Conference Summary – Synergy 2015

Citrix Synergy Banner 2015

I have been going to Synergy since 2008 when XenDesktop came out and now today when the most talked about thing is Workspace Cloud in 2015.  This was the last year in Orlando and next year it will be in Vegas.  The 2 years at each place has worked out well and the places they have picked have been good.

Let’s get down to business of what they announced and some of the trends I saw while there.

Session Stats

  • 143 Presentations, 4801 Slides, Average Slide Count 47
  • Biggest PowerPoint, SYN416 HP Converged Reference Architecture 216 MB
  • Most Slides, 255, AOL case study NetScaler for security and scalability – SYN251
  • Least Slides, 10, Meet the Winners of Citrix App Challenge – SYN224
  • Lots of XenMobile Upgrade Presentations, aka you should upgrade
  • Lots of Workspace Cloud Presentations to try and set some expectations.
  • Lots of great content from non-Citrix employees.

Synergy 2015 Summary

  • Simple Summary -Lots of cool stuff came out. Time will tell as always in IT.  We have to see if it all can install and not catch on fire and how the actual upgrade process goes.
  • Citrix still Loves XenApp. They have realized that it still is the most deployed software they have and what the company started with. VDI has been a cool word since 2008 but XenApp in most cases was deployed more often based on the IO, CPU and RAM requirements.  XenDesktop was only mentioned very few times in the keynotes and also had a lower presentation count than previous years.
  • Workspace Cloud was the most talked about thing with the most sessions and there was huge push. It is an interesting hybrid solution that the control plane (SQL, License, DDC and StoreFront) is out in the cloud and your resources (VDI, XenApp, PVS and Hypervisors) are still happy in your datacenter (Make sure your internet pipe is up).
  • Octoblu will bring Star Trek integration to your business for Citrix thingys at first but the sky is the limit and time will tell on how the developers get things going by creating workflows.
  • Workspace Hub some cool fanciness will be possible with mobility. Swiping a session from an iPad to a TV was the example shown but there are also lots of other possible applications. Looks like a ChromeCast but has a fancier retractable HDMI connection to one up them.
  • Lots of great updates coming with XenDesktop\XenApp, ShareFile, XenMobile, NetScaler which is great.
  • StoreFront 3.0 and Receiver X1 are hopefully coming in June.
  • User Experience is a huge focus and it shows. With their demos and sessions and enhancements that are coming.
  • Concierge Customer Service system, this is a Tech Preview right now. This product is a great way to help support mobile apps with screen and control sharing to let people help up.
  • CloudBridge has been around a while but now they are getting into the network at a little higher level than just accelerate connections through them. They talked about their new CloudBridge Virtual WAN which helps glue different types of network connections together to use them all the time (based on which protocol you want) instead of one just being passive.  Then it is used to failover between failed connections faster than traditional IP systems.  You are still using the same box that accelerates things but now it gets another very helpful job.  I cannot wait to get my hands on some of these.  Cisco IWAN would be something that is in the same ballpark as this but since this can also shape and accelerate traffic it becomes a little cooler.
  • Citrix Melio is getting warmer and now has pricing released. We will see if there is still a need.  If they bundled it with Platinum to bring some value back to Platinum I think it would be awesome but on its own it can only be cost justified at larger deployments.
  • June will be a very busy month for Citrix, I hope they can keep up with the pace of what they have set. Just a couple weeks left.
    • Receiver X1 (Tech Preview)
    • StoreFront 3.0 (Tech Preview)
    • XenDesktop\XenApp 7.6 FP2
    • FrameHawk (VDA Add-on and Citrix Receiver Updates)
    • AppDisk (Limited Tech Preview)
    • Signature Tablets (Tech Preview)
    • ShareFile Platinum Edition (Release, Electronic Storage and Unlimited Storage)
  • Q3 2015
    • Workspace Cloud (Release)
  • NetScaler SDX is the bomb diggity.

Best Synergy 2015 Sessions

  • Faster deployments XenDesktop Setup Wizard (XDSW) and the Streamed VM Setup Wizard – SYN412
  • Troubleshooting Common Issues with XenMobile WorxMail – SYN403
  • Technical deep dive on Receiver – SYN321
  • StoreFront PowerShell documentation deep dive – SYN417
  • ShareFile Enterprise integration and field tips – SYN504
  • Technical deep dive on Receiver – SYN321
  • Notes from the field XenMobile deep dive and demo – SYN511
  • I’ve got 99 problems, and folder redirection is every one of them – SYN502
  • Dissecting the XenApp & XenDesktop logon process – SYN409
  • Tech update for XenApp and XenDesktop—May 2015 edition – SYN319
  • Getting the most out of NetScaler Gateway – SYN503
  • Successfully migrating your farm to XenApp 7.6 – SYN411
  • NetScaler Gateway with Citrix Desktops and Apps, The Ultimate How-To Guide for successful deployments -SYN407

Conclusion

Lots of great stuff is coming and June is going to be a really busy month of June for them.  They have raised the bar against VMware right now in a couple areas and I’m excited to see what happens.  In July I will have a very detailed write up on Workspace Cloud as we get to finally kick the tires for real and on some of the other updates.  I’m also working on testing with our NVIDIA GRID servers to find out which hypervisor is best for heavy GPU workloads because there hasn’t been hardly any testing yet.