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Citrix Synergy US 2013 Keynote

As I could not attend Synergy in the US I viewed the live stream of Citrix Watch Live (Citrix TV) in the HQ of Citrix Benelux together with a group of invited people out of the government sector in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, I blogged my experiences and highlight of the keynote.


As you could see from the live stream the room was fully occupied. Mark stated with some updates:

-          CloudPlatform (amazon style clouds): already 200+ sites, largest is 40000 and the Apache CloudStack (largest open source project at Apache, 35000 Members).

-          ShareFile: 35000 corporate customers, success by the StorageZones features. StorageZone Connectors: connectors to SharePoint and network drives. ShareFile is also available on Windows Azure.

-          Native UI designs for GoTo product lines for Windows 8.

-          Citrix Receiver for Windows 8, RT and Windows Phone is available.

-          DesktopPlayer for MAC: run Windows virtual desktops on MAC. Tech Preview is next month available.

-          Also the partnership with Cisco was mentioned about XenDesktop on Cisco UCS.

Unfortunate the stream hiked up some times, so we missed some parts of the keynote. We entered again the innovation awards.

According Mark Mobile is dominating CIO mindshare, key is mobilizing the business (driven by consumerization, Bring Your Own Everything, Generations, disruptions). Three things are happening: workflow transformation, workplace reinvention and workforce engagements going to Mobile Workstyle. This story leads to the release of XenDesktop 7. Flexcast Management Architecture, 1 package to downloaded, automated installed & deploy, 20 minutes to get started, 2 consoles (xendesktop studio and xendesktop director), HDX InSight integrated into XenDesktop Director, 3 manual tasks you will never have to do again (workload provisioning, app-by-app published, windows app migration), Runs on Windows Server 2012, SCCM 2012, Full App-V 5 support are some key features. HDX Mobile was the next topic: HD video over 3G, dynamic experience for mobile devices, smooth scrolling/natural gesturing, supports native mobile functions (GPS, sensors and cameras). There will be also Mobile SDK for Windows Apps for mobile experience for Windows dynamically adjust to the mobile devices. Brad Peterson demoes XenDesktop 7: starting with the XenDesktop Studio interface (create delivery group, machine management), followed by Director (applications, latency and the user view) and the end-user experience on an iPad Mini with Mobile HDX (connecting to Windows 8 with flash and videos).

Mark invites nVidia (Jen-Hsun )on the stage about SaaS. They started about the history of nVidia and Citrix, followed by the current status by a demo again provided by Brad using Adobe Photoshop editing on iPad mini used by a RTT Delta Gen (design tool) and Adobe Premiere. They continued about virtualizing a GPU, which is demoed with other desktops running AutoCAD and another kind of design program. Last demo is using gesturing on Google Earth running on a virtualized desktop. Summarized: Public beta of XenServer vGPU support VDI coming soon, New Codec for remote performance and new industry first GPU direct access.

Mark continued with XenDesktop 7 licensetypes: VDI, App (formerly known as XenApp), Enterprise and Platinum. Also XenApp 6.5 is still developed with a Feature Pack 2 (HDX 3Dp Pro, Mobile SDK, Lync 2013, Seamless Local Applications, AppDNA P2V). Both shipped in June 2013. AppDNA will be included in the platinum edition of XenApp.

The keynote continued with that you bring together devices, apps and data, leading to XenMobile. Mobile Lifecycle Management, Seamless Windows Integration à Workx Enroll (self-service device registrations), Workx Home (mobile settings, support and store). This is demoed again by Brad Peterson, automatic pushing of default apps, showing the store choosing other apps (mixed apps: Windows, Web, Saas and so on), followed by the support options (Go to Assist embedded in XenMobile). The demo continued showing the administrative UI removing the apps form the device (wiping). Next topic was managing interactions between mobilestyle applications. Citrix created MDX Technology (secure app containers, micro VPN, apps specific lock and wipe, interapp communication, conditional access policies, federated identity and SSO). Three applications are required according to Citrix: WorkxMail (mail calander, contacts), WorkxWeb (secure mobile browser), ShareFile (secure file sharing and sync). Brad is demoing this functionality with the integration of ShareFile and opening an intranetpage out of the Workxmail and the interaction (or actually not interact) between applications on the device. Also ShareFile Connectors (network drive and sharepoint) are demoed by Brad (including editing possibilities), really value-added technology through my eyes. HD Faces in now integrated in Podio (also in the web version). Editions are MDM, the App Edition (add-on to any MDM solution) and Enterprise Edition. Also shipped in June 2013. Workx-enable any mobile SDK (Worx App SDK) is already available for some time and there already 60 developers using the SDK. In total 80 Worx enabled apps are available in Workx App Gallery (coming soon, later in summer according to Mark). NetScaler was the next topic (service delivery model). Again the Triscale technology (scale up, scale in and scale out) is mentioned. Also the three forms are mentioned: MPX, VPX and SDX.

The keynote ended with life better, work better. Showing a video of the docter. No more one thing this time.

Personally I think there was a good keynote. The obvious release of Excalibur in the form of XenDesktop 7 was expected. I think Citrix should really explain clearly the different editions, especially the App edition and why there is a Feature Pack for XenApp 6.5 available (while XenDesktop 7 is also released). This was already noticeable in the question at the HQ of Citrix Benelux after the keynote.

Highlights for me are the ShareFile Connectors for network drives and SharePoint, which is really the next step for ShareFile for the enterprise. Also I like the concept of the Worx component, that’s exactly the methodology I see in the future for BYOD and consumerization. It is also good to see that most of the announcement are available on short notice (June 2013 will be busy month). I’m curious how much developers are embedding into the Worx SDK and how the Worx Gallery will involve.