DC Partner - Citrix

Citrix and Cisco: Delivering the New Workspace Solution Overview

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What You Will Learn

The Cisco® Virtual Workspace (VXI) Smart Solution with Citrix XenDesktop defines the new workspace. Together Cisco and Citrix deliver an industry-leading virtual desktop experience with outstanding digital interactive multimedia, voice, video, and applications delivered anywhere, anytime, and on any device. This jointly validated end-to-end solution delivers virtual desktops and applications with uncompromised performance, reliability, and security.

Challenge: A Workforce in Constant Motion

The modern workforce is undeniably mobile. This mobility along with the need for constant communication and collaboration in an increasingly competitive environment has placed new pressure on IT managers to provide relevant IT services. Use of resources to constantly update, patch, and refresh physical PCs to support Microsoft Windows upgrades, add features, increase performance, or address security threats regularly disrupts users without any perceived benefit. Physical shipment of PCs and infrastructure to offshore workers, branch offices, and newly merged or acquired entities causes long delays on important initiatives, resulting in potential lost profits, loss of competitive advantage, and loss of productivity.

Complicating matters, increased mobility and a proliferation of consumer devices are inundating the corporate environment. Users want to employ their choice of devices, and they need access to their applications and data from anywhere, at any time. The requirements of digital interactive multimedia, or rich media, for both collaboration and daily tasks mean that multimedia performance is also critical. Companies are finding that they can no longer require users to work from the office or limit remote access, because these methods result in reduced productivity and higher barriers to finding and retaining talent. For some user workgroups, attempts to standardize endpoint devices to address security and manageability concerns can also cause end-user frustration due to lack of flexibility and choice. To meet the demands of a more mobile and interactive workforce, the user desktop needs to follow the path of other IT resources and become centralized, virtualized, and flexible to meet a range of use cases on multiple devices: from simple messaging to a complete workspace including voice and video. To accommodate changing work styles, these capabilities need to be delivered securely wherever work is performed, over a network optimized to help ensure an uncompromised user experience (Figure 1).

Figure 1.      Challenges of the Modern Workplace

For many organizations, the dramatic shift in the way that user desktops and applications are delivered can create a challenge for IT. Traditional distributed computing and desktop management requires the integration of multiple-vendor solutions, which increases complexity, costs, and time-to-market. Meanwhile, data is moving outside the corporate network, on different devices, increasing concerns about data privacy, regulatory compliance, and security. To meet user expectations for interactive performance, data centers need to provide ubiquitous high performance over a variety of networks while supporting rich media and data-intensive applications. Unfortunately, existing data center, network, security, and communications infrastructure often is not optimized to best support unified workspace environments.

To address these challenges, Citrix and Cisco are working together to integrate and optimize their technologies and solutions across data center, network, and collaboration architectures to offer best-in-class solutions that virtualize the entire end-to-end-workspace. Together, Cisco and Citrix are working to ease and accelerate enterprisewide adoption of desktop virtualization and the new virtual workspace, while delivering exceptional performance, reliability, and security.

Citrix and Cisco: Better Together

Citrix and Cisco share a complementary and evolutionary vision, bringing together desktop virtualization and collaboration in a new unified workspace. The combined Citrix and Cisco solution is:

   Better for people

   Better for IT

   Better for business

Citrix XenDesktop is a desktop virtualization solution that transforms Microsoft Windows desktops and applications into on-demand services available to any user, anywhere, and on any device. To enable virtual work styles, Citrix XenDesktop allows IT to securely deliver individual Microsoft Windows, web, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, or full virtual desktops, to PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones, laptops, and thin clients - all with a high-definition user experience. The latest mobile devices can be deployed to promote innovation throughout the business and to allow the organization to rapidly adapt to changes. Fast and flexible desktop delivery helps organizations quickly respond to off-shoring, mergers and acquisitions, and branch-office expansion. Citrix XenDesktop transforms desktop computing to centralize the delivery, management, and security of virtual desktops.

