Citrix Synergy 2010: Day 2 keynote live blog

Gabe and I are back in the keynote hall at the Moscone West in San Francisco. This blog is in reverse-chronological order, so read from the bottom up.

Gabe and I are back in the keynote hall at the Moscone West in San Francisco. This blog is in reverse-chronological order, so read from the bottom up. The page does not refresh automatically.

10:36 Woo-hoo! We're done. Nothing of real value came out of this keynote. Be glad you weren't here.

10:34 Frank: "Dell was founded in 1984, so congratulations on that." So think of that statement coming from the same guy who made that big deal about the Far Side comic focusing on the obvious.

10:34 The tweeps are getting restless. Do a twitter search for #citrixsynergy right now and you'll see tweets about rolling in beds, extreme boredom, and .........

10:31 This conversation is absolutely the most boring thing I've ever seen in any keynote.

10:25 Key takeaway from the Frank Gez-Michael Dell conversation: I don't want either one of these guys defining my strategy.

10:23 Dell "It used to be that only the big companies were global, but now even little ones can be global."

10:20 Dell's talking about 4G portable devices now and how we won't need everything locally. Whoa.. and then BAM! This will help us migrate to Windows 7... wait, what?!?!?? This is like that Onion article "Ask a traffic cone." The answers are pre-determined and are in no way related to the questions asked.

10:18 Audience question: "What about thin computing?" Dell: "When something comes along that people want, you stand in the way at your own peril. We view thin computing as flexible computing. The solution has to be all-encompassing. So their business has shifted pretty considerably over the past several years." Then he goes on to talk about how they use their services division to help customers implement stuff. Kind of a non-sequitur.

10:14 Frank: "Where do you see the balance of the rich, thin, mobile, and traditional PC going?" Dell: "We sell to a lot of universities. You set up a room with 100 seats. So you think 'ok, I'll set up wifi for 100 devices.' Wrong! You'll get 250 devices for 100 seats. So the devices aren't converging--it's the data that's converging."

10:11 Frank says that he was in Africa talking to CIOs about the cloud, and they were saying, "Cloud? We can't even get reliable electricity!"

10:10 Dell is done.. whoa.. the stage hands are bringing chairs out on stage. So now Frank is back out and he and Dell are sitting down to "chat."

10:09: "This is just the beginning of a major shift in computing. It's up to IT to providing ubiquitous access over any connection and to any device." Sage gold!

10:07 He just said that "x86 platforms enable choice," which is funny because 30 seconds ago he talked about x86 being the only option in the future.

10:06 Did you know that x86 is huge now and will continue to be? If not, then you should be here today listening to Michael Dell!

10:03 Now he's talking about how the nature of work is changing, mobility, etc. Man this is stuff that we all know a thousand times over. "What if you didn't have to worry about losing a laptop?" Seriously?? This is your message to a Synergy audience? Ugg! 

10:02 Whoa.. he's going into a commercial about EqualLogic and how good they are for VDI and stuff.. This is too bad. I was thinking this keynote might be about his vision for the future and stuff. (You know, just like the conference guide said), but so far this is just a commercial for Dell.

10:00 Talking about Silver Cross Hospital and how doctors were wasting up to 60 minutes a day because they didn't have all apps on all workstations. So they used Citrix and now their desktops roam. Cool. Except this is 2010 and that's the same winning anecdote that we've been hearing for the past decade.

9:57 Aww.. he's talking about ubiquity and the slide has the dictionary definition of ubiquity (complete with the pronunciation guide, syllable break down, etc.). Wow.. that's the keynote version of a wedding toast that starts "Webster's dictionary defines love as..."

9:56 Fun Fact about Michael Dell: He's one of those folks who pronounces the word "human" like "yoo-man".. like with the silent H. I only ever knew one other guy who started his IT career on a teletype (like Dell), so maybe that's a symptom of the upbringing?

9:55 Dell's talking about how both Dell and Citrix are "Enabling Human Potential." (whatever that means)

9:54 He's saying helpdesk calls are way lower on Windows 7 than anything else. Well, since you can't run Mac OS X on a Dell and no one is using Windows 7 yet, he's right!

9:53 Dell is talking about XenClient and how excited they blah blah. Also Windows 7.

9:53 Michael Dell is on stage.

9:50 "It's a world that will be filled with change." This is how Mark ends his keynote. Do you think anyone is watching this now and suddenly leans to the person in the next seat, "You know what Merle? I think he's right. Yeah... YEAH! This world is filled with change and this up-tempo video on five screens reinforces it!!" <---- hahaha! As I was typing that, Gabe leans over and says, "I like this video."

9:46 We're watching a video where four different white men from four different cloud providers read marketing statements about how much they love Citrix. While the background music communicates that these guys are relaxed and casual, their facial expressions and total lack of body movement do not.

9:42 Back to Mark T: "Last topic: Clouds." He wants to enable a practical, pragmatic approach to clouds.

9:41 Brad's making the request. He wants all of us to reach out to our Systems Center counterparts to figure out how you can work together. Which makes sense, since this guy owns System Center. :)

9:37 Demo time: the next version of Microsoft Systems Center. (This is SCVMM 2011.) It's kind of cool.. he's just dragging-and-dropping icons and templates and stuff. Hooks into App-V, disk images, storage, virtual NetScalers, etc. I wonder how much effort it would take to make this happen in real life? ... a LOT of pre-work I assume?

