are meshing more and more, it’s important to understand that they’re still not the same thing. Your company needs to be able to focus on your core competency, whatever it may be. To keep focus in your area of expertise, have you considered outsourcing? Finding a trusted managed services provider means that you don’t have to sacrifice the advantages of innovative technology to business—you can still gain the benefits, without the time, expenses, and headaches.

Unleashing IT has a new, special edition coming soon that highlights Cisco Powered™ Cloud and Managed Services. Our experts team up with other industry leaders to find you a solution that fits your business objectives. Outsourcing your desktops or infrastructure to the cloud allows your data to be readily available and accessible yet secure, and removes burden of IT management.

Featured customer JMAC Lending, a wholesale mortgage lending company in California, began tossing around the idea of outsourcing their IT and moving desktops to the cloud. Sensitive customer data was a big concern—JMAC needed to have access to information on the go while ensuring it was not accessible to just anyone. To eliminate risk, JMAC wanted to allow company desktops to be available to its sales team from anywhere—in a secure environment—without having the data stored on personal devices, or even viewable by the service provider.

They found a suitable solution from Cisco Powered service provider Quest Technology Management, and their desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) vision came to life. Read the full article on UnleashingIT.com. And pre-order your own copy of Unleashing IT: Cisco Powered Special Edition to read similar experiences with managed services from Cisco.

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Desktop Environments Go Virtual and Mobile in a Flash

Of course you’re aware that virtualization and mobility are taking over the traditional office workspace.

More and more, employees are using their own mobile devices and working from home or remote locations, meaning work is no longer a 9-5, at-the-office thing. So to enable efficient practices within this changing environment, your IT needs to change with it. Resources need to be accessible from anywhere, not just in the office. Moving desktops to a virtual environment addresses this concern—while increasing employee productivity and responsiveness, and decreasing costs.

Citrix Synergy 2014 is taking place this week in Los Angeles. And it’s no surprise that this year’s hot topic is enterprise mobility. Technologies such as Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop, and XenMobile, combined with Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) and Cisco UCS Invicta™ Series Solid State Systems,  or Citrix NetScaler 1000v with Cisco Nexus vPath, and Cisco mobile workplace solutions, are tools that enable you to move your work environment to the cloud, enabling you to provide full-time, fast, and secure access to your applications and crucial information.

“It was sometimes taking 10 minutes for our clinicians to log on, open an application, and get the information they need,” says Hughes. “That time should be spent with a patient instead of a workstation. We wanted to make it easier and faster for our clinicians to access applications and information, so we started looking into VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure).”  says Jake Hughes, Chief Technical Architect for Infrastructure Systems at Seattle Children’s.

S12A8

With 800 attorneys spread across offices in the United States, London, Shanghai, Melbourne, and Sydney, prominent law firm Seyfarth Shaw relies on its Citrix XenDesktop virtualization platform to deliver Windows environments and in-house applications as an on-demand user service.
DaaS“When you’re sitting in an airport and you need to get something done for a client, you can’t wait for your application to boot up; you want it to be available as quickly as possible and that’s what flash technology provides,” says Andy Jurczyk, CIO, Seyfarth Shaw , experiencing the benefit of the new Cisco UCS Invicta™ features .

Go now to  Unleashing IT   to read  how Seattle Children’s Hospital  virtualized their environment using a combination of Citrix and Cisco solutions or how Seyfarth Shaw law firm is fueling up and serving clients with speed through their VDI implementation.

On Unleashing IT , our on line magazine and resource center you will discover through these examples and many others, how you can utilize Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) in combination with other technologies to speed up processes and give your workers flexibility by providing secure access to the information they need, as soon as they need it.
Visiting our resource center on Unleashing IT you will access to numerous documents , including a Forrester Study “The Total Economic Impact of Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solutions”

Additional resources: Read more on Citrix Synergy 2014

http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/cisco-and-citrix-partnership-will-shine-at-citrix-synergy-2014/

http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/delivering-workplace-mobility-built-on-cisco-unified-computing-system/

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Cisco and Citrix Partnership will shine at Citrix Synergy 2014

April 28, 2014 at 6:30 am PST

CitrixSynergyCisco

In case you didn’t notice , the partnership between Citrix and Cisco has been growing nicely over the part 2 years in many areas .
Amongst numerous areas of collaboration here are some common solutions that will be highlighted at the coming conference Citrix Synergy

  • Cisco Enterprise Mobility solution for business to employee with Citrix XenMobile
  • Cisco Desktop Virtualization with Citrix Xen Desktop 7.1 on Cisco UCS
  • Cisco DaaS with Citrix (CloudPlatform or UCS director on UCS)
  • Cisco’s Citrix NetScaler 1000V  (vPath and RISE)
  • Cisco ACI strategy and how Citrix integrates OpFlex.

The last bullets point, especially the endorsement by Citrix of RISE ,  the new protocol for Nexus 7000  have been amply covered over the past weeks  in blogs from Gary Kinghorn  as well as video – You will find links at the bottom of this blogs. But check also Citrix page on Netscaler 1000V.

Citrix was  one of the close partner present  when we announced  last month at Interop  OpFlex, a new open standards- based protocol (OpFlex)  for Application Centric Infrastructure  (ACI) .In this video, Sunil Potti, Citrix VP & GM Netscaler,  explained why Citrix is standing shoulder to shoulder with Cisco on this topic.

Cisco and Citrix have been also working diligently to offer the best solutions in terms of mobility . You may want to check this blog from Jonathan Gilad on Cisco strategy and solutions around mobile workplace . Check his recent blog Beyond BYOD to Workspace mobility 

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The End of Support for Windows XP: Problem or Opportunity?

EOLWindowsXPLast night , at midnight PST , Microsoft ended support for Windows XP.
While 12 years may seem an appropriate length of time to support a software product in today’s fast-changing world, this decision will have a major impact on the business operations of many companies whose IT infrastructure is based on the retiring operating system.

Through necessity, work arounds can likely be created for any technical issues that arise after this date.  Of significantly more concern is the end of security updates.  Without security updates, vulnerabilities exploited by malware will not be corrected.  According to Microsoft, “PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, should not be considered to be protected.”  For any organization, whether large or small, this means increasingly greater risk over time of having servers successfully hacked and sensitive data exposed.  What does this mean to IT and users? Again, according to Microsoft, “It means you should take action.”
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