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We had a special edition of Brian & Gabe LIVE this week around Citrix Synergy. The Synergy opening keynote itook place from 10:30-12:30 today, so we did a live show to discuss everything we've heard and provide some analysis of the news. Shawn Bass joined to give his thoughts!
Is Citrix Project Avalon a big deal or not?
VDI and cost savings
SoC HDX-ready thin clients
HP’s all-in-one SoC thin client powered by 13 watt power-over-ethernet. (That 13 watts includes the display!)
Citrix Receiver and mobile app wrapping
Citrix Receiver and the secure browser
Citrix email app, possibly a part of Receiver, as a competitor to Good?
The “we love Microsoft” part of the keynote
Podio—where will its niche be?
Virtual Computer acquisition and image management
Brian: Good afternoon on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012. You’re listening to Brian Madden in – Brian Madden Live Special Edition from the –
Gabe: It’s Brian and Gabe live, man.
Brian: Oh, geez. That’s what we called it back in the day. So Gabe is here in our studio here in San Francisco.
Gabe: Swanky. Mine’s my office. It’s the same. My studio is my workplace so this is fun.
Brian: We also have Jack Madden here in the studio.
Jack: Hello, hello.
Brian: And we’re joined by the fourth person by Shawn Bass.
Brian: And Shawn, I think you’ve actually been on the show with us a few times before post BriForum and thank you for taking the time to join us today.
Brian: The free sandwich we promised you will be delivered after the show.
Shawn: Okay. Do I have to have a contract for that?
Gabe: It will be delivered by you going and buying the sandwich.
Brian: Yeah, it was – So okay. We got the chat room going right now. So anyone who’s got questions, comments. We want to talk about the Citrix Synergy keynotes. So anyone that has anything that they would like to share I’d like to hear about just pop it into the chat room. I’ve made a list of a bunch of things that were covered today but I’ll sort of open it up. I want to start with you Shawn. So based on the keynote that we just watched does anything sort of stick out in your mind what you liked, what you didn’t like?
Shawn: I think there are a lot of things that are very interesting. Project Avalon which I think will be key for organizations that are trying to find ways to become much better about how they manage theirs and desktop farms. I think that’s going to really open up a lot of opportunity there, especially for cross version farm migrations and all that kind of stuff. I mean it’s a tool we’ve been begging for for 15 years now sort of a real offering so I think that’s going to be really big.
Brian: Well, is that – the Project Avalon. So this is – this was Mark Templeton’s one more thing today and he said like this is going to be like the biggest announcement from the show from Citrix and look how huge it is which I kind of feel like if you have to say this is going to be the biggest announcement that’s how you know they are going to be underwhelmed because – So Project Avalon is what? It’s just a set of – it’s like management extensions for XenApp and Xen Desktop so you can support multi tendency and –
Shawn: I think it’s about multi tenancy. It’s about extending the XenApp and Xen Desktop management to the cloud so that you could broker and provision desktops in the cloud. I think that’s a key offering for service provider organizations and even for enterprise IT that is trying to find ways to simplify the way that they do their desktop and management. So think it’s an evolution of what Rainmaker was but kind of taking it to the next step.
Brian: So is this – but there’s nothing inherently cloud specific about this, right? I mean like it could be –
Shawn: Well, I think that there’s some added components in there that sort of make the XenApp and desktop management bridge to the cloud APIs.
Brian: Okay. So the idea also is – Do you think this would help like with cloud bursting. If I have something like desktop –
Shawn: No. I think that’s certainly a possibility. I think it’s also a situation where somebody who wants to create some additional desktops in a cloud service provider maybe not even for the purpose of bursting their existing on premise people but for provisioning a set of merger and acquisition desktops. So you acquire a new company, you want to – need to onboard those people. You didn’t plan for that capacity. What do we do about it? Well, we buy 500 desktops in Amazon or whatever and we just build these things out and, you know, we integrate it with the same exact web interface, cloud gateway infrastructure that we’re using for the rest of our current employees. So I think there’s some interesting possibilities there.
Brian: And that’s something your clients are interested in? I mean you’re actually – you spend the bulk of your time client facing and then speaking, right?
Brian: So but your clients specifically, are they interested in doing this sort of thing where it’s this hybrid approach?
Shawn: Yes and no. I think the difficulty in this is that I think we oversimplify what’s required to provide a desktop and the applications that go into that. So provisioning the desktops in the cloud, that’s sort of like piece one of the complexity of doing an acquisition and bringing people into the organization. There is the applications and the backend infrastructure servers that go with that. And Avalon, as far as I know, is not going to handle the provisioning of those pieces so –
Shawn: Maybe that’s going to be handled in Cloud Stack. That’ll be a cloud stack functionality. But again, just because the orchestration is there doesn’t mean the whole M&A process is all of a sudden simplified to click, click wizards. There’s still a whole lot of complexity there but I think providing this feature is a good first step to make that easier.
Gabe: And they talk about multi tenancy and things like that and so people start to think that oh man, maybe Citrix has this whole Microsoft multi tenancy Windows 7 thing figured out for solution providers and that’s not the case at all. It’s still the same problems that we’ve always had and you still – it’s basically you bring your own license to these kinds of situations. There’s nothing – the multi tenancy discussion is about using the – you can have all the other services, active directory and VNS and that kind of a thing. All those can be on shared hardware, shared OSs but deploying Windows 7 –
Shawn: And let’s be honest. If you have a cloud provider that you’re running with right now and you’re doing an IP sect tunnel or something like that you can do all this today manually by putting your infrastructure at the cloud provider and putting in an IP sect bridge between the two networks.
Shawn: So that’s not in and of itself necessarily new. What’s new about this is being able to manage and provisions a Xen desktop infrastructure from sort of the single pane of glass between those two environments.
Gabe: I think – 2009 I think that Rick Dillinger was giving sessions at BriForum about cloud bursting XenApp, I think. And so yeah, you’re right. This is not something – the reason I think that this didn’t hit with the giant drumbeat that Mark hinted that it would is because this is something that – you know, it’s not that new of a concept. The single pane of glass, that’s the new part but –
Gabe: -- geez wiz, we can do this already.
