Last week, I attended the Cisco partner summit 2012 in San Diego. There were thousands of Cisco partners attending from 90 countries, and a lot of excitement in the air.
I have attended this event several times in the past, and the focus has always been almost exclusively on Cisco’s products. This year the focus is radically different. The conference is oriented on joint, integrated, best-of-breed “smart” solution architectures and “smart” services. It has been a welcome change to see top infrastructure vendors like Cisco, NetApp, VMware, Citrix, EMC and several others working together to create integrated solution offerings in private cloud, desktop virtualization and several other technology hotspots. Customers in both the private and public sectors have been clamoring for this collaboration for years.
There is a lot of buzz around virtual desktops in government, and the new trend towards building mobility/BYOD (“bring your own device”)/virtual workspace into the federal government’s plans to become a more efficient entity. The federal CIO Steven VanRoekel is also a big proponent of a more mobile public sector, in an effort to help increase workforce productivity.
At the conference, leaders from Cisco, NetApp and Citrix jointly presented a session on collaborative desktop virtualization using a combination of their products. Speakers also presented recent Gartner research predicting that 56 million new virtual desktops will be deployed by 2014. Additionally speakers shared that the joint Cisco-VMware-NetApp “FlexPod” private cloud solution has been quickly adopted by customers, with a 400% year over year growth. Virtual desktops are the #1 workload that customers are deploying on their FlexPods.
This technology has the potential to be a disruptive technology spurring innovation and enabling our federal government to be more mobile, agile and effective in their mission. I expect to see an increased adoption of VDI across the federal government for 2012 – 2015.
Are you seeing similar trends within your respective agencies? Let me hear your thoughts.