Synergy 2015 Recap, Better Than Late than Never

I have been going to Synergy since 2008. 2015 is the last year for Synergy to be held in Orlando as next year will be in Vegas. When I first went in 2008, XenDesktop had just come out, but today, one of the most talked about solutions is Workspace Cloud.

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

  • To put it simply, lots of cool stuff came out this year. However, time will tell (as always in IT) if all the new programs can install without catching on fire and how the actual upgrade process will work.
  • Citrix still loves XenApp. Citrix has realized XenApp is what Citrix started with and they have come to realize the popularity, as it is the most deployed software.
  • VDI has been a buzz word since 2008, but XenApp, in most cases, has been 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 topic in sessions and there is a huge push. Workspace Cloud is an interesting hybrid solution where 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).

Citrix Workspace 2015

  • Octoblu will bring Star Trek integration to your business for your Citrix solutions at first, but the sky is the limit. Only time will tell on how developers get things going by creating workflows.

Octoblu 2015

 

  • 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. Resembles a ChromeCast, but has a fancier retractable HDMI connection for a competitive edge.
  • 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.

Citrix Storefront 3.0 2015

 

  • User Experience is a huge focus and it shows in the demos, 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 promote customer service.

Citrix Concierge

 

  • CloudBridge has been around a while, but now Citrix is getting into the network at a little higher level than just accelerate connections through them. Citrix talked about their new CloudBridge Virtual WAN, which helps glue different types of network connections together to use continuously (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 this box gets another very helpful job.

I personally 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 Cloudbridge can also shape and accelerate traffic, Cloudbridge becomes a little cooler.

  • Citrix Melio is getting closer, and now has pricing released. We will see if there is still a need. If Citrix bundled Melio with Platinum to add value, I think it would be awesome. On its own, though, Melio can only be cost justified at larger deployments.
  • June was 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

Lots of great stuff coming and the rest of this year is going to be a really busy for Citrix. 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. I’m also working on testing with our NVIDIA GRID servers to find out which hypervisor is best for heavy GPU workloads because there has hardly been any testing yet.