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Transforming Seattle Children’s Hospital with UCS and Desktop Virtualization

June 7, 2011 at 6:42 pm PST

One of the key takeaways I heard consistently at the recent Citrix Synergy conference was the fact that you shouldn’t just do IT for IT’s sake: Your top consideration should be the end user experience. That’s one of the key lessons Seattle Children’s Hospital learned when it recently deployed Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) blade to support a 3000-plus deployment of virtual desktops and zero clients. This deployment and Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) as a whole was the topic of a panel discussion at the conference.

The panelists included Aaron Cockerill, Senior Director of Product Management at Citrix; Doug Dooley, Director of Product Management for Desktop Virtualization at Cisco; Jake Hughes, the Chief Technical Architect at Seattle Children’s Hospital; and Harry Labana, VP and CTO of AppSense. Aaron and Doug offered up their thoughts on the Cisco-Citrix partnership, and how Cisco is leading virtualization charge with its end-to-end solution. Harry provided insights around desktop virtualization and AppSense’s role in creating flexibility and a rich user experience. Jake, as a customer who has implemented virtual solution, discussed the nuts of bolts of implementation, and talked about key points to take into consideration when contemplating a deployment.

I chatted with the panelists after the session, and they each offered up their top takeaways from the discussion.

Want to learn more about the details of the panel discussion? Read on for tips and lessons learned around implementing a virtual desktop solution. Read More »

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Video and Virtualization: Just Another Day at Citrix Synergy

May 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm PST

If what I saw at the Citrix Synergy conference in San Francisco this week is any indication of what will be coming soon, I’d better invest in a personal hairstylist.

With video becoming more and more prevalent on the network, whether it be mobile phones, Cisco Cius and other tablets, IP phones, or TelePresence – there isn’t a question of whether or not video is here to stay. But one question remains: Is your network ready? (And maybe one more question: how does my hair look?)

If your customers haven’t prepared their networks yet, here’s something that might give them the extra boost that they need: Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecasted that videos will account for 90% of network traffic by 2013.

By selling Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI), you’ll help customers prepare for that change. We visited the Cisco booth at the conference and caught up with Cisco’s Operations Director Jeff Platon. He gave us a full tour of the end-to-end VXI system with products that utilize high-definition video.

Watch the full tour:

What else did we see at Citrix Synergy? Read More »

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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.

Read More »

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Virtual Desktops are Special….

I, just like my colleague Tony Paikeday, am somewhat preoccupied these days with the fast changing world of the desktop and its impact on data center infrastructures. I wanted to pick up on Tony’s desktop virtualization “just another workload” blog back in November because it is a subject of growing discussion, especially with “cloud” being all the buzz. While desktops are an increasingly popular workload to get started with private cloud initiatives, does that mean that data center architects are mixing desktops with more traditional data center workloads?

Talking to our system engineers who are helping plan and design desktop virtualization deployments day in day out…..the more I learn there are very good reasons for treating this workload as special and separate.

The first thing I hear about is sizing of the desktop workload. A “desktop” is not a “desktop”. You can’t just characterize a generic Win 7 desktop for compute, memory, I/O and storage IOPS. You need to be able to customize the infrastructure profile to the specific user type being deployed. Therein lays the danger of mixing these virtual desktops with production workloads, where desktops could end up capturing valuable resources of mission critical services.  For example consolidating a company procurement application on the same compute pool as your desktop workloads could result in a lot of unproductive – or even worse –unhappy employees.

Read More »

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Are You Going to EMC World? Some great VXI content awaits…

My $0.02: Skip the buffet, Celine, Cirque, and the slots, but don’t skip learning about Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) with EMC. Read More »

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