In talking to our customers, one of the things that I hear consistently is that customers appreciate our open solution stack. What does that mean? Well, a couple of things—first of all, it means that our innovations are individually available—you can connect a UCS to any upstream Ethernet and Fibre Channel switch, you can connect the server of your choice to a Nexus switch and still take advantage of OTV, FabricPath or unified fabric and you can run the Nexus 1000V in pretty much any hardware environment supported by vSphere.
The other thing this means is that we build solutions stacks with insertion points for our partners so our customers can take advantage our our solutions while still working with their favorite data center vendors. Both Vblocks (Cisco, EMC, VMware) and SMT (Cisco, NetApp, VMWare) were initial examples of this approach.
Today, we are adding to the list with a newly announced desktop virtualization solution developed in partnership with Citrix. Desktop virtualization is taking off with our customer for a number of reasons from reducing costs, to faster app deployment, to improving regulatory compliance and we have been listening to what our customers have been asking for.
The new solution with Citrix XenDesktop combines Cisco UCS and Citrix desktop virtualization technologies including FlexCast™ and HDX™, to deliver a cost-effective, scalable and high-performance solution for hosting, securing and optimizing the delivery of virtual desktops and applications.
Of course, we are not going to roll out a me-too solution….
Our initial testing shows that our Citrix VDI solution can save at least 20% over competing solutions. Much of this cost advantage can be linked to the fact that we can deliver 60% greater virtual desktop density with our extended memory technology without a loss of performance. Beyond the infrastructure costs noted below, other Cisco advantages like UCS Manager service profiles also simplify and accelerate deployment and management and contribute to reduction of overall TCO.
|1,500 Seats||Cisco||Vendor A||Vendor B|
|Server Networking and Infrastructure||$48,129||$64,437||$93,128|
|Compute - Management Nodes||$13,621||$19,883||$20,157|
|Compute - Desktop Nodes||$247,708||$289,325||$264,102|
|Cost per Seat for 1,500 Seats||$206||$249||$252|
|5,000 Seats||Cisco||Vendor A||Vendor B|
|Server Networking and Infrastructure||$102,425||$128,873||$186,256|
|Compute - Management Nodes||$27,242||$39,766||$40,313|
|Compute - Desktop Nodes||$825,692||$964,417||$880,339|
|Cost per Seat for 5,000 Seats||$191||$227||$221|
This analysis is based on a comparison of like-to-like configurations with other compute manufacturers and assumes equivalent configurations result in the same number of seats.
The analysis is based upon ASPs as of 8/30/2010. Server Networking and Infrastructure includes chassis and server networking infrastructure necessary for a working system.
Management nodes are comprised of 48GB servers, X5670 CPUs and converged network adapters. Desktop nodes are comprise of 192GB servers, X5670 CPUs and converged network adapters.
The solution is validated with Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere™ today—you can expect support for Microsoft Hyper-V soon. For more details on the solution, including a validated design guide, check out this link where you will find a whole host of information. You should also check out this post by Raj Dhingra of Citrix.
To close, expect to see more of these kinds of solution stacks from Cisco and our ecosystem partners—for example, you can expect to see similar solutions in the near future with other members of our ecosystem. From a broader perspective, you can also expect to see more in from us in terms of more tightly aligning IT innovation and investments with specific business results.
By Omar Sultan