Autumn 2014 meeting@Cisco offices in London on September 24th

Venue

We’re please to announce the date and location of our next meeting:

9.30am to 5.30pm – Wednesday 24th September 2014

Cisco offices
7th Floor
Park house
16-18 Finsbury Circus
London
EC2M 7EB

Register

 

Bring your own session

Have a short talk or session idea you’d like to present? Tell us below. It can be any length upto 45 minutes but shorter sessions work better. I can even just be a 5 minute “My experiences with x” – we love real word examples.

A webform by Podio – click here to get yours

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User Group Summary: Citrix XD 7 and Mobility, Newcastle

Our furthest event north Citrix User Group, to date. An interesting change for some who were quite surprised at the complete lack of dragons outside of the M25 and the taste sensation that is a cheese savoury sandwich.

Thanks to the team at Castlegate for managing the venue, and SwiftPrint printers for the quick turnaround as well to our sponsors AppSense Atlantis Computing and XenAppTraining for contributing interesting sessions, helping to keep the user group a Free to Attend event, prizes and discounts and making everyone was comfortable and well provisioned during and after the sessions.

Citrix User Group Newcastle

Community Smiles…

Agenda for the day covered:

  1. Welcome and a Citrix News Update
  2. Citrix XenDesktop 7 – Where are you going to go today?
  3. The Art of Mobility Technical Overview of XenMobile and Sharefile?
  4. Citrix Certification in association with XenAppTraining.
  5. NetScaler Gateway Dual Factor Authentication on a budget
  6. Words from Appsense and Atlantis Computing
  7. Round Table: Fill in the blanks – the Biggest Citrix Migration Challenges in the coming year are [Blank] 

Citrix News Update

We had a chat around the release of Citrix XenDesktop 7.0.. and its quick follow up with 7.1 – deploy 7.1 don’t deploy 7.0; XenMobile 8.6; updates to AppDNA and XenClient 5.0 along with the beta release of Desktop Player for Mac and  VDI-in-a-Box 5.4.

There has been a Shareprice wobble – but then again – the US government did shut down.

We discussed the “release” of XenServer development back into the wilds of open source – but few in the room used that hypervisor anymore.

And the the relaunch of the Citrix Community Program – more on that later.

XenDesktop 7

Stuart Moore - XenDesktop 7 Stuart Moore, Senior Product Manager Desktop and Applications at Citrix discussed Deployment options, Migration options. Updates in XenDesktop 7.1, migration planning. The simplification of the environment. HDX Seamless Apps. What was missing in this release for XenApp users. vGPU support. There was discussion on Edgesight’s morphing into director and where there was benefit (less complexity, better scale, better API support) and where there wasn’t (proactive alerting, granularity of view in the OS environments)

 

The Art of Mobility

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With the highest scoring session in terms of feedback, in The Art of Mobility Technical Overview of XenMobile and Sharefile?  Simon McDermott, Senior Enterprise Systems Engineer at Citrix talked about typical Deployment Architectures with XenDesktop and Sharefile, what’s new in XenMobile 8.6 and Deployment Challenges. A lot of people found this useful for understanding the breadth of options available with XenMobile in terms of device management and application delivery to those devices with many concentrating on XenApp and XenDesktop it was useful to better understand the XenMobile offering. The Worx applications certainly caused a stir.Would likely have been even more informative had Powerpoint 2013 simply refused point blank to play animations. A popular session that should be reprised at future events – or expanded on: lots of calls for demos.

 

Citrix Certification

Andrew Wood, Citrix CTP talked through the new certificatins available from Citrix that have recently been released. We talked through the (relatively poor) experience attendees had had with Citrix training in the past. We discussed the rise in demand for Citrix certified and experienced IT professionals. There was a chat through the new format of the Citrix exams (with support from Neil Spellings, Citrix CTP) , the Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) program and the rebooted/launched Citrix Community Program. XenAppTraining had kindly given two prizes of one free Lifetime membership to xenapptraining.com  and one year free access to appv5training.com as prizes as well as discount membership for all attendees. It was interesting to hear attendees positive views of the value of the XenAppTraining website.

