UK Citrix User Group 2017, Winter Meeting – London

Our 23rd event will take place in London on 30th of November.

Venue

Henry Wellcome Auditorium, Floor -1

Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Road
London
NW1 2BE

Transport

Nearest Tubes: Euston Square (Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City), Warren Street (Northern and Victoria Line)
Nearest station: Euston

Register now

 

Eventbrite - UK Citrix User Group 2017, Winter Meeting

Agenda

09.00 Registration opens. Coffee and pastries

09:30 News and updates – UKCUG

10:00 Helge Klein – How Websites Steal Your Machine’s Resources – Browser Performance Analyzed (CTP Session)

10.45 Jim Moyle, Nigel Woods and Chris Plant – FSLogix in the Citrix Enterprise – Real world use cases; profiling a few of our notable customer projects. FSLogix (Sponsor session)

11.00 Andrei Ionescu – Virtual(ized) Insanity – Defeating Targeted Threats with Hypervisor Introspection. Bitdefender (Sponsor session)

11.15 Coffee break sponsored by Unicon

11.45 Craig Hinchliffe – Citrix Workspace, Workspace of the future (Citrix session)

12:30 Simon Binder – How Azure, Windows 10 & Citrix solutions can bring a first class user experience

13:15 Lunch sponsored by FSLogix

14:00 Jorge Luis – NetScaler troubleshooting deep dive (Community session)

14:45 Sebastian Amrogowicz – Developers insight to Local Host Cache (Citrix session)

15:30 Coffee Break – sponsored by Unicon

16.00 Kevin Greenway – Demystifying Citrix ICA/HDX (community session)

16:45 Round Table.  Bring your issues, questions and opinions for our lively discussion hour

17:30 Wrap up & feedback forms prize draw

17:35 Networking Drinks sponsored by BitDefender

Submit a session for our 2018 meetings

Have a good topic, project or case study you’d think would be of interest to others? Submit your session idea for consideration for our the meeting

Join us online

If you can’t make it on the day we do broadcast the sessions via GotoWebinar. We don’t have professional audio gear so you’ll always get a better experience by being in the room (plus you of course lose out on valuable networking) but we recognise not everyone can take a whole day out of the office. Register here to attend online (you don’t need to register via Eventbrite if only attending online)

Sponsors

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UK Citrix User Group XX: Birmingham so much more to offer than a Motorcycle Museum

Covering topics on Netscaler, Multi-factor Authentication, Windows Profiles, Citrix layering and XenApp Essentials, this was our 20th event, and our first in Birmingham. Thanks to our excellent sponsors Liquidware Labs, Lakeside SoftwareFS Logix, Unicon Software, AppEsnure, Ivanti, Bitdefender, eg Innovations, ControlUp, 10Zig, Atrust, Cloudhouse and Igel this was, for the big 2 zero, a free-to-attend meeting.

 

The UK Steering Group would like to thank all the presenters for their time, effort and engaging presentations: especially for those presenters presenting for the first time at our user group. Thanks to the 3D-realtime-non-augmented-VR attendees for providing insightful feedback and great questions – possibly one of the most vocal and interactive we’ve had to date. It is always splendid to meet and greet new faces and there were a lot more for our first visit to Birmingham: and see, we do read the feedback forms with suggestions for venues.  Thanks also to those attending on-line via Go-to-Webinar. For those of you keen to know how the fancy gold microphone is getting on, it is doing just fine thanks.

post event drinks.. soft drinks for those driving – obviously

Who attends UK Citrix User Group events? For XX we had almost 100 registered and we had a good turnout on the day. While we had an international lineup in-keeping with the location’s airport, we did manage at least some people actually from Birmingham (thanks guys). That said, we appreciate the feedback that many found the venue location handier than London, we’ll bear that in mind for the future.

Again, thanks to our sponsors for this free-to-attend event. Significantly, fsLogix for the lovely lunch which had some great pie, and Unicon Software for refreshment and appreciated cookies and Lakeside Software for the post-event drinks and nibbles.

We covered…

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Migration, Migration, Migration….

To Migrate, or not to migrate, that is the question?

Will desktop migration ever end?  It wasn’t that long ago that we were all hurtling headlong towards April 8, 2014, the date when Microsoft ended the extended support of the Windows XP operating system.

