Citrix Synergy 2011 San Francisco: Opening Keynote LIVE BLOG

This is the live blog which took place during the opening keynote of Citrix Synergy 2011 San Francisco on May 25, 2011. Read from the bottom-up.

This is the live blog which took place during the opening keynote of Citrix Synergy 2011 San Francisco on May 25, 2011. Read from the bottom-up.

12:41 Back to Mark. They're moving from "any-ness" to "every-ness." Blah blah future. Have a great show.

12:33 Now Gus is talking about the second "one more thing" item. Gus is thinking back to January 2010 when Steve Jobs announced the iPad. Mark is trying to move this conversation along, as we're now 5 minutes into stoppage time. There have been 2.5m downloads of Citrix Receiver for iPad. He's announcing the "next gen of virtual desktops." He's on a Mac with the HTML5 client. Ooh.. he published a Mac desktop to Citrix receiver. But I wonder how that works? VNC to a Mac Mini in a datacenter? I assume this is not virtual Mac OS. Ok, so he's showing movies and Angry Macs from his remote Mac session to his local Mac session. So yeah yeah.. we get it. How's it working? We're nine minutes over time now.

12:27 Gus Pinto is on stage. This dude is such a caricature of Steve Jobs... like so much it's hard to keep a straight face. Gus is talking about a Receiver plug-in built by Bluestacks Systems. Today they have Android apps on Windows, and Citrix has partnered with them to deliver Android apps to Windows receiver. Is this cool, or just a party trick? My gut says "party trick," but I'll sleep on it.

12:26 The end. Oh wait.. there are two more things.

12:19 So that's their "Three PC" story.. Stitching personal cloud, private cloud, and public cloud. Now he's talking pretty generically about how we will shift from enterprise to cloud, etc. So how do you go out and do this? Citrix has five things, and they want to be the role model.

  1. Device & network independence. He's using NetFlix as a role model here.
  2. Any-to-any support, Security when needed . Role model is eTrade. Unlocked by default, only lock when needed.
  3. Self-service user experiences. Role model is Virgin America.
  4. Elastic service & variable costs. Role model is Amazon AWS.
  5. Take a design-based approach to service: Role model is iTunes
So Citrix plans to lead this conversation, and in fact to lead THE conversation in IT for the cloud era.

12:16 A Rackspace guy is on stage talking about OpenStack.. I'm not going to go deep into this since it's not our core area of coverage. New thing called Citrix Project Olympus, because Citrix will be standing tall to support Openstack. Whatever that means. Something about building a product to be released the 2H of this year.

12:14 Citrix is partnering with Amazon for AWS to make it seamless to move workloads, etc. between private clouds and AWS. Interesting though that no one from Amazon is here, AND that Amazon uses Xen, not XenServer.

12:11 Moving on to the public cloud... Mark T "Let's start with a reality check. A lot of people think that just because they're using server virtualization, they're building a private cloud. But they are not the same thing. Clouds are open, designed for scaling, and designed for self service. And to do that, you need to have a very different design." He said they know this because NetScaler is out there everywhere, and because AWS and Rackspace are both based on Xen.

12:03 When it comes to "cloud bursting," Citrix wants to make it easy to make your "private cloud," (i.e. your datacenter) that gives you "infinite capacity" by letting your own environment scale up into external cloud providers as needed. And the way you do that is to make the external cloud look completely transparent to your internal cloud. To do that, Citrix is introducing a new product, NetScaler Cloud Bridge. Cloud Bridge allows you to keep your data and/or directory in your private cloud while having the compute out in the public cloud. I assume the NetScaler's on each side of this bridge can be virtual? Cloud Bridge will be out in June.

12:03 XenDesktop 5 with IntelliCache is now available, with SP1 for XenDesktop 5.

12:02 Talking about HDX. They're releasing a new version with lots of features.. We'll dig into this later.

11:59 All this Cloud Gateway stuff.. first, it will be available as a virtual appliance. Pricing will be $50-150 per user. Availability? Q3. Hahaha! Citrix made fun of VMware so much for having their stuff on the "horizon" and being vaporware. Who's vaporware now bitches???