Many thanks to our sponsors – informative as ever.

AppSense

Atlantis Computing

Netscaler Dual Factor Authentication

Shaun Ritchie, Independent Citrix Consultant, talked through some of the free and low-cost solutions you can use with NetScaler Gateway for Dual Factor Authentication. Yet another mention for SMS2 which was covered in our last London event. Useful interaction with additional solutions such as Microsoft’s own Azure based multi-factor authentication and commercial products such as SMS Passcode.

Roundtable: Fill in the blanks – the Biggest Citrix Migration Challenges in the coming year are [Blank] 

The roundtable is always a popular session, and this was no exception – key discussion points included.

    • Applications and Users - are, as ever key problems in any migration project. moving technology is relatively straightforward, but getting user/business acceptance for the cost of change was (as ever) hard. Change management for application change/update – who owns the app, why duplicate apps exist, when it can be upgraded were all challenges that were (and long have been) barriers to adopting latest technologies.
    • Desktop Virtualization is not Desktop Migration  it was enlightening to have a couple of prospective Citrix users attend the event. Their organisation is moving from VMware View to XenDEsktop and they had come along to understand the differences and what might be “solved” with a move to XD. Interestingly, the issues described were less View specific than virtualised desktop specific. This prompted discussion on how introducing technology without reason or engaging users/business was always more complex/slower than when the users/business are actively engaged right from the start of the project. A transformation should focus on the new way of working, not the technology. Success for VDI/virtualised desktops comes from it not being a tech project but a service project. A useful article to read here would be Organizational Challenges with VDI
    • XenApp shops – will likely move to XenApp 6.5 and stick. While XD7 App Edition has could well be updated in the future to have feature parity the move to XA6.5 is likely underway and once it is there, few could see an advantage in moving again.
    • XA/XD will increasingly seen as “legacy”. Useful to have app developers offering an insight – new apps are being developed with a mobile/use anywhere mentality. All are designed not to rely on being delivered from a desktop. While this process works for new apps, it is unlikely that old apps will be converted. What is important to app developers is…
    • Offline Sync is key – while 3G and 4G are improving, there are still many deadzones. Field users need to be able to work. Utilising technology to allow syncronization of data efficiently is going to be key while always on access is remains unavailable.
    • Mobile device management to extend to laptops

Again, thanks to AppSense, Atlantis Computing, XenAppTraining for sponsoring the event, providing prizes, drinks and platters, and a very honourable mention to the good people of the The Bridge Hotel ably demonstrating northern warm and charm, especially to those who misjudge how many stairs Newcastle has. Attendance by reps from the North East VMUG, the Virtual Machine User Group and AppSense Community Advisor (thanks for the review James )was appreciated: there is always a cross over of products and learning and we look forward to sharing in the future. And of course, all the presenters for the time taken and attendees for a lively and useful discussion.

Next user group meeting will be likely around Feb/March 2013. Venue will definitely be in the UK – suggestions at this event were Glasgow and York but we’ll keep you posted. It’s a goal of the user group to share ideas and information. If you see a pertinent presentation, if you plug into a wonderful webinar, if you’ve done something you simply want to share then the UK Citrix User Group exists to help you distribute that resource by having a place to discuss it with your peers.

Join us on Twitter where our lists now includes links to all those who have presented.

Share with us at up and coming events, or on our LinkedIn group

Cheers,

UK Citrix User Group Steering Group

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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 new 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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User Group Summary: London IX – The International Melting Pot


And so to the ninth Citrix UK User Group event. Ninth! Double figures next one so let’s try and make it special eh? But still..focus. Lessons were learned from previous London events, so no more underground windowless rooms with no signal. This time, underground rooms with a window and with a wi-fi signal. Your feedback is important and helps shape future events.

