If you didn’t see the announcement earlier this week our friends at Cisco put out a press release announcing the Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) and we here on the View team couldn’t be more excited. With this infrastructure Cisco is setting out to simplify desktop virtualization and improve virtual collaboration solutions both of which I think are critical to helping customers with the adoption of desktop virtualization solutions like View.
View is an important part for the VXI story and the reference architecture that is built around it which pulls together a multi vendor solution across a slew of partners. Technologies in the RA include View, network infrastructure, server, storage, end points and applications to deliver rich media and collaboration capabilities. With this blueprint, Cisco, VMware and the others are working to break down the components so customers can get down to the real value and benefit from of these solutions.
A few new end point devices are also included in the announcement. The first is the Cius enterprise tablet (an Android device) which you may have seen announced earlier in the year at CiscoLive. In addition Cisco is bringing 2 new zero clients to market. The first, VXC 1110, is really pushing the footprint reduction envelope by delivering a thin client integrated with a Cisco IP phone. The VXC 1120 is not quite as cool but still offers zero client capabilities in a small form factor. VMware has plans to support all three devices with View next year when they start shipping.
You’ll be hearing more from us on the joint solutions with Cisco over the coming months and, as you may have noticed, we’re also planning on supporting their Cius Android based device. Expect to hear more on that and our plans for the iPad here too. In the meantime leave a comment letting us know what you think about the VXI solution.
As was noted in a recent blog about the federal market, every VMware View deployment starts with the use case. The first thing I usually ask is “What am I trying to fix?” Once I know what I am trying to fix I can then work towards delivering the right solution for the customer.
With that said, as I talked to Federal customers, I was seeing few important features come up that were needed in order to address the use cases common across this space. VMware recently announced the GA release of View 4.5 which, in particular, was of great importance to the Federal customer base as it introduced features that directly addressed use cases within the Federal Government and specifically for DOD environments. These features include:
SmartCard support (better known as CAC and PIV) for the PCoIP display protocol - With the introduction of SmartCard integration with the PCoIP display protocol Federal IT teams will be able to leverage the VMware View infrastructure to address use cases such as Teleworking, Multi Security Environments, Kiosk deployments and most importantly the implementation of Zero Clients.
FIPS 140-2 Certification of the PCoIP protocol - With the View 4.5 release VMware made a commitment to certify the protocol with FIPS validated crypto modules. VMware has submitted our package to be certified which goes a long way to show the dedication of VMware and the View solution in the Federal market.
View Client with Local Mode & CAC support - This allows agencies to use View managed desktops in a distributed environment, leveraging local compute resources while giving users the ability to access their desktop even without a network connection. Local Mode gives users the ability to move their virtual machine from the data center to the local endpoint device so that they can work even while offline (like when they're traveling or on an airplane). the desktop image is completely encrypted and secure and IT can extend policy to the desktop even while offline. This provides security assurance for IT while enabling flexibility to end-users.
With these enhancements in the View 4.5 release you can see that VMware is dedicated to delivering capabilities and solutions targeted at Federal use cases (among others). I think the real proof is in the customer interest that we're seeing now that View 4.5 is out and available. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the features mentioned above, the others in View 4.5 and how they're helping you to address use cases in your organization.