September 03, 2012, 7:58 AM — What is interesting about Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) efforts is that they are more effectively driving thin client solutions than the thin client movement itself did a decade or so ago. This is because the variety of devices, combined with the lack of focus on business requirements by Apple, has made it untenable to support each device individually.
As a result, IT departments are aggressively exploring alternatives that provide the experience users want on their devices-largely iPads, iPhones and Android smartphones-without causing support organizations to implode. The leading contenders are virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and desktop virtualization.
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A lot of vendors were chasing this opportunity at VMworld 2012. Let's look at the different approaches from Dell and the partnership between Cisco Systems and EMC.
Cisco, EMC Focus on Low Latency
The Cisco/EMC/VMware collaboration known as the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) is one of the more interesting initiatives currently in market because it showcases strong technology and a unique partnering method.
VCE was designed as a way to get the benefits of a firm such as IBM or HP without the self-limitations, internal conflicts and bureaucracy a large umbrella organization brings with it. Most partnerships are little more than press events and don't weather the test of time. The VCE partnership is far different-the company even has its own CEO.
This relationship was leveraged to create a unique VDI solution in which EMC developed optimized storage products and tied them to Cisco's already optimized servers. Cisco came late to the party but added the perspective of a communications vendor. Unlike most servers, which are optimized for raw performance, Cisco's are optimized to minimize latency. This is critical for the VCE platform's unified communications goals.
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