9:35 Brad is saying that most customers have a 30-to-1 server-to-admin ratio. But then he said that Bing, Communicator, and Hotmail have a 3,000-to-1 ratio. So he asks "how can we help everyone do that?" Umm... well, I think I could have 3000-to-1 too if I only had a single app! (Like I wonder what the ratio is for internal Microsoft corporate IT?)

9:34 Mark joked that he doesn't always agree with everything in Brad's vision. Brad's response: "We'll get there." Who do you think will have to move? 

9:33 There are cool things though. Integration of XenApp into SCCM, ability for Dazzle to deliver App-V apps, etc.

9:31 Brad is talking about the desktop ecosystem and the importance of a single cohesive strategy across the desktop, from distributed to centralized. I notice that his slides say "client hosted virtualization." (So MED-V, not XenClient. :)

9:30 Whoa! Brad just gave Mark credit for pushing Microsoft to change their virtual desktop licensing. Wow! Really?

9:29 Microsoft's Bard Anderson has joined Mark on stage. Brad runs Microsoft's management & services division, and reports directly to Bob Muglia.

9:28 Back to Mark T talking about Microsoft. Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V will add site recovery capabilities for keeping warm VMs off site. It's funny because he said that Hyper-V is the "fastest growing hypervisor." So all that about XenServer, but then, yeah, MS is cool too!

9:24 Rackspace CEO Lew Moorman, the second-largest cloud provider who was standardized on Xen, is on stage saying they will now move over to XenServer. Wow! He said their Windows offering is already on XenServer, and they're moving their Linux offerings too. So why? Lew says it's for support. So MS demands that they run on a fully supported platform. He likes the partnerships with the many vendors, like the VHD support. I'm not a cloud guy either, but this seems like a pretty huge win for Citrix?

9:23 XenServer is "built on the Xen engine that powers the largest clouds & internet providers." I've heard that Amazon's cloud stuff is very custom, so yeah it's technically based on Xen, but it's more like a custom fork from it.

9:22 Talking about XenServer 5.6. I'm really not a server virt guy, so I don't know whether what he's saying is really that cool for XenServer or whether it's stuff that ESX has done for years. So I won't comment here, but I do know that people at this conference in general seem to be excited about XenServer 5.6.

9:17 The NetScaler virtual applications will now be available for Hyper-V this summer, and they'll be available as a NATIVE SERVICE right within the System Center management console. And you don't have to be a network engineer to use it. Again, REALLY cool. Nice again!

9:15 Citrix has always had a pay-as-you-grow for NetScaler, but today they're announced a "PayGrow Burst," which is a one-time 90-day license which you can buy to add extra capacity when you need it. (So you buy one of these for your Q4 sales burst.) This is a REALLY cool idea. Nice!

9:11 As Mark explains this NetScaler app fabric stuff, he's definitely a bit rough.. reading a lot from the speaker's note screen in front of him.. not a bad presentation, but it's clear that XenDesktop and XenApp are really his sweet spots. (And ours too!)

9:10 Now moving on to discuss NetScaler. I know this isn't our core area, but now that these things are virtual and can be bound to VMs and stuff (and even single apps)... these things are pretty cool!

9:09 Mark T: "What percentage of infrastructure do you want to own, and what percentage of infrastructure do you want to have access to on a dynamic and elastic basis?"

9:07 He just said this is the biggest conference they ever had? (4600 people) Wow.. It definitely seems kind of empty-ish. He's apologizing for all the training labs being full. He said they did a 6x increase over last year, and that they'll increase it even more next year... I guess that's a cool problem to have.

9:07 Mark T is back on stage, and people are cheering for him?!?

9:06 To summarize Frank's presentation, there's lots of data and lots of devices out there, stuff will change, and we will need to support lots of devices and new ways of working. And guess what? We have to embrace these game changers, focusing on physical is a doomed strategy, and we have to simplify. Glad I spent the last 30min learning that… Thanks!

8:58 Frank is showing a graph of how likely people are to move their workloads to the cloud, and he's saying "look at how much people want to do this?" So then Gabe leans over to me and says, "Yeah it's easy to make it look like people want to do this when your graph doesn't go to 100%" Ouch! (I guess Frank read this book?)

8:51 haha! The photos in the background for the "mobility" slide include one of the photoshopped fake iPad image from before it was released.

8:50 Frank's Big 3 IT game-changers: Mobility, Cloud Computing, and Information Avalanche.

8:42 Since our website is just about desktop virtualization, I'm going to try to only mention the stuff that's specifically related to us. So right now Frank is talking about IT change and delivery something.. a fine presentation, but not really something you want to read about here.

8:39 John is introducing Frank Gens, Chief Analyst from IDC. I wonder how one gets chosen to lead this keynote? If they're using analysts, I vote that it's me next year!

8:38 Best of show award goes to AppDNA. Tim wrote about them way back in Jan 2009 for us.

8:37 Another category with Virtual Computer and AppDNA. AppDNA won. Actually I'm not 100% sure of what these things are.

8:34 John's going through the best-of-show awards. 3PAR, Liquidware Lbas, and Kaviza are there. And the winner is... hey! Kaviza. We've done video of them before on bm.com. Gabe also wrote about Citrix investing in them.

8:31 Keynote is live. John Gallant is on stage. How current is this guy? He launched a paper magazine 16 years ago! (I'm just jealous because I wanted to launch a paper magazine 16 years ago.)

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This session with Frank Gens should be called "The 3 most obvious technology trends".


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Was there an actual announcement besides a new client device that uses the already excellent AT&T network?


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Looks like sleeping late on thursday morning wasn't a too bad decision...


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