As the leader of borderless network architecture for Cisco Canada’s partner organization I am excited to work with the ecosystem partners who can bring value to our products. Our announcement last week that we will resell Citrix XenDesktop® as part of an integrated desktop virtualization solution does just that to our next generation Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) platform.
If that sounds like a mouthful, it is. But it just may be one of the most important announcements we’ve made this year with our WAAS platform, and I’ll tell you why.
This announcement builds on our strategic alliance with Citrix, allowing us to create and deliver scalable and secure end-to-end virtualization deployments for our partners and customers. More importantly, Cisco is the only vendor who has access to the Citrix code. This means we are not reverse-engineering a solution and forcing it to work with Citrix’s applications, like our competitors. Instead, Cisco WAAS was optimized for Citrix XenDesktop, resulting in greatly improved performance delivery over the network.
And just what is WAAS? Simply put, Cisco’s WAAS platform is a set of cost-effective Wide Area Network (WAN) optimization solutions that accelerate applications over the WAN, provide local hosting of branch-office IT services, optimize end-user experiences and reduce bandwidth and latency problems. Now back to why this announcement is so important.
Think of this as the difference between driving a car with one steering wheel, and trying to drive a car with two steering wheels, and two drivers, maneuvering through traffic. In a traditional virtualization deployment, each driver – your WAAS platform and your virtualization application – is fighting for control. If a business deployed Citrix XenDesktop it would compete with other applications on their network. The end result was that the performance of Citrix, or of the other applications, would suffer. In order for one driver to take control of the car, the other had to acquiesce.
Now this is where the magnitude of this announcement truly hits home. Integrating Cisco WAAS with Citrix now allows the Virtual Desktop application and all other applications to work together. There is now one steering wheel, and that steering wheel is Cisco WAAS.
The result of this integration is an improvement to the end-user experience by up to 70 per cent while accessing applications, data, video and printing using virtual desktops.
At Cisco, we continue to help customers and partners optimize the delivery of virtual desktops and applications to anyone, anywhere and any device. With this announcement, we are excited to offer a solution that goes the extra distance to improve the virtual desktop infrastructure end-user experience, while allowing IT to centrally manage and monitor network performance.