Skip to main content

SAN JOSE, Calif. (


) --



, which

sent shockwaves

through the tech sector

following its first-quarter results

, is ramping up its virtualization efforts, teaming with






to provide services on the company's

forthcoming Cius tablet


"There's an opportunity here for Cisco

in desktop virtualization" Barry O'Sullivan, senior vice president for Cisco's voice technology group, told


. Cisco, he explained, will support technology from VMware and Citrix on the


when it debuts in March. "You can use that as an endpoint for virtualization and run your whole Windows desktop virtualized," he added.

Virtualization, which lets users make virtual versions of their hardware and software, is seen as an effective way to keep desktops and laptops secure.

There had already been speculation that Cisco would tighten its relationship with VMware around the Cius, which marks the networking giant's entry into the tablet market. Unlike



iPad, the Cius is aimed at business users and is one of a number of new tablets running



Android operating system.

The tech giant also unveiled management software called virtualization experience Infrastructure (VXI) on Monday. Available now, VXI supports offerings such as Cisco's Collaboration and Unified Communications products, as well as Citrix's XenDesktop and VMware's View technologies. On the hardware side, Cisco took the wraps off two networking devices, the VXC 2100 and the VXC 2200, which can be used to provide virtualized desktop services. Both devices will be available in March.

Cisco clearly has no intention of ending its video mantra, unveiling new telepresence hardware on Monday. Telepresence, a form of video conferencing, has traditionally been associated with high-end systems located in conference rooms, although Cisco is now pushing this technology further downstream with the launch of its TelePresence EX60 and TelePresence System 500 devices.

With its 21-inch screen, the EX60 is a scaled-down version of Cisco's larger telepresence systems, and fits on top of a user's desk. The larger System 500 comes with a 32-inch screen. Both offerings will be available in December.

The networking giant is also adding high-definition video to Webex Web conferencing product, which will also be available in December. O'Sullivan told


that the enhanced version of Webex video will be launched on the iPad next month, and feature on Cisco's Cius tablet when it is debuts in March 2011

The plethora of product announcements contrasts Cisco's dour guidance,

which sent the company's shares into a tailspin

last week after the networking firm noted weakness in parts of its business.

Undeterred, like the rest of

Cisco's confident execs

, O'Sullivan told


that video remains a major growth driver for the company. "We think that video is going to drive bandwidth requirements into enterprise and service provider networks," he said, explaining that this feeds demand for Cisco's networking gear. "We strongly believe that $1 in video sales for Cisco drives another $5

worth of sales onto the network."

Cisco shares dipped 9 cents, or 0.46%, to $20.06 Monday, despite a modest uptick in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq creep up 0.23%.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to


>To submit a news tip, send an email to: