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Cisco Live, VXI, and the New Convergence

July 12, 2011 - 0 Comments

As if desktop virtualization wasn’t complicated enough… let’s throw unified communications in there, and really roll the dice (sticking with the Vegas theme) with getting your small pilot/PoC off the ground.  Right?  Well traditionally, yes, but we’ve actually seen this movie before – one that tells a very similar story of convergence at the desktop that resulted in a major transformation in how enterprises leverage the intelligence in the network to bring two previously disparate worlds together (this reads better with the voice-over guy they use in Hollywood trailers).Cisco and its partners are seeing a new convergence taking place at the desktop.  One that transforms the enterprise worker’s traditional desktop into a completely virtualized collaborative workspace by combining virtual desktops with the communications applications workers depend on.  It used to be that the desktop virtualization community kept theses two worlds at distance from each other, for fear of messing either or both of them up.  This was the same doctrine in place before the advent of Enterprise VoIP.  Remember your old digital PBX and TDM handsets?  Where’d they go?  Probably eBay, or the ever-flourishing Avaya/Nortel grey-market.  It was inevitable that IT organizations would reap the benefits of consolidating telephony and computing over a common medium.  Cisco entered that market and led with the industry’s first and most successful unified communications platform, by leveraging the intelligence in the network to make this happen. 

Similarly we’re seeing the convergence of virtual desktop and media-rich communications as also being inevitable, given that a worker’s productivity is not solely defined by having ubiquitous access to apps, but also the media-rich collaborative tools they need to be productive, on the device they happen to be using at any given time.  This is what we call the Virtualization Experience Infrastructure or VXI.  One adaptive, virtualized collaborative workspace that builds upon desktop virtualization to bring everything together.

Having said that, is it necessary that organizations embrace this convergence from Day 1?  Certainly not.  The key consideration here, is whether the infrastructure and end-to-end architecture has the right assets in place, from a networking, security, communications and data center perspective to enable IT to embrace that convergence when they’re ready.  That journey simply begins with desktop virtualization as we know it, but can expand to include the full vision of VXI once business conditions demand it.

Want to see how the worlds of media-rich communications and desktop virtualization are coming together for end-users?  Check out the Cisco Virtualization Experience Client 2100 and the Cius at the Cisco Data Center and Collaboration Booths.  There you’ll see live virtual desktops delivered seamlessly on these converged devices delivering media-rich unified communications. 

Check it out and let me know what you think!

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