Shawn: And you know, people will debate till the end of time whether or not cloud bursting is a legitimate business use case because you burst some of these [inaudible] on the cloud. Yes, you have this on demand capacity and at a great user experience because there’s going to be some portion of latency between the cloud service provider datacenter and your datacenter. Now, if the apps they have to run are all localized applications, you know, just Word and Office, that kind of stuff, opening their files across the IP sect DPN is going to be tiny amounts of delay that they’re not going to really notice. If you’re working with some client server applications and those databases are not replicated in the cloud service provider, then you’re going to have some delay and it’s going to be a degraded user experience. So I think it depends on your use case, you know, like it always does.
Brian: So let’s go – we’ll put that topic to bed and we’ll go to the chat where Rick Avanade says – so Mark admitted that VDI – this is, I guess, quoting my –
Shawn: Is that his last name or does he work for Avanade?
Brian: Well, who knows? But this is the tweet I did – or I wrote in the live blog. Mark admitted that VDI is more costly than a fit client. He’s asking about elaborating and we won’t go into my views about cost models and everything but the context of that statement from Mark was taking about they want to reduce the cost of VDI which is – that should be done for sure because regardless how the cost model is we’re always all for cheaper – if you can do it for cheaper than you could before I’m all for that.
Brian: And they’re focusing on one avenue to this is the system mono chip type things where they said there’s thin clients that are now down in the $120.00 range that can have full HDX and I’m using my finger codes for full HDX because first we all – we learned a year ago that just because a thing claims HDX ready there’s like 50 different versions of HDX ready. So they might sell this $120.00 system on a chip thin client as HDX ready but is it going to support that HDX deep compression we learned about today – of course not.
Shawn: Very early on the SOC thing that I’m not sure has been really clearly spelled out is are the SOC reference architectures from these providers truly providing the same set of equipment inside that box. I mean I think that Citrix requires them to support these particular features. I think the design of the chip and board itself is up to each design firm. So you know, you might have some SOC designs that have an H.264 hardware decode and you might have some that do some of that in software on an arm chip and the question is, is that going to be like-like experience and do the buyers of that technology understand the differences?
Brian: And do they care. Yeah, yeah.
Shawn: We’re meeting with HP [inaudible] after this. We can ask them how they worked out their SOC.
Brian: So I want to talk about that. HP – so the HP announcement of this one wire thing they call it or the all in one, this to me was the coolest thing of the keynote today which in my background has kind of been like electronics and stuff before I got into computers. So this was – it’s an HP system on a chip. It’s an all in one so it’s basically like a thin client built into an LCD monitor which no big deal, like those have been around forever. HP’s had them – had them made out of glass. Remember back in the day? Samsung thin clients. But this one is power over Ethernet and for the power over Ethernet power’s a freaking display in addition to the thing.
Shawn: All in 13 watts.
Brian: All in 13 watts. We talked to HP yesterday. They gave us a preview of this yesterday and I got to talk to their engineers. I’m going to go right now. Justin, did I tell you that? We’re going to go there as soon as this show’s over, down to HP and record the video.
So a couple of things. First of all it’s POE Type 1 which is the low power, the 13 watt version, and they said – I mean any cable link from the last 20 years inside your walls is going to work for this and the – a lot of the IP built in this thing is a) they said they spent more time doing power design and thermal design on this thing because they said anytime that you’ve got thermal heat anywhere that means it’s not efficient because you’re making too much power, that it’s going somewhere.
So they spent a couple like master electrical engineers and thermal engineers working on this thing and they also worked with 3M on the screen to sort of build – it’s a brand new type of screen that’s never been used in this sort of way before from 3M and it’s cool because they’re talking about – they’re using LEDs instead of the fluorescent tubes to actually do the backlighting but the typical LED screen, the 17 inch screen, had like 56 LEDs to do the backlighting and their power envelope.
It was like in that movie Apollo 13 when they were saying we only have this many watts and so they could only make it with like 30 LEDs instead of 56 and then they had to work out this other reflective technology. But this screen, it looks like a real – it’s still got like the almost 180 degrees visibility. It is sick. And the whole thing –
Gabe: And they have it set up – the demo that we saw has a wireless mouse and keyboard with it and so it’s literally one freaking wire going up to this thing and it – really it’s amazing. It’s absolutely phenomenal. And it’s the low power POE, not the high power stuff that’s what, 26 and does – I think Cisco has a 54-volt or something like that.
Brian: Fifty-four watt, yeah.
Gabe: Or yeah, watt. But –
Brian: And what was crazy is – so this thing does come with the power supply and the reason for that is because with USB – so it’s got four USB ports on it but they can only support milliamp obviously over POE. So it’s going to work for your UFB sticks and wireless mice and stuff but you’re not plugging in a hard drive to this. So they do include a power supply in the box if you wanted to power more high power stuff but it also uses that HP Smart Service where it’s all like auto configuring to get set up and everything. So I can imagine like you taking this out of the box and you plug in the Ethernet wire and then you go to the back of the box to grab the power supply to like uncoil that from the box and you turn around and it’s booted up. You’re like what the fuck. What’s happening here?
Jack: So how much does this cost?
Brian: Did we find a cost out?
Gabe: I don’t think we did but these are – I can’t remember. It’s probably not worth speculating but these are –
Jack: Sounds like a lot.
Gabe: No, it’s not. That’s just it. So these things are all based on system on a chip so it’s not like it’s –
Shawn: Yeah. It would also open up a whole set of questions for me too that you know, what – people like different devices to work with so how many different models does HP have. Do they have larger displays? What happens if somebody wants a 23” display system how does that work with –
Gabe: Well, you know, maybe that’s the case but is it something that they had thought of that maybe there is a way to do a second display, not necessarily a POE but –
Brian: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Shawn: -- some addition power, whatever, to hook it up in a daisy chain fashion.
Brian: That’s a good question.
Gabe: Well, no, but if you’re buying another display and putting that into the wall anyway – you already have Ethernet there so why wouldn’t you just buy the box that can support two monitors.
Shawn: I’m just saying if you’re standardized on a thin client vendor do you want to have these different solutions –
Gabe: And I do believe they have solutions that aren’t based on this that you can still provision the different bootstraps –
Brian: Oh, yeah, because we – that’s what took the videos of a few months ago, yeah. So that’s what chaz desk is asking it for in the chat room also about, like well what if you want dual displays which this is not – I’m not saying this is the best thin client in the world. I’m saying they got a screen that’s 13 watts with a thin client built in which is fucking badass. So if you want dual displays don’t buy this.
