Cisco, Citrix partner on desktop virtualization solution

Cisco and Citrix formally announced an out-of-the-box desktop virtualization solution developed for enterprise use.It is the first partnership between the networking giant and Ft Lauderdale, based Xen-based virtualization company.

Cisco and Citrix formally announced an out-of-the-box desktop virtualization solution developed for enterprise use.

It is the first partnership between the networking giant and Ft Lauderdale, based Xen-based virtualization company.  The joint solution will be supported by both companies though a single telephone number to simplify installation and deployment for customers.

The solution, aptly named Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solution with Citrix XenDesktop, is available starting Wednesday.  Pricing was not available.

The solution integrates XenDesktop with the Cisco Unified Computing System - a bundle offering customers networking, computing, virtualization and storage access.  The end result is a preconfigured, tested and validated simply deployed and easily scalable desktop virtualization solution for companies with hundreds or tens of thousands of desktops, executives said.

Cisco's memory extension technology offers customers four times more memory in a two-socket blade, which translates into fewer blades to support the same number of virtual desktops, or 20 percent lower cost due to the blade savings, Cisco claims.

The joint solution comes with three service profiles to accelerate set-up. The preconfigured and pre-populated service profiles for hosted shared desktops or hosted VDI eases use of XenDesktop with Cisco UCS.

The two companies also built preconfigured kits to simplify custom deployment. The customized kits allows customers to get started with the first 300 desktops and expansion kit enables that to scale to thousands of additional desktops.

The solution comes with a Cisco Validated Design to ensure interoperability. It is tested with Citrix , Cisco and NetApp storage.  It also works with other storage solutions as well as with other virtualization solutions including Citrix XenServer,  VMWare vSphere and soon Microsoft's Hyper-V.

Such an out-of-the-box solution which combines networking, hardware, virtualization and storage access with validated interoperability, preconfigured profiles, scalability kits and combined support is a big win for customers.

The big unknown, from my standpoint, is the cost of the solution.  Still, eliminating the hassles, headaches and complexity of deploying desktop virtualization is likely well worth the investment.