Citrix Synergy 2015 Opening Keynote Live Blog

Hello from Orlando! I'm at Citrix Synergy along with Gabe Knuth, Jack Madden, Colin Steele, and several other TechTarget coworkers for Citrix Synergy 2015!

Hello from Orlando! I'm at Citrix Synergy along with Gabe Knuth, Jack Madden, Colin Steele, and several other TechTarget coworkers for Citrix Synergy 2015!

Read from the bottom up. Page does not auto-refresh.


11:30 Keynote over. We'll be doing a live podcast as soon as we make our way over to the TechTarget booth. Link will be on the home page.

11:17 Now onto Mark's "one more thing." He's talking about their partnership with The Nimble Collective. They're using Citrix technology to allow small artists to work together on animations. So now they're showing how that worked. They share data, collaborate, etc. This is a good demo because it shows graphics-intensive apps. Photoshop, Maya, etc. Now they're doing a live demo of Maya running from the cloud via an HTML5 client. They're actually doing animation.. moving lighting around and stuff. It's cool. Now they're showing the animation they built using everything in the Citrix cloud.

11:16 Imagination. Innovation. Inspiration. These words are on the slides as Mark is talking about Citrix employees and partners and stuff.

11:15 Video over, Mark is tying everything back to (1) Experience, (2) Security, and (3) Flexibility. (Same three he mentioned at the beginning. So at least one thing in this keynote is congruent.)

11:10 Back to Mark, talking about why we do what we do. Watching a story about how the village of Sunderland uses Citrix. Haha.. The video has subtitles. I'm unclear why this is a standalone video and not part of the Innovator awards.

11:08 Citrix Workspace Cloud pricing, packaging, and GA schedule will be announced in Q3. So we have an announcement for an announcement.

11:07 Still here. Just some boring interviews with Citrix Workspace Cloud early customers.

10:47 Jessie Lipson, VP & GM of Workflow & Workspace Cloud coming on stage to do a demo. This is cool stuff. Search the Google to see a demo. The Citrix Receiver updates in realtime as an admin is adding resources to a user's workspace. (Let the departments do it!) You can create blueprints (recipes?) which are used to create new blueprints (based on tech Citrix got when they acquired ScaleXtreme). Citrix includes a bunch of blueprints, partners can create and share them, you can create your own, etc.

10:44 Talking about the cloud architecture that allows Citrix to manage the control plane architecture in the cloud while allowing the actual apps and data to live on premises. This is Citrix Workspace Cloud. But this is not new, right? <-- Hmm.. the twitter seems to say this is a new announcement. I'm not sure how this is different than before. I'll ask Gabe in our post-keynote podcast.

10:39 To the cloud! To enable cloud app delivery, Citrix had to re-invent XenApp for the cloud, build a reference architecture, build app orchestration, add a control panel / control plane, and redo licensing so it works for service providers. Today they have 1900 service providers, 500,000 desktops and apps delivered by service providers today.

10:38 Talking about the back end stuff. NetScaler, CloudBridge, Storage, etc.

10:32 Talking about GoToMeeting. There is a free version of GTM? That's cool. GTM is going to HTML? About goddamned time.

10:29 Three new XenMobile apps. Saleforce1 (containerized Salesforce), WorxTasks, and SlideStream (Control slides from your device including the Apple Watch.)

10:24 Moving on to XenMobile. "It's been on a tear, great growth rates. Most customers have been choosing the enterprise edition." Really? I want to see those numbers. Mark is talking about what XenMobile does. Personal apps with MDX containers, etc. Talking about XenMobile 10 which has been out already. I don't think there's anything new here? Will have to confirm with Jack. Talking about ShareConnect which lets you connect back to your desktop (physical or virtual). That's just built in to XenMobile.

10:23 Regarding upgrades and migrations: Talking about Project Serenity was their XenApp 6.5 to 7.6 migration. They got over 400 customers migrated from the tool. Essentially it exports your 6.5 config, submit it to the service, and then sends back an XML file you can import into 7.6 to get everything set back like you had it. (Well, for the features that aren't missing.)

10:19 Moving back to Mark to talk about XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6, news today is Feature Pack 2. New Receiver support, Lync 2013 on Mac optimization, TouchI ID support, integrating Framehawk into HDX, and Linux desktop and app publishing. Also a new graphics engine for HDX. 20% scalability with 30% lower bandwidth, while also compatibility with low-cost thin clients.

10:17 Showing native receiver for Linux. Also with the same customizations. Tech Preview today. (BTW this demo was a "triple hop." :)

10:17 Showing Receiver for Mac. Again with the same customizations and the same UI as the others.

10:16 Showing the Chrome App. It has all the same UI customizations as the Windows Receiver. Tech Preview of the Chromebook Receiver is available today.

10:12 Showing the new Windows Receiver with the new UI. (Can still use the old one.) The UI comes from the StoreFront server. Showing how categories work. (Can still use folders.) For branding and customizations, there's a new API for that. So overall look and feel, client click-through message (even on the native Windows client), buttons to point to your own custom content (help, etc.), service status (warnings that apps are going to have maintenance, etc.) This is cool. Tech Preview of this is available today.

