Today, Citrix and Cisco announced a new strategic partnership to deliver an exciting and innovative joint solution for comprehensive desktop virtualization.  The new offering combines all the benefits of Citrix XenDesktop, with all the power of the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) to accelerate the enterprise-wide adoption of virtual desktops and apps; by making them easy to deploy, easy to support and easy to scale.

 Earlier this year, I wrote about how 2010 would be a landmark year for the mainstream adoption of desktop virtualization.  Since then, there have been huge advancements in desktop virtualization technologies as well as in simplicity, flexibility, deployability and economics.  Today’s announcement underscores the growing momentum of desktop virtualization by having two industry leaders partner on delivering a combined solution that delivers a high definition user experience and superior scalability and cost savings for IT.


As a frequent air-traveler, I welcome “tailwinds”, since they get to me to my destination much sooner.

In 2010, there are a powerful set of market forces, that like “tailwinds” are adding to the rapidly growing popularity of desktop virtualization. Increasing user mobility combined with an explosion of mobile devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets etc.) is transforming how, where and when we work. These external forces are increasing enterprise velocity for “Going virtual” to deliver desktops and apps. “Going virtual” means ultimate flexibility for users - work from anywhere, any device and with a HD user experience. At the same time, “Going virtual” means ultimate control for IT-- control desktops and apps centrally, simplify updates/patches once for all users and adapt to adds/moves/changes in minutes.

This year, Citrix XenDesktop has gained momentum and further strengthened its leadership in the very hot market for desktop virtualization. XenDesktop  has won many prestigious awards  and is the only product with the 100% Burton Group Enterprise Ready certification. With over 3 million seats sold in the first six months of 2010 and production deployments in more than half of the Fortune 100, it has also become the clear #1 market share leader.

This new partnership between Citrix and Cisco adds to the “tailwinds”, further growing and accelerating the desktop virtualization market by leveraging the strengths of two industry leaders; and furthering XenDesktop leadership in the industry.


As customers of all sizes move to desktop virtualization enterprise-wide, they are increasingly asking for simpler and more scalable solutions.  The new Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solution with Citrix XenDesktop is the direct result of customers asking for an integrated solution based on XenDesktop. It is the first to combine software, hardware and support giving IT organizations an easy way to accelerate the adoption of desktop virtualization. Because it’s based on XenDesktop, it goes beyond VDI to deliver any mix of virtual desktops/apps via Flexcast™, to any device, with a brilliant HD user experience. And because it incorporates the innovative new Cisco UCS platform, it features a highly efficient datacenter infrastructure that’s scalable, cost-effective and perfectly suited for desktop virtualization.  

Key highlights of the joint solution:

  • Pre-configured service profiles  for hosted shared and hosted VDI desktops to speed setup and deployment
  • Simplified packaging to get started with the first 300 desktops; expansion packs to scale to tens of thousands of desktops in a plug-n-play, modular fashion
  • Cisco validated design and reference architecture based on joint interoperability and scalability testing to accelerate enterprise-wide implementations
  • Single support number to provide a smooth customer experience

The new solution features the advanced I/O and extended memory management capabilities of the Cisco UCS system, making it very suitable for desktop virtualization, especially memory-intensive VDI-based desktops running Windows 7. In this type of scenario, UCS can deliver 60% greater user density per server compared to other comparable platforms, resulting in 20% lower cost of server and network infrastructure per user.


For the first time, customers have a comprehensive desktop virtualization solution that combines market leading software and hardware, a complete set of deployment templates, starter kits, expansion packs, validated reference architectures … all with a single number to call for support. This dramatically simplifies the process of deploying, configuring, supporting and scaling desktop virtualization enterprise-wide.

The solution leverages XenDesktop’s open architecture, making it easy for customers to take advantage of their existing infrastructure investments in storage, hypervisors and desktop management. With XenDesktop, customers can integrate their desktop virtualization deployments with Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, App-V and Systems Center. In addition, the solution supports all of the 10,000 Citrix Ready products currently verified to work with XenDesktop – including security products, peripherals and end-point devices.

Such a partnership makes desktop virtualization easier to deploy, support and scale. It increases customer confidence and expands choice.

When customers win, we all win.

Citrix and Cisco will bring the joint solution to market through selected partners and an extensive go-to-market strategy.

Best Regards

Raj Dhingra

GM, Desktop Virtualization.


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For more information on the joint solution, visit

For current Citrix channel partners interested in selling the the joint solution, visit