Last week Citrix turned a few heads by announcing a brand new partnership with Cisco to deliver XenDesktop on Unified Computing System (UCS), powered by NetApp storage.
As a key promise of fabric computing, Citrix, Cisco and NetApp will jointly validate the infrastructure, providing a reference architecture and a Starter Kit to deliver an entry-level 300 virtual desktops environment. An Expansion Kit will also be available to scale to thousands of virtual desktops.
The companies will also provide shared support and training.
Probably the best part of this upcoming solution is that customers are free to select their back-end hypervisor: initially only Citrix XenServer and VMware ESX will be supported, while Microsoft Hyper-V will be added at a later time.
The reason why this announcement is so relevant is the pretty tight partnership that Cisco has with VMware, on UCS, on the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) Coalition, and on the Acadia joint venture. Plus, Cisco has invested in VMware more than $160M.
Of course, in the era of co-opetion, there’s no reason why Cisco shouldn’t partner with Citrix but still, it’s surprising that it’s doing so where VMware seems more vulnerable right now.
No words on when the solution will be available on the market.