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.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI is getting a lot of attention these days. It allows companies to replace high-cost laptops with a lower-cost, secure device. It also allows employees to access a secure, cloud-based desktop from any device across the Internet.
Desktop virtualization has been popular among the Cisco salespeople who are ACE users because they can access the same centrally stored applications and content wherever they have an Internet connection and whether they are using a laptop or tablet. The faster startup time for the tablet client compared to booting-up a laptop may be one reason for this popularity, because it helps salespeople get information quickly, especially when they are talking with a customer.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I was in London last week at a conference. I picked up the badge shown in the photo below, and it made me laugh, and I thought it would be a good image to pass on. VCE’s Vblock was the only example of converged infrastructure on show there.
If you were not able you visit with us in Denver, take a look at the following videos and resources for more information on the demos we featured in the Cisco booth.
Mobile Collaboration with WebEx Web Conferencing
Teach, learn and collaborate from anywhere with WebEx on your iPhone, iPad or Android device. Meet face-to-face with new 2-way group video. Listen as Nancy Crouch, Deputy CIO, details how Wake Forest University extended collaboration with a campus-wide WebEx license.
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.