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Is Cisco the New 800 Pound Gorilla of VDI?

By Alan Sears | Jul 25, 2011 | Business, Insights

I came across an article recently that asked if Cisco was the new 800 pound gorilla of client virtualization. Now Cisco has long been labeled as the 800 pound gorilla of networking, but as a relative newcomer to the data center and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) space, could they be crowned the heavy-weight champion already? And what is an 800 pound gorilla anyway?

While the picture certainly lends some creative imagery to the phrase, urbandictionary.com defines it as “A seemingly unbeatable presence always to be reckoned with; whose experience, influence, and skill threatens to defeat competitors with little effort.” I am sure the expression can be traced back to the riddle: “Where does an 800 pound gorilla sleep?” with the answer being “Anywhere it wants to.” However, in actuality, gorillas only grow to be at most about 450 pounds.

So has Cisco earned this title yet? Client virtualization is still an emerging market, but with Cisco’s hat in the ring, you can bet more and more companies will be hearing about the benefits of VDI, as the powerful engine of Cisco’s direct sales force and channel partners take the messaging to the street. This alone will drive growth in the client virtualization market as a whole, giving legitimacy to competitive solutions as the concept becomes more mainstream thanks to Cisco. With Cisco already demonstrating its ability to deliver superior data center solutions with the Unified Computing System (UCS) platform back in the server room rack, having an end-to-end solution with end point devices on the desktop is a play that is very familiar to Cisco from their Unified Communications IP phone systems… and Cisco is now the number one provider of enterprise phone systems in the world.

Add to that the differentiating architecture of Cisco’s Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI), which is a combination of new products and partner solutions to deliver rich media content to VDI end users without compromising the concept of the thin client, and Cisco pulls into its virtualization solution the success and experience of Unified Communications. Can you hear Cisco beating its chest?

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