Making sure your users don’t go to sleep (or worse) waiting to log-on
Hi Everyone! I am the team lead Technical Marketing Engineer for Cisco Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions on UCS and Nexus. While I have done some blogging in my time – this is my first blog for Cisco. I have been in this space for over 22 years, before “virtualization” was called that, working with published applications and published desktops (MetaFrame and early RDP.)
With the Citrix and EMC teams, I have been focused for the past few months on validating what I think is a really exciting solution -- even if I say so myself. So recently not much time for blogging I am afraid.
Over the last couple of years we have seen desktop virtualization, specifically Hosted Virtual Desktops (HVD,) become increasingly more mainstream -- but today we are really experiencing an upsurge of deployments -- and not just pilots -- but full blown multi-thousand seat deployments.
As you are probably aware the worst nightmare is that you deploy the solution and the users don’t adopt it because it doesn’t provide them the user experience they need or want.
One of the key requirements for success is an infrastructure that won’t just provide the right experience for the first few hundred users -- but that will scale linearly as you grow into the many thousands.
You can rely on Cisco Validated Designs to deliver for you! We use real world test scenarios to insure that you can implement our designs in your environment and be successful.
The keys to a successful deployment of a large scale HVD environment start with:
Making sure your users don’t go to sleep (or worse) waiting to log-on
Desktop Virtualization the Cisco Way
Now that 2013 is officially here – it must be time for the next wave of innovations for the Cisco VXI Smart Solution. The first of these enhancements is Jabber for virtual environments, which we are announcing today.
In 2012 we saw the 1000th customer deploy VXI to meet their desktop virtualization and VDI needs. You can read Phil Sherburne’s blog for a look back on 2012. Granted, these VXI deployments are not all 30,000 seat environments -- they cover a complete spectrum of implementation scale, from small pilots to large production environments with tens of thousands of seats.
We recognized an interesting trend in 2012. Many IT departments were expanding on their initial deployments by simply adding UCS blades to scale the installed pilot VXI infrastructure – one of the great benefits of having a VDI architecture that scales seamlessly from zero to 5000 virtual desktops in just 30 minutes.
It’s rare for an IT department to roll out an enterprise-wide desktop virtualization deployment from day one. There are technology and operational lessons that are often best learned though a pilot production deployment numbering hundreds, rather than thousands of seats. With Cisco VXI we are assisting IT organizations with the initial pilots through attractive bundles that are targeted at pilot deployments, pre-production pilot service offers and the like.
However, once the pilot is successfully deployed, IT needs to consider how best to expand the deployment on three dimensions:
- Efficiently scaling the number of virtual desktops
- Supporting additional work profiles and use cases and
- Operationalizing the provisioning and administration of large deployments.
The VXI roadmap is well aligned with helping customers expand and scale their desktop virtualization deployments across all three dimensions.
Phase 1 of the roadmap has been focused on providing the most scalable, efficient and simplified infrastructure for desktop and application virtualization. Together with partners, including Citrix and VMware, we continue to expand on the capabilities of VXI in this area with greater virtual desktop densities, storage optimization, network and security enhancements -- and the like.
In phase 2 of the roadmap we have been focused on expanding the use case support by enabling greater levels of mobility, broader device support and just as importantly greater support of integrated collaboration and voice/video services in a virtual desktop and application environment.
In the 3rd phase we will focus on helping enterprises and service providers enhance the operational efficiencies of large deployments through private, public and hybrid cloud workspace models.
Today’s “Jabber for virtual environments” announcement is squarely focused on enabling support for a broader set of use cases, by evolving our virtual workspace architecture. This important enhancement is part of a strategy for better enabling collaboration services on any device running a virtual desktop. This capability is enabled by software, called the Virtualization Experience Media Engine (VXME) that will initially run on Cisco’s thin clients followed by Windows thin clients and Windows PCs.
To learn more watch the webcast or take part in the conversation here
Also if you are going to be at Cisco Live in London at the end of the month - don’t miss out on seeing the VXI technologies in action at the World of Solutions Data Center and Unified Workspace booths.
And finally, be on the look out for additional VXI developments as we progress through the rest of 2013.
These are exciting times. Today Cisco announced the latest release of the Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) Smart Solution and I am very pleased to share this news with you. Cisco has unveiled a new software strategy to support Cisco Jabber for virtual environments as an integral part of Cisco VXI. Cisco has taken this path to innovation based on how our customers use the Cisco VXI Smart Solution today for desktop visualization and from trends in the market. We continue to see strong growth in desktop virtualization and in new collaborative experiences not to mention the ongoing demand for BYOD and mobility.