10:10 Richard Hayton is on stage to demo some things. Showing Citrix StoreFront to aggregate XenApp, XenDesktop, multiple versions, etc. Even an Octoblu Gateway (just for fun at this point I assume?) You can run StoreFront side-by-side on the same box along with Web Interface.

10:09 New features of Citrix Receiver: HDX & MDX are unified. Dynamic categories and device & role context, and new customizations for customers' brands, etc.

10:06: XenApp 6.5 end of life extended to 2017. Adding a feature pack to 6.5 to add virtual storage, enhanced profile management, director help desk & troubleshooting, enhanced Lync support, Receiver ".NEXT", and Citrix StoreFront 3. Great move. Speaks volumes on the uptake / pushback about XenApp 7 and how important its missing features are.

10:02 Moving on to XenApp. "Hands down the most powerful, etc. way to deliver Windows apps." We're moving from a desktop-centric to an app-centric world, and that's a workspace-centric world.

10:00 Mark is talking about how he got into IT. He and a partner had a lumber mill thing and he wrote some software to do the scheduling of the shop floor and stuff, and that's when he realized that software can really change things, and that that's where his passion was.

9:57 "All finalists are winners, but unfortunately there can only be one winner winner." And that winner winner is Aer Lingus because they use XenMobile to put documents on iPads.

9:50 Talking about how Citrix is delivering this. How far along they are on the journey? That segues into the Citrix Innovation Awards. Again, kind of disjointed. What?? The Aer Lingus case study video is about XenMobile. The John Holland video is also about iPads. They mention virtual desktops, but the demo video doesn't show that. Shows standard iPad apps and GoToMeeting. The Miami Marlins is also an iPad demo talking about XenMobile, but showing regular web pages on Safari on the iPad. Exelon is also about iPads and XenMobile. So 4 for 4 about iPads, 3 for 4 about XenMobile. So... what's Citrix's focus for this show?? :)

9:47 So how do you do all this? Deliver, unify, broadcast. So this is the fourth set of themes of this keynote? What??

9:45 Today we see these three pillars of IT: Experience, Security, Flexibility. Again, we've been talking about this for years. Meh. So far this keynote is pretty lackluster, and Mark is off his game.

9:41 Moving on to talk about the 5 problems for IT today. (1) Devices. Lots of them. Personal. Different types. (2) Apps. Used to all Windows, now their mobile, web, next-gen, etc. (3) Content. Years ago content was born analog, it was harder to steal. Today information is born digital. Breaches are more (4) Security (5) Workforce. This is changing. Demographics. Echo gen, etc. (I think he screwed this up because he talked about security when he said "Content" and he skipped security.) Anyway this is nothing new really? Everything we've been talking about for years. Meh.

9:39 Talking about Citrix Melio, their storage virtualization product. I don't think I knew about this? There's a VDI Edition and an Enterprise Edition. More to come this week I'm sure...

9:35 Talking about NetScaler SDX. It's "Simplifying away F5" I guess they're not a partner anymore? :)

9:33 Talking about XenServer 6.5 SP1, it's 64-bit. There's still a free OSS version. Paid versions are $625 and $1250 per socket for standard and enterprise editions. "It's one of the most high performing hypervisors in the industry." <-- Top 3, right?

9:29 Now showing a demo of Windows apps, Photoshop, etc. Showing pulling it from the cloud. Demo is going poorly. Lots of lag. This is very real world, where it all sounds good in theory but once you get out in the world with 4G and lots of people, delivering apps today over wireless connections have the same challenges that we've been having for 20 years.

9:23 Mark T plugged in his own personal iPhone. 65k unread personal emails. :) Connecting to his Windows workspace over 4G. Using TouchID to authenticate. The connected screen changed from the iPhone screen to the remote Windows desktop, including changing the aspect ratio, etc. e.g. it looks like a normal desktop. Mark is now pairing the Citrix X1 mouse, connect to a Bluetooth keyboard, etc. Totally usable. (Demo fails to pair though since it was connected to his other mouse, not the mouse on stage. Interestingly Mark has about 25 Bluetooth pairings on his iPhone. :)

9:20 "There is confusion about what a "workspace" is. Competition is saying it's a desktop. We think it's more than that. It's a desktop, it's Windows apps, it's web apps, it's mobile. It's whatever kind of digital tools you need to accomplish your task, independent of the device, optimized for the device." A workspace is an "And". (Showing a picture of an ampersand.) They believe that your smart phone has everything you need. Connectivity, speed, graphics, storage, etc. It just doesn't have enough I/O. It doesn't have a big screen, a keyboard, or a mouse. Citrix wants to enable that.

9:20 Talking about CubeFree, "Yelp for mobile workspaces." This reminds me of the joke for new startups: "It's like [name of popular product] for [something less mainstream]"

9:15 Keynote is starting. Mark Templeton is on stage. Showing a slide now that says "We Love XenApp."


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