Shawn: For the information worker, the 60, 80 percent of your population, this might be the ideal thin client for them. For your power users, for your traders and that kind of stuff that are in – need three, four displays that’s obviously not –
Brian: Yeah, but they’re not caring about 13 watts either like so – yeah. So another thing in the comments room people are asking about – where did it go – the mobile device management, mobile app management, so sort of thoughts around that. And I’m looking at your, Jack.
Jack: Yes. This is the exciting parts for me today and this follows on the heels of Epson’s announcements about mobile application management yesterday and both of these interestingly use the same similar method of dealing with third party or in house developed applications in that they take the application, there’s no developing features into it using an SDK or anything. You take the complete application and you rewrap it in new – with code that goes around the existing package and you have all your enterprise controls, your kill switch, your SSO, your encryption. It’s all built into that wrapper. So you can take any random piece of whatever.
Brian: Like you’re getting the app and then wrapping it in this like Citrix package or thing or the Epson’s package in the case of –
Jack: Yeah. Well, I did cause a lot of confusion a couple of weeks ago when I compared mobile application management and app wrapping it to app virtualization but I think it’s an apt comparison.
Gabe: But thing is that’s weird about this though – so that means you can only – so this appear like [inaudible] or Android. So they said yeah, we support iOS or Android but it only works for i-less or Android apps that a) you either build yourself or b) you email the direct – you email the vendor and say hey, let’s make a direct relationship and you give me the actual like source files because any app that you buy in the app store this doesn’t work for it, right? So I mean is that any factor for the stuff or does it really not matter because corporate apps – like if we as a customer – like if we at Tech Target wanted to do this with Dropbox can we email Dropbox and be like hey, Dropbox, can you send me the original files that you sent to Apple so I can wrap it in my [inaudible] company? Do they do that?
Jack: Probably not but we’re assuming that like if Dropbox or whatever corporate approved version of Dropbox we’re using, we’ve vetted it and we found out that the corporate – the mobile app that comes with the Sass that we purchased – maybe we’ve vetted that and seen that that has the appropriate enterprise controls built into it and this is for those things like well, we have this crazy whatever app that hey Jim in accounting’s nephew knows how to develop iPhone apps but we don’t trust him to develop the enterprise security stuff in so we wrap it in our container and there we go.
Gabe: It’s interesting. I was talking to some Citrix folks about this a couple days ago where – and I was asking them why – because Jack, in your article you sort of – we knew that Citrix was going to be announcing this capability at the show but we were – you were speculating like who was Citrix going to buy to get this functionality.
Jack: Right. So we – and we were wondering how we get this application management functionality because there are three ways to do this essentially; one is the app wrapping method that I talked about, the other is many of the mobile application management enterprise app store providers have SDKs so that when you’re – at the time of development you can include all these folks for SSO and encryption and all that stuff. But then you actually have to trust that to be used correctly and you have to have access at the time of development.
Gabe: Not just give me your source app but like hey, can you please write this here, when you’re writing the app next time please add this functionality.
Jack: Yeah. Yeah, and then that’s – you know, there are like five or six or ten of these different vendors that are providing these SDKs and the way they expose those folks are those inner operable or what happens when the app store vendor goes out of business. Who knows?
Gabe: So eight months he’s been doing this everybody. Eight months. He learns a thing or two. But – so this is interesting because – and now he’s writing a book by BYOD now and MBM so good for –
Shawn: Oh and you got a question. Is this the checking of the box? I mean we don’t know any of the details about this. We do know that they have to provide ways of supporting the Sass applications and mobile management, all these kinds of things. So is it checking of the box to say we have this feature. We can compete like with these other vendors. Or is it really something that they’re going to go after and is the solution that they’re working with going to be adequate for the use cases. I mean the thing we got to keep in mind that people don’t talk about a lot is there’s a reason why there is MDM and MAM and MIM and all the different flavors and they mean different things to different people. If you look at military, government, that kind of stuff, maybe they want complete sandboxing of application data. Maybe they want complete mobile device management for corporate owned devices. I mean these are going to mean different things to different people so I don’t think it’s fair to say that this is going to be the be all/end all solution for every single customer.
Jack: Well, what we will know for sure is I guarantee you that the share file, the POGO, whatever that thing is –
Jack: -- go to manage all these things, these will be made available to Citrix customers to wrap so maybe that’s another thing to say hey, if you use our collaboration platform sharing types of things that has all these iOS nanodats, oh by the way, you can have remote kill and remote wide for just these on devices without having to onboard the entire device itself.
Shawn: It becomes the Microsoft embrace and extend story. It gets you in one area and sort of try to bring all those under the umbrella.
Jack: It’ll be interesting and while this – and you know, maybe that’s the big power of this because random app management startup from one or two years ago, do they have that play? No, they certainly don’t. And this is essentially by the way why Citrix said they decided to build themselves. They said of course we looked at – there’s like 20 or 30 vendors out there. We had the conversation to look at do we buy this company and they said the problem with every single mobile application management vendor out there who’s starting from scratch they have to build the secure client, the encryption, the transit, the updating, the app store, the – you know, all the components and the actual like isolation – the actual technology, the isolation secures the app is like ten percent of what they build and they spend all this time building it but Citrix, they already have all this and so with the receiver architecture and – on all that so for them it’s like well, shit, we can just build this in a few weeks exact to our way, like our trusted way, enterprise secure and our way of thinking. And so they said for them it was kind of a no brainer after they looked at what was out there.
Shawn: I agree with that but let’s review his end vault. That was an idea that we can build this, we have the delivery architecture, we have all those kind of stuff and it wasn’t really – I mean they took app streaming and sort of turned it into this file sharing base solution and I think they quickly realized that this was not going to be good enough for people, it wasn’t going to really go anywhere and so that’s when ShareFile came into place. So just because you have 80 percent of it and you think you can build the other 20 percent doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a best of breed solution.
Gabe: Sure. But I mean I think it’s one of those things that they feel like they owe to themselves to try. I mean if they have the receiver, if they have the actual footprint on the device.
Shawn: I don’t fault them for trying. The first question is it going to be the right use case.
Brian: So – and – go ahead Jack.
