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Transforming Seattle Children’s Hospital with UCS and Desktop Virtualization

June 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm PST

One of the key takeaways I heard consistently at the recent Citrix Synergy conference was the fact that you shouldn’t just do IT for IT’s sake: Your top consideration should be the end user experience. That’s one of the key lessons Seattle Children’s Hospital learned when it recently deployed Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) blade to support a 3000-plus deployment of virtual desktops and zero clients. This deployment and Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) as a whole was the topic of a panel discussion at the conference.

The panelists included Aaron Cockerill, Senior Director of Product Management at Citrix; Doug Dooley, Director of Product Management for Desktop Virtualization at Cisco; Jake Hughes, the Chief Technical Architect at Seattle Children’s Hospital; and Harry Labana, VP and CTO of AppSense. Aaron and Doug offered up their thoughts on the Cisco-Citrix partnership, and how Cisco is leading virtualization charge with its end-to-end solution. Harry provided insights around desktop virtualization and AppSense’s role in creating flexibility and a rich user experience. Jake, as a customer who has implemented virtual solution, discussed the nuts of bolts of implementation, and talked about key points to take into consideration when contemplating a deployment.

I chatted with the panelists after the session, and they each offered up their top takeaways from the discussion.

Want to learn more about the details of the panel discussion? Read on for tips and lessons learned around implementing a virtual desktop solution. Read More »

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MTM Technologies Showcases Their Virtual Desktop Solution at Citrix Synergy

Last week at Citrix Synergy in San Francisco, I got the chance to see FlexPod in action. Partner MTM Technologies hosted sessions nearby at the W Hotel, showcasing their Virtual Desktop Alliance solution, which is based on Cisco Validated Design for Citrix XenDesktop, Cisco UCS and NetApp storage. They even offered attendees the opportunity to win a Mini Cooper!  (Unfortunately, I wasn’t eligible to win, so I’m still stuck driving my old VW).

During the demonstration, MTM showed how businesses can move from device-centric traditional desktops to user-centric virtual desktops. Application Delivery Architect Rich Brumpton of MTM explained that a lab in Boston hosted the UCS and NetApp storage, and was outfitted with 10GB Ethernet. That was then connected over VPN to their setup at the hotel.

Rich walked through the virtual desktop solution, showing how customers could use the technology to collaborate, move between desktops yet retain their individual user experience, and even access data remotely. After the demo, I chatted with Rich about the value that selling such a solution brings MTM, and how Cisco partners can benefit, as well.

Here are a few more benefits a virtual desktop solution can offer to your customers.

Read More »

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Video and Virtualization: Just Another Day at Citrix Synergy

May 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm PST

If what I saw at the Citrix Synergy conference in San Francisco this week is any indication of what will be coming soon, I’d better invest in a personal hairstylist.

With video becoming more and more prevalent on the network, whether it be mobile phones, Cisco Cius and other tablets, IP phones, or TelePresence – there isn’t a question of whether or not video is here to stay. But one question remains: Is your network ready? (And maybe one more question: how does my hair look?)

If your customers haven’t prepared their networks yet, here’s something that might give them the extra boost that they need: Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecasted that videos will account for 90% of network traffic by 2013.

By selling Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI), you’ll help customers prepare for that change. We visited the Cisco booth at the conference and caught up with Cisco’s Operations Director Jeff Platon. He gave us a full tour of the end-to-end VXI system with products that utilize high-definition video.

Watch the full tour:

What else did we see at Citrix Synergy? Read More »

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Cisco UCS: Beating the Odds

May 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm PST

When the odds are against you, there are two roads you can take:
1. Buy into the negativity and become a self-fulfilling prophecy or
2. Persevere to rise above the adversity and exceed everyone’s expectations.

When Cisco joined the server party several years ago and set out to design a new system that addressed our customer’s power, management, and server administration costs challenges, the cynics said, “It couldn’t be done.”

Then, when Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS), a new system that blended compute, network, storage access and virtualization into a single unit, was announced two years ago, skeptics predicted that it would never succeed.

Now, less than two years after UCS first shipped in July 2009, Cisco holds the third position in global market share in x86 blade server factory revenue as of Q1 CY11, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, May 2011. Furthermore, businesses worldwide shifted over 10% of the x86 blade market to UCS, and in the U.S. nearly 20%, as mentioned in Cisco’s Vice President of Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit Soni Jiandani’s blog post.

This information comes on the heels of last week’s exciting announcement, Cisco UCS B250 M2 Blade Server won the “Best of Show” award in the Hardware and Storage category at Microsoft TechEd 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.

I’ll let you guess which road Cisco took to beat the odds.

We couldn’t have done it…without our partners! Read More »

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Citrix Synergy: Bringing Together Cisco, Citrix and NetApp Solutions

This week the Channels blog will be bringing you coverage of Citrix Synergy in San Francisco. This event demonstrates how virtualization, networking, and cloud technologies work together. Cisco and Citrix have collaborated to ease the implementation of desktop virtualization by making virtual desktops simpler, more cost effective, and more robust for mainstream enterprise adoption by our mutual customers.

The event looks to be filled with interesting sessions—breakouts, keynotes, and hands-on demonstrations. This morning, we sat in on a channel breakout session where we heard about accelerating Citrix XenDesktop deployments using the combined desktop virtualization solutions from Cisco, Citrix, and NetApp.

We’re also happy to pass along the news that Cisco won an award!

Read More »

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