Citrix and Cisco have teamed up to provide a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) offering based on the two vendors' technology and aimed specifically at solution providers. And, in doing so, Cisco continues to show that it is opening its UCS platform.
The two companies on Wednesday said they have developed pre-configured solutions consisting of Citrix's XenDesktop virtual desktop technology and Cisco's UCS (Unified Computing System) technology, and will take those solutions through their common solution providers.
Cisco is working with best-of-breed partners like Citrix to provide validated solutions for customers such as the new VDI offering, said Ralph Nimergood, vice president of worldwide partner organizations for Cisco.
"For partners, this 'de-risks' this solution in a very real way, and allows them to focus on their professional services," Nimergood said. "It provides them a cookbook to provide validated services."
Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) combines networking, blade servers, and storage in a single architecture, as well as all Cisco core switching and routing products, security, and voice over IP (VoIP) into a single architecture.
Cisco's main virtualization partner on UCS has been VMware, and so this new relationship with Citrix gives credence to Cisco's assertions that its UCS platform is open to technology from multiple partners.
Such a multi-partner strategy on UCS also became apparent in January when NetApp inked a technology pact with Cisco and VMware to jointly develop solutions. Prior to that, EMC was Cisco's primary storage partner for UCS.
Citrix and Cisco starting Wednesday are offering starter bundles that are pre-configured to make it easy for solution providers to sell and deploy VDI solutions. The initial starter kits are pre-configured for up to 300 users, but can be expanded to thousands of users, Nimergood said.
For storage, the solution has been validated to work with NetApp technology, Nimergood said. "But we're an open ecosystem partner," he said. "It's likely over time that we'll see other solutions come to market."
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