Jack: One interesting thing about this, with ShareFile we knew that when it as integrated within the receiver we know that it has the file type association so you can link something to a XenApp application or you – or previously you could turn on the opening feature so it’s that pretty much any storage application, drop box app you open in and it gives you a list of everything else on the iPad that can open those documents. But now with these – with the wrapping and the hooks around these applications you could limit that opening that you – and plug the application management into the data management and have that extra level of file type association and security that includes the native applications.
Shawn: That’s absolutely key and they have to do this in some ways to fend off the app blast approach because VM Ware, they haven’t announced that yet but when they do announce it, when they formally release it, it’s going to go head to head trying to compete against remote applications starting up from XenApp and Xen Desktop so they have to have that story. I think the one weakness in what they have right now is opening the file at the XenApp hosted application is a good thing but it’s a bit cludgy to transfer it through client drive mapping from these solutions that shove the file back up a 3G connection. You’re dealing with a very large file that’s just not going to work. You need to have the way of sort of saying this is the hash signature of this file, it’s in ShareFile and boom, open it from my replicated content that’s in the data center because then it becomes instantaneous and I think the –
Gabe: They don’t have that now?
Shawn: No. It transfers it up the CDM from the device up to – That’s my understanding. I could be wrong but I’m pretty certainly –
Gabe: I mean it’s not inconceivable that they would get there because with that ShareFile storage zones, that kind of a thing, it should be possible for everything to become intelligent enough to go to the closest possible location to get that file.
Shawn: Well, except for storage zones. There’s no replication in storage zones today. If somebody is parked in an individual storage zone then they’re not replicated to a zone where you’re located.
Gabe: Well, it will get there too. A lot of things have to come together. You’re right though.
Gabe: So it could still have to be going across the wire somewhere.
Shawn: Well again the way that you solve this though I mean is very clear. You’ve got a file that’s in ShareFile. ShareFile knows lots of metadata about these files so it is not – it’s not super difficult that when the person goes to open the file that you transmit hash information or some object ID, goo it or something like that, about that file back to the datacenter where XenApp then goes into your ShareFile location, looks up that metadata and opens the document locally. It’s just – it’s something that they’re going to have to code.
Brian: How’d you like that secure browser built in receiver?
Shawn: That, I think, is the more compelling thing to talk about than the app wrapper thing because I think –
Brian: Explain it real quick what this is for those who hadn’t seen it.
Shawn: So the secure browser is basically taking an embedded mobile web browser inside a received and letting you browse internet websites from within receiver.
Brian: It’s BIOS and Android clients.
Shawn: Yes. So it’s basically sort of trying to attack the SSL VPN solutions like poles that provide that functionality. Now poles provides much more functionality than it is truly in SSL VPN and it’s not restricted to just the website browsing and that kind of stuff. But you know, think about people wanting to get access to their SharePoint sites and these different things like that that really can’t be done without running it through a remoting protocol to run a browser in the datacenter and that kind of stuff.
Brian: And if I developed internal apps too. I mean these are –
Shawn: Yeah. I mean anything that can run through the browser theoretically can run. Now the question is, you know, is this a web kit browser on the device, it it’s something else. How are they actually doing –
Brian: Wouldn’t it have to – are they allowed to – I guess Opera has their own that isn’t that –
Shawn: Yeah, you can do your own browser framework. So I’d be curious to know like what compatibility wise is this actually providing and certainly it’s not going to solve your oh, this app requires IE6 kind of problems.
Shawn: But I don’t think we have to worry about that as much today.
Jack But it does give you a way for – you know, for these unmanaged devices to connect to corporate sites, corporate applications –
Jack: It’s a reverse web proxy essentially so then –
Shawn: Plantless VPN access into the datacenter and –
Jack: This is one step to resolve our argument from last week.
Shawn: And something that was shown that I was really surprised because I don’t think there was any product announcements around this whatever but it was actually demonstrated. Did you see that they actually showed a mail client?
Jack: Yes, I noticed that.
Shawn: So by that being a mail client what I wasn’t clear about is is that a future direction around receiver or was that a future direction around the cloud wrapped applications and mobile application management because you’re talking about attacking essentially the good market which is ripe for some other competitors.
Jack: Shawn, you and I were talking about this out in the hallway right before the keynote started and if it’s a completely isolated mail app or built into receiver then you don’t have the issues of – on an unmanaged device when you don’t know what other applications are reaching into the built in email client that’s already hooked into active sync.
Brian: Oh, that’s something because you figure – so like look what VMware’s doing with Zimbra and you know that’s going to be secure. If you’re going to deploy email via Zimbra then you use the Zimbra client on your IOS.
Shawn: But the Zimbra problem is you have to use them as a complete infrastructure so –
Brian: Right, right, right, right. So I was going to say – or Gmail’s the same thing. Gmail but yeah, like if there was a – I don’t know if there’s like a third party IOS mail app. Maybe Apple doesn’t allow a generic one to replace Mail.app on the iPad or whatever. That’s it. If Citrix – even if they OEM a mail client that can connect into any exchange, any imap and if they wrap it they can control where it’s going too.
Shawn: But this may be – is this – Scott Cochran’s in the chat room. This is the guy that put me on the spot last night in the Geek Speak Tonight. But he’s mentioning that that might just be the wrapped version of Project Golden Gate where you’re just making Outlook look like –
Brian: Yeah, it wasn’t clear. I mean they went through it so quickly and it wasn’t clear if that was display remoted or if it was supposed to be native app.
Jack: Well, in that case I’ll just say that I want them to create a native app mail client that has caching local and everything even if – if that was Golden Gate –
Shawn: The likelihood is that it was Golden Gate but yeah.
Jack: Because a native mail client app like that would solve sort of like one of the last big holes in BYOD and leaving unmanaged devices. It’s what do you – you can manage the apps and secure the apps all you want and it’ll – lock up the data in ShareFile but if your users still are connecting whatever they want into active sync with a native client then there’s still that security hole. But if the email is locked up in this individual app then – and this individual app could contact and schedule calendar –
Shawn: Well and let’s be clear. I mean when you’re talking about sandboxing the one thing that you are typically doing is you’re not providing a true native mobile device experience. I mean people that are users of good know that it’s –
Jack: Good, not great.
Shawn: -- not good technology necessarily.
