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Cisco Desktop Virtualization solution brings unified voice and video to virtual environments

Posted on 13-Oct-2011 17:10 | Filed under: News

Cisco Desktop Virtualization solution brings unified voice and video to virtual environments
Cisco unveiled the next phase of its Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) with a series of offerings and innovations that can deliver enhanced desktop virtualization experiences.

Utilizing its expertise in Unified Communications, Cisco announced endpoints that enable high-quality voice and video in virtual desktop environments � a development that could help redefine collaboration in the virtual workspace. Additionally, Cisco announced other significant advancements including a broad strategic alliance agreement announced today with Citrix.

As the first deliverable of this collaboration, Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) will be optimized for Citrix XenDesktop, which will help customers reduce bandwidth necessary to deploy desktops virtually over wide area networks (WAN) � enabling better scalability and optimal end user collaboration experiences.

The announcement comes at a time when desktop virtualization is on the rise in the enterprise. Cisco quotes a Gartner, Inc. research that shows worldwide hosted virtual desktop (HVD) market is expected to reach 70 million units, or 15 percent of enterprise desktops and laptops by 2014.

Cisco VXI is an open, validated virtual workspace solution that integrates products and technologies across Cisco's network-based architectures� from Collaboration to Borderless Networks to the Data Center as well as from partners� to help deliver a flexible, highly secure infrastructure with exceptional user experiences and unsurpassed business value.

Building on a portfolio of VXI-enabled devices that includes the Cisco VXC 2000 Series and Cisco Cius tablet, the new VXC 6215 (pictured) is a thin client that, with an optional firmware upgrade, provides unique voice and video-processing capabilities that help to provide uncompromised end-user experiences.

In many cases, customers have attempted to route voice and video calls back and forth through the data center, which can consume large volumes of bandwidth, create significant latency issues and lead to poor end user experiences.

The new platform enables point-to-point connections to occur directly from one device to another in a virtual desktop environment, solving many of these problems. End users can see and hear each other with exceptional clarity, prompting workers to collaborate face-to-face on a more frequent basis, which can help increase productivity.

The Linux-based platform supports VDI, voice and video services in conjunction with Citrix XenDesktop, and VMware View. The Cisco VXC 6215 is orderable in the fourth quarter of CY 2011 and is targeted for global availability in the first quarter of CY 2012.

But the company is also announcing a software appliance, the Cisco VXC 4000. The VXC 4000 helps repurpose a traditional PC into a media-capable, virtual desktop client. Consequently, in addition to being able to access corporate applications and data virtually, the VXC 4000 provides great access to real-time collaboration capabilities using local media processing on the PC.

The appliance works in conjunction with Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View on either Windows XP or Windows 7 desktops. A voice-supported version is targeted for global availability during the fourth quarter of CY 2011.

As a part of the strategic alliance agreement unveiled today, Cisco will deliver WAAS optimized for Citrix XenDesktop and HDX technology to further enhance the performance of virtual desktops and applications over the WAN.

Specific benefits include delivering virtual desktop and applications up to 70 percent faster to remote devices: Cisco WAAS enables customers to optimize their WAN to increase performance of Citrix XenDesktop when accessed from remote devices, including PCs, Macs, laptops, thin clients, smartphones and tablets.