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 Citrixresulting 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 .
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.
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.
Let me violate what must be the first rule in any insurance blog and start with a recent experience in banking. Don’t worry; I’ll get to insurance quickly.
A colleague at Cisco was meeting with a mid-sized bank just last week. Just as he started describing that all banks need to replace heavy client server branch infrastructures by leveraging virtualization, the bank stopped him with “we’ve already done this.”
The primary goal for desktop virtualization is a noble one: to reduce total cost of ownership while enhancing security and increasing business agility without compromising the quality of the user experience.