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Great news for all you planners out there. The session catalog for Citrix Synergy in San Francisco May 25-27 is now available! Why the excitement? This means that you can peruse the session line up and determine which sessions about virtualization, networking and cloud technologies you MUST attend this year to maximize your learning opportunities. There are lots of great sessions to choose from – with more technical sessions, best practices and hands-on learning labs than ever before. And if you don’t see what you need, be sure to let us know and we’ll see if we can still add it to the agenda.

I encourage you to sign up early for the event.  I’m not trying to be alarmist, but remember that Synergy in San Francisco last year was standing room only and the Berlin event last Fall was literally sold out. That said, we’ve learned from past experience, as well as from your feedback, and we have enhanced the event structure and content in several ways.

First, we’ve enlarged the keynote room, such that every Synergy attendee will have unfettered access to Citrix CEO Mark Templeton’s opening session and all of the other main-stage activities. We’ve also doubled the number of Geek Speak Live! sessions, since these unscripted discussions and rapid-fire debates among technical experts, analysts and influencers are always incredibly popular with Synergy attendees. And we’re investing more time and energy in the Citrix CTO session, which has grown into one of the most buzz-generating activities of the entire event.

But wait there’s more! Based on your feedback, we are putting special emphasis on hands-on learning and technical best practices at Synergy San Francisco. This year we’ll offer more “how to” and “how we did it” sessions featuring customers, tech alliance partners, Citrix Technology Professionals (CTPs) and industry analysts. They will share their experiences implementing desktop virtualization and cloud solutions in order to help you be successful with your strategic deployments.

We’ve dramatically increased the number of breakout sessions, and you can search for categories to build the best agenda for you, including:  What’s New, Best Practices, Hot Topics and Key Technologies. Just to give you a taste of your options, specific titles include:

  • XenDesktop.next: the future of on-demand desktops and apps
  • Scaling XenDesktop for the enterprise
  • Best practices for using FlexCast to drive desktop transformation
  • Building multi-hypervisor, multi-workload enterprise clouds with Citrix OpenCloud
  • What’s new in NetScaler MPX and VPX
  • Say “yes” to BYO and employee-owned tablets, computers and smartphones in the workplace

There truly is something for everyone at Citrix Synergy, regardless of where you are on the technology learning or adoption curve. Whether you’re setting a virtualization strategy and vision for your company, gathering technical content, or looking to rub elbows with the industry’s best and brightest, now’s the time to make your plans for Citrix Synergy in San Francisco.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the Synergy catalog and start building your plan to attend the sessions that will give you exactly what you need to reap the benefits of virtual computing.

Together in San Francisco, we will be inspired, learn and network!

VMware responds with scripted PR

Yesterday I pointed out how VMware was inappropriately trying to infer that a quote showing substantial savings from a Gartner Server Based Computing (SBC) research report was somehow applicable to VMware View which offers no such solution. VMware responded with a scripted PR statement on the CRN site that is geared towards VARS and technology integrators in response to coverage from Kevin McLaughlin. Below are some highlights from the Kevin’s article which includes a response from VMware.

Reporter Quote
“VMware says the Gartner figures quoted in the press release referred to Wyse’s portfolio of thin, zero and cloud PC client solutions, which support both SBC and VDI.”

VMWare Quote
“It is appropriate for Wyse to choose to feature this when talking about their products,” the VMware spokesperson said in an e-mail. “VMware’s portion of the announcement featured customer momentum and results related to our portfolio of desktop and application virtualization technologies.”

Repeat offender

Before I respond to the quotes it’s worth pointing out that in 2009 an earlier version of the report was also called into question. VMworld – Misuse of Gartner’s TCO Numbers to Make the Case for View

Who is VMware trying to fool?

VMware is trying to wriggle its way out of responsibility for a press release on their corporate website and pin it on a partner with plausible deniability. Really VMware? Do VMware really except anybody to believe that a thin client TCO in combination with SBC where you have no solution can reasonably be merged into a quote in a single press release? It is rather insulting to assume that people are that dumb. It is therefore not appropriate under any stretch of the imagination. The fact that VMware is a repeat offender is also inexcusable.

