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Welcome to Barcelona: Cisco Data Center Cloud Activities at VMworld

October 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm PST

If you'd like to learn more about the evolution of the data center, and how Cisco is supporting that mission, it's a great time to be in Barcelona. VMworld Barcelona kicks off full force today, and there is a great deal to experience.

Get your I Speak Geek button from a roving reporter here at VMworld Barcelona!

Get your I Speak Geek button from a roving reporter here at VMworld Barcelona!

Here's a quick overview of Cisco's presence in Barcelona in booth D200 and beyond.

For the first time, we're taking the Roving Reporters and Engineers Unplugged abroad! This event will be covered by Josh Atwell (@Josh_Atwell) and myself, and we're shooting several episodes of our new video podcast, which we'll be releasing every Wednesday.

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Unified Workspaces That Go Beyond VDI: Built on Cisco Unified Data Center

Today we introduced release 2.6 of the Cisco VXI Smart Solution, offering enhanced performance user experience and faster ROI,  with unified workspaces that go beyond VDI. VXI 2.6 offers new capabilities and enhancements to the underlying platform, spanning Cisco Unified Data Center, Borderless Network, and Collaboration pillars.  I invite you to check out posts from Phil Sherburne and Brian Dal Bello to learn more.  For now, let me turn your attention to the data center pillar, specifically the advancements that are part of this release, and as amply illustrated  in the Cisco Validated Design for VXI.

Reducing the TCO of virtual desktops

With VXI 2.6 we focused significant attention on improving performance, and driving down the cost of deploying end-to-end desktop virtualization through a combination of data center enhancements that are now part of the Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for VXI 2.6.  These include:

  • The Cisco UCS B200 M3 server blade, based on the Intel Romley- platform delivers continued leadership in virtual desktop  density.  We recently commissioned a study with  Principled Technologies to evaluate  B200 M3 performance with virtual desktop workloads – check the results we published for VMware and Citrix based platforms.  We’ve also added the UCS VIC 1240 (mezzanine LOM)  to the CVD, offering up to 80 Gbps aggregate bandwidth per Blade Server.  Bandwidth management capabilities of the VIC 1240 and its effect on delivering QoS in a mixed workload scenario of  virtual desktops and other workload types is covered in detail here.  The CVD also includes the Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnect, 6296UP, that provides up to 2 Tbps throughput, thereby offering enhanced workload scalability and overall performance
  • Support for published shared desktops with XenApp 6.5, including Jabber for Windows.  With this feature, we deliver much greater scalability while also extending our industry-leading Jabber solution support to this popular application delivery approach, resulting in a more scalable, cost-effective, superior collaboration user-experience
  • Optimizing storage costs is also a key focus area for the release, and VXI2.6 introduces support for a number of capabilities that help reduce storage costs.  With VMware vSphere 5, we have Content Based Read Caching (CBRC) addressing performance bottlenecks associated with the high read IOPS found during O/S boot and AV scans.  CBRC offers host RAM-based caching to reduce read IOPS to back-end shared storage, improving scalability and overall storage performance and end-user experience.
  • With B200 M 3 servers, we support "Tier-0" Solid State Disk (SSD) which enables the storage of Desktop images internally on the server while user data and personalization can be stored on back end shared storage, allowing for better overall performance and reduced dependency and costs associated with  back-end shared disks  We  have also included validated testing of the WhipTail Flash silicon storage array (SSA) offering  up to 12TB of flash with 250k IOPS in a 2U array.

Want to learn more about VXI Release 2.6?  Check out the following:

And visit our website at www.cisco.com/go/vxi

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The Optimized Secure Network for Cisco VXI

Today, Cisco announced the new release of the Cisco VXI Smart Solution. Part of the announcement is, of course, enhancements in our Borderless Networks architecture to enable our customers to deploy a secure, reliable, and fast virtual desktop infrastructure.

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Business Process Outsourcing Made Better with Unified Workspaces

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 »

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Putting VDI Security Concerns to Bed and..........


...........New Cisco Data Center Security Enhancements

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.

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