Some of us made it in time, while others didn’t, and the rest just took the decision to carry on anyway and accepted the risks involved. There were even a few that decided to pay out the extortionate amounts of money required for Microsoft to continue supporting them until they had completed their migration.

Move the clock forward to today; here you are now having successfully completed your migration, and for those that moved to Windows 7, or were deploying new machines that came pre-built, you are happily running on Windows 7 with an end of extended support date until January 14, 2020, which is way off into the future. Migration is probably one of the last things on your project list, right? Well maybe not if you are looking to deploy the latest Intel-based client devices.

desktop OS share Nov2016In August 2016 Intel announced the latest ‘Kaby Lake’ processors, with the mobile versions first shipping in Q3 2016, followed by desktops and workstations due to ship in Q1 2017. So, all good so far, new, faster CPU’s, faster clock speeds, and improved graphics architecture/performance. What’s not to like?

I hate to be the one to spoil the party, but I’ve got some bad news for you. Microsoft are only planning on supporting Windows 10 on the Kaby Lake platform, which means for those of you still running Windows 7, which, by the way, is just over 40% of the market if you take a look at the figures on the graph. If you are wanting to deploy Kaby Lake-based hardware in your current Windows 7 environment, then you could end up finding yourself being unsupported yet again.

So, what are your options?

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UK Citrix User Group XIX Review: Civilised Engineering

Citrix UK User Group logo

Thanks to our excellent sponsors (AppEnsureExtraHopLiquidware LabsNutanix, Uniprint, AppSenseAtlantis Computing, eg Innovations  FS Logix and UniDesk) this was, yet again, a free-to-attend meeting.

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The Steering Group would like to thank all the presenters for their time, effort and engaging presentations: especially for those presenting for the first time at the user group. Thanks to the 3D-realtime-non-augmented-VR attendees for providing insightful feedback and great questions. It is always splendid to meet and greet new faces. We had more chairs this time with your own special little desk: see, we do read the feedback forms.  Thanks also to those attending on-line via Go-to-Webinar. We a couple of niggles early doors, but also a fancy new microphone that just about survived the event unbroken, hopefully that helped.

2016-12-01-10-20-10

Who attends UK Citrix User Group events? For XVIX over 110 registered and we had about 70% turn up on the day – with a number of on-the-door registrations (which is always possible btw). It is mainly end users of attendees on the day but, you know here in the UK, we enjoy inclusivity. Of those attending  :-

  • 70% end users/partners – we did see lots of new faces (looked to be about a third). Thanks to the experienced hands who made the trek down/across/up and for the select group who caught a cheeky mid-session pint, but still came back.
  • 10% from Citrix. As always, good to see you – especially during the Interesting Licensing and Value Questions that came up in the Round Table. A user group needs the support and focus from the vendor to be successful and we appreciate your contribution. All being well we could well have a special event in 2017, focused on meeting with the engineering teams directly. I’ve likely already said to much… LOOK..! Over there! Its a squirrel!
  • 1% came from Sponsors
  • The rest put “other” for those of you who like completeness.

Again, thanks to our sponsors for this free-to-attend event, especially Liquidware for the lovely lunch which had some great pie, and Appensure for refreshment and Extrahop for the post-event drinks and eats.

We covered…

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Death, Taxes and The Evolution of the Enterprise Desktop – are you prepared?

In life we all know a few things are for certain — besides the obvious “death and taxes” — another certainty is that there will also ALWAYS be change.

This maxim can especially be applied to the IT industry and certainly about the desktop/workspace/user/BYOD/DAAS/VDI/SAAS landscape we are seeing morph before our eyes. All of these options certainly raise plenty of questions to an organization trying to figure out what their go-forward desktop strategy should look like.

  • “How do I get started?”
  • “What are the best options for me now and in the long-term?”
  • “How do I keep from making expensive mistakes?”
  • “Am I actually PREPARED to act on my decisions when I want to or more importantly when I NEED to?”

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Welcome to the new UK Citrix User Group!

Welcome!

Citrix UK User Group logo

Welcome to the new-look UK Citrix User group!

Introducing the UK Citrix User Group

A few dedicated Citrix engineers and consultants decided the UK had gone without a proper Citrix user group for long enough. So over a beer, a plan was hatched and the results of which you are now reading. It’s still early days, but it’s a start and we look forward to growing the group to become an established part of the Citrix community in the UK over the next few years.

