Look closely at the photo above and you’ll notice something missing in terms of a usual workstation setup … the PC itself. Its not hidden under the desk , but infact behind the phone.
I’ve been able to get my hands on one of the Cisco VXC 2111 Series thin clients. These clients are part of Cisco’s virtualisation experience infrastructure (VXI) strategy and come in a number of flavours. The one above is designed to integrate with the 9971 phone it is attached to and should you have a suitably juicy PoE+ setup be powered from it too. Cisco are able to supply the clients with a PCoIP or HDX firmware in order to connect to your VMware View or Xen Desktop based solution.
For those without a suitable phone , there is a micro tower form factor available. I’ve only had time to build a view environment for the client to talk to but its been very painless so far ( short of finding a USB keyboard ! ) What would be great is to be able to see some tighter integration between the phone and client but I don’t believe it is available at this stage. I can see this being great for the contract center business – although the key differentiator is only currently due to the physical integration with the phone to reduce desktop clutter – although if you had a more conventional thin client solution you could use softphones and eliminate the phone itself so the benefit is possibly a little clouded. Its almost certainly a big step in the right direction and illustrates Cisco’s commitment to Desktop Virtualisation. The “year of VDI” might not be here , but with big vendors getting behind it like this, it surely can’t be far away.
I’ve recently come across a great use case for VMware thin provisioning which I felt worthy of sharing , not so much as a “how to” guide as I’m sure that thin provisioning has been covered before , but more of a proven use case.
The Latest and greatest version of Cisco Secure ACS can be shipped as an appliance where it will colour co ordinate with all of the other “cornflower blue” devices in your datacenter ( what is the official name of Cisco Blue anyhow ? )
And a lovely little box it is too , but underneath the covers , its just an x86 server and ripe for hosting on your virtual infrastructure. Being the forward thinking chaps that Cisco are , they make ACS available as a VM , which is fantastic , but they mandate that the VM has the same hardware spec as the appliance. Such so that if you attempt to install the software onto a VM that does not meet those requirements it will go into evaluation mode.
I have no doubt that there will be situations and environments that will require all 500GB of drive space that the ACS appliance requires & will also require 4GB of Memory and dual vCPU. However being a fan of the concept of one size not necessarily fitting all I was asked how I could deploy the appliance into an environment that had enough drive space to hold the required logs , but not the full 500 Gb. Concerns were also made about allocating that much RAM to the VM.
One thin provisioned volume later and I have a fully functioning ACS VM that will meet the clients requirements without having to purchase additional storage.
And this time its not because I’ve passed a certification , in fact I recently sat the beta for the new VMware Certified Associate , Desktop exam – covering much of the things a VMware View 4.5 Admin would do on a day to day basis. Not being a View admin I found it a little harder than that , but time will tell 🙂
The reason for new cards is a change of role – I might have let it slip on twitter / linked in during my notice period that I was moving on from my current position with Delloite to pastures new. I won’t be eating one of my former blogs , which may or may not be gently poking fun at the “bloggers in bowling shirts” from EMC either as I’m still not a vSpecialist! I’ve had a fantastic 4 and a bit years in my current role , taking my from “just another windows engineer” to really finding my niche in virtualisation and a bit of a segway into social media!
I shall be starting tomorrow with ONI , one of the UK’s fastest growing Cisco Partners as a project engineer within the Datacenter Team. I have some pretty big boots to fill as the rest of the team all hold the Cisco CCIE certification , so as the token non-networky guy, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little apprehensive about working with quite such a smart team ! With the two VCAP exams under my belt , I’d like to think that a VCDX will show that I’m capable of running at the same speed.
I will still be continuing to blog and record the podcast , hopefully with some new experiences as I get to grips with the UCS range of Kit and some equally shiny storage to hook it up to. While I’ve had a great time as an infrastructure architect , I am missing getting my hands dirty with systems so the change is very much welcome.