I developed my own independent 5-day Citrix training class back in 2004, and I delivered it around the world about 30 times from 2004-2008. I don't deliver that class anymore, but I still get several emails a month asking about good independent training. I always point people to Shawn Bass, and it's worth talking about his class here.
Shawn is a Chicago-based independent consultant and a fellow Microsoft MVP and Citrix CTP. I first met Shawn at BriForum 2005 in Washington DC (where he was an attendee), and he's been a popular speaker at every BriForum since then. Shawn and I actually started working together to deliver training classes back in 2007. The demand for training was too much for one person, and Shawn and I worked together tag-team style to deliver the independent classes.
I delivered my last class in 2008 and decided after that to focus on writing and speaking, but Shawn's continued to deliver our independent classes in addition to the consulting and speaking he does.
Shawn's next class is in San Diego, the week of November 8-12. If you're looking for amazing real-world training and you can get away that week, I highly encourage it!
From Shawn's website:
Originally developed by Shawn Bass, Brian Madden, and Dr. Bernhard Tritsch, Shawn is continuing to deliver this valuable training class now that Brian Madden Company is part of Tech Target. This class is for people who want to learn how Citrix XenApp actually works and how to run systems in the real world. The courseware was developed by and is led by people who do this stuff day-in and day-out. It applies to all current versions of Presentation Server / XenApp, with focus is on PS4.5, XenApp 5.0 and XenApp 6.0
This class is not developed, approved, recommended, or endorsed by Microsoft or Citrix! It was developed by us and specifically designed to tell you what you need to know rather than what the vendor wants you to think. We talk about how the products really work.
This class is actually fun! No pointless, totally boring labs. This class is not about teaching you how to click your mouse in the Presentation Server Console. Instead, it teaches you what you need to know to design, operate, and troubleshoot real world Citrix environments.
Also, since this class is not from a vendor, we can talk about third-party tools that people really use. Citrix is great, but it's not the be-all end-all. We'll look at what real companies are doing to solve their challenges today.
This course is not focused on getting your Citrix or Microsoft certification. Instead, it focuses on what you need to know to design and troubleshoot real Presentation Server implementations. (Of course this class would be a great asset for any CCA, CCEA, or CCIA.)
The major goal of this class focuses on what it takes to design a solid XenApp environment. Everything covered is based on real designs from real customers. There are no fake labs that are typically so unrealistic. Some of the topics covered in this class include:
- How Citrix fits into the application delivery space and where they're headed as a company.
- Next generation Terminal Services and complementary products (Windows Server 2008, Citrix XenApp 5.0/6.0)
- Future IT architectures through new virtualization, isolation and streaming technologies (OS Streaming, VDI, blade PCs, application streaming, Type-1/Type-2 Client Hypervisors)
- Server design (partitions, drives, hardware, blades)
- Network design (zones, data stores, farms, domains, server location)
- License server design (database option, discovery, security)
- Server sizing strategies and application installation
- How to prepare applications before installing them on terminal servers
- Deployment techniques (automated deployment, installation management, WMI)
- Profiles, policies, and home folders
- Printing (which printers should go where, drivers, replication, auto creation, third party products)
- Client devices (thin clients vs. fat, how to evaluate)
- ICA Client software (installation, management)
- Web Portals (Web Interface / NFuse, Citrix Secure Gateway)
- High availability and redundancy (load balancing, clustering)
- 32-bit versus 64-bit -- selecting the right platform
- Performance issues, getting more users on your server
- Backup strategies
Who should take this class?
Make no mistake, this is an advanced class. It's designed for people who already know how to use Citrix and Terminal Server and who want to fill in the gaps in their knowledge. Most of the students are Citrix admins or people who work for consulting companies that offer Citrix consulting services.
How much Citrix do you need to know? That depends. Some people have attended (and liked) our classes even after having used Citrix for years. Other people were newer to Citrix. A lot of happy attendees remember WinFrame.
The bottom line is that we're not going to spend time going over the basics in this class. If you don't know how to publish an application, then this class is not for you.
Why is this class different than others?
This class is taught by a world-class, independent industry expert. There is no risk that you'll get some instructor who just came from the train-the-trainer class a week earlier. Shawn is a consultant who designs and troubleshoots Citrix for real customers. He is not career trainer and only does this class a few times per year. This means that this class is relevant to what's going on in the real world right now.
For the design portion of the class, we'll tackle real design issues. We'll discuss the various solutions in class along with the advantages and disadvantages of each solution. Students leaving this class will have real-world design experience, and they'll know how to tackle the tough problems.
All classes are limited to 16 students, so there is a lot of interaction between the instructor and the students.
Pricing varies by location and class type. US classes are USD $2895.
This class is five days, Monday-Friday. On Friday, we'll finish up the "formal" coursework by 12:00 so that people can catch afternoon flights home. However, we'll stick around until 5:00 working with anyone who wants to cover any other topics or revisit anything we've covered in the week. We typically order pizza on Friday, and most students leave between 2:00 and 3:00.
We have a full Citrix environment set up that we can use during the class. However, we tend to spend most of our time at the whiteboard discussing architecture issues.
Also, since we have Internet access at each location, you can bring your own laptops (although they're not necessary for the class).
We use a digital audio recorder to record every single class. We then post MP3 versions of each module to a private website so that students can re-listen to key areas later on. (And no, these MP3's are not available for sale separately.) We also provide online access to the PDF of the training material for our students.
You can view the list of available classes below and purchase a seat online via Google Checkout. Should you organization not be able to purchase via Credit Card, please contact Shawn via (email@example.com) for other payment options.
If your organization has three or more people who are interested in attending this class, then you are entitled to a $250 discount per student. Contact Shawn via (firstname.lastname@example.org) for registration and payment details.
You may cancel your registration for a full refund up to 15 days before the class. Within 14 days, a 50% refund will be applied.You will then receive a 50% credit if you register for an additional class within 6 months. (This essentially means that you can change your registration at any time without a cost penalty.)
A week before the class, we'll set up an email distribution list for the students of the class. That way, we can discuss details about what you want to get out of the class, products you're using, etc. In fact, the training material is customized for each class. Therefore, if there's something that you want to cover, we'll make sure that it gets covered. We'll also discuss class start times, directions, and any other information you might need.
Thursday Night Happy Hour
On the Thursday night of the class, we'll all go out for dinner and drinks. Those of you traveling with friends or spouses are welcome to bring them along.
About the Instructor
Shawn Bass is an independent consultant who's posted thousands of forum posts to the Official Citrix Forums, BrianMadden.com forum, and AppVirtGuru.com forum. He's spoken about Citrix throughout the world, including numerous BriForum's, PubForum's, and Citrix Synergy's. (Read Shawn's full bio.)
What past students have said about this class
We've delivered this training class over 50 times since 2004. There are over 600 IT Pros running around who are better at their jobs now. :)
"This has been hands-down the best class I've ever taken in my 20 years in IT"
"Amazing. Simply Amazing."
The bottom line
This class is nothing like you've experienced before. It's deep. It's technical. It's taught by an expert who does NOT work for Citrix. We've delivered this full five-day class more than 50 times since 2004. The feedback forms from the students are consistent: This class rocks!