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Citrix Synergy EU 2011 Day 1

The day started for me with BYO and the virtual workplace (Nirvana or Neverland) session by Rene Vester, Claudio Rodriguez, Jim Moyle, Gabe Knuth, Andrew Wood and Chris Rogers.  The session started with a quick check which of the attendees are using BYO, followed by the experience and opinion of the presenters. This lead to a discussion what BYO brings and cons are. Also why using BYO pops up: is it costs or user satisfaction. Personally I think Andrew really hit the points several times why BOY is not easy, but also Claudio has some really good arguments.

Next was the keynote where the bloggers had reserved seating's completely at the front. Wonderful that this has been arranged for the bloggers. Mark Templeton started the keynote, Mark started with directly with the cloud word, followed cy the Citrix Receiver (50% faster logon times, 40% less bandwidth, multitasking, native experiences for keyboard and gestures). Followed by some XenDesktop numbers and VDI in a box (Kaviza acquisition).  Continued with the EOL of Windows XP in 2014 and the challenges with applications on 64bit and IE6. Mark continued with the acquisition of the AppDNA (which was just already released on the Citrix website). Next topics were NetScaler SDX and XenServer 6  (SR-IOV for NetScaler SX, HDX 3 Pro optimizations for XenDesktop, MSSC integration).  Also the partnership with Cisco was mentioned and why this kind of partnerships are made for innovation, followed by the innovation award. Next topic is VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) getting to consumerization and BYO anything (device, cloud, network, identity, it can all happen and cannot be fighted). Will lead to a personal, private an public "cloud", whatever this will be. Next topic was topic costs (CTO) versus real value (TVO), followed by another video. All the video people are using apple stuff, with the iPad as nr1#, is this reality right now?

The three clouds are popping up with some more details starting with Personal Cloud (seamless access to people, apps an data -> continuity of content and user experience, leading to a mobile workstyle). Continuity with data, leading to the acquisition of Fileshare with a demo by Jesse Lipson (VP/GM Data Sharing). Next topic is GoToMeeting which is advertized as a competitor as Skype and other VOIP solutions, can they really compete to that as a paid product versus free? GoToMeeting Workspace is just storing, no collaboration right now.  Also hopping into a meeting, that's why I doing daily (not). Next topic is Follow-Me Data within the Receiver via a demo of Brad Peterson. Citrix Receiver will look the same on all different devices combined with Cloud Documents.TP of Follow me Data Receiver in Q4 this year. The keynote continued with the private cloud with more diversities between the way apps are offered (Windows, Saas, Web) which Citrix can offer using the Gloud Gateway. The method behind explained like the StoreFront services, Controller Services (XenApp/XenDesktop, Web/Saas). Cloud Gateway Enteprise now with Windows, Web, SaaS and data, coming soon mobile apps and 3rd party data. Also the Cloud Gateway Express is mentioned, which is the replacement of Web Interface. Logically it will be available as free. Demo of the Gloud Gateway Enteprise with managing IOS natural applications, that cool more then offering a desktop from XenDesktop/XenApp. We are getting to cost models about VDI with flexcast technologies, they will definitely lead to some (more) discussions. The personal vDisk technology (RingCube acquisition) is mentioned in more detail. Happily XenApp is still mentioned several time, now with HDX improvements and again Windows 7 experience on XenApp (which is already available for the same time Windows 2008 R2 is available). The new HDX Thin Client technology is introduced by System on a Chip by NCOmputing and Texas Instruments. Wonderful words about the chips, but is it reality and next another chip next to the RemoteFX chips. More manufactures are mentioned which will bring this chip into their thin clients and also the future that the chips will be available in other devices.

Next topic is Windows 8 with a demo of Brad Peterson with a Receiver in Metro Style, including multi-touch capabilities and DHTML5 within a desktop running in the data centre.

Now moving over the public cloud announcing Citrix CloudBridge (connect your datacenter to any cloud with full transparency, security and performance.), NetScaler CloudConnectors and the new CloudStack/CloudPortal product (a management layer above all hypervisor to self service VMs and other stuff) shown via a Demo. Mark is summarizing the three PCs as an end of this keynote.  But of course one more thing is coming, with receiver for facebook.Receiver available as an app within the facebook website, is this the way to access your applications nowadays.

Next I attended the session Desktop Transformation Model Part 3: Design Storage the right way. The session started with the challenges with using VDI on a storage level, followed by the techniques available in XenDesktop: Provisioning Services, Machine Creation Services and Intellicache. Also organization requirements were discussed (topics IT strategy, existing storage available that can be leveraged, which level of storage expertise exists), followed by technical requirements (IOPS, Latency, I/O size, troughput, read/write ratio, sequential/random). From the technical requirements it continued how to get the data (existing systems, performance tests).  Latency on the storage: 10 ms is good average, above 20 ms is too high. Also functional requirements are applicable: storage protocol, high availability, ease of management, back functionality).  For a session about designing storage the right way the advise to ask the storage guys/vendor for advise is bit odd. Next topic were bottlenecks like NIC, Chassis uplinks, switches, end to end, storage hardware and RAID level (where the write level is crucial and the pro and cons of each RAID level were shown). Calculation: total read IOPS + (Total Write IOPS * RAID Penalty) / disk speed IOPS. The session continued with the caching on storage devices using examples of NetApp and Dell. Disk Alignment, the Optimization tools VDA and Provisioning Service, High Availability were touched. Next topic was de explanation how SSDs works,  which effects it has and how this behavior is altered a bit. The session ended with mention the Success Accelerator for XenDesktop.


Part 4 of the series Desktop Transformation model was next. The session started with showing a slow logon process. Did get the exact message of that and some info about Power Management Next topic was logon storms and how to avoid them (load balance your services [WI/XML brokers], disable socket pooling if not using SSL towards, leveraging, Citrix profile management). The session continued with the several profile types available. The session continued with progressive display and adaptive display. XenDesktop 5.5 adaptive display is turned on automatically, earlier releases you should enable it. Some benchmarking figures were shown with bandwidth reduction for Google Earth on 79% (with ultra high quality adaptive) and 89% (progressive display).  The differences between progressive display and adaptive display were described shortly. Adaptive should one be reconfigured for slower shared WAN links without QoS. Session continued with HDX Mediastream (Flash redirection) and explaining Client Side and Server Site Content Fetching and again benchmarking for this component. The session continued with specifying user types with some general guidelines providing resources to that user types VM, followed by turn off unnecessary Windows Services, registry modifications, hypervisor memory optimizations and anti-virus. Last topic was about application and virtualization, virtualization caches (App-v Shared Cache, VHD Mount for Citrix Application Streaming).

The last session of the day was another Geak Speak Live about Desktop Tranformation with a panel with lots of supplier like AppDNA, RES, Citrix and Lakeside. The session stared with an introduction of the panel and stared with the costs of VDI and determine the used applications in the current infrastructure. Next topic out of the public was about the placement of application if it could not be virtualized and application delivery mechanism in general. Next topic are context awareness and the possibility to kill application if users are starting then from a not authorized location. It lead to a discussion about the possibility to determine where the device is being used. Next was about management and in which way the environment should be managed.

Now up for the Citrix Synergy Party.