Cisco Blogs

Cisco and Citrix Join Forces to Drive Cost Out of Desktop Virtualization

September 8, 2010 - 1 Comment

Desktop virtualization. Everyone agrees it’s the next great thing. And everyone has been saying so for some time. There are just two problems with anointing desktop virtualization the hot technology of today: Cost and scale. Today Cisco and Citrix announced a joint solution (Cisco Unified Computing combined with Citrix XenDesktop) that goes a long way to enabling cost effective server hosted virtualization at a scale that makes business sense. Simply put, Cisco and Citrix see this as an opportunity to chase the compute and networking costs out of desktop virtualization while enabling deployments that can gracefully scale deployments to tens of thousands of desktops based upon business need not product demands.

But don’t take my word for it. Here are a couple of VPs discussing why Cisco and Citrix are the perfect partners for enabling cost effective desktop virtualization at the scale of business:

Or if you’d prefer a straight economic argument, we believe that Cisco UCS results in over 20% savings over competing solutions while delivering 60% greater desktop density per server without witnessing any of the performance degradation that comptetitve systems face under heavy loads. Here’s the blow-by-blow on the TCO discussion:

1,500 Seats Cisco Vendor A Vendor B
Server Networking and Infrastructure $48,129 $64,437 $93,128
Compute – Management Nodes $13,621 $19,883 $20,157
Compute – Desktop Nodes $247,708 $289,325 $264,102
TOTAL $309,458 $373,645 $377,386
Cost per Seat for 1,500 Seats $206 $249 $252
Cisco Savings   21% 22%
5,000 Seats Cisco Vendor A Vendor B
Server Networking and Infrastructure $102,425 $128,873 $186,256
Compute – Management Nodes $27,242 $39,766 $40,313
Compute – Desktop Nodes $825,692 $964,417 $880,339
TOTAL $955,359 $1,133,056 $1,106,908
Cost per Seat for 5,000 Seats $191 $227 $221
Cisco Savings   19% 16%

Even better, all of this cost savings arrives before you even consider the OPEX savings made possible Cisco UCS. For instance by creating pre-populated UCS Manager Service Profiles for XenDesktop, Cisco is enabling customers to get started with desktop virtualization deployments in seconds. And by creating Starter Packs and Expansion Packs, Cisco and Citrix make it trivial for customers to scale deployments to the appropriate size. Plus, with the technologies like VN-Link, Cisco UCS enables greater observability and security for desktop virtualization deployments.

And for even more info on the joint solutions, including video data sheets, white papers and a detailed look at the reference architecture, check out the launch page.

We couldn’t be more excited to make this announcement with Citrix.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. Users can save even more on desktop virtualization by selecting Ericom's PowerTerm WebConnect as their connection broker. WebConnect is a lower cost alternative to Citrix. One of the important components of desktop virtualization solutions is the connection broker. Organizations should select a connection broker that supports the widest variety of hypervisors, for maximum flexibility and cost savings (by allowing them to select the lowest cost hypervisor that meets their needs). Ericom's PowerTerm WebConnect supports over a dozen hypervisors, and available at a reasonable cost. For more information, visit: Adam