Just imagine. It’s HR benefits enrollment season. And you’ve left your annual selections to the last possible minute. And it’s the last day of the enrollment period. You find yourself feverishly dialing the support line, hoping that by some stroke of luck there’s still an HR analyst around to help you wade through an employee guide (that you were supposed to have read two weeks ago but didn’t). Read More »
The workplace is changing fast. Workers are becoming increasingly mobile. The introduction of employee-owned consumer devices like tablets, is becoming the norm; in fact, the average number of devices used by knowledge workers is between 3 and 4 and rising. While IT organizations acknowledge the productivity, business agility and cost benefits these developments can bring, they are also concerned by the associated challenges. Not surprisingly, numerous industry research papers point to device, application and data security, and regulatory compliance as the biggest challenges for mobility and BYOD projects.
To address these security concerns many IT organizations are applying desktop virtualization or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technologies to ensure management and protection of the applications, data and content centrally in the data center, regardless of which device is used. But how can IT ensure that VDI deployments themselves are secure?
Today, Cisco announced new data center security enhancements that further protect VDI deployments. These new innovations enable more scalable, secure access to hosted virtual desktops and more robust protection of data center resources. These innovations also ensure that business critical applications and virtual desktops hosted within the data center can be better protected from other virtual desktops that have become compromised or infected. (Read also today’s blog from John N. Stewart , Cisco Sr.VP, Chief Security Officer “Does Virtualization Improve Security ? “)
Deploying a data center infrastructure that has the built-in security capabilities to address these challenges needs to be an integral part of any VDI design. The Cisco VXI Smart Solution is a comprehensive, secure desktop virtualization solution that addresses these security concerns in both Citrix XenDesktop and VMWare View deployments; you can find more information on the designs here.
Are you making last minute plans for VMworld? Filling out your agenda, and realizing there just isn’t enough time to take it all in? This year like last, will be packed with valuable sessions, labs, keynotes, and the like, but before we get to the shenanigans taking place there, let me share something hot off the presses.
Just this week, we posted a brand new study, conducted by Cisco’s Customer Business Transformation Team, sharing their analyses of two customers who’ve deployed the Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) Smart Solution. More specifically, they looked at the savings associated with the migration of user workspace (traditional desktop along with a traditional TDM phone) to a fully virtualized workspace delivered via Cisco VXC endpoints (phone replaced with VXC 6215 delivering unified voice, video and virtual desktop), underpinned by Cisco Unified Data Center.
The tangible impacts are progressively revealed in incremental stages of implementation as customers go from:
A big contributor to the cost savings is not just the evolution of the telephony and video solution, but also the underlying data center infrastructure leveraging Cisco Unified Data Center, built on Cisco Unified Computing System.
I was going to paste a nice graphic from the analysis here, but that would be a spoiler, and I’m so not about spoiling stuff, so download the full document >> here <<
Now onto the shenanigans, I mean, VMworld…
If you’re exploring desktop virtualization, and more closely thinking about specific use cases you’re trying to address, like mobile power users, or business process outsourcing, this year’s event will be especially valuable to your organization.
Cisco and VMware have teamed up to deliver an holistic solution approach for organizations seeking to better empower mobile users to become truly untethered from the confines of their brick and mortar office. These users are not solely defined by the need to access apps and data on a myriad of device options, but on the ability to collaborate with peers, partners, and customers, using enterprise-grade real-time communications media. I blogged about it here. Similarly we’ve plowed considerable focus into the use case of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), one which bears increasing relevancy as businesses seek to leverage a global talent pool to handle functions like customer service, tech support, payroll, etc. These environments depend on an extensive WAN infrastructure and uncompromised collaboration and communications, delivered securely.
So, what’s being served up at VMworld this year, from VMware and Cisco that will help you navigate these opportunities? Here’s what:
2:30pm -- SPO3336, “A Healthcare Provider’s Perspectives on Going Beyond VDI with Unified Workspaces”, Moscone West, Level 3, Room 3007 – check this session out to hear from a major regional healthcare provider who’s implemented Virtual Workspaces, reducing IT OPEX, while improving clinician workflow
Are you going to the Steve Herrod keynote? I can’t reveal details here, but if you’re not familiar with the Cisco UCS Express Solution for virtual desktops and simplified branch office infrastructure, you don’t want to miss this! Not only that, but our own TechWise TV Guys (Jimmy Ray Purser and Robb Boyd) will be there, and to call it entertaining would be an understatement! FYI – there’s a specially prepared music video involved, way better than Carly Rae Jepsen, so please vote for them!
All week long!
Visit Cisco at Booth 1213 – why you ask? Well like last year I’m sure we’ll be in excellent proximity to the afternoon drinks/food reception, but besides that:
- See the Business Process Desktop and Mobile Secure Desktop with VMware View, built on Cisco VXI, in action!
- Learn about how Cisco Unified Data Center delivers a simplified, more scalable solution with consistent performance, for virtual desktop workloads
- Attend our theater presentations on Cisco VXI, as well as our Ask-the-Experts whiteboarding area where you can fire-off your questions (of course with drinks and food from the reception in hand).
If you’re going to be at VMworld, definitely stop by and say hi. (If not, it will likely be a very quiet, productive week at the office for you – so it’s a win-win either way I guess)
I’ve been spending the last couple weeks with friends from EMC, discussing what’s top of mind re: desktop virtualization and capabilities that we agree are effectively attacking the elusive ROI of virtual desktops. So it’s no surprise that when you put Cisco and EMC solutions together, (something we’ve done well, for a LONG time) towards the common goal of making virtual desktops and applications easier to deploy, with reduced cost and improved manageability, you end up with a very compelling end-to-end offer.
Essentially, our joint value nets-out as follows: i) enabling implementers to balance costs, while meeting SLA’s, ii) making virtual desktops less complex and time-consuming , especially where rapid provisioning and recovery is key, and iii) addressing the desktop management equation with a simplified approach that eliminates what used to be multiple tools
In these areas EMC and Cisco are offering an industry-leading platform with best-in-class desktop hosting density and performance, engineered solutions that absorb I/O storms and dramatically improve boot times, rapid provisioning of server infrastructure using service profile templates and self-service data recovery, and simplified desktop creation with automated deployment capabilities.
As I was preparing for a webinar recently, some stats came across my desk reinforcing what we’ve suspected for a while, namely that employees and the organizations they belong to, are increasingly embracing a cloud workspace -- one that’s mobile and deliverable on any device, and that this imperative is a reality that IT managers are wrestling with not months from now, but now.
These nuggets are certainly no surprise:
- Three of every five employees believed it was unnecessary to be in the office to be productive.
- Two of every three employees surveyed expect IT to allow them to use any device – personal or company-issued – to access corporate networks, applications, and information anywhere at any time.
- 69% of IT decision makers surveyed (by Forrester Consulting) advise that implementing a BYOD policy for smartphones/tablets is a top priority (study commissioned by Cisco, May 2012)