Meetings

We don’t want the group to become a London-only user group, and plan to hold meetings around the country. We welcome suggestions on suitable venues and you can post your own suggestions in the various regional group forums.

Membership

Membership is currently free, although we are investigating the option of having a tiered membership system where a paid membership gives you a number of additional benefits such as discounts on Citrix courses and exams, and access to the Citrix Community Lab infrastructure.

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Office 365 and Outlook Profile Disks are Everywhere – Choose Wisely (sponsored)

Office 365 and Outlook Profile Disks are Everywhere – Choose Wisely

 In 2014 Liquidware introduced the first profile disk solution for the Windows operating system, and RDSH environments.  A profile disk can basically be described as a separate virtual hard disk that contains the user profile information that gets mounted as the user logs on.  It’s like layering for profiles.

Yes, Microsoft had one earlier but only for RDSH environments. Liquidware introduced the first ProfileUnity ProfileDisk that would solve modern Office 365 caching and bloated profile problems for any connected Windows desktop including Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp. We quickly added the ability to keep the index between Windows sessions that may be non-persistent (think VDI use case). We’ve just streamlined the process further for Citrix XenApp and Microsoft RDSH environment in our latest release, ProfileUnity v6.7.

Others have followed, including VMware App Volumes with a user disk and Citrix App Layering is now experimenting with one as well.

What problem do profile disks claim to solve?

Profiles can become very large, either through bloat or by applications that require large caches to function as designed – i.e. Office 365 with Outlook caching. The Outlook Office 365 use case is a popular one as it saves your downloaded Outlook messages, contacts, and calendar to a local Windows profile in the AppData folder. The reason it saves to this location is to ensure the data is readily available and does not have to be downloaded or indexed again at every Outlook login, as this can be very time consuming.

This works great on a traditional desktop with a local hard drive but in a VDI or RDSH/XenApp environment, profiles are not always kept locally. The VDI machines may be non-persistent and the RDSH/XenApp server may have a profile management/UEM solution rather than a local profile. In this case, if you use a profile tool – such as Microsoft Roaming Profiles or Citrix UPM – the profile bits have to be retrieved at every single logon. Because files with these solutions are retrieved on a file-by-file basis, this can be very slow and essentially impossible for a user to be productive.

Profile disk solutions don’t retrieve files on a file-by-file basis, they typically leverage a VHD or VMDK (virtual hard disk) on the network. The advantage is that files are retried at a block level, which is a far quicker transfer.

Where the similarities end

Block-transfer based profile disks are where the similarities end. Some of the solutions are limited to only Microsoft RDSH, while others offer no turnkey way to have additional functionality like keeping the Microsoft Outlook index in sync so it does not have to start over every single time.

All profile disk solutions suffer from an additional drawback, profile data is tightly coupled to the Windows OS that it was created for. For instance, if your profile disk was create for a Windows 7 or Server 2012r2 environment, it probably will cease to function for users if you upgrade the Windows OS to Windows 10. Even worse, there are already four separate versions of Windows 10 and most of those break the compatibility of profiles between versions!

Where ProfileUnity shines

ProfileUnity is the ONLY solution on the market to take this into account by having two profile technologies that work closely together: 1) ProfileUnity’s ProfileDisk takes care of the use case of large profiles such as Office 365 with Outlook caches, additional VHD container options for Dropbox, OneDrive, or Amazon Drive caches, and 2) ProfileUnity’s Portability, which can run after the ProfileDisk is mounted and remediate Windows OS version changes in seconds. You can learn more about the power of the two together in this video demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV9hx9CJ6BE

Choose Carefully, Choose Wisely

ProfileUnity also offers far more than profile management. The solution delivers full User Environment Management including policy management, Application Rights Management, and Application Layering options.

Don’t get locked in to a profile disk that is chained to a single Windows OS, especially with Windows 10 updates coming fast and furious over the next several years. When this happens many administrators have to make users start from scratch with their profiles. The last thing you want to do is rip and replace user profiles, which can harm user adoption and negatively impact productivity.  If you want to leverage a proven profile disk that has full User Environment Management options, try ProfileUnity free by downloading it here.

-Jason E. Smith leads Technical Product Marketing for Liquidware and has been in the User Environment Management market for 18 years.