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Cisco, Citrix, NetApp and the World of Connected Devices…

April 18, 2012 at 9:30 am PST

Today’s Day 2 keynote at Microsoft’s Management Summit (MMS) here in Las Vegas focused on the world of connected devices and how IT organizations struggle at times to  deliver quality  services based on the demands of our anytime, anywhere, always on world.

One solution being demonstrated this week at MMS helps to resolve some of these issues. The Citrix XenDesktop on FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution is a joint effort between Cisco, Citrix, and NetApp in the Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) area. The solution helps to simplify, secure, and scale desktop virtualization on Cisco’s agile data center infrastructure based on Cisco UCS while also incorporating storage assets from NetApp and desktop assets from Citrix.  All based on a Windows Server, System Center (including support for System Center 2012!), and Hyper-V environment.

This combination of technologies from Cisco, Citrix, Microsoft, and NetApp has produced a highly efficient, robust and scalable Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) for a hosted virtual desktop deployment. To learn more details about this new offering, please download the publicly available reference architecture at the link below:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/unified_computing/ucs/UCS_CVDs/ucs_xd56_flexpod.html

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After Two Years in the Cloud, New Paradigms Prevail

Co-written by Bryan Mobley, Director, IBSG Service Provider

The business world’s rise to the cloud has been dramatic and increasingly rapid. From an initial attitude of vague interest mixed with trepidation, organizations have begun to embrace the transition in a big way. Some are already realizing the expansive benefits in costs, efficiency, and innovation that come with this game-changing technology.

To keep with the pulse of cloud migration, Cisco initiated a series of roundtable discussions two years ago. The philosophy of each meeting was to bring together 10 to 20 decision makers from a variety of enterprises, midsized businesses, and government agencies. So far, we’ve held 15 of these discussions across North America. In addition to providing a unique opportunity to share our thought leadership, these sessions provide an ideal forum for hearing our customers’ thoughts on cloud: the benefits, the inhibitors, and even a few war stories. In the end, however, it is the advantages of cloud that spark the most contagious conversations.

Here are some of the key trends that have emerged from two years of discussions:

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Virtualized Collaboration: Unifying Virtual Desktop, Voice and Video

At Enterprise Connect last week, Cisco Jabber and Cisco TelePresence weren’t the only stars of the show.  Cisco’s desktop virtualization thin clients, Cisco Virtualization Experience Clients (VXC), were getting quite a bit of attention also. Some may find this surprising since Enterprise Connect has traditionally been considered a “voice” show.  But just as the market has moved beyond voice to more mobile, social and visual collaboration, it has also evolved to a world of virtual collaboration. With the resulting unexpected benefit of unification of the complete office desktop, which in turn enables a variety of mobile strategies, many companies are now reconsidering their virtual desktop projects as voice and video become a must have for the users.

Last year at Enterprise Connect, we discussed how Cisco is helping customers address the challenges with Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI), Cisco’s end to end virtual workspace solution with new desktop virtualization clients.  In addition to the VXC 2000 series that were featured on the Exhibition Hall, we offered Cisco NDA sessions on VXI, where we demonstrated a new thin client we were working on, VXC 6215.

Last week, we demoed this new device in the Enterprise Connect Exhibit Hall and got a lot of interest from the conference attendees.  The attendees immediately understood the value of VXC 6215, which unifies virtual desktops with voice and video, all in one device, without compromising the user experience.  Many of them used the word “smart” to describe how VXC 6215 eliminates the classic “hairpin” issue that is associated with today’s traditional desktop virtualization thin clients when voice and video is not separated from the display protocol.  With VXC 6215, we’ve applied the network intelligence to route voice and video traffic, point to point, without traversing back to the data center.

VXC 6215 is available and shipping today.  Read More »

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Cisco Experts to Give Breakout Session on Mobility and Virtualization Security at Government EventThis Week

April 2, 2012 at 8:41 am PST

Two of Cisco’s finest will be presenting a breakout session today, April 2 at the 2012 Department of Defense Intelligence Information Systems (DoDIIS) Worldwide Conference in Denver, Colorado.

Mike Harttree, Technical Solutions Architect, and Gary Hall, Chief Technology Architect, will present “Survey of Wireless & Mobility Architectures for Communication and Collaboration,” from 3:20 p.m. to 4:05 p.m.

Mobile and wireless technologies are transforming the way the world works. Personal and corporate mobile applications enable individuals to collaborate in new ways to improve their productivity. One of the great myths in the Intelligence Community and Department of Defense is that security concerns prevent wireless technologies and mobile devices from being used in support of a mission. The reality is that the wireless infrastructure is already in place and is expanding rapidly throughout the DoD community. How this infrastructure is integrated into enterprise and mission architectures is the key to successfully deploying more wireless capabilities and protecting information such as classified data, when it is transmitted over a wireless medium.

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VDI: Creating a Successful Virtual Desktop Architecture

During a recent Desktop Virtualization Webcast titled VDI with Unified Communications: What Architects Need to Know, one of the key takeaways was that Unified Communications (UC) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) teams need to work together and look at the larger user environment in which they are delivering the IT services.  When the audience was asked how many of them were collaborating with their UC teams, 53% said they were currently engaging with their organization’s UC teams in their desktop virtualization projects.

Of course, this may be a biased sample, since the survey is of the webcast attendees, which mainly include IT professionals who are interested in the intersection of VDI and UC.  However, I believe this is a sign of a growing trend in enterprise IT.

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