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Cisco and Unidesk: How to Simplify and Scale VDI with Citrix, Microsoft, or VMware

Posted on behalf of  Ramesh Chitor, Cisco Systems and Tom Rose, Unidesk

It’s no secret that desktop virtualization has taken longer than everyone expected. As most enterprises will attest and as Gartner research confirms, the two main culprits are cost and complexity.

Top Issues That Limit VDI Deployments

Top Issues Limit VDI Deployments

Source: Is the Hosted Virtual Desktop Market Struggling to Grow?
(Gartner, April 2014, Research ID G00259186)

Yet there are so many good reasons to move forward with VDI – security, compliance, mobility, and the potential for simpler management, to name a few. The demand now is greater than ever for a simple, scalable VDI solution.

Fortunately, innovative new technologies are solving the VDI cost and complexity issues at scale. Also, more importantly, new and exciting partnerships are forming to bring these innovative technologies together into joint solutions. That’s why Cisco and Unidesk are joining forces – to help customers like the ones profiled at the end of this blog achieve desktop virtualization success.

Cisco UCS: The Optimal Infrastructure Foundation for Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon, and Microsoft RDS

According to a recent report by IDC, Cisco has achieved the ranking of No. 1 provider of x86 blade servers in the Americas, measured by revenue market share. How did Cisco demonstrate the highest industry growth in the total worldwide server market when other vendors in the top five posted flat or declining results?

The Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) with a proven and innovative technology delivers breakthrough levels of operational efficiency for cloud service providers and enterprise customers who increasingly rely on scale-out architectures for workloads like VDI. The recent introduction of Cisco UCS Mini brings these same compute scale and performance innovations to remote sites, branch offices, and small IT environments. More on UCS Mini here!

Whether you’re implementing VDI with Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft RDS, or VMware Horizon, Cisco UCS can reduce infrastructure cost and complexity.

Cisco_UCS_Integrated_Infrastructure

Unidesk: The Single Pane of Glass Management Foundation for Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon, and Microsoft RDS

With a game-changing invention called “layering,” Unidesk has transformed the management of Windows desktops in private clouds. Unidesk virtualizes everything above the hypervisor – Windows OS, Applications, and Personalization – as modular, reusable building blocks, or “layers.” OS and App layers are created once and stored as read-only virtual disks that can be attached to and shared by many VMs. The Personalization layer is a writable virtual disk that is unique to each VM.

Cisco_Blog_Unidesk_Layering

IT administrators use Unidesk to assign layers in any combination to create desktops. Unidesk file system and registry virtualization technology merges the assigned layers into a composite C: drive for each VM. Once Unidesk has provisioned the layered desktops on VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V and added them to Citrix XenDesktop catalogs, Microsoft RDS collections, or VMware Horizon View pools, end users can access the desktops through any device supported by the brokers.

Layering makes desktop provisioningapplication delivery, image patchingpersonalizationdisk space reduction, and desktop repair remarkably simple and efficient. All capabilities are delivered through Unidesk’s single pane of glass management console that can be easily mastered by Tier 1 IT administrators.

Cisco_Blog_Unidesk_Layering_UI

Unidesk’s single pane of glass console makes everyone on your IT staff application delivery and desktop management experts

Whether you’re implementing VDI with Citrix XenDesktopMicrosoft RDS, or VMware Horizon, Unidesk can reduce the cost and complexity of desktop deployment and management.

Customer Proof Points!

When it comes to VDI, reference architectures and white papers are everywhere. Cisco and Unidesk believe that the best proof points are our joint customer successes:

  • Mercer University is one of Americaʼs oldest and most distinctive institutions of higher learning. Cisco UCS, Unidesk, and VMware View are the foundation for the university’s successful “Borderless Classroom” VDI initiative. With more than 1,000 virtual desktops in production, Mercer is realizing its goal of providing a better client computing experience for students, faculty, and staff.Read the case study and watch the customer video.
  • Belfast Health and Social Care Trust is one of the largest trusts in the UK. The healthcare organization has deployed over 1,700 virtual desktops with Citrix XenDesktop, Cisco UCS, and Unidesk for 3,000+ workers. The project has been so successful they are now doubling their VDI environment. Read the customer blog.
  • Bernstein Shur is one of New England’s largest law firms. Now 100% virtualized with Cisco UCS, Cisco Invicta flash storage, Unidesk, and VMware, the firm’s attorneys are enjoying a more consistent and stable desktop experience as they move between offices, courts, client appointments, and home. Read the case study and watch the customer’s deployment webinar.
  • County of Tulare, California is geographically dispersed across 4,863 square miles. When a PC problem arose, IT technicians faced the daunting prospect of spending hours on the road. Due to the wide range of departments and job functions, every desktop configuration is different, making updates and break/fix even more of a challenge. Cisco UCS and Unidesk have VDI on track to solve these problems.Read the case study and watch their deployment webinar.
  • USF Health clinicians needed faster, more secure access to Allscripts EMR and other key apps. IT needed to reduce the effort and expense of keeping Windows and apps up to date. With 800 virtual desktops created and managed by Unidesk on Cisco UCS, everyone is getting what they need. WatchUSF Health’s deployment webinar.

How to Get Started

Desktop virtualization shouldn’t be costly or complex.; It shouldn’t require Tier 2 and 3 administrators for day-to-day management. It shouldn’t compromise the end user experience or limit use cases. With Cisco and Unidesk, it won’t.

Get started now. Check out the great resources at www.cisco.com/go/vdi. Download your free trial copy of Unidesk for vSphere at get.unidesk.com/trial. Or, be one of the first to try the new Unidesk for Hyper-V at www.unidesk.com/hyper-v. And see how easy it can be to scale your VDI deployment.

FREE EBOOK – Top 10 Reasons VDI Projects Fail

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Distributed VDI for Enterprise Branches

IT managers are in an interesting situation – all the developments in virtualization, compute, and mobility are bringing new opportunities for architecting an efficient IT infrastructure. They are looking for ways to do more with less infrastructure. These developments are accelerating resource centralization, with more and more critical assets moving into the enterprise headquarters and data center and this is creating a ripple effect on branch and remote offices. To meet regulatory compliance and cost-control requirements, many organizations are optimizing resources and reducing complexity in the branch office. Read More »

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