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Citrix Synergy 2017 Day 1

After two days of CTP Meetings where the second was in the unconference format (which was a good think although I was a bit skeptical). Now it’s time for the official conference starting with the vision keynote. As usual I’m blogging my experiences.

First on stage was Tim Minaham opening the keynote with a wonderful mention the CUGC community. He also explained the new structure of the conference with the technical keynote also on the first day and some nice external speakers. Just before Kirill Tatrinov came on stage a quick video of Red Bull was shown including our own Dutch Max Verstappen. Kirill started with mentioning us the CTP and all Citrix employees. Chris Horner of Red Bull was live into the keynote explaining how Citrix is helping Red Bull. Kirill continued with describing the world of changing and change of business with digital transformations. Next topic is the Cloud, which is according to Kirill the most important thing for current innovations including some statistics about BYOD, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, (BIG) data (digital frontier companies) and cyber security. Next topic was the Citrix Secure Digital Workspace with the announcement of Citrix Workspace Service with a sneak peak of the upcoming User Interface (StoreFront++), available this quarter in the cloud. Other techniques Kirill was touching were Gateway as a Service, WebApp Firewall and DDoS as a Service and SD-WAN as a Service. Kiril announced the availability of XenDesktop/XenApp 7.14 and it time to move out of XenApp 6.5 (with the help of CTPs 😊 if needed). Next announcement is Citrix Analytics Services for security and performance analytics over all products (NetScaler, ShareFile, XenDesktop, XenMobile) including again a sneak peak of the product. Really interesting product at a first glance. Another announcement around security Citrix Security Practice, a group of Citrix consultants doing security checks. Kirill invites Roland Cloutier of ADP on stage for a talk about security. Kirill continued with the partnership with Microsoft and delivered everything they announced last year (XenApp/XenDesktop Essentials, XenMobile for EMS, Citrix Analytics /w MS Intelligent Security Graph. A new cooperating is the Secure Browsers Essentials for Azure. MS CEO Satya Nadella did a talk via a video about the cooperation of Microsoft and Citrix on Azure. He mentioned also Windows 10S, where Kirill did mention again. Not fully clear what they will be doing on this topic. Next op case was Karen Jefery of Fujitsu about their system integrator activities and the usage of Citrix and Microsoft technologies for their customers. Next topics were about cooperation with Samsung (DEX on S8) and Google (Office 365/Skype for Business on Google Chromebook). Kirill continued with Citrix Ready HCI Workspace Appliance Program (HPE, Nutanix and Cisco, last two were now added in the program). The future of work was discussed by Kirill, leading to another speaker on stage about healthcare and the cloud. The keynote ended with the message that the message is: Citrix + You.

After a long break the second keynote started called Technology Keynote. Is started with a cool video again with Red Bull and the Miami Marlins ice hockey, followed by the opening by Tim Miniham. Tim started with the innovation award including the Dutch company Boskalis. After the innovation award PJ Hough took over. He went into more detail about the Citrix Secure Digital Workspace. PJ asked Calvin Hsu on the stage, we started about productivity with tips from experts (like sharpen the saw, follow your ultradian rhythm). He showed some examples in which Citrix is doing a better job. I thought it was a bit strange and not familiar comparison, but the message is clear. Craig is on stage for a demo of the Workspace Service (formerly known as project Front Door).  It was a nice demo, although it is the question is this really a live demo. Next topic was App Layering with Ron Oglesby on stage. Ron showed the App Layering technology. We continued with the Ready Workspace Appliances, which were already mentioned in the Vision Keynote as well, followed by the Smart Tools (Smart Build, Smart Scale and Smart Check) and XenServer with BitDefender. It was nice to see all additions/enhancements delivered into the Citrix products. PJ was back on stage, which invites Brad Anderson of Microsoft. They talked through the results in one year (day1 support, skype, XenDesktop/XenApp essentials and EMS XenMobile integration. The XenMobile integration is demoed by Brad. The continued with the UWP Receiver (available on Windows Store) for Windows 10S and other Surface devices. Next on stage was Abhishek Chauhan about security. He opened in fantastic way again. He started about policies and most important enforcement of those in the topic of control on several levels. He announced the NetScaler Secure Web Gateway (encrypted traffic control, available Q2 2017). Next Abhishek is telling about the old and new way about security (where à what, force the user à follow the user, attackers à users, zones à context, locks à detectors). Next topic was Data Drive Intelligent Security. Although we were already over time, another demo is shown of the Citrix Analytics Service. The keynote is being closed with an update overview of NetScaler, SD-WAN, Secure Web Gateway and Cloud Services. PJ closed the keynote.

After the keynote, I attended the session by Andrew Wood and Mike Nelson about Microsoft Containers in a Citrix World. Mike started with a bit of history about Dockers. Containers are the new appliances according to Mike Nelson. They are comparing VMs with a house and container with an apartment, where containers will not replace VMs. Containers are an application deployment and delivery technology. Mike explained MS vision of Containers both Windows Server Containers as Hyper-V containers. They did a good job explaining how containers works and the specific characteristics. They continued about running Citrix component within Containers. You need Windows Server Core or NanoServer at the moment. Windows 10 can be used for DEV/Test. Containers are available from Public/Private Hubs & Registries. Andrew continued about the Citrix component where containers ara available: NetScaler CPX (it’s hard). The XenApp/XenDesktop components don’t work in a MS container (as Citrix required a full Windows server and currently there is only Core or Nano). The conclusion is an application which requires a GUI will not run within a Container (based on the Windows version). Mike is mentioning Image2Docker that ports existing Windows app artifacts from VMs to Docker images. An alternative currently for Docker containers is Turbo.net for applications. The ended the presentation summarizing the most important facts of the session.