Who did VMware pin the tail on in 2009 when similar facts were misrepresented? They also take a very similar tact when it comes to PCoIP. The reality is VMware have failed to take any responsibility for their continued pattern of outrageous fud with respect to TCO with VMware View. This kind of fud is designed to confuse and conflate customers, partners, the channel and integrators.

Fundamentally VMware is trying to defend an inaccurate press release. After a history of getting away with elastic facts, getting caught twice, the appropriate thing to do would be to retract the statement and claims of SBC having anything to do with VMware.

Update: VMware removes quote in updated press release.

On a flight to San Francisco, of course!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working with our product teams to pull together the most compelling Summit content yet. Over 60 breakout sessions to complement our Keynote presentations will help you transform the way your customers value virtual computing, which means more sales for you!

From technical sessions like design principles for large-scale hosting and cloud infrastructure to sales sessions on how to drive greater account penetration through the explosion in mobile devices, we’ve got sessions to give you something new and valuable to talk about with your customers.

If you want to learn how to position and sell Citrix OpenCloud to enterprises, accelerate PoC testing and unseat the competition, or get the most from our alliances with Microsoft and Cisco, this is the best investment you can make to be ready to sell new deals when you get home. And, of course, we’ll show you all of the latest enhancements to desktop, application, and server virtualization.

The registration site is open now! Take a minute to sign up and secure your spot. The session catalog will go live soon so you can pick and choose the most valuable sales and technical sessions for your business. Remember the Hands-On Labs and TechEdge sessions too!

I look forward to seeing you in San Francisco. I’ll be at our Partner Transformation Center – next to registration, so stop by and say hi. We’ll show you how to get the most out of your Citrix Partner Network membership.

It seems like months have passed since we shipped XenDesktop 5, but in reality, it has only been weeks. As the new year began, I’ve spoken to a number of customers about XenDesktop 5, and I am excited about what I’m hearing.

In a recent conversation, I was briefing a room full of architects and administrators at a manufacturing company. I was showing them how the XenDesktop 5 hosted-virtual desktop delivery infrastructure (One of several FlexCast desktop and on-demand app delivery models) has built-in provisioning that leverages a single instance of a gold image to “boot” thousands of desktops. I showed them how MCS uses an identity disk and then a separate differencing disk at runtime to enable administrators to apply patches to a single image and update the entire deployment.

They were very impressed with the story and were excited about reducing the need for expensive storage and asked about how to configure this provisioning service. I asked them if they had installed XenDesktop 5, and they responded that they did and had gone through the steps in the wizard to create 40 VMs. I explained that they already had installed and configured the most powerful virtual desktop provisioning infrastructure in the industry.

XenDesktop 5 delivered a number of powerful new features. These include the ability to securely deliver Windows, web and SaaS apps from a single infrastructure to a range of new devices like iPads and smartphones. Also, a fully scriptable management interface, Desktop Studio… and, Desktop Director, a powerful web-based tool for the service desk. Under the covers, however, lies one of the most interesting innovations in XenDesktop 5, designed to forever change desktop lifecycle management.

Citrix calls this Machine Creation Services (MCS).

The name is misleading. Machine Creation Services is about far more than just how to “kick off” new hosted virtual machine desktops. Instead, it is designed to:
1) Think about the entire desktop and application lifecycle and workflow with the ultimate goal of allowing the enterprise to manage single instances of the operating system and applications
2) To only store it once with a complete history of patches and updates
3) Apply those changes to existing VMs,
4) …and work with the hypervisor and storage layer to minimize both storage capacity AND IOPS for maximum performance and efficiency.

The scalability of XenDesktop 5 hosted VM desktops is highly modular, taking the stress off of any one Desktop Delivery Controller (DDC) by keeping the state in a database that can scale as high as 40-50 thousand desktops in any one site. DDCs front end the database and now each single instance (a virtual or physical server) of a DDC can handle 10-20k desktops out of the box; so you just add more virtual or physical servers in front of the database for HA and to scale to obscene size deployments.

This blog series will feature a collection of design architects and deployment experts who have been involved in the most rigorous laboratory and field testing program to date. Check back here for links to some real-world best practices for design.

