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E2E VC London 2011 Day 1

E2E VC Day one started today on Friday the 18th of November. I flew probably from the smallest airport in Europa (Antwerp)  and landed just in time to pick up the last words of Alex opening.


Next was well know Simon Frost with a update what happened at Citrix Synergy. He started with the well known slide with the personal, private and public cloud. Personal cloud is about Citrix Receiver and GoTMeeting, where the others are about XenApp, XenDestkop and Xenserver. The cloud connects via the cloud gateway and Cloudstack. Citrix took the XenDesktop and XenApp together starting with the Desktop Director (now also for XenApp). Next topic were the acquisitions: Personal vDisk, (RingCube) and App-DNA and the partnership with LakdeSide with a tool for systrack assessment pre-launch, session linger, multistream ICA , the TP of the Universal Print Servers (project phaser) and the Mobility Pack. Next topic s quickly passed were XenClient (3x expanded hardware compatibility list, product scale synchronizer) , HX Mediastream, HDX Ready on a Chip (check my blog of Citrix Synergy for more info). Simon continued with the acquisition of ShareFile leading the Citrix Receiver with Follow-Me Data and creating the look and feel for all Citrix Receivers. Logically the Citrix Cloud Gateway was also available in the presentation with an quick overview (Simon has a session about is tomorrow).  Last topic quickly mentioned were XenServer and Cloudstack.

Next session was by  David Gaunt with the title What's new in XenDesktop 5.5. The session started a bit messy because the microphone was not functioning. The 5.5 released focused on HDX and WAN improvements. The session started with adaptive display (evolution of progressive display, automatically adjust video and transient bitmaps quality based on available network bandwidth). The technique uses three techniques, jpg compression, frames per second and different jpg quality. David continued with the Flash Redirection component. Citrix rebuild this one supported WAN-connected users, support for non-Windows clients, more secure, all supported via IE (incl. 9). Mulitstream was the next topic. Three additional TCP ports can be used and q UDP port for audio. David is describing the configuration with the Citrix policies detailed. Next topic was Desktop Director showing the possibilities.  The session continued with Aero Redirection and the requirements on the client side (direct9 runtime and graphics cards are key, 3 Mbps available per use (where 6 is recommended) and Citrix Receiver 3.0). Also the RemoteFX capabilities were discussed, RDP connection is required (no ICA). Other enhancements are scanner support (twain), USB thumb drive usability, HDX Plug-n-Play (multiple speakers/microphones, plug in headset after starting call),Printing optimization (bandwidth requirements). David continued with the Personal vDisk. First he described the advantages of the technique and how it works. Common image can be updated without effecting the user personal vDisk with his settings and/or applications.

Next session was by Rob de Korte presenting his session Everybody deserves a desktop that works. This was the first 15 minute presentation. It was al about the way the usage of IT is changing, going to context aware workspaces where you have the applications you need on that particular place and moment. Secondly Rob was mentioning the Desktop Sampler to know which components of your IT is being used.

Lunchtime was real too short, so I missed part of the presentation of Stephane Thirion and Neil Spellings about What's new in XenDesktop 6.5. Stephane was just explaining Session Pre-Lanch and Session Linger and Neill shows the features in a live demo. Stephane continued with some real life cases using the scheduling possibility within session pre-launch. You need to have Receiver 3 (Windows only) and set a registry at the client (HKLM\Software\Citrix\ICA Client\Prelaunch). Next topics were passed quickly, because most was all mentioned in other presentations like AppStreaming, HDX Flash and Multistream. He also mentioned the Service Provider Automation Pack, a bunch of scripts to automate the deployment of XenApp (Win7 experience enabler, GPO to lockdown desktop, Full XenApp farm automatic deployment).

Daniel Wedel was next with the session How to upgrade XenApp. He started with the available Citrix versions and the possible "upgrade" paths with the previous options to mix different version in one farm. Logical topic is the no upgrade path of XenApp 6.0 and XenApp 6.5 and the non co-exist in one farm. Can be management in one console however. Daniel continued with the migration centre tool available for XenApp 6.0 and XenApp 6.5 and the settings that are migrated (or not). Daniel also mentions an upgrade utility for moving from 6.0 to 6.5. Last topic was the roadmap of the HRP for all available XenApp versions. He had much more content that fits in the 15 minutes. So he skipped a lot of good slides and move to the last topics about memory usage on 64bit, skipping again some slides to his recommendation to use XenApp 6.5.

Andrew Wood was next with another 900 seconds session called VDI-in-a-Box (the Kaviza acquisition). The session started with the barriers of desktop virtualization (cost, complexity and so son) and explaining how VDI-in-a-Box works around it. Andrew discusses the positioning of the product, that is also we at Synergy stumbled about. Also the lack of a migration path from the VDI-in-a-Box to XenDesktop or XenApp. The session continued with the hardware requirements. According Andrew it is nice solution but still needs workspace manager.

Next for 900 seconds were Sasa Masic and Micahel Ruefli presented What's new in vSphere 5. They started with ESX versus ESXi (where the I version is the only available in vSphere 5) and the hardware enhancements. They continued discussing the vCenter appliance and the vSphere Web Client. Sasa continued with the esccli and vSphere Storage DRS policies, SSD Swap Cache, enhanced storage APIs, vSphere Storage vMotion, vSphere Storage Appliance. The session ended with the licensing of this version of vSphere, everyone will remember the discussion about this several months again. Autodeploy deploys in memory and then session run out of time.

Next session was AppSense Strata - Use Installed Applications by Danny O'Connor. Danny started explaining application can be diverted in three categories (universal demand, high demand and user demanded) and the application issues are often in that last category.  Strata jumps in that market currently user focused to allow user freedom, rich user interface, local store, desktop/laptop primary use case and simplicity, where the product will move also to administrative focused in later versions. Daniel mentions the goals of Appsense with the  1.0 beta, followed by a demo showing the product. It's not a virtualization technique like App-V, but merges with the OS. When the product is disabled those references are gone. Only the application is captured, settings are just saved in the profile as normal (if I understood it correctly).

The guys of Matrix42 were next. The started the session with the history of development in several ways, bringing that to the history of desktop management with physical to network published desktop/apps to client hypervisor (possible). Mark mentioned the time needed for applying updates/patches in virtualization based infrastructures (XenDesktop/XenApp). Their product hooks into the pieces and challenges of the automation and he shows it via a demo how the Matrix product works (self service). Interesting stuff because it offers all aspects, clients (including mobile devices like tablets), VDI, SBC, Hypervisor and self service (including costs models). Some good questions were raised by the audience over the mobile device management (tablet).

The last session was by SMS Passcode guys Lars and Jacob. Logically Lars started with mentioning the strengths of real time two factor authentication in comparison with RSA codes or certificates. Lars showing the current status of the product with all available supported platforms including ADFS now (for cloud applications) and the self service password reset feature. They demoed the possibilities of SMS Passcode via 2 factor authentication with VMware View, Cloud Application via ADFS and the Self Service Password Reset.

Up for some drinks now.