Of course, we at Cisco are aware of how desktop virtualization benefits organizations. However, we also know that it isn’t just about desktop-only virtualization. This is why we created Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) to not only deliver desktop virtualization but also provide secure access to data, voice and video for fixed and mobile devices.
I recently read several success stories of educational institutions who turned to Cisco VXI and Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) to help reduce costs and IT management overhead while increasing internal and external collaboration. Two of these case studies -- one from K-12 and one higher education -- are listed below. If you are interested in the topic, they are definitely worth the read. Read More »
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:
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.
School is back in session, and from all the parents I’ve talked to, there’s been a new addition to the old school essentials list -- notebook, lunch and now, a smartphone. We’ve reached a time where mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are entering classrooms at an accelerated rate. In fact, recent numbers in Canada showed that the back to school season is starting to rival the holiday season for buying cellphones.
In 2011, we asked nearly 3,000 college students and young professionals how fundamental they feel the Internet is. An astounding one in three respondents equated the Web’s importance with air, water, food and shelter. It’s safe to assume the younger set feels the same: Research conducted by Project Tomorrow found that from 2009 to 2010 smartphone use for middle and high school students jumped 42 percent, so younger student are obviously adapting early expectations of anywhere, anytime online access.
If schoolchildren are using mobile devices on their own time to connect with parents and friends, it makes sense for schools to be working these devices into the learning mix, too. In fact, according to The Journal’s Mary McCaffrey, schools must go mobile to better personalize their students’ learning experiences.
Here are three ways mobile collaboration contributes to the learning environment: Read More »
Working from anywhere has its benefits —and increased productivity is one of them! I speak from personal experience as well as from Cisco’s evaluation of the productivity of 20,000 full-time teleworkers, which found that 60% of the time employees saved by not commuting went back to the company. With those kind of numbers, it’s no wonder more companies are increasingly adopting telecommuting policies. The private sector is already reaping the benefits and now it’s time for federal agencies to experience the same rewards.
In the video below, Cisco Federal CTO Dan Kent discusses how adopting flexible telecommuting policies and boosting employee productivity go hand in hand.