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DuCUG 2016-2

On the 14th of October we held our 10th DuCUG event already. With two events a year, it was also our fifth anniversary. Therefore we booked a very special location within the themepark “De Efteling”. In a fairytale environment we had (in our opinion) the best speakers on this event and with the sponsoring we also had a spectacular closing of this event. As usual I blogged my experiences of this event.

It was incredible to see that some of our sponsors were already waiting to get in ½ our before we had entrance to our location. Also a big group of attendees were already there before the official entrance time and needed to wait before they were allowed to enter the location. The entrance was really nice, with three wonderful people called “Sleuteliers” to guide our attendees to the location.

Our chairman Jon Jager officially opened the event, thanking our sponsors for making the event possible. Because I still was at the entrance I did not attend the opening session, so I cannot share any specific notes. I just walked in when Jon announced the spectacular closing of our event. A ride in the newest roller-coaster of the park called “De Baron”.

The first would be given by Christian Reilly, CTO at Citrix. However Christian Reilly could not make it unfortunate, but happily Simon Frost was there to replace him. Simon used the deck that Christian would have used. Simon started off that the presentation will be about a vision, not a roadmap. Simon had to honor to be first one stage and could mention the buzzwords first. The first buzzword according to Simon was Digital Transformation. Simon also discussed the productivity gap, followed by the Citrix culture. Simon continued with the focus points of Citrix: Cloud (should be as simple as possible) and IoT. From these perspective Simon provided several examples of how this is done in the products as well. Simon dived into Workspace IoT (consumer, enterprise, industrial) including how this can be embedded into the current Citrix products (NetScaler, XenMobile, XenApp/XenDeskop, SaaS/Web Apps, IoT Paas Apps). Simon continued with Workspace HUB. Next topic was the Future Workspace, themed XenSpace. Citrix is bringing into the workflow piece (using Octoblu) in their product line. Big kudos for Simon to present such a session on such a short notice, using a slidedeck of somebody else.

After the first coffee break with wonderful Bossche Bollen by Atlantis Shawn Bass was presenting. Shawn started with the current state of VMware Workspace (and a bit of history and how they got there). Shawn is hitting the nail with the current status of the IT landscape in my opinion. Shawn also touched SaaS applications. Shawn also shared personal stories with using a Chromebook for daily education. Next topic was the importance of (cloud based) directory services, causing that you get a lot of many user accounts in all those services. Shawn continued with SSON, Self Service where identity and mobility go hand in hand. Shawn continued with driving innovation with Horizon 7. Topic were the new Blast Protocol, InstantClones aka Just-in-Time Desktops, AppVolumes, Virtual SAN and User Environment Manager. Next topic was the RDS Hosted Apps, where Shawn honestly mentions that there are gaps in comparison with Citrix. An example is running EPIC via VMware Hosted Apps. Next topic was management security (device explosion, growth of SaaS) and how VMware key strategy in this part is (based on VMware airwatch). Last topic was End User Management. Topics were disjointed management, windows redefined (corporate BYOD/LOB, cloud based management, on any network, expansive app ecosystem) and how VMware is aiming to tackle those challenges.

After a great lunch Bob Janssen continued with his presentation Innovating the Digital Workspace. Bob started that the history of RES started in the Efteling hotel, nice detail. Bob continued with innovates, as example the MS CEO, where within in MS more changed in the last 2 ½ years than 20 years before. Next topic was the innovating of RES where Bob started with the start of RES within a company in the Netherlands. Also Bob discussed the challenges for IT (SaaS, Consumerization of IT, IT more complex). Bob discusses the ambitions of the CEO, but those are not possible as the IT current is not ready for it. Bob continued with his vision of the digital workspace. First the technical challenges should be solved, where Bob provides some examples. Next step are risks and security and how RES implements security features in their products. According to Bob automation is key. Also compliance is one of the things that should be placed (Self Service, Delegation). Bob demoed onboarding and offboarding of a user (where I was the person who was the main topic) with the RES products. I like it when CIO do demoes during the presentation, although I can image that people thought it was a little bit too much of a product demo.

Next session were Ruben Spruijt and Jeroen v/d Kamp with their Workspace 2020. They started of that business and markets are the main goal for IT. It’s a cool that the presentation is continuously updated, now talking about Pokemon GO. After those trends Jeroen continued with the devices and the changes in that space in just 10 years (usage of wearables). Innovative is much higher the last five years, also caused by kickstarter.com. Next topic was Mobile Applications mainly SaaS applications (but Windows applications are still leading in Enterprise organizations). Ruben also compared the Workspace of 2010 versus 2020 where Jeroen mentioned the current operating systems (and there will be no new operating systems in his opinion). Again some examples out of real life by Ruben. Jeroen warns the audience that the life cycle of Windows 10 is completely different than before. Ruben continued with VDI 3.0 (where issues with GPU, storage, licensing are solved). Ruben sees VDI 4.0 in 2020 with more graphics, broker as a service, infra on-premises, hybrid or cloud. Next topic was DaaS. Security and Access was the next topic Jeroen and Ruben were discussing. Security conflicts with user experiences and if that does not meet the users you are in trouble. Ruben continued with Identity Management. Will it become reality that you logon with your Facebook account on enterprise services? Jeroen also sketches working in virtual environment with virtual reality. The DataCenter for 2020 was the next topic mentioned by Ruben (hybrid, IaaS, hyperconverged, solid state storage, containers), followed by Management (self service, MDM, Application Layering, Change Automation / Orchestration, DevOps), Monitoring (UE monitoring, probing, proactive/predictive, workflow services) and Artificial Intelligence/BOTS. Ruben continued with IT Hypes for 2020 (IoT, simplication of IT, everything as a service, machine learning, hyper reality).

After the break we had Benny Tritisch on Stage with the session XenApp and XenDesktop on Windows Server 2016. Benny started with an overview of Remote Desktop Services on Windows Server 2016 and XenApp/XenApp support from day 1 on this platform. Next he continued with the on-premises improvements. He started this part with the Hyper-V host and Nano Server. Next Benny discussed the RDS improvements (better performance, enhanced scale, optimized for the cloud, personal session desktops, connection broker improvements, graphics improvements, Discrete Device Assignment). Benny also compared the MS RDS components with the Citrix components (application assignments). Next topic was the cloud, starting with the Azure RemoteApp (infrastructure) and why it failed. Logically he continued with the announcement of XenApp Express (as successor for Azure RemoteApp). Benny showed a video of the current XenApp Express from the Ignite event. Benny touched the pricing, which is higher than current ARA models. Also customers are advising to use UniDesk to add for image management (adding costs). Next topic was the Windows 10 with XenDesktop on Azure. Benny describes how it works, again based on a video. Benny has his reservations if Citrix knows what they are starting and can handle this. Benny dived into the Discrete Device Assignment.

We ended with a roundtable with Shawn Bass, Simon Frost, Benny Tritsch and Bob Janssen led by Ruben Spruijt. Ruben asked several good questions, challenging the other members. Also some good questions from the audience. It was a nice conversation in a nice atmosphere. I enjoyed it, but it was difficult to blog about it.

Jon closed the meeting followed by some drinks and food. After that we had a wonderful surprise made possible by Nutanix. Everyone had the possibility to have a ride in the top attraction of the Efteling thempark “De Baron”. It was nice to see that lots of attendees stayed for this special moment and enjoyed the ride (more than once). I heard that somebody had 8 rides in the rollercoaster (I managed to do 6, all six on the front row which is the most spectacular in my opinion).