Gabe: That’s the tagline?
Jack: It’s good, not great, yeah.
Shawn: Or like Steven Joe said yesterday, it’s suck plus one. It’s not quite the worse thing but it’s not exactly a native user experience. And so the question is does this let Citrix provide a way of doing a more native like experience that’s what people are more used to and I think it’s really interesting.
Jack: So would this hypothetical mail client plus wrapped applications plus the secure browser – this may be equal to good competitor.
Shawn: Absolutely. I think so. And I’ve been after Citrix for years because I had said I like what you guys are doing with access gateway and Net scaler AGM, that kind of stuff but you guys talk a good game about mobility and that kind of stuff but where’s my AG client for my IOS and Android devices. I mean I cannot VPN into the environment from a mobile device. They have no XSL VPN solution for those components. So this is where the F5 and the Junipers and all these guys are sort of winning in mobility space. I mean Juno S Pulse works really, really well and Citrix doesn’t have an answer for that. So I think the secure browser is sort of that first step but it needs to get richer.
Brian: Is that a roadmap thing for them or they’re just not saying anything?
Shawn: I don’t know.
Brian: So let’s look – We talked about Microsoft a little bit and my sense in watching the keynote was that Citrix is sort of doubling down on Microsoft because they talked about in the beginning of the show when they were talking about all of their announcements, kind of quick hit, here’s all the changes. They said hey, everything we do is going to be System Center 2012 plugin. They mentioned the word Hyper-V many more times. Like Xen Server, I don’t think, was even mentioned once this whole keynote.
Gabe: It was one time. Right when we were about to talk about how it hadn’t been mentioned they went ahead and ruined that tweet.
Brian: They mentioned Hyper-V a lot and so –
Gabe: But that was – they mentioned Hyper-V a lot as part of the remember we still love Microsoft section of the keynote.
Brian: But that was – but I mean – but I feel like they’re getting even stronger. I mean there’s always been good – I don’t want to say synergy but –
Shawn: But you did.
Brian: -- between Microsoft and Citrix. I mean it’s – they’ve always been one of these things that we all viewed. It was VM Ware versus, parentheses, Microsoft and Citrix and – but I wonder if this is just – is that just a continuation of the same or did it seem like they were more – I mean during everything they talked about how much they want to support Microsoft, everything’s System Center 2012.
Shawn: I think the System Center 2012 thing is a natural evolution of what you’d expect to see. I mean Citrix makes a lot of their money on large enterprise business and if you’re in large enterprise business do you develop all your tools to do the same things that Microsoft has products to do that are already in all these clients. And if there’s 80, 90 percent uptake of Config Manager in an organization are you going to try to reproduce that functionality in your product or are you going to leverage your partnership with Microsoft to deliver a solution that works well with their product and it makes perfect sense.
Gabe: I would say that that whole discussion came up 90 minutes into the keynote, right? So there was a whole bunch of discussion happening that had nothing to do with Microsoft for quite a while. So I think that – I mean Citrix has to say that stuff but I think that Citrix is planning – putting the pieces in place for life away from Microsoft as well.
Shawn: Well, I think it’s a good point you bring that up because they are talking about does it create integration with Hyper-V and Config Manager and all these kind of things, whatever. But then like they introduced Podio and it sort of like poking the bear with the stick on SharePoint and you’re like yeah, we’re going to do this. And you know, Citrix hasn’t come out and talked about what they’re going to do with Podio. Is it going to be sort of this small business design? Is it something they’re going to try to market to the enterprise? I mean it certainly has –
Brian: Does it feel more like what VMore is doing with their Socialcast and rocket, SlideRocket and Zimbra and –
Shawn: I think so. But I think the key thing – you know, where all these companies, I think, have to be – to try to be successful with this stuff is stop trying to be the all-inclusive solution that you come on my island and you use all my services and things are great now and to some degree that’s how ShareFile is today.
Gabe: That’s the homer car.
Brian: I’m driving the homer car. So when this is – yes. Are you familiar with this?
Shawn: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Brian: Okay. I’m sorry. I’m [inaudible] for the camera. So this is the –
Shawn: Remember Homer Simpson’s car where his brother asked him to design one and they just kept adding feature after feature after feature until it looked hideous. Google for homer car and you can –
Brian: And that’s why we had that back here. But anyway, so talking about them –
Shawn: Well, that makes you think of something else when you said add feature after feature after feature. I mean let’s talk about Flex Cast. With Virtual Computer added into Flex Cast now I kind of feel like Citrix has had this messaging about we can deliver desktops no matter how many different ways you want to do it, whatever, and that’s a very powerful message from a technical perspective. It’s also incredibly complex from a business decision perspective that you have 16 different ways to deliver a desktop, eight different image management strategies and by adding Virtual computer in this is just one more method.
Brian: And adding RemotePC in.
Shawn: Oh, yeah.
Gabe: There’s three more things we want to talk about.
Brian: Okay. Let’s take each of these. A few people in the chat room have asked about Virtual Computer so let’s take these each one by one and looking at Virtual Computer. So Citrix bought Virtual Computer. Interestingly in the keynote today they just sort of mention it in the first news, like quick, quick, quick, we bought Virtual Computer and –
Gabe: Instantly though they talked about how they needed management for Xen Client and that’s – they used that as the reason why they bought Virtual Computer.
Shawn: I would have been more open with that and said we need management for our entire stack because honestly, Xen Client is not the only client that suffers from a consistent management strategy. You look at Xen Desktop and XenApp and you got PVS, you got MCS, you have the IntelliCache options. You got all these different ways to slice and dice the desktop which might be necessary for certain markets and that kind of stuff but people want simplicity. They don’t want complexity. You need to find ways to work that out and make it easier to manage the desktops.
Interviewer: And I think there’ll be a decent blend. What we wondered initially was whether or not Citrix was going to buy them because they were competition and just to kind of kill them off or whatever and I never really subscribed to that because I think that Virtual Computer has some very dedicated clients and they keep growing because the product is actually really good at managing. It’s about managing devices as well as desktops and Citrix needs that feature.
