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.
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 2 post (below)
Last night we had version 2 of "Geek Speak Live". Rick D. did a version of the Brain/Benny VDI versus TS "debate". Charles talked about what it takes to "go green". Doug Brown and Simon debated Cloud computing. At the end, Sepago gave a talk about User Profile Manager which unfortunately drove people from the room to go find dinner. I say unfortunately because it started out sounding like a commercial. I stayed, and found out that Sepago is still responsible for developing User Profile Manager for Citrix and it was much better hearing directly from them rather than via the Citrix marketing arm.
This morning, Mark T. opened the second day keynote by announcing that next year Summit will be held as part of Synergy 2009 in Las Vegas. Citrix plans to expand Synergy into a much larger event. It will include the old iForum, Geek Speak Live, a Virtualization Congress, Network World Live, and Summit. Summit will be 2 pre-days (May 3-4) of the main conferences (May 5-8), giving the partners a chance to hear and understand the message before their customers arrive. Mark said that the Virtualization Congress would include all the players in the virtualization space. Details on Network World Live were not given, other than this is being driven by Network World to bring networking people into the conference. Mark indicated that they are planning for about 9000 people.
The Day 2 morning keynote is usually primarily about giving the partners direction on how Citrix recommends they sell the products. This morning Al Monserrat, the new Sr VP, Sales & Services who takes over from John Burris (SP), introduced his team and gave a message about how he was focused on simplifying how partners work with Citrix. Citrix continues to invest in the partner channel especially with the Advisor Awards program, and wants the channel to get trained and certified and follow the playbook that Citrix provides. There will be improvements in tools to help, such as myCitrix.com and a new virtual lab next year (the Citrix Virtual Demo Center) to use with customers, plus more on-line training. Additional specific announcements were made that partners will be notified about.
Here are some more of the vendors at the exhibit floor and what they were showing.
Appsense (www.appsense.com) was showing their profile management solution. The differentiator they now have is that profile management occurs on multiple events, and not just logon/logoff. So logon can be quicker by bringing the profile for office over only when office is launched.
Dynamic Ops (www.dynamicops.com) Dynamic Cops is a two year old company that provides a management solution for virtualization. Most impressive was a self provisioning portal which would allow IT to set up a flexible lab and allow power users to provision their own virtual machines. Obviously they were showing it working with Xen Server and Xen Desktop but in talking to them they position themselves to be virtualization vendor agnostic. They sell through partners.
Extentrix (www.extrentrix.com) is a Dubai based company selling both a service and a product. The service is basically customization of Web Interface. They work through resellers and can remotely create the customization for the customer. A version of this shows up not as a web page but as a browser toolbar that has the user's application access icons. They also have software products that are in the security space.
InMage (www.inmage.net) Tucked into a quiet corner of the hall, InMage is in the backup and recovery space, with a new product announcement targeting XenServer. What they do is a continuous backup. DR-Scout (the product name) adds a small agent to the server that sends disk block level changes to InMage Server. This eliminates backup windows and may be appropriate when you aren't using a SAN to take care of this for you. A key differentiator is the history capability of this solution. Let's say the CEO deletes a file and the next day wants it back. Because the differential changes are still available that change can (in theory) be found and the file recovered. They call this "Backup to the millisecond". The company has been around for about 6 years with OEM products, but has been selling to the public for about 2 years. 95% of their business goes through the channel. They recently closed on a $15m investment from Intel (which happily closed just before the market changed).
Novel (www.novel.com) Novel purchased Platespin last spring and they were present. Platespin has some good conversion capabilities for moving between real and virtual machines. In talking to the Platespin employees, they feel the merger is providing them with significant resources while not interfering. Time will tell.
Whiptail Technologies (www.whiptailtech.com) is a new company, so new that they didn't even make the program. The company is based out of a New Jersey based VAR, but has developed some neat technology. They have a flash based storage device that looks wicked fast. Huge IOPS numbers were thrown at me which sounded fantastic, but it has to get put into a lab to figure out if it is hype.
3tera (www.3tera.com ) 3tera is a cloud computing company. They were demonstrating XenApp and XenDesktop being deployed on their AppLogic Cloud Computing Platform. You probably can't see me roll my eyes every time I hear about Cloud Computing, but trust me - they do. AppLogic contains some proprietary software to help out on the missing glue to create a solution for deploying Xen in a cloud. So what is a cloud? Great question. According to the tech I talked to this might be deployed inside a company, or in a data center, or maybe even an ISP. I must be missing something here, because it sounds like fog to me.