The tie-up between Citrix and Cisco is an intriguing one. Cisco after all is the company that tied up with VMware and EMC last year and all its expertise and interest has been on server side - well, so far it has.

A joint-offering to roll out desktop virtualisation, greatly simplifying the process and offering templates for 300 users is guaranteed to grab attention. It could be said that the fact there’s a need for such an offering is an indication that desktop virtualisation has proved to be too complex for many users, although Citrix senior director James McNab denies this. “It’s not overly complex but at the same time, when you implement desktop virtualisation you can’t just rip out desktops.

You can’t really argue with the Citrix, the company certainly seems to be winning the war with VMware when it comes to the desktop. Just last week, VMware threw in the towel in its attempt to produce a bare-metal hypervisor that competed with Citrix’s offering in this space.

But the Citrix/Cisco tie-up takes things a lot further and could prove to be a real winner for both companies. For one thing, it gives some real credibility to Citrix - who might be well known to the techies but don’t have the recognition among the CIOs and business executives that its competitors have: Cisco has that presence in spades and that is going to rub off on Citrix.

But Cisco benefits too, it gains a presence in the all-important desktop virtualisation space, an area that’s growing in importance, now that most enterprises have already taken their first steps into server virtualisation.  To have a foot in both server and desktop camps - and with the dominant player in each is going to serve Cisco very well.

And, at the same time, it’s good news for the customers. A move that’s going to make desktop virtualisation more manageable is going to have a lot of appeal. So, everyone wins - except VMware of course.

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