Shawn: Well, look at all the players out there that are in this space aside from sort of the big three. I mean look at Weno, you look at Mocha Five, you look at Virtual Computer. What did all three of those guys realize from day one? PC life cycle management sucks. It’s very hard to do. The monolithic approach of laying down your image and pushing packages and doing all those kind of stuff, whatever. Even when you layer an app personalization, all that kind of stuff, it still sucks. So they’re all trying to take the approach of trying to simplify image management and make it work and so that’s why I think these companies are becoming attractive targets because they figured out some of that stuff.
Brian: So the thing about Virtual Computer which is kind of cool to me is my feeling is that it will be properly integrated with Xen Desktop and the rest. So it’s not like when they bought Cavisa it’s still a little awkward. They announced today a licensing upgrade from Cavisa to sort of real Xen Desktop but it’s still two separate products with weirdly overlapping markets.
Shawn: They announced that six months ago too. I thought it was weird that they even brought it up today.
Jack: I am glad that they actually called out that it’s a licensing upgrade because they could have just said there was an upgrade path as in desktop and not really talk about their path. I mean they’re talking –
Brian: But for Virtual Computer it seems to me it’s very clear that they can take the core technology of Virtual Computer or of their next top product and build that into Xen Desktop and so it’s going to be something where it should be very easy to integrate that.
Shawn: And they’re both based on Xen so right, it should be – well, actually it’s so easy that they said that there will be a version of it out this quarter.
Brian: Yeah, and they – right. And that makes sense by the way. So they’re going to – if you have Xen Desktop Enterprise or higher then you’re just going to get access to the Virtual Computer NXtop functionality and that to me makes a lot of sense for sure. And then whether – you know, whose hypervisor it is. I guess – I’m not sure XenClient and Virtual Computer’s hypervisors will just kind of merge together and they’ll kind of get best features of both. But I feel like this is something that’s there but you know, this is – one of the differences is my feeling about Virtual Computer was they were not targeting virtual desktop users. They were targeting regular sort of PC manager type people and then people who were buying it hardly even maybe considered VDI. It was just like oh we – they bought it as a PC life cycle tool which is a very different market because I always felt like Citrix’s Xen Client was for your existing virtual desktop customers and you’re like oh hey, now I can run your virtual desktop on your client.
So it’s sort of like Citrix was – Xen Client was taking Xen Desktop and extending it out to laptops whereas Virtual Computer processed the whole thing in reverse. And so I wonder if – I wonder how Citrix is going to handle that. Like is Citrix going to go after the bigger PC lifecycle management purchase because they’ve never done that before, right? Like they’ve never had that as an angle, like we want to go against Altiris and System Center and like if you have 50,000 PCs Citrix never went after that –
Shawn: And I don’t honestly think that’s something that Citrix could do. Well, let me back up. I’m not saying they couldn’t do it. They’ve got enough developers they could do whatever they wanted to do but I don’t think it’s in their best interest and I think – you know, think about how long System Center has been around going back to the early SMS days. Microsoft’s been working on that thing for 20 years. For Citrix to take up an initiative now to try to redo all that and support the richness of what Config Manager’s doing today, that would be a very, very ambitious project.
Gabe: But would Citrix be interested in taking these devices and – or getting onto these devices just enough to help get them off the – get the desktop off the device like with the remote –
Shawn: It’s certainly a possibility.
Gabe: -- the RemotePC stuff, right? That whole thing is a migration tool. We look at that as –
Shawn: I don’t view RemotePC as a migration tool. I mean I think that’s what they’re calling it, sort of a stepping-stone to VDI. I think—
Brian: So let’s – if we’re talking about RemotePC.
Shawn: I think so.
Brian: Okay. So RemotePC, next thing, this is the next – it’s a new product. It’s a new feature, I guess, that Citrix announced today.
Gabe: They’ve managed to – so we’ve always been able to kind of take the Xen Desktop VDA and run that on Windows XP one way or another. So it’s never been supported. We’ve always thought man, this would be really cool if this was supported, sanctioned Citrix thing. But it was always only XP. They’ve managed to get it working with Windows 7 and they’ve now released it as RemotePC and it’s essentially running the windows – it’s essentially running the Xen Desktop VDA, the agent that connects it to the broker, on physical hardware.
Brian: Yeah. So it’s like a Xen Desktop VDI but your VDI you’re connecting to is your own personal desktop –
Gabe: Distributed VDI it was called --
Shawn: See, what I view this as – this is a remote access play. That’s exactly what this is. I don’t believe for a second that it’s a VDI bridge. I believe the customers that want to use RemotePC want HDX user experience for people who are working from home. This is remote access play. Now, the area that I have concern around RemotePC and you know, Citrix says – I put a tweet out there saying that the key to this being successful in my mind is the pricing of it, how it’s structured and that kind of stuff and what Citrix is doing with it, I believe and I could be wrong on this, but they’re putting it in some of the higher editions of the product which that might be good if a company is very strategic about the use of Citrix in their organization. They’ve decided to license it for every single user in their environment, whatever. That makes perfect sense because you’re probably licensing a higher edition, you’re covered for all your PCs, you’re good.
If your Citrix usage is more tactical around Xen App and Xen Desktop for use cases and this is priced at a higher edition on Xen Desktop and you’re talking let’s say $200.00 roughly per user or something like that, the question is do you need it that bad or is your VPN and RDP client good enough. And I think that’s going to be the key thing between succeeding in larger volume or succeeding in small volume. It’s sort of the thing like do we price this to where we can attack 100 million PC market or do we price it where we’re going to get 10 million PCs.
Brian: Do you think they would – I mean I never got the feeling that this is even – like this seems like one of those little things they could just sort of add in and one of their junior developers with on two long weekends.
Gabe: Right. We wanted –
Shawn: I don’t think it’s even an add-in is necessary. I mean – well, I guess –
Shawn: The VDA technology is there so that’s not necessarily a new development. The key piece of all this is going to be like how do you do the brokering of the physical PCs without having to add a lot of management complexity and importing machines and all that kind of stuff. You can do this right now with XP by just taking your physical machine names, importing them into Xen Desktop, making the user assignment and that is RemotePC today that is doable.
Brian: So I tweeted – I think a lot of us tweeted that this – someone asked how is this different than Xen Desktop just on the VDA and physical and I said it’s not.
Shawn: No, that is exactly it.
