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.