Citrix Synergy 2014 Keynote wrap-up, here’s what’s new!

Finally, Synergy Keynote time! All eyes were on Mark Templeton as he took the Synergy stage for, what is supposed to be, the last time, since he’s resigning as Citrix CEO later this year. Unfortunately I wasn’t there to experience the buzz myself, but SynergyTV turned out to be a good alternative. At least it was warm where I was sitting :-) With around 5000 people, spread over 66 countries and over 2000 companies, attending Synergy in person and another 5000 following the Keynote live stream you good say that the event was a success before it even started, but to be honest, I didn’t expect anything less, especially with Mark resigning.

Mark is such a popular guy and a phenomenal public speaker, you could feel the passion in his words, with Mark it’s truly about the company, the community, the products and Citrix as a whole, it’s not about him! During the first few minutes after his entrance, as well as during his final words, it was obvious that he was emotionally touched by the crowd giving him a well deserved standing ovation. Whatever you do, leave it better than you found it, were his final words.

I’ll leave the marketing and innovation award stuff out for now and skip right to the good stuff. Below I’ll summarize some, hopefully all, of the more important announcements made during the Keynote. If you feel I left anything out, please do let me know and I’ll add it to the list. I won’t necessarily list them in the order they were presented. Due note that I made my notes while watching the Keynote, being busy on Twitter and eating a few pancakes at the same time, so I might have missed something. Also, not all ‘new’ products are directly available and as such don’t have their own product page on Citrix.com. I’ll include some links to Citrix blogs and other potential useful resources.

Key takeaways from yesterday’s Keynote:

Intel is entering the vGPU space, they’re partnering with HP and Citrix. Unfortunately not much more details for now, we’ll have to wait till tomorrows general session.

Update 05-07-2014 General session: During the general session this morning both HP and Intel came on stage to talk about the, relatively, new HP Moonshot Microserver technology, combined with the newly introduced Intel Christalwell Xeon E3 processor with integrated Intel Iris Pro GPU, which is sort of a big thing. The Moonshot, hypervisor-less, technology was already there (see the Citrix  blog mentioned below, it’s over a year old) but with Intel now entering the vGPU and 3D graphics scene in general, the game is on between NVIDIA, AMD and now Intel as well! The Moonshot Microserver chassis they showed, including Brads demo, was build up out of multiple Moonshot, blade like, cartridges all running the new Intel Xeon E3 / Iris Pro GPU processor, they took one out and showed it to the audience, I guess you you need to be a ‘real’ beak to go aahhhh… on that one!

http://blogs.citrix.com/2014/05/07/intel-discloses-new-xeon-e3-processor-with-intel-iris-pro-graphics-at-synergy/

Of course the combination of HP’s Moonshot Microservers equipped with Intel’s new Xeon E3 / Iris Pro GPU processors and Citrix XenApp offers a rich applications stack, high-end graphics, a lower TCO,  increased density and an excellent end user experience all together! But we already knew that right? Oh, I almost forgot, Dell was also mentioned, they are building, or have build, a similar solution but without the fancy new CPU / GPU combo. They were more of a lead-in to the big HP & Intel story that followed.

http://blogs.citrix.com/2013/04/19/virtualization-microservers-why-hp-moonshot-matters/ i

They’ve announced a new Citrix Receiver for Chromebooks (Chrome OS) HTML 5 based, offering support for USB redirection, Printing (a big plus), enhanced audio and webcam features etc. A tech preview will be made available in Q3 of this year.

A new and enhanced Receiver for Mac is coming our way as well. They specifically focussed on HDX. It will allow local GPU rendering freeing up resources on the backend. The new Receiver technology is capable to converge DirectX to OpenGL, since Mac doesn’t support DirectX. If for some reason it isn’t able to render locally, rendering will be handled by the backend. Mac’s are a big part of global BYOD programs and as such important to Citrix, as stated by Mark.

