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API Compatibility: From cruising at self-service speed to “we gotta have a meeting”

Today’s announcement that Citrix is dropping support for OpenStack has reverberated through the clouderati sphere like a new Justin Bieber song through my niece’s third grade class. Super important but will not matter much when the next idol arrives.

In any case, a lot of smart people have written about it. I’ll leave them to explain the whole thing.

Cloud Avenue has a good in-depth coverage post. And so does James Staten of Forrester. Randy Bias also weighs in as well.  I’m sure I’m missing other worthy commentators.

But the post that most caught my attention came from Thorsten at Rightscale‘s.  We both share something in common: we both build products that connect to cloud API’s. Including vendor who have API’s that claim to be compatible EC2. This experience, I think provides a useful point of view when thinking about API compatibility. Not to mention it creates a jaundiced view of the human soul.

Thorsten writes.

I’ve said it many times and I’ll repeat it again: it’s the semantics of the resources in the cloud that matter, not the syntax of the API. This means that “API compatibility” has to reach very, very deep to be meaningful. Let me give you a couple of examples around EC2.

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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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NBA Fans Point, Shoot, and Score

“In basketball – as in life – true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment,” says former LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson, and sports fans couldn’t agree more. Today’s followers of the NBA are more present and informed, every minute of every game, than ever before.

In general, the NBA’s outreach, including its websites, mobile apps, TV, and radio broadcasting, saw dramatic increases in activity over the last year.. In 2011, about 75 petabytes of video was posted. Not surprisingly, is now the #3 sports site on the web for video streams. Read More »

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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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Three Drivers of Collaboration

In my last blog, I asked the question “Is Collaboration Worth It? Every day, customers tell us collaboration is critical to their ability to compete—something top of mind right now. Why does collaboration matter? From our research and interviews with business leaders, we attribute the growing importance of collaboration to three fundamental trends:

  1. Competition comes from anywhere and everywhere. The barriers to entry are lower than ever, and you cannot predict who will enter your market next. It might be a startup in India, China, Africa or Eastern Europe—or competition from another industry. How do you stay ahead when you don’t know which organizations you’ll compete with next month or next year? Read More »

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