Cisco VXI was the first desktop virtualization architecture to eliminate the bottlenecks and overloads that often occur with rich media collaboration. Today we are evolving that architecture further by including Cisco Jabber for virtual environments which — thanks to Cisco Virtualization Experience Media Engine (VXME) — leverages the computing and processing power of the local environment to minimize the impact of rich media on network performance and data center resources.
Cisco VXME enables virtual desktop users to take advantage of Cisco Jabber’s suite of collaboration features like voice calling, high-definition video calling, presence and instant messaging. Meanwhile, virtual desktops, applications and collaboration services are centrally hosted on the Cisco Unified Data Center and delivered to a broad array of devices resulting in a seamless user experience. It’s just like using a traditional local desktop.
With today’s announcement, Cisco VXI becomes the first desktop virtualization solution to integrate network-based Quality of Service. The Cisco VXME software makes the network aware of voice and video traffic and automatically prioritizes it, reducing jitter and delays. The result? IT managers are now able to easily deliver a high quality collaboration experience to their virtual desktop user communities.
Not only do these innovations create a stellar user experience, they also meet security needs. Virtual desktops become a mirror of traditional workspaces, and as such provide the same level of secure access to documents, corporate applications, and a full suite of collaboration tools via Cisco Jabber.
We continue to work closely with our partners who are fully enabled to implement an end to end VXI Smart Solution. Find out what this new release means to them.
Right now, Cisco VXME is designed to work with the Cisco Virtualization Experience Client (VXC) 6215 and will be globally available in March of this year. Support for 3rd party thin clients and Windows PCs will follow during the first half of 2013. Cisco Jabber for virtual environments is compatible with Cisco VXI solutions running Citrix XenDesktop, Citrx XenApp, or VMware View 5.1. Read Citrix and VMware perspectives on these innovations.
To learn more about Cisco’s desktop virtualization strategy and see a demonstration of Cisco Jabber for virtual environments and the new UC accessories, I invite you to join me for the Cisco Collaboration Announcement Webcast with live Q&A on Jan 17 from 9-9:30 a.m. Pacific Time (replay available after 11 a.m. Pacific Time).
Desktop Virtualization and Cloud: Fueling a New Collaborative Workspace and Creating a New User Experience
Have you stopped to think about how much your desktop has evolved over the past 5 years? Many elements from it have evolved, some have disappeared, and others are still there as they were before. But why haven’t they all changed at the same pace? To me, the answer is in the quality of the experience those elements provide, and the possibility to have your full desktop environment on whatever device you choose.
Take, for example, the personal computer. For many of us, that device became mobile years ago without sacrificing much performance but adding a lot of convenience and new capabilities. Many of us use a smartphone and the availability of new touch-screen computing devices, such as tablets, have considerably changed the way many people interact with applications and information.
But it does not seem to me that we are looking at the “convergence” of those devices into one “universal device” that will replace all those three and deliver the features, capabilities, and convenience we enjoy from all three form factors. Why?
From the user experience perspective, the mobile revolution helped us to be “free” from fixed office locations but it did not provide ease of use, flexibility and capabilities for all the use case scenarios that traditional desktop accessories offer. Most users (me included) would struggle to Read More »
As part of the comprehensive desktop virtualization portfolio, Cisco is providing a solution for the small and medium business customers, typically up to 500 desktops environment. The Cisco Solution for Citrix VDI-in-a-Box offers a simple and affordable desktop virtualization solution combining the benefits of Cisco UCS C-Series Rack servers with Citrix VDI-in-a-Box software.
SMB businesses account for more than 70% of the PC install base and significant proportion of these are potential candidates for desktop virtualization. Many of the SMB environments have uniform workload, defined workload characteristics and nominal application requirements.
The Cisco Solution for Citrix VDI-in-a-Box integrates connection brokering, load balancing, desktop provisioning, HA, and management functions in a single software appliance that runs on Cisco UCS C260 M2 server – this server is based on Intel Xeon processors and provide expanded memory configurations for the most demanding VDI workloads.
There are 2 defined solutions – Balanced Configuration targeting 60 to 70 users and Performance Configuration targeting 140 to 150 users per server node. Customers can scale either of these solutions by adding servers in a grid or cluster fashion. Cisco provides simplified single SKU ordering process for the Balanced and Performance configurations.
This solution is apt for small service firms, healthcare institutions, educational institutions, state and local government organizations.