Cisco teams with Citrix on large-scale virtual desktops

Cisco is tapping into several major IT trends and issues with new virtualization and device management platforms.

Everyone can't stop talking about the revolution of cloud computing and virtualization. Rather than just talking about the importance of these two hot IT trends, Cisco and Citrix have teamed on another solution option for large-scale desktop virtualization deployments.

Specifically, we'll see the following initiatives:

  • A new release of Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) optimized for Citrix XenDesktop with enhanced performance on virtual desktops and applications over Cisco networking infrastructure
  • A secure Citrix HDX-enabled Cisco network
  • Integrated multimedia (voice and video) support on collaborative solutions, including Cisco Virtual Experience Clients and the Cisco Cius enterprise tablet featuring Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix Receiver
  • Accelerated innovation and optimization enhancements for Cisco's Unified Computing System, Citrix  XenDesktop and Citrix XenServer

Not only is that strategy expected to cover virtual desktops on "millions" of PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones and thin clients, but it also enables companies to deploy IT-as-a-service to multiple networks worldwide. Cisco already reports early successes at specific hospitals and universities where the partnership strategy has been tested out.

Tied into that, Cisco also introduced the next stage of its Virtual Experience Infrastructure (VXI), touted to deliver "uncompromised desktop virtualization experiences" that really focuses on unifying the aforementioned voice and video environments.

One part of this solution is the Linux-based Cisco VXC 6215, which supports VDI, voice and video services in conjunction with with Citrix XenDesktop, and VMware View. This point-to-point product boasts to be able provide users with exceptional clarity, which should encourage further use and could can help increase productivity.

The VXC 6215 will go up for pre-order during the fourth quarter of 2011, and it will ship worldwide in early 2012.

Also tapping another major IT issue -- employees bringing personal devices to work -- Cisco has launched its Identity Services Engine (ISE), which is available globally now. The system is designed to identify what types of devices are accessing the network as well as what information those devices can obtain and where (i.e. public network, behind a firewall, etc.).

Citrix and Cisco are also planning to invest in further joint go-to-market activities focused other desktop virtualization and cloud market services, although neither has announced details about those plans yet.