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Cisco Chooses Citrix As VDI Partner

VMware may be the undisputed leader in virtualization and a charter member of the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) data-center initiative, but it's Citrix that Cisco is partnering with for a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solution targeted at large organizations. They have announced the Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solution with Citrix XenDesktop, a combined solution that will enable businesses to quickly and easily deploy high-definition virtual desktops and applications to as few as 300 employees or to tens of thousands across the enterprise.

"Because of UCS technology, we're able to get approximately 60 percent additional density per server and about 20 percent cost savings across the board," says Natalie Lambert, director with the Desktop Division at Citrix. Additionally, deployment of the pre-configured and pretested solutions means implementation can be done in minutes and hours, instead of days and weeks.

The new solution combines Cisco unified computing and Citrix desktop virtualization technologies, including FlexCast and HDX. It offers pre-configured service profiles for hosted, shared desktops and hosted, VDI-based desktops, pre-configured kits to quick-start with 300 virtual desktops (Starter Kit), the ability to scale to thousands of additional desktops and users in a plug-and-play modular fashion (Expansion Kit), and a reference design architecture validated by Cisco, Citrix and NetApp, for storage.

According to Gartner's recent "Prepare for Your Windows 7 Migration Crunch," large and mid-size organizations will migrate approximately 250 million PCs to Windows 7. For an organization with 10,000 PCs, the company estimates replacement costs to range from $1,205 to $1,999 per PC. Upgrading existing PCs is both more costly -- $1,274 to $2,069 per PC -- and will only delay replacement for two or three years.

Cost, performance and ease of deployment are important, but so is service. The two companies have combined their support services so customers only have to call one number. VDI is only one of seven desktop virtualization elements addressed by Citrix, and existing partnerships with the likes of HP and Dell will continue, making this joint solution is a major milestone for the Citrix.