One of the new features at Citrix's Synergy conference this year is something called Geek Speak Live. This is basically a chance for members of the community to get up on stage and spend 20 minutes talking about whatever they want. Last night Shawn Bass talked about VDI. Today, everyone (I mean EVERYONE) is buzzing about Shawn's talk. "Did you hear Shawn bashing VDI?" "Wow! Shawn thinks VDI is bad." "Wooo.. I can't believe they let Shawn say that."
So what exactly did he say? In a nutshell, Shawn talked about how VDI is not the be-all, end-all solution. Sure, there are a lot of use cases where it's great, but there are a lot of problems / challenges / limitations with it today, and the hype is several steps ahead of the reality. Shawn's session was packed--both with attendees and with Citrix employees. I think a lot of the Citrix employees really were shocked--shocked that someone as smart as Shawn didn't "get" why VDI is as useful as Citrix is positioning it, and shocked that the conference organizers let Shawn on stage.
I heard one Citrix employee telling another that they'll have to "tweak" the Geek Speak Live format for next year. Hopefully that doesn't involve "pre-approving" content.
Various Citrix employees have blogged and talked about how Citrix is taking a big risk at Synergy with this Geek Speak thing. This surprises me though, because I don't think it should be considered a "risk" to let people speak freely. One Senior Exec from Citrix even emailed Shawn to thank him for his courage to give that session. Shawn was like, "What? Courage? All I did was just speak the truth?"
It's a sad reality is that speaking the truth at Synergy requires courage.
But courage, balls, or stupidity--whatever Shawn had--we're all grateful.