11:53 Now the next questions that people ask is "What happens to the data? Sure I have all my apps in one place, but for data?" Announcement: Follow-me Data. Users have datacenter data, local data, and cloud data. So Citrix wants to let IT say "Yes" to all of these types of data, but it involves security, syncing, policies, remote wipe, policies, collaboration, etc. They need to focus on data on access, data in transit, and data at rest. This seems cool.. Wonder how it works? Demo time again... There's a new button in Citrix Receiver for "Data." And clicking that shows folders for Dropbox, Enterprise data, and folders. Citrix will encrypt certain areas of the drives (like for data only), while leaving the rest alone. This is really cool too. I love that Citrix isn't trying to "own" the data sync, but that they're also leveraging these cloud data providers. Whoa.. it works on the iPad too? With completely local offline secure data? Man that shit's cool. You can click on a Word doc on the iPad, and if you're connected it will launch a published app copy of Word which will reach into the local storage of the iPad to open that file in Word running in the datacenter. Man.. We need to dig into that! I wonder if all versions of Receiver (i.e. Mac!) will support all of this? If so.. man.. nice work Citrix!

11:51 Now they're showing that since this is going through the NetScaler, they can also see and aggregate performance of SaaS apps, see whether they're hitting their SLAs, see whether any accounts are locked out, check total SaaS license usage.. Ok, so this is cool and seems to be better than VMware Horizon.

11:46 NetScaler Cloud Gateway is very similar to VMware Horizon App Manager, and also similar to Citrix OpenCloud Access. Now they're giving a demo. His personal collection of apps follows him to whatever device he's on. MarkT "It's kind of like user experience syncing across devices." Yeah.. "kind of." But it is cool.. password management, identity management, talking about how users might not even know their accounts for all these SaaS Services. Yeah, this is VMware Horizon.

11:43 Ok, so that was all about the Personal Cloud. (The personal devices.) Next up is the Private Cloud. Mark says it's about creating a single front door for all the services that IT needs to provide. (And that front door must be welcoming, but secure.) This is being done with a new product: NetScaler Cloud Gateway. (Access Gateway, Secure Gateway, Cloud Gateway.. get it?)

11:39 Now they're showing a new thing, GoToManage for the iPad, so you can use that to remotely manage an environment from the iPad. The demo is failing though because of the lack of WiFi reliability. Tap dancing. Well.. the demo sounds cool. MarkT says that the 1-to-1 connection is free. (I guess they don't want to give Apple 30%?)

11:33 Now demoing the Motorola ATRIX. Nothing special in the demo. Just showing off different Receiver platforms. All of the Receivers have been refreshed so that all your app icons look pretty. Looks like iOS. People are clapping?!? It's just animation... Well, it's just *pretty* animation, so I guess this is cool. WiFi failing left & right, so demos are not so demo-y. But basically the gist is that they have Citrix receiver for everything, and they all look pretty. This is actually a cool thing.

11:32 Amit told the audience to check under their chairs.. They're giving away several hundred Chromebooks to attendees.

11:24 Announcement: Citrix Receiver for the Web. This works with any browser. This is the HTML5 thing that they talked about with Google Chrome OS for those Chromebook laptop things. Google Amit Singh is on stage to talk about how much they love Citrix. He's explaining the Chromebook concept, and how Citrix is great for getting back to all the Windows apps. Amit said, "With Citrix, you can stream any of the apps to the Chromebook that you've already virtualized." I think that's a slight misstatement. You can't run local streamed apps. I think he means using the HTML5 client to access remote apps... And now we're going into commercial mode for the Chromebook. He said they're deploying Citrix on Chromebooks internally at Google. I wonder what they use Windows desktop apps for?

11:23 Announcement: New version of Receiver for iPad, including fast app switching. Much faster, less bandwidth, better user experience, and jailbreak detection. (Cool!)

11:21 Back to the consumerization story, and how IT has to say "Yes" to just about any device out there. And he's saying that Receiver is everywhere.. in fact more than one billion devices on the planet that can run Receiver.. Android, Blackberry, Windows, Mac, iOs, WebOS, HTML5, etc, etc...

11:20 Back to Mark T for more XenClient news. He's announcing "XenClient XT," a new product variant for super high security like government, defense, etc. This is great for agencies who previously had to use separate physical machines for connecting to different levels of secure networks. XenClient XT will ship in June.

11:14 Moving on to talk about devices. "Last year we set the world on fire with the announcement of v1 of XenClient. And you loved it." Hmm.. not sure about that. Today they're announcing XenClient 2, with focus on more device compatibility, including devices that do NOT have vPro. You'll lose a little bit of performance, no direct 3D access without vPro, but still enough to run videos and stuff. Next he's showing a Second Generation vPro system with 3D graphics, Aero, Flip3D, etc. Third he's showing a workstation class system with AMD Radeon graphics. So that's new. Before it was just Nvidia. They believe there are now 45 million systems in the world that can run XenClient 2. The Tech Preview will be up on the website later today.

