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Virtualizing the Desktop: A stepping stone towards the Unified Workspace?

May 17, 2012 at 9:45 am PST

Last week during Interop Las Vegas, I was able to witness and participate in all sorts of conversations about virtualization, and its effect on the way we deploy, deliver and consume applications and services.

Virtualization itself is not a new topic, but given the way our environment has been shaping lately, it is becoming more and more relevant. In this new world we all carry multiple devices, we are always on the move, and the definition whether the app we are using is running from the cloud or from our devices is increasingly irrelevant.

Users do not care about the technology, or the role of virtualization or cloud, as long as they have access to the applications and data they need, whenever they need it. We sometimes think the users should care, but in reality, it is IT that should care, and not the users. And that is a big distinction.

This of course is not a surprise, but I perceived a sense of impatience and even annoyance from some of the users that I was able to question about this matter. I got a really clear message that whatever is the future of the desktop--or the workspace as more and more people refer to it, should be delivered to them soon.

As for the important characteristics of this workspace, from the users’ perspective:

  • Access to it has to be transparent. They must have an ‘on-demand’ connectivity environment that allows them to have secure access to the data and/or applications they need to complete the tasks at hand, without worrying about authenticating every time, on the device of their choice. Solutions such as Cisco AnyConnect and the Cisco Identity Services Engine provide these capabilities, and clearly there is pent up demand for such a solution deployed broadly across the enterprise.

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Citrix Synergy 2012 – Find out how Cisco and NetApp are accelerating Citrix XenDesktop

May 7, 2012 at 3:42 am PST

 

This week Cisco and NetApp will be at Citrix Synergy - So I asked  Abhinav Joshi, Sr Product Manager, Desktop Virtualization , NetApp to tell us more about NetApp participation, and what the collaboration between the 3 companies means for the customers. 

 

I am honored to be a guest blogger on Cisco’s leading data center and cloud blog site. My name is Abhinav Joshi, and I am the Product Manager for Desktop Virtualization Solutions at NetApp with key focus on Citrix. I work very closely with Cisco and Citrix to jointly define, develop, and roll out innovative and cost effective desktop virtualization solutions and integrations e.g. the popular Citrix XenDesktop on FlexPod solution. Some of you may remember me from my previous life as a Cisco blogger on this site J

FlexPod, a data center platform jointly developed by Cisco and NetApp and delivered by 100s of channel partners has been accelerating private cloud adoption worldwide. In an year and a half since it was launched, FlexPod has grown to more than 850 customers and 500 partners worldwide.WOW!!!

I want to highlight that Desktop Virtualization on Citrix XenDesktop across various FlexCast delivery models has been one of the key customer initiatives driving the growth of FlexPod. Adoption of FlexPod at University of Tennessee and John Holland Group are some great examples of Why Citrix XenDesktop rocks on FlexPod. I wish I could list out all the deployments without getting into any trouble. J

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So what do we *not* do in Cisco Data Center Services?

April 27, 2012 at 10:26 am PST

Recently I blogged on the rise of UCS and my own perspectives joining Cisco Data Center Services around the launch of Cisco UCS back in March 2009.  I then posed a quick poll on the Cisco Data Center Facebook page, with a number of options, asking which of these options did we in Cisco Data Center Services *not* offer to our customers today. Thanks to all who took the time to answer the poll.  So let’s look at the summary of our services I presented in my previous blog (diagram below), and let’s discuss what you said via the poll.

Cisco Data Center Services Portfolio Evolution 2008-2012

Cisco Data Center Services Portfolio Evolution 2008-2012

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Ready, set, go with Virtualization Experience Infrastructure – Hiren Desai

Ready…

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.

Set…

Cisco’s Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) incorporates technology innovation in datacenter, network, collaboration applications, and end-point devices – a new Unified Workspace.

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Barry O’Sullivan: 2012 Collaboration Predictions

This week in No Jitter, Cisco Collaboration Senior Vice President and General Manager Barry O’Sullivan looked into his crystal ball and elaborated on his predictions for 2012.

In an excerpt, Barry predicts:

“1. Post PC-era will explode

2. Video will break through

3. Contact Centers will evolve as customers choose to interact with companies in radically new ways

4. Companies will use the cloud and desktop virtualization to provide collaboration capabilities across the enterprise

5. Social business processes will become mainstream for many.”

Read Barry’s predictions in more detail and the follow-up answers Barry gave to Eric Krapf’s questions. I trust you’ll enjoy reading the article.  Send in your predictions for 2012 for collaboration, video, social software, and contact center.

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