Over a year ago, I blogged about the evolution of Enterprise Desktop environment and what it takes for an IT organization to evaluate a VDI project. Much has changed in a year – there has been an explosion of devices such as smart phones and tablets and employees and C-level executives are increasingly demanding access to corporate networks and data through their personal mobile devices. While it’s proven to be a productivity boon for employees, this consumerization of personal devices in workplace – the phenomenon known as Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) – has forced IT and data center administrators to reconsider everything from network security to bandwidth capacity and is at the forefront of most IT administrators’ business plans.
After listening to a wide variety of customers from many different markets, there is one thing that has become very apparent – it is all about apps, data, and a rich user experience. When it comes to day-to-day collaborative applications such as voice, video, and WebEx, they have to run seamlessly from a variety of devices. In short, the perfect storm of BYOD clients, rich media applications, access methods, and compliance requirements are influencing IT decision makers to re-evaluate their approach to desktop virtualization implementation. Many of our customers are looking for a solution that supports voice/video/collaboration in a VDI environment and asking for help architecting their datacenter, network and end point strategy so that they can accommodate richness of devices and various collaboration applications. While it is important to have a well-designed datacenter, we need to stay focused on user experience in a virtual desktop environment while building architecture that addresses security, management and faster provisioning.
Cisco’s Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) incorporates technology innovation in datacenter, network, collaboration applications, and end-point devices – a new Unified Workspace.
This system has been validated by Cisco’s architecture teams and offers a new way to deliver end-user services for productivity, communications, and collaboration in a virtual desktop environment that encompass technologies from partners such as VMware and Citrix. So, how do our customers get started on this journey to deliver a new virtualized workspace to their end users without compromising the user experience? They are likely to have questions on what are the best practices: how are other companies deploying this technology? Where do I start and what are the steps to a successful VXI deployment? Given the multi-architecture complexity in implementing a virtual desktop infratructure, many of our customers are concluding that the best first step is to get professional services engaged with their trusted services partner (Cisco or a Partner) to start defining the workgroup and use cases to develop a process oriented approach.
Our solution architects from the practice and partners tell me that when a desktop transformation initiative often stalls in a customer’s environment after the pilot, and, it typically is due to a lack of upfront understanding and strategic planning around the user, organizational, and business impacts: Examples of this include:, lack of understanding of user requirements and application usage or adopting an approach without comprehensive cost analysis of existing and targeted infrastructures. Customers need extensive planning coupled with a thorough understanding of users, applications, and security/manageability requirements, sound business justifications, and well-understood organizational implications before implementing VXI, as well as piloting of staged implementations.
How can Cisco Advanced Services help our customers in designing and deploying VXI? Cisco Advanced Services has years of experience working with our customers across the world to provide consultative guidance, design, and implementation to help them move from a traditional desktop environment to a virtualized workspace using a standardized, repeatable methodology.
To be continued next month…
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