Cisco and Citrix Form Strategic Alliance to Deliver Rich-Media-Enabled Virtual Desktops

Companies collaborate to deliver solutions that help enterprises accelerate mainstream adoption of desktop virtualization

Cisco and Citrix Systems today announced that they have entered into a strategic alliance to develop and deliver solutions that help customers simplify and accelerate large-scale desktop virtualization deployments. Through this alliance, Cisco and Citrix will drive innovations that simplify the deployment of high-definition virtual desktops and applications and improve end-user experiences over a highly secure Citrix HDX™-enabled Cisco® network. The companies will also continue to enhance and build upon their data center solutions and cloud technologies to help accelerate deployment of cloud services.

As the industry transitions from the PC era to the cloud era where mobile work forces need to access media-rich applications from any device, anywhere, anytime, enterprises are turning to desktop virtualization to give them the benefits of the security, flexibility and cost-savings by delivering desktops and applications as a centralized service. Innovative solutions like Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) with Citrix XenDesktop® span desktop virtualization, networking, datacenter, multimedia and endpoint devices to support customers through this transition.

Delivering Virtual Desktops Services Anywhere, Anytime on Any Device
Combining Cisco leadership in networking, datacenter, endpoint devices and collaboration, with Citrix leadership in virtualization and the delivery of desktops, applications and data, this alliance is aimed at delivering solutions that help enterprises easily and cost effectively deploy virtual desktops to millions of PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones and thin clients. This alliance will also deliver data center solutions that make it easier for organizations to deploy the infrastructure required to deliver IT as a service across multiple networks and geographies. Cisco and Citrix are committed to collaborating and exploring innovative new technology integrations in key areas such as:

  • Enhancing Cisco networking products with full support for Citrix HDX Technology: The companies are committed to  supporting Citrix HDX technology in targeted Cisco industry-leading networking solutions to deliver an enhanced high-definition experience for users of Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp™ solutions.

    As the first result of the strategic alliance agreement, Cisco will deliver a new release of Cisco Wide Area Application Services™ (WAAS) optimized for Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix HDX technology in the fourth quarter of this year. Announced today as part of the next phase of Cisco’s VXI, an open, validated virtual workspace solution, WAAS will further enhance the performance of virtual desktops and applications over Cisco networking infrastructure (see related announcement).

  • Enhanced device and integrated multimedia support: Cisco and Citrix will collaborate to  deliver an optimized user experience for virtual desktops and applications for Cisco endpoint devices. This will include collaboration across Cisco rich media, voice, video and collaboration endpoint devices such as the Cisco Virtual Experience Clients (VXCs) and the Cisco Cius™ enterprise tablet – with the virtual desktop and application capabilities of Citrix XenDesktop, and the Citrix Receiver™ universal software client.
  • Accelerating Datacenter Innovation with Cisco UCS, Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenServer: Over the past year, Cisco and Citrix have been bringing the reality of virtual desktop computing to our customers. With the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS™) extended memory and Unified Fabric Cisco and Citrix virtual desktop solutions, the companies deliver the industry’s highest virtual desktop densities and best performance available on the market today. Building on this success, the companies will continue to extend the collaboration to drive further design validation and optimization enhancements with Cisco UCS and XenDesktop and Citrix XenServer®.

Joint Go-To-Market Investment
In addition, the two companies will invest in joint go-to-market activities that will focus on driving primary product and services demand in high growth market areas such as desktop virtualization and cloud markets.

During Citrix Synergy in Barcelona taking place on October 25 – 27, Cisco will be showcasing the first deliverables of this strategic alliance and other VXI solutions at the Cisco stand # 204.

Joint Customer Success Fuels Expanded Collaboration
Early successes of the companies’ collaboration around desktop virtualization are evident with Seattle Children’s Hospital and University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

  • The University of Tennessee at Knoxville selected Citrix XenDesktop running on Cisco infrastructure to provide free, anytime access to desktops, applications, resources and personal files to more than 27,000 students. (Link to the announcement)
  • To provide a faster, more mobile and fully transparent computing experience for its practitioners, Seattle Children’s Hospital recently selected hosted virtual desktops powered by Citrix XenDesktop and the Cisco Unified Computing System. Today, nearly 5,500 workstations have been transitioned throughout the hospital. (Link to case study)

Supporting Quotes
Phil Sherburne, vice president, Enterprise Systems and Architectures, Cisco
“Cisco is collaborating with Citrix on a broad range of virtualization technologies. Our first deliverables will be focused on giving end users a rich multimedia experience of voice, video and data on their virtual desktops and apps over the Cisco Intelligent Network, so that from any device from wherever they are, IT managers can deliver the same superior experience at a lower cost.”

Bob Schultz, group vice president and general manager, Enterprise Desktops and Apps group at Citrix
“Citrix and Cisco have completed the first year of a very successful collaboration in desktop virtualization that has helped to expand the market and accelerate the success of customers worldwide. This expanded agreement will lay the groundwork to deliver a wide range of market-leading, integrated solutions that allow customers to embrace consumerization and deliver IT services with unparalleled efficiency and impact.”