Citrix Synergy 2010 Berlin: Opening keynote live blog

I'm sitting in the massive expo hall at the Estel hotel in Berlin awaiting the Synergy 2010 opening keynote. They have a dedicated blogger section (with power), and Mark Templeton just came by and told us that there's a ton of content in today's keynote.

I'm sitting in the massive expo hall at the Estel hotel in Berlin awaiting the Synergy 2010 opening keynote. They have a dedicated blogger section (with power), and Mark Templeton just came by and told us that there's a ton of content in today's keynote. It's been a busy week for & Citrix. Citrix just released XenClient (which I wrote about Monday), and yesterday's post by AppDetective challenged the company to maintain its enterprise-focus moving forward. Will they address these things into today's keynote? Let's find out!

*NOTE: The keynote is over. Read from the bottom-up.


12:44 Mark T is now talking about this "Nirvana" device.. a single device that does it all. He's asking Gus whether this makes the Nirvana device a reality? Gus is getting a keyboard for the iPad, and Mark just used the 30-pin dock connector via VGA to plug it into an external screen. Gus is doing a bluetooth pairing for the keyboard, and the desktop itself is on the external display. Then the iPad becomes a huge trackpad (the super huge magic trackpad?).. and now this is a pretty slick portable thin client.

12:42 They're also making a new interface for desktop on the iPad. Gus has opened local Safari on the iPad and browsed to the regular XenDesktop web interface front end. He just added a link to the home screen (just like you can do with any web page), but the shortcut is automatic so you can just click on it.. it has your credentials and everything saved so it just jumps right in.

12:41 Oh cool. And the new Citrix Receiver for iPad supports multitasking so that ICA apps will still remain running and stay connected in the background.

12:38 Gus Pinto is on stage showing the new version of Citrix Receiver for iPad iOS 4.2 (which will be out soon). First new feature is that it will integrate with the Citrix Dazzle-like app store, so users can get their own apps from their stores. The other new feature is new touch enhancements.. They have thing feature that sort of turns the whole screen (for remote ICA apps) into a giant touchpad.. Pretty slick.

12:34 Time is up, but Mark is doing the Steve Jobs-style "one more thing" demo.

12:31 Mark is talking about how it's hard to get from Point A to Point B. Traditional logic says the shortest path between two points is a straight line. He's showing this to us on a piece of paper.. hmm.. I wonder where this is going. :) Yep! He just bent the paper around and punched a hole from Point A to Point B, Flatland-style. Mark said that this is Citrix's commitment to you.. thinking outside of the box. Apparently that means they will give us the 4th dimension?

12:30 Mark is closing by reiterating the "any, any, any" message.. Citrix receiver, consumer-like seamless experience, etc. "This is the Citrix vision."

12:27 They're showing a demo of how the user self-provisioning we saw before can be extended to external cloud providers (Amazon instances, etc.) and how the provisioning can be infrastructure and VMs in addition to apps.. This is pretty cool stuff (although not my area of expertise so I don't know how much of it is new and cool versus how much is pretty standard these days.

12:22 Part of the cloud announcements is "OpenCloud Access," for single sign-on and provisioning for web & SaaS apps. That's what powered the demo earlier, so we'll have to dig into this to find out exactly how it works.

12:17 XenServer "Cowley" is now released, which is XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1. There are some desktop-oriented improvements here (like Intellicache for storage optimization) which we'll look at later this week.

12:12 Now moving on to major keynote Theme #3 - Virtual Datacenters.. I'll probably go silent through a lot of this unless there are specific desktop or application links.

12:12 And ALL this is available via one product, one license.. giving you the choice to deploy whatever you want.

12:12 Reminder from Mark T that XenVault is built-in to XenClient & XenDesktop.. secure, remote wipe, etc.

12:10 Now Mark is talking about how this is possible with "direct access to the hardware." <-- So I guess we can throw out that whole "My desktop can run on any hardware" concept from ten minutes ago!