Table of Contents: (Current and upcoming articles)

MCS or PVS, What should I be using? by Ken Bell
How do I migrate my existing XenDesktop environment to XenDesktop 5? by Simon Plant
I need some rough Sizing Guidelines to get started by Dan Feller
What happended to the PVS setup tool? by Patrick Carey
Storage considerations for XenDesktop by Vishal Ganeriwala
Show me the numbers! Large scale performance testing by Martin Rowan and Bernie Hannon
MCS and Intellicache – XenServer optimized for XenDesktop by Sam Webster

Apple hat Anfang 2010 als erster Hersteller mit dem Apple iPad ein völilg neuartiges Konzept für Tablets mit Touchscreen vorgestellt. Eine Geräteklasse, die bisher auf hohes Interesse stoßt und in kürzester Zeit auch zu starker Nachfrage in den Chefetagen von Unternehmen geführt hat.

Doch Apple ist hier nicht mehr der einzige Anbieter auf dem Markt. Die Android-Fraktion hat in den letzten Monaten reagiert und Hersteller wie Samsung haben mit diesem Betriebssystem ebenfalls erste Tablets erfolgreich vertrieben.

Nun ist es Citrix’ erklärte Philosophie,  Kunden über jedes Endgerät (mit einem signifikanten Marktanteil) durch Citrix Receiver den Zugriff auf virtuelle Anwendungen und Desktops möglich zu machen.

Es gibt bereits Receiver zum kostenlosen Download für die neuartigen Smartphones und Tablets wie Apples iPhone und iPad, Android-, Blackberry- und Windows Mobile-basierte Geräte, und im vergangenen Dezember hat Citrix gemeinsam mit Google auch schon den Receiver für das Google Chrome OS Betriebssystem präsentiert, das noch 2011 erscheinen wird.

Ein weiterer Meilenstein ist nun die Präsentation des Citrix Receiver für die neuen webOS-basierten Tablets, die von Hewlett Packard Anfang Februar vorgestellt wurden. Diese sollen Hewlett-Packard zufolge “noch in diesem Frühjahr” auf dem Markt erscheinen, und zeitgleich ist die Verfügbarkeit des Citrix Receiver dafür geplant. 

Benutzer haben Citrix Receiver bereits mehr als 2 Mio. mal heruntergeladen und machen ihn damit zu einer der erfolgreisten Business-Anwendung.


Attention New York City area users and administrators…




Just a reminder that the next New York Citrix User Group Meeting will be held at the Microsoft New York Metro District tomorrow, February 17th!



Date: Feb. 17, 2011 (Thursday)
Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST

Register Now



The goal of a User Group is simple: To foster dialogue and an exchange of ideas within the Citrix community, allowing users and administrators to share information and best practices, hear from the experts, and grow their body of knowledge and expertise.



Agenda:

During this meeting, you will:

  • Find out about the architecture and design of XenDesktop
  • Hear customer stories
  • Hear from a technology partner, WYSE
  • Collaborate with top Citrix consultants and peers

You are the key to a successful Citrix User Group community! So come out for some technology collaboration and fun with the Citrix experts.

Attend and you’ll have the chance to win some great prizes!



Location:

Microsoft
1290 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10104
(212) 245-2100

Register Now



If you’ll be in or around NYC tomorrow, I hope you can attend! Stay tuned to the Citrix User Group Community site for news and information about upcoming Citrix User Group meetings and activities.



Laura Whalen
Citrix Systems, Inc.
Follow me on Twitter





Attention Boston area users and administrators…




Just a reminder that the next Boston Citrix User Group Meeting will be held at the Citrix offices in Bedford tomorrow, February 16th!



Date: Feb. 16, 2011 (Wednesday)
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST
Register Now



The goal of a User Group is simple: To foster dialogue and an exchange of ideas within the Citrix community, allowing users and administrators to share information and best practices, hear from the experts, and grow their body of knowledge and expertise.



Agenda:

During this meeting, you will:

  • Find out about the architecture and design of XenDesktop
  • Hear customer stories
  • Hear from a technology partner, WYSE
  • Collaborate with top Citrix consultants and peers

You are the key to a successful Citrix User Group community! So come out for some technology collaboration and fun with the Citrix experts.

Attend and you’ll have the chance to win some great prizes!



Location:

Citrix Offices
14 Crosby Drive
Bedford, MA 01730
(781) 301-8000

Register Now



If you’ll be in or around Bedford tomorrow, I hope you can attend! Stay tuned to the Citrix User Group Community site for news and information about upcoming Citrix User Group meetings and activities.