Brian: But people – the Citrix and desktop twitter, like the official Citrix Xen Desktop account tweeted back “No, it is different. Come visit us at booth 37.” – or whatever. So we’ll see what the –
Shawn: Well, I got the response from Gabe about the pricing because I said I think this is a good idea but it might be priced out of the appropriate range and he said no, no, it’s not, it’s priced appropriately. So I’ll have to go down and check it out and see what they say.
Brian: Who said that?
Gabe: Oh, not me.
Shawn: No, no. Citrix Gabe.
Brian: Okay. So that – so everything on my list to talk about was there. The Apple TV was cool. I was excited for a second but it –
Gabe: Yeah. I completely spaced on that one. I totally forgot about Air Play. I was like what was Apple TV up there for?
Jack: I thought it was finally – you know, I thought it was cool that we can actually finally do that and not have to watch somebody’s finger dancing around –
Gabe: Well, I completely expected Gus Pinto to sneak out on the side of the stage in a black mock turtleneck and jeans.
Brian: With his hands like this.
Gabe: One more thing. Yeah, there was no receiver for Facebook this time.
Brian: So okay. So those of you in the chat room send in any other questions or topics we wanted to talk about – or you want to talk about. The only thing that I also mention, that HDX deep compression which was sort of like a new HDX feature which, I guess, was just – I don’t know if that was anything. I mean it’s just like the plus one thing. Like oh by the way, we can do less CPU, less GPU, less network for good –
Shawn: Yeah, I think that’s the continued evolution of making HDX a better and better protocol as you go along. I mean there’s a lot of things that Citrix does a really good job with HDX. Sometimes those features aren’t delivered quite the same on the target client platform. So when you start talking about Windows 7 PCs running receiver connecting into an infrastructure it’s a great user experience. When you apply that to IOS and Android and Linux and Mac and these different things it’s a slightly different user experience. And I will say too that, you know, VMware beats up on Citrix a lot of times talking about the difference of experience because of what you have on the client side versus the host side. But VMware is not exempt from this either. You look at any remoting protocol it’s implemented in different ways on these different client device platforms based on what they can get away with in that coding platform. So nobody’s got a perfect solution that works on every single client device with the exact same level of experience.
Brian: Yeah. Nor will they ever. So let’s talk a little bit –
Shawn: We didn’t talk about Podio.
Brian: Talk about no receiver for Windows phone.
Shawn: We can talk about Podio and then it’s poking the SharePoint bear.
Gabe: Yeah. I mean I guess I tweeted something like my first impression is that we’ve been here before.
Gabe: Like was it Sequoia that Citrix bought years ago and turned into end fuse elite or something and they tried to borrow –
Shawn: Everyone needs a portal.
Jack: Yup. And then the SharePoint stuff and so – but this seems a little bit different because the world is different now.
Gabe: It does seem different but the thing that’s challenging for me and when I see all these things be it SocialCast or Podio or any of these kind of guys I always wonder like – I start thinking of – I work as a consultant in the enterprise space and I start thinking about like how do I integrate this enterprise space and a) enterprise doesn’t get social and they don’t understand how that all fits in, whatever, and then b) there’s already multiple technologies that do similar things that Podio does internally implemented the environment. So they got their own exchange infrastructure –
Jack: And you’re not the guy for that. Like if you’re the guy that’s the virtual desktop guy you’re not the guy that’s integrating the social networking solution into the environment.
Gabe: Right. But it even goes beyond that. It’s like how does it fit?
Gabe: If I’ve got SharePoint usage already I mean is this supposed to replace it? Is it supposed to be additive? Like where do I –
Brian: It’s great for Tech Target because it’s free for teams of up to five people and our team in Tech Target is four people and our SharePoint requires a VPN which we never use it so I’m thinking Podio.
Gabe: But for what? So you can be social?
Brian: That’s a good point. We already have DropBox. What else is there?
Gabe: Yes. The numbers fit, four and five –
Jack: Maybe it’ll reduce some emails between us but –
Gabe: Well, didn’t Mark say that ShareFile is not about enterprise DropBox?
Shawn: Because now you can stick Visio diagrams on your Podio and watch it from a Xen App loader application in the data center.
Gabe: Right. So if we want to use Podio we also have to set some other shit up.
Brian: Oh, so right. And this other thing we’ve been using what was it, Lucid Chart? It’s some pretty great Visio replacement.
Shawn: I still use Visio but –
Brian: Okay. So let’s see. Things to talk about, Xen Client [inaudible], Apple, Windows Phone 8. What else? Because while we’re – while I’m sort of looking through that list let’s do some quick plugs. So Shawn, I know we put you in a car right back to Masconi after this because you’re going on stage, right?
Brian: Which is – what’s your presentation?
Shawn: I have no idea.
Brian: It’s at 2:30.
Shawn: Oh, so it’s a panel. No, it is a panel and I’m on four panels and then one separate session on Friday. So I believe the 2:30 one is a desktop virtualization discussion.
Gabe: We were on an unknown panel yesterday together that we didn’t know about until shortly before so – but that went well.
Shawn: No, no. I mean I think that one – the mobility discussion and consumerization [inaudible], that kind of stuff, I mean we’re all living and breathing that every day so it’s not anything that’s that unusual. I don’t know I would have been really so comfortable on the cloud panel that followed ours but –
Gabe: Yeah. I was happy to be on the consumerization one and not the cloud one although I think Jack should have been on the consumerization one as well because he could have contributed a lot because I mean I kept – when people asked me questions I kept trying to channel my inner Jack, like what would Jack say right now. So next year if we’re in that same situation we’ll get you on there, buddy.
Brian: What – so okay. So Gabe, you don’t have any –
Gabe: I’m done.
Brian: -- questions. Jack, you’ve got nothing and –
Gabe: You’ve got a 45-minute shorty tomorrow, huh?
Brian: Yeah, just a regular session at 11:30. It’s called like how to fill out VDI, something like that. It’s going to be the basic – those who have heard me talk it’s going to be –
Shawn: So I will plug my only real session, my non-panel session on Friday with Venetrich at 9:00. We’re doing the evolution of our remoting protocol comparison covering PC over IP, EOP, HDX, RDP and Blaze and all these protocols but we’re taking it a step further now. We’re moving this out to the mobile space and we’re looking at how these things operate on IOS and Android and Windows 7 tablets and we’re doing a bit of a shorter version here at Synergy. It’s a 45-minute session but we’re going to do a longer one at BriForum. We’ll have a 75-minute block for that.
