Friday Notebook, December 15: Citrix is optimistic; Igel and deviceTRUST; Cog Systems funding

Also: Apple software quality, secure remote browsers, Android enterprise enrollment using Knox, and more.

This is our weekly log of everything that’s happened in the EUC, EMM, and desktop virtualization space, collected and co-written by Jack and Gabe.

News we covered

Blue Cedar is modularizing their MAM approach for the extended enterprise. They’re also heading to the public cloud, with new control plane services in Microsoft Azure, and more to come next year.

Industry news

Citrix held an industry analyst day this week. It’s a mostly NDA event, so as bloggers, we don’t attend (and in general, we interact with Citrix Public Relations as opposed to Analyst Relations). The sentiment from analysts on Twitter seemed positive, but the rest of us will have to go by the end of year earnings, which will come out in late January. As of Q3 2017, net revenue was up 3% over Q3 2016; subscription revenue, an important sign for the future, grew 30% over the same period. (Via Q3 Investor presentation—Link to PDF.) So again, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Citrix posted their latest monthly wrap-up article featuring all the changes in XenApp and XenDesktop. This month, they also included XenServer, to which they've added support for the latest Pascal GPUs from NVIDIA. Most notable among the other announcements is support for Windows 10's Continuum feature in XenDesktop. Now XenDesktop sessions are aware when an endpoint switches between PC and tablet mode, and the sessions will also switch. These posts are quite useful, so check them out.

Citrix also shared some more information about how Citrix Cloud works on Google Cloud Platform. It’s about what you’d expect, with Citrix Cloud taking care of things like StoreFront, SQL, and other core systems, along with cloud connectors that let you place resources in GCP that talk to Citrix Cloud. If you’re interested, there are more details and links to documentation in the article.

Igel announced a partnership with deviceTRUST, which adds contextual management capabilities to endpoint devices. It’s been integrated directly into Igel’s management platform, so companies that upgrade to the latest version will be able to manage devices based on more than 200 different properties, like networking, hardware, software, or even performance.

After Jack wrote about secure remote browsers on Monday, two more offerings crossed our desk. First, Menlo Security raised $40 million in funding, and then Authentic8 reached out (we have a call with them next week). Could this be a chance for remoting use cases to grow by significant amount? We’ll be watching in 2018.

Cog Systems announced $3.5 million in funding this week. We recently converted their “microvisor” technology for small development board devices and mobile phones.

AirWatch detailed how Samsung Knox Mobile Enrollment can be used to provision phones into Android enterprise work-managed mode. Now that Android enterprise is getting pretty good, we often hear questions about when to use it versus Knox. Different use cases will lead to different answers, and as we see here, a combined approach is possible, too.

Arguments that Apple software isn’t what it used to be are as old as time, but the last few weeks sure kicked up a storm. First there was the macOS root access bug, then there was the snafu about reapplying the patch after updating to 10.13.1 (this is now solved with 10.13.2), then there was crashing in iOS 11.1.2, and finally, some people are concerned about the way iTunes now handles backup encryption. Oh, and don’t forget the “I” to [?] bug in iMessage and the recent Homekit issues which required an update to fully fix. Jack shared some thoughts on the macOS bug, but this is enough to make anybody weary. Time will tell whether the last few weeks are a trend or an anomaly. In the meantime, remember that zero-days can happen to anyone, and at least Apple is very responsive with patches. (Plus, the story on Android is getting better, too.)

Apple is apparently cracking down on apps created with template tools. As TechCrunch notes, these are important for small businesses. What’s interesting is that IBM’s templated apps for the enterprise, created in partnership with Apple, are not affected. This is another thing we’ll keep on eye on in 2018, to see how it possibly effects enterprise-oriented MADP and RMAD tools.

The Jamf and Microsoft EMS / Intune / Azure AD integration announced at Ignite is GA this week.

Our blog posts

Could remote browsers get popular for SaaS security in 2018? Secure remote browsers are a good way to apply the benefits of remote computing to SaaS, but this use case doesn’t seem to have caught on yet.

Moving to the cloud is not easy or cheap. It’s worth remembering that there’s always more to the cloud than you first think. (By Jo Harder.)

Citrix's buying Unidesk sits atop 2017's list of desktop virtualization acquisitions. Citrix, Ivanti, HPE, and NComputing were busy acquiring companies in 2017 (and in one case, selling off a business). We take a look at all the M&A activity in desktop virtualization for 2017.

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