Unified Communications (UC) solutions are fast replacing traditional phone systems in many enterprises.

Jabber® is Cisco’s flagship Unified Communications client, supporting presence, instant messaging (IM), desktop sharing and audio-video conferencing.

The key to delivering UC clients like Jabber at scale from a virtualized workspace is to offload the media processing to the user device whenever possible.

So, is there an ‘HDX RealTime Optimization Pack for Cisco Jabber’, equivalent to the HDX RealTime Optimization Pack for Microsoft Skype for Business? Yes! Cisco calls it the Virtualization Experience Media Edition, or VXME for short. Cisco Jabber screen cap

Cisco reports that deployments of the Jabber VXME optimization pack have been rising significantly over the past 12 months as organizations are virtualizing their environments at an accelerating rate, and the Q4 2015 survey from Wainhouse Research on Unified Communications deployments confirms this trend.

Cisco and Citrix recently expanded the ecosystem for this optimized solution with the release of VXME 11.5.1 for SUSE Linux, Windows and (for the first time) Unicon eLux. This VXME release is compatible with Jabber for Windows 11.5.x-11.6.x, supports the latest Jabber capabilities and delivers an uncompromised user experience. This is unquestionably the best way to deliver Jabber from XenApp and XenDesktop.

The architecture of this solution closely resembles that of the HDX RealTime Optimization Pack (RTOP) for Skype for Business. There is a VXME Agent (analogous to the RTOP Connector) that you install alongside the hosted Jabber client, and a VXME Client (media engine) that runs as a plug-in to the Citrix Receiver on the user device. Authentication is handled by the Jabber client running on the XenApp or XenDesktop server. Media processing is all done on the user device.

Video processing is particularly CPU-intensive, so offloading it from the XenApp or XenDesktop server to the user device is a great boost to user density. In addition to maximizing scalability, this optimized architecture has performance and management benefits. Audio-video quality is preserved by avoiding “hairpinning” of the media traffic through the XenApp or XenDesktop server. The only traffic to go over the virtual channel between the Jabber client and the user device is signaling information; audio-video traffic travels directly to the other party to the call or to the conference bridge in the case of a multi-party call. Centralization of the Jabber client simplifies provisioning, software updates and administration.

Deployment Models:

Cisco has prepared the following illustrations of the deployment models for XenDesktop (Windows workstation desktops) and XenApp (Windows Server hosted desktops):

Citrix XenDesktop

Cisco Jabber on XenDesktop

Citrix XenApp Server-Hosted Desktop

Cisco Jabber on XenApp

Patrick Eustace, Product Manager at Cisco for VXME, has provided the following highlights of the new VXME 11.5 release for SUSE Linux, eLux Linux and Windows:

  • Support for Cisco Jabber 11.5.0 through 11.6.x
  • Support for SUSE Linux and the following Dell Wyse thin clients: D50D, Z50D, D50Q, Z50Q, Z50QQ
  • Support for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, WES7 (32/64-bit), WES8 (64-bit)
  • Support for Unicon eLux operating system (4.8 & 5.0)
  • HP WES Kiosk Mode
  • Increased Security and Certification
  • Alignment with Jabber for Windows Audio/Video Options Tab
  • Accessory Management
  • Peak Meters
  • Accessory Priority List
  • IM Session Desktop Share (RDP)
  • SSO Support (no Kerberos/CAC)
  • Personal Ringtone
  • VXME Phone Connection Status
  • Resizable Self-View on Video Calls
  • Support for VXME Client-Side Telemetry Data (not including calls)
  • Support for Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp 7.6 (LTSR)
  • Support for CUCM 10.5(2)
  • Support for G.722 codec

Endpoint Operating Systems Supported:

 Dell Wyse SUSE Linux D50D, Z50D, D50Q, Z50Q, Z50QQ
 Windows 7, 8.x Hardware specifications based
 Windows Embedded 7 (32/64 bit),
Windows Embedded 8 (64 bit)
 Unicon eLux Linux
 WIndows 10 (32/64 bit)

Virtual Desktop Operating Systems Supported:
Windows 7, Windows 8.x, Windows 10

For more information on VXME and the Jabber portfolio see https://help.webex.com/community/jabber.

Derek Thorslund
Director of Product Management, HDX

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