Thanks to The Thistle hotel for providing a great venue. Thanks to all the presenters, and most of all thanks to the attendees for providing interesting and useful content and discussing challenges and ideas that based on experience.

What was mentioned in the feedback forms, and on twitter was the impressive line up of speakers. Despite the handy voucher code for attendees to allow a discount for Synergy in the US getting out of Europe to intereact with the Citrix community is expensive ..so we helped bring them to you. We had speakers from America, France and the Netherlands come and present. For you means that you can learn and listen; by you means that you can in turn, query and suggest and present back.

Thanks to our sponsors AppSense, Atlantis Computing, Norskale and Nutanix for helping to make this a free to attend event.

2014-03-26 09.53.34

reasons to bring along a proper camera #123…

 

We covered…

Citrix News Update

We had a brief chat around the release of Citrix XenApp 7.5 because we had a full session on it. Citrix Share Price up. Some people left the company. Most importantly we had a chat about you presenting in future events and we quoted the #FeedForward  initiative by the guys at VMUG which is an excellent idea and should be encouraged across communities. VMWare and Citrix may have their corporate battles – but we, as users,  quite often have to deal with both: a synergy between both communities can only be a good thing.

XenApp 7.5 What’s new. How to get there?

2014-03-26 09.53.07 Neil Spellings, from the UK Citrix User Group had utilized his CTP status to the full and done a lot of background demo work to allow the group to see, quite possibly, the first live demo of XenApp 7.5 in the flesh.
An interesting session – all the more useful for the wifi keeping it together. Especially interesting for the Amazon integration, but as a whole very much a first chance to see. Always ballsy to do a live demo. I think we can safely upgrade that to “very ballsy” given it was on the same day as it was released.For the deck – click here 

 

Nutanix logo

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Without Sponsors, there is no free event. We really appreciate their support of the community.Rob Tribe took us through Nutanix are, how they fit into the next generation convergence and how Nutanix deliver on software defined storage.For the deck - click here 

The Changing face of the Desktop: Turning Challenges into Benefits with Virtualisation.

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Chris Marks, from the Citrix UK User Group, led us on an informative view of Microsoft licensing in a remote working/VDI environment. Undoubtedly an evocative topic, Chris ably dealt with it by utilizing the obvious zombie death apocalypse analogy.For the deck - click here 

 

XenMobile – what is it and how to set up a PoC

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Iain Brighton,  from the Citrix UK User Group led us on an informative view of attempting to start (as a user) a XenMobile PoC.  What was key to Iain’s delivery was .. he failed. Not all presentations need to be about success. His brief was to set up a PoC – and he wasn’t able to do that. Not from personal failing, but from having proper interaction and support from Citrix just not being delivered on time. Odd, given that mobility is key.  Still, he not only utilized his wait time generating an enviable Visio stencil set, he delivered a presentation giving focus on where you need to be in order to understand/PoC  XenMobile.For the deck - click here 

 

 

 

Web interface to Storefront- the how and the why

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Esther Barthel  from Pepperbyte led us on an insightful view of the progression from Web Interface to Storefront to help  understand if Storefront was ready for the big league. About 25% of the audience had looked at/deployed Storefront to date – so there was room for enlightenment.  Esther’s session exposed a number of new keyword features, possibilities in customization and updated feature comparison set that many found useful.For the deck - click here 

 

 

Atlantis Computing Logo

Notes from the field from – Atlantis Computing

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Without Sponsors, there is no free event. We really appreciate their support of the community.Andrew Wood eschewed the standard vendor deck, and walked through three key findings from his work as an SE for Atlantis that would help optimise virtual desktop performanceFor the deck - click here 

 

 

 

Best Practices in SBC / VDI environments (Part Three): Optimize login & response times! 