There was some talk about Citrix’s new Receiver project called the X1 release, which is primarily focussed on past experiences. It’s supposed to deliver one touch access to our personal mobile workspace and offers a HTML5 based interface. Customers will be able to apply there own branding as they feel fit and both HDX as well as MDX will be build into the new Receiver releases. Which could indicate that Worx Home, used on mobile devices, might become obsolete not to long from now, at least I hope. If only Receiver could be used for device enrolment as well, allowing us to have just one piece of software handling it all. let’s wait and see what they come up with. I already highlighted that App Controller will potentially become as, or perhaps even more, important as StoreFront when it comes to applications delivery / access.

Got this from one of their product pages: Upcoming enhancements to Citrix Receiver for HTML5 will include capabilities for advanced printing and USB device support such as smart card readers and bi-directional audio/video, and 3D graphics acceleration through work with NVIDIA. To help support the adoption of Chromebooks, Citrix and Google also are working together to help speed this transition, and for a limited time, Citrix is providing a 25 percent promotional discount on XenApp Platinum edition for enterprises purchasing Google Chromebooks.

Desktop Player for Windows is here. There was some talk on this during Summit back in January when I attended one of the Desktop Player for Mac sessions, and supposable there is a lot of interest. No details from my end as it wasn’t part of the Keynote. I picked it up from my Twitter feed, there was a breakout session on it which was received quite well.

NetScaler 10.5 together with TriScale 2.0 were announced. I wasn’t able to write down any details, it was discussed briefly so more to come on this one. Also, no information available on the Citrix.com product pages just yet.

NetScaler MobileStream, a new technology introduced specifically to improve mobile network and application performance along with network visibility, while tightening security for both the enterprise and the end user. It’s supposed to improve the delivery of Data and Apps on Mobile devices by 5X. Have a look here:

http://www.citrix.com/news/announcements/may-2014/netscaler-synergy-announcement.html

http://blogs.citrix.com/2014/05/06/netscaler-mobilestream-improves-mobile-app-performance-by-5x/

I noticed a sheet mentioning XenServer 64 Bit, again no further details for now, they didn’t discuss it. Updated 05-07-2014: http://blogs.citrix.com/2014/05/07/64-bit-xenserver-tech-preview-on-its-way

Although they announced XenApp and XenDesktop 7.5 as new products, talking about Cloud integration, Wake on LAN for Remote PC access, HDX 3D Pro graphics on XenApp, App DNA etc… at least for now, nothing new.

However, they’re supposed to show off their newly acquired Framehawk technology later this week, something to keep an eye on!

The earlier announced XenApp 6.5 migration toolset is going to be released shortly.

In between the lines I picked up something about a new architecture, or some architectural changes with regard to XA / XD? Not sure what that’s about, maybe I interpreted it the wrong way. Either way they’re going to talk about this a bit more in the upcoming general session. I’m curious to find out what they meant, some good old IMA features back in FMA perhaps?

XenMobile 9.0! Available by the end of June. It includes several new features and enhancements like support for Windows 8 and 8.1 devices, both Worx web and mail are now supported for Windows Phone 8 devices as well. Enhanced security with regards to cross-platform FIPS 140-2 compliance and a whole bunch of new, intuitive features in WorxMail for secure mobile email to help people navigate quickly between email, calendar and contacts and more, as you’ll read in the articles below.

http://www.citrix.com/news/announcements/may-2014/xenmobile-synergy-announcement.html

http://blogs.citrix.com/2014/05/06/xenmobile-9-0-puts-business-users-in-the-driver-seat/

Together with XenMobile 9.0 they’ve also introduce a set of new Worx enabled applications named: WorxNotes, WorxEdit and WorxDesktop. I won’t quote Citrix on this, but do check out the link below. They haven’t released any technical notes on their latest releases, which will be available as tech previews soon by the way, but the demo they showed up on stage together with the info presented below, does give you a good indication of the possibilities, which are awesome, to say the least!

http://www.citrix.com/news/announcements/may-2014/xenmobile-synergy-announcement.html

Citrix Introduces the industry’s Most Comprehensive Mobile Workspace Solution just yet, Citrix (mobile) workspaces. No, I didn’t made that up. It unites market-leading virtualization, mobility, networking and cloud services technologies to make it even easier for people to work anywhere. Providing instant, secure access to all apps, desktops, data and services from any device over any network. Basically it comes down to XenApp, XenDesktop, XenMobile, the Worx Application Suite including ShareFile, Receiver and NetScaler all bundled together providing a flexible solution that will support multiple corporate or BYO devices per user, instant access to app, data and services, and simplifies how organizations manage and secure their end user computing environment, according to Citrix! Check out the links below, they’ll tell you all you need to know for now.

