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…

Citrix News

For this event, we had not just the promises of delivery that were made in Citrix Summit back in January, but the actual delivery. New XenApp/XenDesktop releases with 7.13 including HDX performance improvements. PVS 7.13 as well as XenServer 7.1 including PVS Accelerator and an LTSR for XenServer. Not only that, but XenApp Essentials and XenDesktop Essentials announced and released. The Unidesk acquisition – and what that meant. This was an extensive list. We also talked about the book on who will (or will not) buy Citrix – with Oracle being thrown in the ring at one point which I’d not considered at all – made a nice change from it being M$.

 
Peter von Oven, Director of Sales Engineering talked through how Liquidware Labs can help you tackle the triple challenge of Users, Applications and Hardware with ProfileUnity and Stratusphere Fit.

You can download Peter’s deck here

Automating SBC Optimisation for Windows 2016.

Mark Plettenberg, product manager at LoginVSI, talked through the impact of tuning Windows 2016 and Windows 10, the performance differences between Azure Desktops and AWS desktops,  and gave recommendations on how you can improve your desktop performance.

He also introduced the VDILIKEAPRO community site – for sharing tips and best practices for optimising performance. Mark also gave a sneak announcement on the return of the State of the Union VDI/SBC Survey – which we’d encourage you to complete here

Download the session deck

  Simon Salloway talked through how Workspace Analytics could be used to improve End User Experience. Lakeside have investigated and brought together a number of key metrics to deliver a user experience scoring system you can use to understand how your environment is performing for your users.

You can download the deck here

Working with Unified Gateway – How to Expect the Unexpected

 
Simon Gottschlag is one of the new intake of Citrix Technology Professionals. While Simon has given a great amount to the community, this was his first time presenting to his peers – in English, in Birmingham. We introduced Simon to the joys of British real ale, Pork Scratchings and fine Birmingham curry cuisine – he introduced us to what a selfie is: the card.

Simon talked through where NetScaler came from, gave his insights into what it can do, and what common issues he comes across day-to-day. Informative and interesting.

You can download the deck here

NetScaler Unified Gateway with Azure Multi Factor auth – Advanced Deployment – Experiences from the field



Our attendees have waited a while for Netscaler presentations – and two come along at once.

George Spiers did not only beat Simon for the unofficial “youngest presenter in Birmingham” gong, but also delivered a very informative session on multi-factor authentication: a increasingly relevant function, key to how organisations want to secure their access. Not only that, but then hosted what was possibly the longest Q&A session in our twenty event history. Good conversations.

You can download the deck here

 

 Windows Profiles, Past Present and Future

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that this really should have been a session on securing endpoints – but sadly Steve ended up in hospital (get well soon young man) so James ably stepped up to present on Windows Profiles at short notice.

Although obviously missing the erudite input from his speaking partner Kevin, I thought James soldiered-on admirably on his own to give an informative and fun insight on how to manage profiles across Windows versions.

Click here to download the presentation.

 

Tobias Weilbeer, CTO, talked through what Unicon provide as via their Scout Enterprise Management Suite and ELux RP to allow you to manage and standardise all your thin and thick client platforms.

You can download the deck here

All you ever wanted to know about Unidesk

As mentioned in the News, Citrix acquired Unidesk and hence gained a reputable, established and dependable layering technology provider: and some experienced hands.

We teamed up with our good friends at the  Dutch Citrix User Group to ensure that we had the best information from a well shaven Jeff Pitsch. Appreciate him coming over.

A great walk through of the technology, clarity on delivery and comedy value for occasionally forgetting who he works for.

You can download the deck here

 

XenApp Essentials

 
I’m going to take an opportunity to apologise for the poor quality pictures for the presenters that you’ve had to endure through this review: despite the fact this pic looking like Ben is laying down what I understand are called “beats” with Ed grooving away. We’ll look to do better next time.

That aside, always splendid to have Citrix people in the room – and Ben Dowen is a great community advocate and we appreciate his input and support.

What we hope to bring as the Citrix User Group is a more direct interface for you to Citrix – and here we have hands on engineering describing product. Awesome.

Ben Dowen and Ed Swindell gave practical and insightful views into what XenApp Essentials can give to you.

You can download the deck here

Round Table:

Back in the day we used to sit around a table. We’re too big for that now – so now we make presenters come to the front and stand and be heckled en masse: such is the price of progress.

This is always the most fun part of the review – because I have to read my own notes: and every single time I think “so how much would I have earned as a prescribing doctor” as my handwriting probably has some high level security certificate. Anyhoo, there was a question on PVS being able to deploy to 2016 hyper-v; while 7.13 prompted some fixes customers are reporting that MS only environment has challenges: we wait for a response. Likewise Netscaler VPX: not working well in a MS only environment. Still, we had Citrix people in the room taking notes so we will keep you posted.

We also had significant queries on Subs Advantage vs Software Maintenance and the value that brings given the increase in price.  We could blithely say – read this – but that isn’t how we roll. There was a discussion at XIX about this, but what we hope to bring a discussion at XXI with a deck – Citrix obviously have some work to do in explaining this new value.

And that was that.

If you were wondering, “can I download all the links in handy file” the answer is “yes“. Use this link.

Again, thanks to our sponsors Liquidware Labs, Lakeside SoftwareFS Logix, Unicon Software, AppEsnure, Ivanti, Bitdefender, eg Innovations, ControlUp, 10Zig, Atrust, Cloudhouse and Igel

It’s a goal of the user group to share ideas and information. Therefore, 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. One person can make a difference, and everyone should try. Be like Simon or George and dip your toe in the first-time-presenting-at-a-uk-user-group pool.

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 or on our Citrix User Group Community forum.

cugc

Thanks, and see you in July.

UK Citrix User Group Steering Group.