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Cisco, Citrix Form Desktop Virtualization Alliance

Cisco and Citrix have formed a strategic alliance for large-scale desktop virtualization deployments. The goal of the alliance is to develop and deliver innovative solutions that simplify and accelerate the deployment of virtual desktops and applications over a Citrix HDX-enabled Cisco network. The alliance also plans to deliver data center solutions that make it easier for organizations to deliver IT as a service across wide area networks.

The first deliverable of this collaboration will be the optimization of Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) for Citrix XenDesktop, which is designed to reduce bandwidth requirements for virtual desktop deployments over WANs and improve scalability and collaboration.

Specific goals of Cisco WAAS optimization for Citrix XenDesktop include:

  • Up to 70 percent increase in speed of virtual desktop and application connections between XenDesktop and remote devices;
  • Support for remote access by twice the number of virtual desktops, reducing bandwidth requirements for each virtual desktop by up to 60 percent;
  • Joint testing, validation, support, and verification of Cisco WAAS as a Citrix Ready solution;
  • Automated interoperability of Cisco WAAS with Citrix HDX technology, including the Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) protocol; and
  • Validation of Cisco WAAS to work seamlessly with Citrix XenDesktop encryption, compression, and network management features.

Cisco and Citrix reported they also plan to optimize virtual desktop and application capabilities of Citrix XenDesktop and the Citrix Receiver universal software client for Cisco rich media, voice, and video endpoint devices such as the Cisco Virtual Experience Clients (VXCs) and the Cisco Cius enterprise tablet. Other plans include accelerating datacenter innovation with Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), Citrix XenDesktop, and Citrix XenServer.

"Cisco is collaborating with Citrix on a broad range of virtualization technologies," said Phil Sherburne, vice president, enterprise systems and architectures, Cisco. Our first deliverables will be focused on giving end users a rich multimedia experience of voice, video, and data on their virtual desktops and apps over the Cisco Intelligent Network, so that from any device from wherever they are, IT managers can deliver the same superior experience at a lower cost."

The optimized Cisco WAAS solution for Citrix XenDesktop should be available in the fourth quarter of 2011.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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