http://www.citrix.com/news/announcements/may-2014/workspace-suite-announcement.html

http://www.citrix.com/products/citrix-workspace-suite/overview.html

The above is also available with integrated Cisco technologies, a short introduction by Citrix: Cisco and Citrix announced they are bringing their industry-leading technologies together in a tested and validated enterprise mobility infrastructure solution. The Cisco Mobile Workspace Solution with Citrix including the new Citrix Workspace Suite

Part of the Workspace suite is Citrix ShareFile. Users can now access and edit files from multiple data sources on their mobile devices. Citrix also releases ShareFile the StorageZone Connectors SDK that allows any IT or partner organization to develop connectors to any enterprise content management (ECM) system, expanding the types of data users can access and edit on the go via ShareFile. They also mentioned something called ShareFile personal cloud connectors, they allow users to access their Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive accounts from ShareFile, sounds pretty flexible, and secure, to me! Some more info:

http://www.citrix.com/products/sharefile/whats-new.html

As with most new product releases Citrix offers several trade-up options and discounts on the above packages. Have a look here and here, they offer up to 70% discount for existing XA, XD, XM and ShareFile customers when they decide to trade-up to the new Citrix (mobile) Workspace suite. They also offer up to 50% discount when organisations purchase Workspace suite licenses for use with Google Chromebooks or to replace their current BlackBerry devices.

And of course they didn’t forgot about VMware! They have a special VMware View rescue program, because they are there to help. Save up to 50% on Workspace suite licenses when you trade in your current VMware Horizon/View licenses.

And for a limited time only, which also applies to the above promotions and discounts, you can get 5% off any additional NetScaler Platinum product when also purchasing Workspace suite licenses.

And there we have it, just one more thing… like we’re used from Mark T. Citrix Workspace Services! It’s a cloud-based platform that enables partners, enterprises and independent software vendors (ISVs) to quickly and simply design and deliver mobile workspaces. Citrix Workspace Services is a control center for creating and managing distributed mobile workspaces in clouds and locations that work best for people. All major cloud platform are supported. It’s control plane layer is build and hosted on Microsoft’s Azure platform, which is sort of big! Combine this with the earlier mentioned Workspace suite and you basically have it all.

http://www.citrix.com/go/workspace-services.html

http://www.citrix.com/news/announcements/may-2014/workspace-services-announcement.html

Update 05-07-2014 General session: This comes from the blogs.citrix.com website, see .the link below: Citrix Workspace Services accelerates the creation and delivery of mobile workspaces by automating the setup, configuration, and on-going management of Citrix products on any cloud or on premise infrastructure. Partners and enterprises can leverage standardized expert-defined deployment architecture blueprints for Citrix workloads or build their own, and easily deploy these blueprints on any cloud or virtualization infrastructure through the automated provisioning capabilities of Citrix Workspace Services. The solution automates on-going management of those applications post-deployment with key features such as auto-scaling and auto-recovery.

http://blogs.citrix.com/2014/05/06/citrix-workspace-services-unleashing-a-rich-set-of-capabilities-for-enterprises-service-providers-and-isvs/

Update 05-07-2014 General session: They didn’t really share any interesting roadmap info besides that there main focus will be on the Workspace services (DaaS) mentioned earlier and the integration of partner products, like HP and Intel for example, as well as products from their own portfolio. Rich end-user performance was mentioned in between and will be one of their main goals in future product development, hmm… ok.

Conclusion

Well that about sums it up for now. New announcements will follow on a daily basis I’m sure, so I’ll try to keep this list updated, if time permits that is. I have to say, although it started out a bit slow, it turned out to be a excellent Keynote, credits for Mark of course, with plenty of new releases and announcements, small and big. I’m looking forward to the weeks to come, lots of fun stuff to read, test and write about. To be continued…

Bas van Kaam ©

Reference materials used: Citrix.com, Support.citrix.com and the E-Docs website.

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