To address the challenges of deploying desktop virtualization with traditional infrastructure, the Cisco Virtual Workspace (VXI) Smart Solution provides an end-to-end systems approach that delivers the new virtual workspace by enabling user mobility, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) capability, collaboration, and integrated interactive voice and video. The Cisco Virtual Workspace (VXI) Smart Solution delivers a superior collaboration and rich media user experience with best-in-class return on investment (ROI) in a fully integrated, open, and validated desktop virtualization solution (Figure 2).

Figure 2.      Citrix and Cisco Offer a Validated End-to-End Virtualization Solution That Combines Optimized Infrastructure and a Rich End-User Experience with a Choice of Endpoints, Hypervisors, and Storage

Cisco and Citrix continue to engage in cooperative development and exploration of new opportunities for technology integration in critical areas, including solutions to:

   Create data center success with the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS®) and Citrix XenDesktop

   Optimize the Cisco network for Citrix XenDesktop

   Provide improved device support for voice and video with the Cisco Jabber platform for virtual environments (Cisco Virtualization Experience Client [VXC])

   Strengthen both companies’ commitment to cloud computing

Thus far, the results of this collaboration are validated end-to-end workspace virtualization solutions consisting of a virtualized data center, a virtualization-aware borderless network, and a virtualized collaborative workspace, all with centralized policy management, as shown in Figure 2.

Better for People

To be effective, any desktop virtualization solution must provide a highly interactive experience that enables users to communicate and collaborate. Citrix and Cisco provide a high-quality experience on any device in any location to enable users to:

   Work and collaborate from anywhere: Over a billion consumer- and company-owned devices around the world can access secure desktops and Microsoft Windows, web, and SaaS applications through Citrix Receiver, enabling new virtual work styles, business continuity, and user mobility.

   Connect to virtual desktop and cloud services: On-demand access provides an instant and transparent user experience for desktop, applications, collaboration tools, and data, regardless of the end-user’s device or location. The desktop services and experience are tailored to the user’s role and relationship with the company.

   Achieve a high-definition user experience: Citrix and Cisco together provide consistent, corporate desktop-like performance on any device, anywhere, and at any time. Desktop services and data are always available, even after a dropped connection or device failure.

Better for IT

Data center IT departments need infrastructure solutions that do not complicate their work or put their operations at risk. The Cisco Virtual Workspace (VXI) Smart Solution with Citrix solution delivers:

   A validated, tested, and supported solution: With Citrix and Cisco, management and deployment are simplified with a single, integrated, validated, and tested desktop virtualization and rich media solution that spans the data center, the network, and the end device.

   Scalable infrastructure: The Citrix and Cisco solution is based on open standards and is balanced for scalability, extensibility, and modularity. Balancing and optimizing memory, I/O, and CPU, the solution enables organizations to deploy more desktops per server while working with leading storage solutions, hypervisors, value-added solutions, and external cloud services.

   Simplified management: Centralized infrastructure, desktop, and application management provides rapid provisioning of resources and services, simplified help desk support, and better control of the entire environment, focusing resources and reducing costs.

   Security by design: With a centralized approach, user data can be more easily and cost-effectively protected from loss, corruption, and theft. Extensive role-based access control (RBAC) enables detailed control and enforcement to help ensure that intellectual property and privacy are protected.

Better for Business

Businesses need desktop virtualization solutions that enhance agility and productivity while lowering operating costs and protecting corporate data. The new workspace solution from Citrix and Cisco delivers:

   Greater agility and productivity: By empowering users to become more productive and enabling data center IT to become more responsive to changing demands, the organization gains greater agility to respond to changing business conditions and competition.

   Lower operating costs: By deploying more virtual desktops per server, the joint solution costs at least 20 percent less than competitive solutions, in part because of its radically simplified architecture. Organizations can reduce physical desktop costs while they simplify desktop management, provide better resource utilization, and increase environmental savings.

   Protection of intellectual property: Because all desktops are centrally managed, compliance control is much easier to implement, and corporate security policies are extended to virtual environments with comprehensive security access control and auditing capabilities.


Together, Citrix and Cisco ease and accelerate the adoption of desktop virtualization and the new workspace while delivering performance, reliability, and scalability.

For More Information

To learn more, visit or speak with your Cisco and Citrix representatives to schedule an assessment or discuss a proof-of-concept (POC) deployment.