Cisco Live Q&A – Natalie Lambert of Citrix on Desktop Virtualization Trends, Obstacles, and Opportunities


Last September Cisco and Citrix announced the first desktop virtualization Cisco Validated Design (CVD) to help customers implement standard, repeatable architectures for XenDesktop with NetApp storage. Many saw this as an indicator that desktop virtualization was (finally!) reaching a tipping point, a perception strengthened with Cisco’s November launch of its Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) vision and our joint release of FlexPod. Cisco and NetApp now offer Citrix XenDesktop on FlexPod and joint customers worldwide are deploying and benefiting from our 3-way solutions.

I finally had the opportunity to meet Citrix director of product marketing Natalie Lambert in person here at Cisco Live shortly before we jointly recorded a Cisco Live TechMinute with Cisco’s Doug Dooley. We talked about this being the first year that Citrix has a presence at Cisco Live and the impact of Cisco’s emphasis on desktop virtualization. As Natalie put it, “When Cisco talks about desktop virtualization, people really listen.

Natalie absolutely gets the criticality of storage to a successful desktop virtualization project:

Let’s face it – storage is one of the biggest obstacles to get over with a new desktop virtualization deployment because it is generally not a cost that is adequately planned for. People look at traditional desktops with their “free” storage and assume that virtual desktop storage will be the same — cheap, if not free. Often it’s just not a consideration until it is too late and then there’s no funding available. As we continue to bring desktop virtualization mainstream, storage is one of the most significant areas we must educate on and then simplify for our customers.”

Our three-way solution can deliver 20% lower cost for compute and network infrastructure, 60% greater virtual desktop density with no effect on performance, up to 95% storage space savings, and the ability to provision 1000’s of desktops in minutes. The scalability is incredible; check out Scaling without Sacrifice: Cisco UCS/Citrix/NetApp.”

Natalie is featured in the following Cisco TechMinute, where she highlights a number of specifics around Desktop Virtualization including…

  • Current desktop virtualization drivers
  • Hidden obstacles of desktop virtualization
  • How CVDs and FlexPod reduce risk and speed deployments
  • Triple V: enterprise-class voice, video and a virtual desktop
  • How rich media technologies are being added to virtual desktop experience

If you’re considering desktop virtualization or Citrix technologies you should also make a point to check out Citrix’s booth & sessions at CiscoLive.

I’d also absolutely recommend dropping by Wyse booth #1139 where MTM Technologies is demonstrating VXI/XenDesktop and Cisco UC over a WAN using the FlexPod in their Boston lab. In 8 minutes MTM showed high performance streaming media on a virtual desktop connected to a remote FlexPod system over a WAN in an environment also running local VOIP traffic.

Finally, end user blogger Mike Stanley is in the process of deploying XenDesktop on FlexPod and documenting his team’s experience at SingleMaltCloud. Mike’s blog offers a highly transparent, in-the-trenches perspective into a real-world deployment. Definitely worth bookmarking.

We’ve had a number of great interviews from Cisco Live with more on the way (even though the show is wrapping up)! Here’s other interviews from our series.

The official NetApp at Cisco Live site highlights Cisco & NetApp speaking sessions, demos in the NetApp, Cisco and Wyse booths, our prize patrol and much more. We’re regularly updating our ‘Who to Follow for FlexPod at Cisco Live‘ list plus you can find the latest blog posts, pictures and updates on the FlexPod FaceBook page.

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