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VXI Walkabout at CiscoLive!

It is Cisco Live 2012, and the San Diego Convention Center is abuzz with excitement and activity, as customers throng to the World of Solutions, on this Monday afternoon, June 11. Having recently joined the Cisco VXI solutions marketing team, I am eager to check out all the VXI demos live on the show floor. Let’s pick up action with the  Desktop Virtualization demo in the Cisco Unified Data Center (UDC) booth.

This Desktop Virtualization demo, built on a FlexPod platform, highlights a few of the many optimizations the Cisco UCS Platform provides. In particular how Cisco UCS Manager (UCSM) helps with rapid provisioning of bare metal servers to host virtual desktops using Service Profiles. Here you can also see how the density offered by the  B200 M3 and B230 M2 blade servers results in unparalleled scalability and how UCS VM-FEX technology contributes to a better user experience through enhanced QoS and manageability. After visiting the demo yourselves, you can read the recent Principled Technologies  test reports, for more on the virtual desktop performance capabilities of the UCS Platform.

Next stop, the Collaboration demo Pod. Here you will find a  VXI demo that focuses on the delivery of virtual workspaces through the unification of virtual desktops, voice and video. The highlight of this demo is how Cisco VXC 6215 thin clients enable point-to-point communication in tandem with virtual desktops, for both video and voice.  Experience for yourselves how the direct flow of rich media between the  VXC end-points ensures a great rich media experience – you will be as impressed as I was. If you miss the demo you can also get the idea by watching the TechwiseTV video.

My next stop is at theWork Your Way” area where 4 demos bring to life how the Cisco Unified Workspace enables multiple mobility, BYOD and virtual desktop use cases. In one demo you really experience how an end-user can seamlessly accesses a virtual desktop whether working from home or the office, with full access to apps, files, messaging and other communications via different end-points, without any compromise to user experience. A second demo illustrates Hosted Virtual Desktops on mobile devices with access to files, Instant Messaging and above all the empowerment of employees to work their way via secured unified workspaces.

My next port of call is the “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – Identity Services Engine (ISE)” demo which highlights the importance of a unified policy-driven management strategy for network access and security, particularly as mobile devices like tablets  smartphones  and ultrabooks are gaining pervasiveness. This demo showcases the ability of the architecture to identify any device coming on to the network– whether wired or wireless, native or virtual, on-premise or off-premise. I urge you to check this out if you have a BYOD initiative underway.

Next Stop is the “Catalyst-UPoE” demo Pod.  Universal Power-over-Ethernet, or UPoE, is a Cisco innovation which enables 60W PoE power on a standard Cat5e Ethernet cable, which can be used to power VDI Thin Clients like the Cisco VXC 6000 series endpoints, as well as other thin-client monitors. Cool stuff – now all you need is a thin client and an Ethernet port and you can deliver a complete desktop, voice and video experience over the network.

Next, I arrive at the action-packed Citrix booth. Citrix is a Gold sponsor at cLIVE this year and a top partner for our VXI solutions.

Among many other things, Citrix is demonstrating the capabilities of Cisco VXI with Citrix XenDesktop that makes efficient delivery of voice and video within a XenDesktop environment possible. This is achieved through the unique Citrix XenDesktop SDK integration on the Cisco VXC 6215 thin client. 

I also learnt that Citrix is conducting a breakout session with Mike Stanley from the University of Tennessee. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville launched “Apps@UT,” a program implementing Citrix XenDesktop that runs on a Cisco UCS and NetApp infrastructure to deliver full Windows desktops and applications as an on-demand service to more than 27,000 students and staff anytime. The session is Wednesday, June 13 at 4:00 PM (session ID BRKPCS-4381)

Citrix is also hosting mini-theater presentations every day, drawn from Citrix experts, and its partners  

Anyway, I am out of time if I am going to get this blog posted for it to be of any use. There are a couple more VXI demos in the Advanced Services area that I will need to check out tomorrow. One that shows Intelligent Automation in a VXI environment, and another that demonstrates VDI storage optimization with Atlantis. There is also some great VXI activity in the VMware booth worth checking out. See Tony P’s blog for details.

So much to do so little time……have a great show and let me know if you come across any VXI demos I did not cover here. 

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