Brian: What’s your personal device budget doing all that research?
Shawn: You know it was interesting because my – I explained to my wife I need to do the next phase of this remoting protocol thing and so I got a great idea. I’m going to go out and buy like $5,000.00 worth of all these devices and she’s like “Ah, that’s a great idea. Just wait. What? What? Five thousand? Wait. Why are you doing that?” I was like yeah, because I want to give this away to people at the conference and she’s like –
Gabe: She’s not only your wife, she’s also your business’ accountant so double whammy.
Shawn: Yeah. Exactly.
Brian: So anything more on that? I don’t know – I mean I don’t know anything more apart from what they mention in the keynotes.
Shawn: I think the 6.1 stuff is sort of a simplification of the management interface and improved reporting and some of these kind of things making it more useful.
Gabe: And more integration with Lakeside, I think, as well and it’s really just all about getting people migrated to VDI.
Brian: When they say – question also about go to assist being free, I think that was – it was always free.
Gabe: It’s always free for iPad and now Android and –
Brian: Okay. So –
Gabe: And then that’s only for person, I believe, use as well. So you can’t access it –
Shawn: How do you –
Gabe: Well, I should say it’s not – you can’t access – you can only remote – do the remote control from the iPad. So if I want to go to assist you, I have to get out my iPad and do it.
Shawn: But what prevents a company from like having a bunch of iPads for their support people and just –
Gabe: That may be true.
Brian: But I don’t think there’s a central – doesn’t it – it’s like the one to one connection. It’s not like you say all these users – I guess you could still do it.
Shawn: It is one to one but you could just like log in all your –
Brian: Yeah, yeah.
Shawn: I don’t know.
Gabe: The point, I guess, where the – where they get you is that if you want to do that for your enterprise though and have it all centralized in one place and do it from a PC as well as –
Shawn: Well, let’s be honest too. Most organizations are going to – that are going to do remote ports like that they’re going to want some reporting of who is doing what support connections, how long it lasted, notes and all that kind of stuff. So it’s definitely not an enterprise offering but I mean I think it’s great because I spent years being the PC guy for my family members and supporting them and that kind of stuff and having something like that available to you that it’s not difficult to get them into a support session is a pretty cool thing.
Brian: Yeah. People are also talking about the Xen Client on the Mac, when we’re going to see that and there’s some sort of back and forth in the comments about that but I’ll say Scott Cochran’s got it right where the Mac does allow you to virtualize, multiple instances of the Mac OS on Apple branded hardware but the Mac OS has to be – the base layer OS has to be Mac OS. So that’s why with Fusion or Parallels you can run OS 10 in a VM but that’s only on top of OS 10. So you’re not –
Gabe: Those are type two.
Brian: Yeah, type two. Yeah, yeah. So type one you cannot do. And –
Gabe: Scott Cochrane, rising star.
Shawn: And the question you got to ask yourself too is – obviously this probably isn’t a technology problem because Citrix has already demoed them and they kind of know how to do this. I question is this one of these things where Apple doesn’t want to lose control of the experience so they’re not willing to let that be exposed. Is it some challenges around UEFI and it’s not just only about how they get it on the older generation but support the current generation.
Gabe: But Apple – like what’s in it for Apple? Like why should they –
Shawn: That’s the question and that’s really why I think the type one-hypervisor solutions have largely failed to gain traction because what do the OEMs have to gain from this too. When you go to Dell or you go to HP or you go to whoever and say we want to slip Xen Client in under your stuff, what value add do they receive from that?
Gabe: I believe they’re doing that.
Shawn: Well, they are. So Dell does have it, Lenovo has it and that kind of stuff but what is the value add to those organizations to have Xen Client deployed? I don’t know.
Brian: And it doesn’t – then we’re going to put our image on it. It doesn’t have all the icons for free for free CD burning and stuff. Okay. Well, hey, I think that’s about it. So let’s see what we have. I think that’s about all from the chat room and my list is complete with things to talk about so –
Gabe: And we have a packed afternoon so –
Shawn: Oh, I want to bring one up. So go to meeting on the iPad and HD faces and all that kind of stuff, awesome. I just want to be able to host meetings from the iPad. That’s what would be cool, super cool for me because I do a lot of traveling and sometimes I’m working with clients and if I have to duck out and do a quick meeting with somebody I might go off to a Starbucks or something like that and want to go into a meeting or whatever and it’s one thing to be the guy participating in the meeting but if you’re the one hosting it you got to break out the laptop and do all that kind of stuff. It’d be super cool if I got my presentation on the iPad, host a meeting from there, get on the voice over IP over wireless and be able to flip through slides and do some cool stuff like that. I think it’d be really, really useful.
Gabe: How often do you use faces?
Gabe: Me either.
Shawn: That’s just me though. I mean Brandon Shaw uses – I know he’s always poking his face into the meetings.
Brian: So on the iPad that would be hard to make it work though, right? Because they’d have to support a different multi-tasking. Like they’d have to host the Power Points within their application, right?
Shawn: Oh, yeah. I mean it would definitely be challenging but I think it’d be super cool.
Brian: Remote desktops through it all. All right. Any other thoughts from anyone.
Jack: I’ll do a quick plug for Consumerization Nation tomorrow at ten with Colin Steel and whoever else I can round up that wants to talk a lot about mobile application management.
Gabe: And there’s a lot to talk about.
Jack: Yes, there is.
Brian: All right. Gabe, anything else from you?
Gabe: No. It’s going to be a busy day. I’ve got a couple of meetings here this afternoon and tomorrow’s going to be, I think, running around shooting demo videos and things like that in the expo hall.
Brian: Yeah. So I’m actually headed off right now with Justin our film guy to visit HP and check out that thin client. So tweet me any questions you have.
Gabe: Yeah. Look for that video tomorrow.
Brian: Otherwise, to all of you who listen today, thank you for taking the time to listen. To Shaw Bass thank you as always for taking the time to join us. We will now get you that sandwich we promised.
Shawn: Will work for food.
Brian: And so we’re off to Synergy. We’ve got a bunch of articles. I’ve already got like ten ideas for articles to write over these next few weeks. So we’re gone. We’re off to Synergy now for the rest of the week.
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