11:12 Watching two new TV ads about GoToMeeting with HD Faces. Hey, they got the Apple Voice Guy. And what do you know.. the commercial is about kids in Africa. Pandering to heart strings?

11:09 Now watching a demo of GoToMeeting with HD Faces video conferencing. Haha.. they are using this HD video demo as a commercial for the new Wyse Xenith "Pro" client device. So is the Xenith Pro more HDX Ready than the regular Xenith?

11:05 Mark: "If I were the Czar of IT, we would never do another IT project that requires training." He claims that would be cheaper and have better adoption. Yeah no shit. So I guess we will only use consumar apps like Facebook, Twitter, & DropBox. No more CAD/CAM or ERP systems.. Woo-hoo!

11:04 Talking about how users like technology at first, and then they want more and more, and eventually they stop using it because they want to, but because they have to. So Citrix wants to make stuff easy so that people keep on liking it. I don't really understand this though. Doesn't seem like reality.

11:02 The rest of the day will focus on the "Three PCs" -- Personal Cloud, Private Cloud, & Public Cloud. (uggh.. seriously?)

10:59 We're watching a video from a hospital in Toronto. They're talking about how Citrix has helped them deliver better service, while showing a video of someone trying to use a Windows app on an iPad. I imagine they used voiceover audio because the actual audio was like, "Ok Mrs. Smith.. let me pull up your chart here on my iPad with the Citrix Receiver to deliver good service to you.. ok, click, zoom, zoom, pan, zoom, click on name, whoops, missed it, pan, pan.. click on back, ok just need to drag this down, click, slide.. whoops, missed it, let me get that window up again, pan, pan, pan, click, whoops."

10:57 Now moving into the Citrix Innovation Awards finalists. They do this every year.. basically picking a customer who they think is using Citrix technologies in the most innovative way.

10:56 The value creation, consumerization, providing "whatever, whenever, however".. that's what's driving Citrix today.

10:53 Oh sweet! He's talking about TCO, and how that's not the point. (Which I agree with, because I have a session on Friday called "How to lie with cost models." :) But now the conversation should be about TVO, for "True Value of Ownership." Something that's free doesn't mean that it has value.

10:47 Now Mark's talking about BYOC, or how now it's "BYO-3," since users have three devices.. tablets, phones, and laptops. (Side note: I now own Now we're getting into some more generic talking about larger pressures, outsourcing, etc. I'm not going to cover this stuff as much as the desktop & application-specific stuff.

10:43 Talking about three "forces" in the industry now.. (1) We've have 10 years of only single-digit IT spending growth. (2) The Innovator's Dimemma.. everything we have is very mature, making it difficult to change, and (3) Consumerization, users & customers are taking control. So we don't have money, we have to support the old, and the users can do whatever they want. Dang! He's highlighting the "gap" between what consumers can do and what enterprise IT can do. That is the concept of consumerization. The most powerful force since the PC applied the same force against the mainframe.

10:40 Next up is Microsoft. Talking about how they're aligned, including App-V integration, SCVMM full integration, HDX support for RemoteFX, and Hyper-V SP1 for higher user densities. They also built a XenApp connector for System Center, updated management packs, management of XenServer & Hyper-V via the "single pane of glass." There is also something called the "v-alliance" which is something with Microsoft & Citrix helping customers go to market. Or something. He's focusing on how even after 20 years, there is still a lot that Citrix & Microsoft can do today.

10:39 He's talking about how many components are involved with XenDesktop, and that "typically it may take a small team to run it, even just for a few users." But for Kaviza, one admin can run it. "Complexity is optional." We says "Welcome to the Citrix family." They'll put the Citrix brand on it later this year.

10:38 Mark is talking right-off-the-bat about Kaviza. Met them a year ago, made the investment.. their idas was "simple." It turns out that customers were buying this. He said it's been so good that they wanted to add it to their product portfolio.

10:36 Mark T is on stage. He's saying "we have the next two hours to talk about the cloud." Then tomorrow morning more keynotes, including Simon Crosby talking about what's next.

10:32 Still waiting. DJ playing, etc.

10:22 Waiting for it to begin. Confirming connectivity.

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