Tim Mangan is at the Citrix Summit this week. Citrix runs the Summit is yearly to update their partners on upcoming product changes. While this is an NDA event, preventing reporting on much of the details, there still is much to talk about this week. Today he reports on Day 2.
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This is the second Citrix Summit event of the year. Because Citrix chose to move Synergy (the conference formerly known as iForum) from the fall into the spring this year (presumably to get it away from VMWorld), Summit has moved from a January event to be in the fall, this year from October 25 - 28th. This makes for a lot of Citrix conferences in the last 12 months, but there is also a heck of a lot that Citrix is doing so its not so bad. The event is being held at the Dolphin in Orlando Florida.
Day 3 post (below)
Today is the "extra" day of the Summit Conference, what Citrix calls Tech Edge which is a new attempt to provide more detailed technical discussion than what was at the main program. It is nice that they didn't charge extra.
One thing that was striking at the conference this year was the population of Citrix Employees. I think I met 20 or 25 of them before I found one that was based in Ft. Lauderdale. Was this a sign that the center of the company has shifted, or simply that with the changing schedules of the conference they didn't need to bring all the employees together for some training?
My overall take on this week is that Citrix is growing, and growing up. In talking to the partners that are here, they seem to be largely building their businesses centered around Citrix and are happy with the relationship.
Quite frankly, Citrix did not have a lot of new things to talk about right now. )There were a few things, but for those NDA kicks in and you'll hear about them later on anyway). I feel this lack of wow especially since they are going to have another one of these events in just 8 months, after having one 9 months ago. I guess they thought that going longer than 12 months wasn't acceptable, but I'd rather have this week back. Maybe a massive "Go To Webinar" session for a day would have sufficed. That stuff is supposed to scale, right? But in talking to the VARs here they seemed to feel that it was worthwhile. Times will be more tight for a while and they need to get focussed on how to succeed. All this virualization stuff is as hot as anything can be, so strike while the iron is hot.
Some non-NDA information that appeared in relation to the Branch repeater. What was once called Project Evergreen, or Branch Repeater Enterprise Edition, or several other names is now called "Branch Repeater with Windows Server". There is another version called Branch Repeater that runs as a Linux appliance. The Branch Repeater with Windows Server was developed in conjunction with Microsoft so you can have one box at the branch to server multiple functions, such as file and print services as well as network services like DHCP. The file server storage can be used to pre-provision streaming apps or operating systems, or whatever fileserver needs the branch has. It is also manageable via WMI or Web. Oddly, the version of Windows is Server 2003 R2 instead of 2008 Server Core, but I would guess the latter has to be in the works, even if they didn't tell us about it.
Finally, since I know that some people at Citrix read this, I would like to remind Citrix that just like I shouldn't infringe on their trademarks and name a product something like "Xen Security" they shouldn't infringe upon my product naming either. At least not without talking to me first.
A final shot at a some of the 3rd party vendors that were on the show floor.
Marathon Technologies Corp (www.marathontechnologies.com) is all about providing Fault Tolerance. They announced future support embedded inside Xen Server that was the basis the Xen Server demo Mark Templeton gave at the keynote.
Packet Motion (www.packetmotion.com) has a very nifty packet monitoring product that they were showing. The Management Server is a plug and play appliance that includes an Oracle Database. It sniffs packets off of the wire and identifies network transactions which it ties to Active Directory identities. For scale they also have a smaller probe that can act as a collector for the Management Server. You can configure rules to collect only specific transactions, or grab everything if you want. Want to see where HR employees are copying files to? Easy. Want to know what the employee that quit today touched in the last week? Easy. You can also set actions to occur on certain accesses, either shutting down the IP connection for the user or signaling something like Tivoli to disable the user account in AD. All of this is done without adding an agent to any computers. Well, except for one agent they have for Terminal Servers or Xen App, which was necessary because they are multi-user. Based in San Jose, CA, the company indicated that they get much more interest in the product outside the US then inside. They do direct sales inside the US, but work through the channel for all other sales. Looks cool but I'm glad I don't work for a company that has one!