12:07 Peter is also showing that future XenClient will support multi-monitor and 3D graphics... but with Nvidia!?! So this is not vPro I guess?

12:04 Peter Blum is back on stage, demoing the McAfee Move-AV service VM architecture.

12:02 Back to Mark T: Let's talk about the next version of XenClient. "XenClient is really built for the vPro platform, and it leverages the features of vPro to really blend in with the hardware." Nice marketing statement. But in real life you have to disable TxT and TPM for XenClient to work.

12:01 Video from Intel's Rick Echevarria (vPro owner) talking about desktop virtualization is a very boring corporate way.

11:58 Peter said the virtual machines are not hardware-dependent, so if a laptop fails then you can run your desktop on any other one. But how do you get your image off the old dead laptop?

11:53 XenClient demo time. The setup is about XenClient and the Citrix Receiver for XenClient. XenClient PM Peter Blum is on stage for the demo. Showing that the webcam is working. (Demo is via Lenovo x201).. You can use "essentially any USB device."  Key words being "essentially" and "USB."

11:50 And of course, there's a fourth: XenClient. "New, wonderful technology." XenClient is a "True Type 1 hypervisor." Dell & HP will soon ship XenClient as a factory-installed option, and today Mark's announcing the same from Lenovo across the whole like of their "Think" laptops and desktops... Hmm.. but there are "think" devices are not vPro?

11:49 Talking about the more basic "FlexCast" message, where you can choose to deliver desktops via OS streaming, hosted VDI, and hosted shared (RDS). So those are the three CURRENT methods... hey.. where do you think this is going... "" :)

11:47 Moving on, but still talking about desktops.. Mark's talking about taking the desktop and separating it to movable, manageable, separate parts. We have a "layer cake" diagram on the screen with Hardware, dekstop OS, apps, data, preferences, & user. So just take them, move them to the datacenter, and then dynamically assemble them on-demand. Cool, but old news to and BriForum community members. He says they call this "FlexCast," although that's a stretch because this whole layer cake thing isn't quite there yet.

11:46 Mark's reminding us that the Citrix Receiver has a full plug-in architecture, and that's in fact what they use for all their capabilities, and this is available to partners too.

11:45 Brad's showing the live moving of his VDI desktop from his physical desktop to his iPad.. Cool though that it has SSO and he didn't have to do "CTRL+ALT+DEL" on the iPad. They're calling that "Zero Day SSO." This is important and we'll cover it more later.

11:42 The rest of this demo is pretty typical.. showing picking up work apps from home via an iMac, Wyse Xenith zero clients, High-def video, etc. (Although for the video, Brad stuck a USB key in the client which he used to copy the video file to his remote VDI desktop, but that huge video file copied in about 3 seconds.. so yeah the demo is cool, but with LOTs of bandwidth available!)

11:38 Whoa! Is that an icon for in the Dazzle application store in the demo? Oh, I guess not... 

11:33 We're looking at a demo of Citrix Dazzle & Citrix Receiver, and how it hooks into XenApp datacenter apps, streamed apps, and web / SaaS apps. The datacenter & streamed app demo is nothing new, but for the SaaS stuff.... Wow.. we see icons for DropBox, AWS, Facebook, GoToMeeting, Ceridian, etc. Brad selects SaaS apps from the Dazzle interface and they're added to his start menu.. Full single sign-on seamless integration... more on that later.

11:32 Brad Peterson is on sage. (This is "West coast Brad Peterson"--the guy that came to Citrix via Net6.. Not to be confused with "Brad Pedersen," Citrix employee #7 and inventer of ICA & MetaFrame.)

11:31 Citrix wants to deliver all apps.. Windows, web & SaaS, with one logon... Kind of like VMware Project Horizon.

11:30 "The power to say 'yes' to new devices." "We made a promise for 'any' device, and we mean it." All the newest hottest devices.. They will support it. Full support for touch & gestures.

