My experiences at Citrix Synergy day 1 (The keynote!)

Now that we got the Summit behind us we are all set up and ready for the Citrix Synergy keynote. The Citrix Synergy keynote is THE number one event of the year for the geeky side we all share. Traditionally this is the moment where we get all the new product announcements. Expectations for this years EMEA keynote are higher then ever with all the rumors in regard to Project Avalon, XenDesktop X and especially what is going to happen around the tight relationship with Cisco.

To start off This years Citrix Synergy keynote was truly amazing. I have seen more then enough from Citrix in the last years and this one was packed with new and innovative stuff! I am going to try to cover the basics but please excuse me if I’m not a 100% complete. I strongly advice everyone to watch the keynote on live.citrixsynergy.com

The keynote started with some quick updates on several subjects which I will cover in some quick bullets.

Citrix Byte Mobile team

Aquired in june 2012 and working on the data video explosion issue on mobile networks and already have a huge footprint within the Telco world.

XenServer

XenServer 6.1 has just been released and is now again completely on par with all the major hypervisor. The most important change for me is the live storage migration feature so we can now finally do intra pool migrations without hurting our end user functionality.

A personal note is that you should beware to upgrade your platform at this time, I expect a 6.1.1 release very soon because of some major upgrade issues!

XenClient enterprise update

 The new XenClient is completely ready for the Intel Ultrabooks and it’s included with all the XenDesktop licensing plan.

A lot of people are still bummed that we don’t have a MAC hardware XenClient yet. People be serious!!! You aint buying a beautiful and expensive mac to run Windows on it!

Let’s talk Microsoft

 Of course the partnership with Microsoft is very important for Citrix and was noted during the keynote. Partners for more then 20 years, focus now is combined effort in driving Desktop Virtualization sales.

Last year 80% growth of XenDesktop on Hyper-V. A personal note is that although these are some great numbers but what does this say without real numbers. 80% of nothing is still nothing.

 GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting has gotten some updates to make the iPad a primary GoToMeeting device. You can now use the iPad to set up and present on GoToMeeting.

Mark also demos a  very cool Kinect experience with GoToMeeting. It takes you and only you and display you in a virtual room with other Kinect GoToMeeting users. Very nice work with consumer devices although I don’t expect this in CxO meetings very soon;).

ShareFile with ShareFile connectors

ShareFile connectors connect all your legacy systems to the ShareFile receiver. This means that we can connect to Windows File Shares and SharePoint natively from the receiver. You can do this on a read only basis to make sure MS Word documents are not being screwed up with fe. Pages.

Enteprise mobile security with @WorkWeb @Workmail

Two new apps have been released which connect via a Micro-VPN to the datacenter to secure mobile data. Connect with @Workmail to MS Exchange in the datacenter and get a local native experience, with the upside of extra encryption and sandboxing on the consumer device. Now it’s also possible to wipe not the complete device but only these local app containers.

And now we present ….. Project Avalon

Avalon is what it’s all about for me, this is what we will use to solve the local/private/public cloud problem. Get a seamless user experience we know from the any/any/any experience and take it to the cloud. Any cloud, any connection and any product.

To make things better Citrix split Avalon in two different directions.

Excalibur

Ever heard of Project Jasper, the next version of XenDesktop? Yeah? The fun thing is that this is not the next version of XenDesktop but an integration of XenApp in the XenDesktop console as we know it in XenDesktop 5! So one console to rule it all, how great is that?

What this also brings to the product “formerly known as XenApp”  is a full PowerShell SDK, MCS and so on.

Merlin

I would like to say that I get it but I don’t get it completely yet. I will skip this one for now and get back to you soon when I really know what I’m talking about!

Please check out a blog by Kees Baggerman for more information about Project Merlin http://blog.myvirtualvision.com/?p=1376

Cloudstack aka Citrix CloudPlatform

Lets start with making a couple of thing clear. CloudPlatform is not the same as CloudStack. CloudPlatform is a layer on top of Apache Cloudstack which integrates CloudStack with other Citrix products and offer Citrix enterprise support for CloudStack.

The biggest CloudStack platform is now running well over 30.000 host servers. How’s that for scalability?!

CloudPlatform will give you the right to use XenServer advanced for free and has native NetScaler integration to automatically create SSL ofloading and Load Balancers.

NetScaler

The NetScaler is a huge platform for Citrix AND the internet. As we speal 75% of all traffic on the internet is optimized by a Citrix NetScaler. HI Google!

Clustering features have been updated with NetScaler X and now support up to 32 NetScalers in a single cluster. Say what? I talk Mb/s but 32 NetScalers is more about Pb/s. Crazy stuff!

 Cisco partnership

As we all know the Citrix partnership is pretty strong and now it’s even tighter with a ACE Migration plan to Citrix Networking devices. This surely means that this partnership is not something that’s easily reversible. My personal view is that we will see many many many more examples of this partnership in the next years ending up in either one company or a multi year relationship like Citrix has with Microsoft.

The partnership is focused on three main topics:

  1. Mobile workstyles
  2. Cloud Orchestration
  3. Cloud Networking

As we are all techies I don’t want to leave you without any technical coolness, at the end of the session Cisco announced the Cisco Nexus 1000v for XenServer. I am not sure WHEN but it will finally be there!

Thanks for reading this and if you have any news I didn’t mention please do leave me a comment!

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About Barry Schiffer

Barry is an IT Architect with 15 years of IT experience. He has gained both a broad and deep knowledge in the sphere of IT. Throughout the years, Barry has developed into a specialist in the field of Microsoft Windows, Server Based Computing, desktop and server virtualisation.Barry is co-founder and member of the Board of the Dutch Citrix User Group.Barry is awarded with the Citrix Technology Professional award in 2015 and received the RES Software Valued Professional award in 2012.

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