I'm interviewing several folks from Citrix. What should I ask them?

I'm heading down to Ft. Lauderdale tomorrow for a few days to interview several people at Citrix.

I'm heading down to Ft. Lauderdale tomorrow for a few days to interview several people at Citrix. I'll be recording these interviews and releasing them as podcasts. Right now I have conversations with the following people scheduled:

  • Mark Templeton, CEO
  • Brad Pederson, longest-serving employee of Citrix, and primary architect of ICA and Presentation Server throughout the years
  • Orestes Melgarejo & Sumit Dhawan, on the future of Citrix Presentation Server
  • Mike East & Rizwan Pirani, about the System II lab and Dev/Test procedures
  • Dave Wagner. Sumit Dhawan, & Brian Nason, on VDI, DDI, and Citrix Trinity futures
  • Aaron Cockerill & Manu Chauhan , on the future of Tarpon and Citrix application streaming
  • Rick Becker, about LCM and how Citrix creates hotfixes

Obviously I have a lot of ideas of the types of questions I want to ask each of these people, but I'm also interested in what you would ask these folks if you sat down with them one-on-one. Fortunately I will not be providing the questions ahead of time, so we should get some "real" answers from them.

As you know, I really think Citrix is turning over a new leaf with regards to their interaction and involvement with the community. Their employee blogs, the CTP program, and their willingness to record podcasts like this are all great signs.

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I would be curious to know if Citrix is going to ever force their SA customers to purchase CAG devices and licensing instead of letting us continually use the CSG for free instead.
I would ask Mark if Citrix plans to join Microsoft in the fight against cheat sites like Testking.
- Jeff
I would ask about Video conferencing support over Citrix!
I would take focus on future technologies...
Microsoft's Terminal Services in Longhorn will make a technological jump forward, however, they will lack some features for enterprise users like load-balancing.
Regarding the whole "cake"... Does Citrix agree that in the small-business market they're likely to lose some customers to Longhorn? Do they plan an enterprise-focus strategy instead?
How does Citrix rate the Softgrid technology? What will be their "virtualization value added" over Softgrid?
Thank you!
P.S.: Brian, don't you expect some Citrix staff to read this and know the questions in advance?
I would also ask questions about server virtualization integration with Citrix products (Presentation Server). Are they working with M$ and VMware to take advantage of virtualization technologies (server and application), specifically the 'production' use of Citrix on VMware ESX servers. In listening to Ron O. on this issue, it's not the best to use VMware for Citrix servers that are under heavy load (with good reason). Just wondering if there is an effort underway to take better advantage of these technologies.
I would ask when are they going to deliver, "completely" on all products, good adminstration tools, Reporting & systems monitoring tools.  There is no reason why Citrix cannot deliver on low hanging fruit like these areas.  And no, the Access Suite Console is ............(nice words, nice words), ...less than desirable.
I would ask Gary Barton when client printer features like UPD and "Driver Mapping" will be available for Network printing.  I heard that UPD might be addressed, but that Driver Mapping was not in the cards- the reason I heard was because Citrix uses UPD for all their printers without issue.  Nice- but thats not reality for the rest of us.  Driver Mapping is still used by many shops because the UPD had issues.  Sure would be nice have this feature for network printers.
Another thing thats bugged me for years- why not allow notes to be stored per server.  I text editable field in the CMC, stored for each element- each server, farm, whatever.  When u have a bunch of engineers touching an environment, its nice to have a running history.  I mean- its a friggn database- how hard could it be?
I would like to ask Citrix if they have any intention to increase the availability of "Developer" Licenses for all of the Access Suite Products. If you want to learn and support the products it would be nice to get exposure to them even if it is in a limited environment.
It would be interesting to hear the opinion on the certification/education framework from some people at Ft. Lauderdale. I know a large number of people are frustrated with the way there are no upgrade paths from one release to anther. Quite a few very talented people have lost interest in Citrix certification because they don't want to redo the entire track from scratch at every release.
It would be good to get some ideas around what future plans for the certification/education are.
Ask Aaron Cockerill when the video about the tarpon presentations is going to be downloadable!
Dennis Smith!
I'd be interested in hearing Citrix's response to overall code quality, and perhaps lack thereof.  Roll-Up 2 had to be re-released and there are already sixteen publicly available post HRUP2 hotfixes.  And some of them are (at least to a user of the product) amazingly simple things to catch (see hotfix 19....or 11).  I realize that it's a very complex product now, but I am disappointed by the overall code quality.
The Prez4 UPD and entire engine is, relatively speaking, a great improvement but the real world has shown Citrix is not finished in this area:
1. Session printing with network printers allows for a fixed name so it cooperates well with many line of business apps that have their own internal printer assignment system. But what about mapped client printers? The name is still unpredictable and often too long to be understood by some of these apps. The Citrix printing system should allow Citrix admins to specify how mapped printers will be named and how long the names can be. E.g. Making the ClientName or SessionName the unique id for the mapped printer instead of SessionID would save a whack of troubles. And let the admin decide!!
2. Citrix promised to give an certified hardware list for printers and scanners. At first I though "whoop-de-do" - until I started an SMB project where every client had their own printers and scanners and I only had a short time to say yes or no as to whether it would work with Citrix. Sure, it's easy to just say "No, that one won't" work but with SMBs their IT budget is limited and then what do I say are CURRENTLY AVAILABLE printers and scanners are ones they SHOULD get? I have my own list but printer and scanner model change regularly. Microsoft certification is a start but still not a guaratee. A certification for the drivers in Citrix would help greatly in being assured that they are going to play nice and would surely payback the vendors on it in short time as I think we're all tired of clients having to pay hundreds/thousands of dollars on a printer/scanner just to find out the drivers/software/firmware to not live up to expectations.
Just to clarify, the mapped client printer names actually are "predictable", yet they are nontheless unwantingly dynamic and looong. Have the option to make them unique yet static, short, and admin-definable.
The name is still unpredictable and often too long to be understood by some of these apps. The Citrix printing system should allow Citrix admins to specify how mapped printers ...

UniPrint TSE  works well, as it creates a single local printer named UniPrint that forwards a PDF to the local client where you can select the final destination printer. Their Gateway module allows for printing to Printer Servers, where the printers defined on the printer server are listed only once on each TS/Citrix Server, instead of once per user.  In either instance, there is no session ID appended to the printer names.
This is very nice when working with applications that don't play well with dynamic printer names.
Indeed Uniprint is a good add-on to Terminal Services. Customers understandably have a problem, though, with needing to buy an add-on for an add-on. I imagine it was an oversight that Citrix did not release this printer functionality along with Prez4.0 - I certainly did not see the printer naming format as a problem until I bumped into it myself. It's a problem that I perceive as being incredibly easy for Citrix to fix in a quick amount of time. Not asking for much, is it?
In light of anticipated improvements in RDP, and other proprietary protocol moves that may radically change and improve graphics performance, how will Citrix improve on the ICA protocol to meet performance demands of increasing graphical content?  Performance of remote display is one thing, but graphics manipulation (e.g. rotation) is entirely different.
I'll second this one..
Web browsing performance with ICA and RDP is horrible.  I know that Microsoft is working on redoing the graphics subsystem with Project Avalon, but there's got to be something Citrix can do to help out...
I am in a large company where 4-8 people can actualy make changes to the Farm and when something goes wrong you have no way of telling who made the changes.  Who published what, who delted what application, who modified/added/deleted a policy!!!  I think having notes per server is a good idea but I would like to see a way logging those changes to the event viewer or some other log file. 
Presentation Server 4.5 has facilities like this built into it.