11:28 XenDesktop 5 theme #3, better video collaboration, new printing architecture, better audio performance, and intelligent QoS.. All via new Citrix receivers. Talking about Wyse Xenith.

11:27, Next, beautiful user experience.. everything from the user-standpoint is fresh and new and looks beautiful.. from all clients, all methods of access.

11:26 First, much faster to get up and running. A new admin console called "Desktop Director" which is an admin console for operational admins. There's a "ten to xen" theme which is "ten minutes to get a desktop up and running." There's a "desktop studio" for provisioning new desktops.

11: 26 XenDesktop 5 announced today

11:25 They hear things.. make things faster, simpler, a more consumer-like experience... with Hey! XenDesktop 5.

11:23 Over the last six months, the conversations are turning.. At first it was "Wow!," But now people are wondering "How?" Haha.. they have a "wow to how" super session to help people figure this out.

11:23 Back to Mark, "XenDesktop is winning." Best user experience, multiple delivery methods, broadest client support...

11:19 McAfee is announcing "McAfee MoveAV," a new product specifically designed for XenDesktop. We first learned about this architecture at Synergy SF.

11:18 Video from McAfee CEO Dave Dewalt. (Wait, aren't they part of Intel now?) Dave is talking about how awesome Citrix blah blah business processess something something end point transformation blah mobile... Man this video has a lot of cuts.

11:17 Back to Mark, he's explaining the video. I guess it is just a marketing thing. Whatever. Now on to talking about McAfee.

11:15 Guy from video, "the Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solution with Citrix XenDesktop is the best...." Ok, so far nothing new.. talking about XenDesktop features and Cisco networking gear, blah blah.. Hmm.. So what the hell is this? I guess just a joint go-to-market strategy?

11:13 Mark is talking about a new relationship that they announced with Cisco about a month ago.. I guess I missed this.. What are they doing in the desktop space? Oh, we're watching a video about it now. Ok, Sept 8, their announcement was... (wow Cisco dude.. read from a teleprompter much?)

11:12 Citrix has sold 3.5M XenDesktop licenses in the past three quarters. (I wonder how many of those were old XenApp customers who "traded up" via the 2-for-1 to XenDesktop but who don't use it yet?

11:11 Now moving on to "Virtual Desktops." XenDesktop 4 was released one year ago today. Over 100 customers with over 1,000 seats deployed today. (Is that good? And I wonder how many are VDI seats versus native streamed OS.)

11:10 Good point: GoToMeeting means that Citrix "gets" the SaaS space since they're the $5 SaaS vendor (in terms of revenue) worldwide.

11:07 Back to Mark T. Talking about how the online services started in the US and the business has been focused on the English-speaking world. But if they look at the heat map of where GoToMeeting is used.. wow! A lot in China & India. So they're going to "go global" with GoToMeeting, and starting today it's available natively in French & German.

11:00 Now we're getting a Citrix Online web conferencing and video conferencing demo from the Citrix Online CTO. He's mentioning that it's weird that web conferencing and video conferencing have been different offerings in the past, but users want the quality of HD video conferencing to be combined with the screen and chat sharing of web conferencing. Wow! They're announcing GoToMeeting will have an "HDfaces" feature, which will be built-in to GoToMeeting. Cool! Live demo time... risky stuff. Yeah, it's working though. This is pretty cool.. one click share the web cam. Yeah this is a cool demo.. He's introducing the audience to his meeting. The other meeting peeps are in Santa Barbara.. it's 2:05am for them. Performance is pretty great even from Europe to US. And the layout is great.. you can still share the screens and slides, and they're next to the high-def images of the people. I like this a lot. Supports up to six video feeds, and with all of them you're "essentially" HD res. Ohh.. so each video is not HD. (Although if it's a one-on-one, you get 720p.) Beta of GoToMeeting with HDfaces starts later this month, GA 1Q 2011. The cost will not change.. HDfaces is built-in to GoToMeeting. Nice!

