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Virtual Desktops: To Brazil and Back

I must confess, the first time I heard about virtual desktop infrastructure it made me think of a scene from the 1985 movie Brazil.  (The movie is old enough that I trust I’m not spoiling anything here.  If it’s sitting in your Netflix queue and you don’t want anything revealed, though, skip the next paragraph.)

In the scene Sam Lowry, the movie’s main character, struggles to work at his too-small desk that adjoins a nearby wall.  The desk shifts, and begins to retract into said wall, causing Sam to yank mightily on it in hopes of recovering some usable desk space.  After a brief tug of war, he discovers the source of the problem.

Fortunately, that’s not how virtual desktop technology truly works.

This week’s Data Center Deconstructed question raises the issue of how to determine the ratio of physical servers to virtual desktop instances.  As my meandering thoughts of Brazil indicate, I’m not your go-to guy for such information.  Ashok Rajagopalan, a product manager in Cisco’s Server Access Virtualization Technology Group, steps in to addresses the topic.

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Virtual Forum for Education Leaders – Creating Community

In Welcome to the Education Blog, Gary Serda said that:

Cisco’s approach to education is comprehensive and multi-faceted. We have groups across all of Cisco that are actively engaging with Education leaders to improve education everywhere. At the core of these engagements, is our fundamental belief that the network can serve as a platform for education innovation that can dramatically improve educational outcomes for students.

One of the ways we showcase innovative and practical solutions for today’s education challenges is the Cisco Virtual Forum for Education Leaders.  This online Forum is filled with informative presentations and resources that demonstrate the success that dedicated educators are having meeting today’s education challenges.

With “virtual booths” for specific solutions and areas of IT concern, Cisco representatives available for live chats, both recorded and live presentations, and expert-led discussions–the forum provided and provides a good source of technology and solution information for Education customers. That’s right, provides. The Forum is more than a transient event: visitors are welcomed back as often as they like to get updated information about Cisco’s solutions and efforts in the Education space. A great example is this interview added last week:

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UNS Spotlight on VM-ready Security Solutions with VSG

The Unified Network Services (UNS) portfolio of Layer 4-7 services (such as ACE and WAAS) also includes Cisco’s data center security solutions. A critical part of that security portfolio is our virtualization-aware firewall solution, Virtual Security Gateway (VSG). In a series of upcoming blog posts, I’ll be sharing a few use case scenarios that our customers are implementing with VSG.

For those of you new to VSG, I’ll point out that VSG’s role is to act as a virtual firewall between zones of virtual machines. Isolating traffic between VM zones has been very challenging prior to VSG because: 1) security policies have to be enforced between VMs running on the same server or same virtual switch (where there’s no place to put a firewall), 2) VMs move all around the network and the security policies (as enforced in the firewall) must follow the VM, and 3) the need to maintain segregation of duties for compliance purposes between the security and application server teams, where security is potentially enforced inside the virtual server.

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Lots Happening at Citrix Synergy, San Francisco

There’s lots of activity at Cisco right now leading up to Citrix Synergy in San Francisco next week. Our theme for the event is the ongoing collaboration with Citrix on Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI)

Both companies have been busy since last September, when we launched our first desktop virtualization solution with Citrix resulting in high levels of interest from both customers and mutual partners. This Cisco UCS solution delivers one of the most scalable XenDesktop platforms on the market as verified in a recent report published by Principled Technologies and has been chosen as a Citrix Ready Partner Solution of the Year Finalist .

In January we published another Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for XenDesktop and XenApp on Microsoft Hyper-V to add to the existing designs with VMware vSphere and Citrix XenServer.

More recently we began shipping our first VXC zero clients with Citrix ICA support. And for the growing number of mobile users that need their desktop and collaboration services with them wherever they go – there is the Cisco Cius business tablet with Citrix Receiver support.

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See you at Microsoft TechEd – Atlanta next week

I am happy to share that Cisco is a key sponsor for the Microsoft Tech Ed North America 2011 event in Atlanta next week.  At TechEd, we will be showcasing our data center business advantage solutions and showing how you can maximize your investments in leading Microsoft applications such as Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL Server.

With Cisco UCS, we are not just making servers, we are making server history.

It is well known that Cisco UCS adoption has been fantastic with over 5400 customers, with a large number of customers efficiently and fearlessly running their mission critical Microsoft applications on UCS. These customer deployments are backed by series of CVDs (Cisco Validated Designs) that serve as key enablers to successful deployments.

Any Announcements?

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