Laura Whalen
Citrix Systems, Inc.
Follow me on Twitter

Everyone associated with virtualization is obsessed with storage! Well, it may be hyperbole to some but it cannot be ignored as one of the key challenges in desktop virtualization.

But why so much talk about storage? After all, the concept of storage has been there for ages. Yes it existed before digital storage, in the form of physical files. Later on the concept caught-up for digital storage when the PCs invaded the households. This is precisely the reason for the noise and confusion! Everyone assumes they understand storage. After all, how complicated can it be when every computer user has knowledge of storing digital data on HDD/DVD/CD/USB/external drives etc? However, the fact remains that storage is least understood and taken for granted by many, even though it is complicated, especially for desktop virtualization which requires a specific expertise to configure it.

The reality in virtualization is further complex for storage. Things were simpler until Direct Attached Storage (DAS). However, since the introduction of NAS and SAN in the virtualization environment it has become more complex. We are faced with issues including RPM, RAID, IOPS, file vs. block, thick vs. thin provisioning etc. which are all relevant for desktop virtualization.

The key drivers for desktop virtualization are reducing the capex/opex and increasing the agility of the business environment. The TCO gets impacted heavily if the storage is not configured correctly for desktop virtualization, specifically for NAS/SAN. There are numerous challenges to overcome for optimizing the storage in the desktop virtualization environment. For example, sizing, cost, performance and skilled storage resources are a few key ones. Few desktop administrators have been trained on NAS/SAN storage configuration. The skilled storage resources are more focused on storage provisioning for server virtualization mainly to optimize the database, ERP or exchange applications. Storage is one of the highest item impacting TCO for infrastructure, and even more so in desktop virtualization. Optimally configured storage can significantly increase the number of virtualized desktops supported. Storage and virtualization vendors working together should provide guidelines including best practices and configuration / sizing guides etc. so that the end users reap all the benefits and feel more confident to embrace desktop virtualization.

Citrix has invested considerably in the Citrix Ready program and is working with key storage vendors to address these market needs. Storage partners can make use of the Citrix Ready program to certify their products and validate their offerings with Citrix products. Citrix has introduced StorageLink for better management and seamless configuration of storage. StorageLink also provides site recovery automation capabilities. Citrix’s introduction of Intellicache will also help in reducing TCO.

To conclude, I am hoping that even though the storage and virtualization vendors have been showing greater cooperation day-by-day, there is still an immediate need for storage vendors to focus their attention to address the market needs of desktop virtualization, which has its own specific storage issues to deal with.

The views expressed here are mine alone and have not been authorized by, and do not necessarily reflect the views of, Citrix.


 
Attention Pittsburgh area users and administrators…




Just a reminder that the next Pittsburgh Citrix User Group Meeting will be held tomorrow, February 15th!



Date: Feb. 15, 2011 (Tuesday)
Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM ET

Register Now



The goal of a User Group is simple: To foster dialogue and an exchange of ideas within the Citrix community, allowing users and administrators to share information and best practices, hear from the experts, and grow their body of knowledge and expertise.



Agenda:

During this meeting, you will:

  • Find out about the architecture and design of XenDesktop
  • Hear customer stories
  • Hear from a technology partner, WYSE
  • Collaborate with top Citrix consultants and peers

You are the key to a successful Citrix User Group community! So come out for some technology collaboration and fun with the Citrix experts.

Attend and you’ll have the chance to win some great prizes!



Location:

Rivers Casino
777 Casino Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 231-7777

Register Now



If you’ll be in or around Pittsburgh tomorrow, I hope you can attend! Stay tuned to the Citrix User Group Community site for news and information about upcoming Citrix User Group meetings and activities.



Laura Whalen
Citrix Systems, Inc.
Follow me on Twitter

Don’t worry we can help you! Just get your new Citrix and Microsoft marketing templates on the Citrix Marketing Concierge Demand Gen site. In this seminar in a box you’ll find: email invitations, email reminders, scripted power points, welcome letters, surveys and much more. You just need to customize the materials with your information and send it out to your customers and propects. Putting an event together has never been easier… It’s ready to go and it’s Free! Check it out.