10:55 First is "Virtual Meetings," which is relevant to Citrix via their "GoToMeeting" offering. Whoa, Webex has almost 50% market share.. looks like Citrix in second place only has 15% or so? The slide footer indicates that this data is Citrix Confidential and should not be distributed.

10:55 Agenda for today: Virtual Meetings, Virtual Desktops, and Virtual Datacenters.

10:53 We need to be able to "move work to a more optimal place," called "work shifting." This is also a similar message from May.

10:49 "Three screens and a cloud" will power the way we work. Big screen for creating content ("empower me"), small screen for snacking on the go ("alert me"), and the new medium screen (tablet) for dining on information ("show me"). The feel that betting on any ONE of these is old school. Organizations can't standardize on an endpoint. Instead we have to work with all of them--Android for small, Apple for medium, HP for large, for example.

10:47 Back to Mark T, talking about "new ways to work," and working anywhere. I think this is similar to what they shared at Synergy in San Francisco last May.

10:43 The customer (The Cooperative Group) in the video is talking about why they need XenDesktop, but the example he used was that they're saving money on power and cooling in the datacenter... So that sounds like XenServer to me.. why do they need XenDesktop exactly? Then the next example they're using is to talk about how they've virtualized their helpdesk desktops so that employees can logon from any station or at home.. So that sounds like XenApp.. Why do they need XenDesktop exactly?

10:40 Watching videos about the Berlin edition of the Citrix Innovation Awards.

10:37 The message today is "Virtual Computing." Powering the conference is 12k VMs, 8k virtual dekstops, and 78 NetScaler VPX virtual appliances. Mark said that's enough NetScalers to power "Two Amazons." So I guess we can confirm that Amazon has 39 NetScalers. :)

10:35 Mark Templeton, Citrix CEO, is on stage now. The is the first event branded as "Synergy" outside the US, and they literally sold out. They're streaming many sessions to the web for people who couldn't get in.

10:25 Now they're saying we'll start at 10:35, which means an extra five minutes of Lady Gaga (which I love now that I'm a single guy living in San Francisco). BTW, it's 4:30am US East Cost, 1:30am West Coast. Our website logs show the location of visitors.. I hope there aren't actually too many watching live from the US!

10:20 Keynote should begin in 10 mins.

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A couple clarifications for you:

11:13: The Cisco Validated Design for XenDesktop is a pretty cool thing. check out the (127+ page) document and visit the MTM Virtual Desktop Alliance site for more info ( <-shameless plug)

The simplicity and scalability of the platform is very impressive, and it's a validated design that you can take and implement VERY quickly compared to the "death by analysis" that many VDI projects are suffering though right now.

12:07: vPro is a platform like Centrino. it's a full definition of all the components involved including the graphics and networking, as well as what we think of a vPro, the VT-d, AMT, and TMP technologies. If you leave in all the other capabilities and swap out the graphics to NVidia, then it's not vPro anymore.

XenClient does not actually "REQUIRE" vPro today, but you only get all the features on a platform that has the TPM and other advanced technology. 1.0 also requires Intel graphics so it is MUCH easier to tell people that they need to buy vPro instead of enumerating the parts.


I read through the Cisco Validated Design reference architecture and was quite impressed with the features of the UCS, XenServer, and NetApp for XenDesktop compared to other alternatives such as HP and Dell...

I am really impressed with Cisco's Extended Memory Technology to allow more RAM and NetApps wide range of technologies to cut storage costs.

In the proof of concept if we incur lots of costs with storage I would like to see how XenServer intellicache will fit in as well, otherwise I might have to take a look at Atlantis ILIO's reference architecture that will be coming out soon. But then it most likely won't be a validated design...


Did anyone else notice the name change of their product "Password Manager" to "Single Sign-On"? That's another one for Gabe to add to his chart ;).