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Without Sponsors, there is no free event. We really appreciate their support of the community.Pierre Marmignon Norskale CEO and founder talked through common issues that impact logon and application performance in a virtual desktop environment. From Active Directory Group Policy optimization and design considerations through to application optimization, Pierre discussed what drove his desire to set up Norskale to help solve those issues. 100% pure gold according to one twitter poster.For the deck - click here 

 

Ensuring your apps work and perform after the migration 

rtokevin
Kevin Goodman has a welath of experience in the  desktop virtualization space. He was the CEO at RTO Software which led to a stint at VMware and now he’s started a new venture – FSLogix. Kevin talked through application deployment issues and how the industry has coped and will need to cope with application demands and new storage technologies and gave a brief glimpse at where FSLogix is designed to help in the future.Will be interesting to have Kevin back.

 

 

AppSense

Notes from the field from – Atlantis Computing

2014-03-26 16.16.46
As has already been said, without Sponsors, there is no free event. We really appreciate their support of the community and AppSense have been great sponsors through all our events.Gary talked through how AppSense can add value to a XenDesktop 7 project by walking through the latest Appsense Performance Manager and Application Manager features.For the deck - click here 

 

 

Tools that Citrix marketing forgot

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Dave Gaunt  lead SE at Citrix is thankfully no stranger to the UK Citrix user group – he’s often available to provide excellent insight and feedback. In this session, Dave talked through some of the interesting side projects that are currently being tinkered with in the Citrix Lab Shed – tools like convoi for conf calls via voip, talkboard for whiteboarding and hutt – clientless video conferencing.All clever stuff keep an eye on themFor the deck - click here 

 

 

Roundtable: 

The roundtable is always a popular session, and this was no exception – key discussion points included.

  • AppDNA – have Citrix just killed it? - while AppDNA is now part of platinum there was concern that this was now the only method of purchase. Much discussion on how many Platinum licenses were required for a large scale project with a number considering that AppDNA was frankly more of a partner tool than a benefit to customers directly. A key application analysis function that needed to be considered was actually resource usage rather than just simply compatibility.
  • Should Citrix have a DaaS Service was a question that had a resounding “no” with many being hesitant for moving directly to use DaaS directly. Fundamentally, the concern for moving to a DaaS environment is access to applications and in-house/custom applications. As such, Citrix’s model for providing the tools to deliver a virtual desktop service made more sense than buying a generic product. While the new cloud enabling features were interesting – there were concerns about how user data was delivered into those environments and how automation would be used to stand up/tear down services.
  • Mobility - whats your approach? brought about a lively discussion. My notes simply say ITS A FAD in big letters: there was definitely more to it than that – but the topics and concerns revolved around there being too much scope for change and the pace of change being so quick that having a “mobile strategy” was difficult. While there is a growing awareness that data and applications need to be delivered to a range of devices – the presentation of that data needs to be tailored. Simply delivering a desktop with desktop apps is not enough: discussion around the use of Citrix to isolate data on devices and SDKs to reskin/represent information for a range of use cases, not just a techno junkie Chief Exec.

For a view of the twitter feed of the event you can follow the Story here.

Again, thanks to AppSenseAtlantis Computing, Norskale and Nutanix for sponsoring the event, drinks and platters. Finally, congratulations to Nick Daniels – not only for finally retiring the Winframe environment but for winning a signed copy of Esther’s book.

2014-03-26 17.46.05

The next user group meeting will be likely around September with another event in November. Keep an eye/ear out for more details.

It’s a goal of the user group to share ideas and information. If you see a pertinent presentation, if you plug into a wonderful webinar, if you’ve done something you simply want to share then the UK Citrix User Group exists to help you distribute that resource by having a place to discuss it with your peers.

Join us on Twitter where our lists now includes links to all those who have presented.

Share with us at up and coming events, or on our LinkedIn group

Cheers,

UK Citrix User Group Steering Group.

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