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Citrix Synergy 2014 Day 3

Day 3 is already again the last day of Citrix Synergy 2014. Also for this last third day I blogged my experiences.

The day started with our session PVS Design Experiences and Real Life Experiences.We really enjoyed providing the session and hopefully the audiance enjoyed the session as much as we did.

My first break out session was Delivering seamless remote applications: Citrix Published Applications vs Microsoft RemoteApp by Benny Tritsch and Nico Leudemann. They started explaining on which topics they did the comparison:User Experience, Architecture, Platform capabilities, Manage and Maintenance. Benny started with MS RemoteApp (RDS) Overview, followed by the installation steps, RemoteApp and Desktop Connection, Setting up a Collection. Benny concludes that the architecture and user experience is very good, but management can be better. Also supported media frames can be better, check the slides for the whole overview. Nico took over discussing Citrix Published Applications: XA/XD Overview, FMA Archtecture, Catalogs and Delivery Groups. Nico just as Benny demoes the Citrix XD components. Nico metions the hypervisor connection possibilities of XD, which MS RDS does not have. Nico also shows the Director and the supported media types are mentioned. Benny concluses the session with a summary: that management needs improvements in MS RDS, Citrix also supports more clients, not supported media types is larger in MS also monitoring is more enhanced in Citrix, performance is comparable. Last topic was Nico with the Union challenge (layering of the infrastructure).

Next session I attended was To port or not to port of Steve Parry and Derek Thorslund. Steve started of explaining the possibilties: HDX Mobile (minimal effort),SDK for Windows (some effort), HTML5 Technology (significant effort), device native apps (major effort) including advantaged and disadvantages. Informed Mobility using the Citrix Rewrite Index. Next Derek started about the challenges of delivering windows hostes apps to mobile devices, followed by the Framehawk possibilties including some videos showing the possibilties versus VMware. Derek continued with Touch Optimized Desktop including a demo. Upcoming enhancements currently in the lab: single instance app experience, app switcher with live preview of open apps. The demo was pretty impressive, including the application Reflector to do the demo. Steve continued with explaining the Mobile SDK, including the enhancements in the just released in V2. Steve shows some examples of applications based on the Mobile SDK. Go Native is the next topic based on the Worx App SDK.

During lunch I did a self paced lab. Those labs are really good and encourage everyone to take those on topics you are not that familiar with.

After lunch I continued with the session of Aaron Parker Hands off my gold image! Redux. Aaron started with the statements: automation is easy and automation is free and why you should automation: repeatability, consistency, less costs, better user experience. Aaron continued with the (manual) steps of installation, followed by introducing MDT (Microsoft Deployment Toolkit). Aaron touches the requirements (file share, ADK, MDT). Optional is WSUS, WDS and a SQL server. Next Aaron explains how to set-up MDT, task sequences, Application Wizard. Aaron provides some considirations for reference images and reduce image size. Next topic was custom settings, Aaron explained what kind of settings can be managed using the customsettings.ini. Last topic was integrating with XenDesktop, managed by adding the applications via scripts (which are also explained by Aaron).

Last session for this Synergy for me was Deep dive into ShareFile Enteprise functionality provided by Dan Brinkman and Adam Lotz. The session stared with teh Document Cloud Archtecture and available ShareFile clients. Also the possibilties to get the clients were described (public app store, MDM [also airwatch and mobileiron], MAM). Dan explains how you can restrict acces to the ShareFile data via registry key (Windows) or plist (MAC). Next topic were ShareFile Device Security possibilities, Dan discussed the most imporant ones (encryption at ret, poison pill, remote wipe, disable external applications) but more are available. Dan also touched the security options when MDX Wrapping (XenMobile) is being used. Adam took over about Request Information and Require Login with Document Sharing. Provisioning of users was the next topic discussed by Dan (manual, user management tool, XenMobile). During the session the firealarm went off and we all should leave the building. After a few mintues everyone could enter the building again and the session were started again. Dan dived into more detail in the User Managent Tool (lightweight windows application, admin on-premises, [de]provisioning, user provisioning options, scheduled via Windows Scheduler). Next the authentiation options were discussed, Dan described the IdP/SP [SAML] authentication method. Adam is taken over again about StorageZones (cloud, on-prem,hybrid --> Citrix-Managed [Amazon/Azure], Customer Managed [Local or Azure], Connectors [SharePoint, Network Shares, Personal Cloud Directors]). The session ended with some questions out of the audiance.

Citrix Synergy was again a big succes. There were lot of good sessions both provided by Citrix employees as external presenters (many CTP's and other people envolved in the Citrix community). I enjoyed meeting lot's op people again including meeting finally some of the people in real life. After this wrap-up the Synergy Party will end the Synergy 2014 event officially.