Review: UK Citrix User Group XIII – “bloody good fun”

The Citrix UK User Group XIII event kicked into its teenageness with an impressive attendance from the pleasant surrounds of Southwark in the Novotel on Blackfriars Road in London. Decent coffee, working air-con, commendable wi-fi: happy days. Mind…what a useless projector…

No?…

Just me?…

Fair enough then…

The Steering Group would like to thank all the presenters for their time, effort and engaging presentations. As ever, thanks the 3D-realtime attendees for providing interesting and useful questions and discussing challenges and ideas. And to those on-line – its great to virtually see you.

The UK Citrix User Group believe in engaging the community to drive the best value for everyone, and with that in mind we continued our use of Go-To-Webinar to broadcast the event live. Waves and thanks to the 20+ virtual attendees  who called us on the telephone so they wouldn’t be alone. For those who’ve attended on-line before hope the fact we had microphones this time gave better audio.  We didn’t record this one; we don’t seem to get a lot of people following up after the event. Your feedback, as ever, is appreciated, we’d like to know how best to hold your hand.

Who comes to these events? Quick stats run down… it is mainly end users of attendees on the day but, you know, other people want to hold us tight:-

  • 54% end users
  • 13% from Citrix ( yep… well worth coming to get to speak to those on the other side of the tunnel to make sure you’re both digging the same way)
  • 23% from partners/consultancies
  • 8% vendor

Of course, many thanks to our sponsors AppSenseAtlantis Computing, eg Innovations, fslogix, PernixData and LiquidwareLabs for helping to make this our thirteenth free-to-attend event: no matter where you are. I’ll admit we do challenge our sponsors by giving them a 15 minute slot, but well done to them all for focusing their content to fit the time.

Welcome to UK Citrix User Group

Nice touch from Novotel, unless you’ve spent your weekend doing an Octoblu demo…

We covered…

Citrix News Update – Synergy In 10 mins or Less

For those who need excitement, and need it bad we had an excellent run through of the stand-out announcements from Synergy (XenApp Love, Framehawk, Linux VDA, NetScaler 11) from Neil Spellings to a packed but comfortably air conditioned room.

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In addition, Neil touched on the recent critique of Citrix’s execution from Elliott Management which Citrix were very happy to listen to. He talked about the XenServer 6.5 SP1 update. The acquisition of Grasshopper (..no? me neither). The return of Cloud.com; Citrix’s place in the EMM space; and the announcement of the Citrix User Group Community, which we here at the UK Citrix User Group are proud to be a part of. Indeed, it was great to see the CUGC announcement at Synergy prompting people to come along to their local CUGs – I can recommend a read of Samuel Owens‘ blog on the event (may contain spoilers) who admits its his first event, but it was “bloody good fun”.

You can download agenda from here  And the Synergy highlights from here 

Geek Out at Citrix Cambridge

2015-06-25 10.03.11 Ben Dowen is a Senior Software Test Engineer at Citrix and had a quick slot (our presentations don’t need to be 45 minutes – whatever time your’d like) to highlight an opportunity for customers to visit Citrix engineering in Cambridge to talk about challenges with the developers/testers/PMs. As Sam Owens says in his blog, this sounds like a fantastic opportunity for Citrix customers.  If you are interested review the powerpoint to get in touch.

StoreFront 3.0 – Not Your Mother’s 5 Server bound StoreFront..

CIVboRqVAAE5RRr Our esteemed Citrix guru Simon Frost built on his pre-Synergy update at UK Citrix User Group XII with actually released stuff and more refined roadmap items. Simon discussed scalability, dismissing the folklore around there being maximum of 5 Storefront servers per group.Storfront roadmap includes improved powershell for installing and configuring Storefront, and an admin console that doesn’t require you to drop to the editor as often (if ever). You can download the deck here

 

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2015-06-25 11.18.22 Fraser Norman from Liquidwarelabs articulated how Liquidwarelabs are a Citrix Ready Partner in the Desktop transformation space, migrating from XP to Windows 8. Their focus is on offering a suite to deliver VDI/SBC  projects successfully. From assessment tools such as Stratusphere FIT through ProfileUnity to move profiles across different platforms and FlexApp to provide apps quickly via VHD files. Click here to download the deck 

 

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2015-06-25 11.33.39 Pernixdata are a VMware technology designed to remove complexity and latency of storage to speed up apps. Within a VMware environment, their product is VM and storage agnostic.PernixData shares VM resources (RAM, SSD etc.) across hosts to speed up access and caching for backend storage. It helps move storage performance to hypervisor layer and leave backend storage for capacity.Sadly, the draw for their exciting prize has closed but still, you can click here for the slidedeck 

 

IOT & OctoBlu

 iot1-CIVz20fUEAAOKi7iot-CIV66TFWoAA7tLd Matt Nichols is a Solution Architect with Esteem and a highly decorated Citrix whiz. Matt has contributed to a number of UK CuG Sessions from the stands. But his attendance at CUG encouraged him to believe, “I can do that“. Matt signed up via our Bring Your Own Sesson link. His IoT presentation, I think, was a highlight of the day. Matt demoed Octoblu and discussed IoT offerings. Quite frankly I was at Synergy and saw a number of Octoblu demos showing how the technology can automate disparate internet enabled items into logical workflows with minimum of effort, and this was by far the best I’ve seen – in part because it not only showed how Octoblu could be used for Good…but also for Evil (or at least, playful taunting).In fact, in an homage to John Peel, I enjoyed this session much, I’ll put another photo in…

 

User Profile Management – is it just a load of FUD?

 james-bugL1 James Rankin, EUC Director at Talosys laid to rest his choice of twitter handle by talking about managing profiles and whether non-native products can actually provide benefit over roaming profiles.Now, while James, when pressed, will admit to being anxious about his BYOS session in Newcastle XII , he ended up enjoying it so much that he submitted a second for London. This was a well received deep dive on how traditional roaming profiles work and the issues typically found (or not found) depending on your circumstances.James took a review of a range of tools including AppSense, Citrix EUM, FSlogix and Immidio, LiquidwareLabs, and RESJames pointed out Microsoft have their own tool as part of the MDOP pack called Microsoft User Experience Virtualisation.

 

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A genuine Free Lunch kindly sponsored by …

atlantis-storageneworder

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AppSense logo

appsensebul6E Gary McAllister Product Manager at AppSense talked about how Desktop Now 8.6 has reduced infrastructure requirements over previous versions.It also introduces simplified on-boarding of profiles and apps and now has the ability for end users for rolling back parts of their profile.App Manager 8.9 has the ability to lock down Windows 8.  It can also control admin access to services so local administrators cannot stop certain key services.An intro to AppSense Insight, providing a breakdown of user experience e.g. showing why logons are slow.  Going forward AppSense Insight will be able to use this information to auto configure components of AppSense.And AppSense Exchange – Templates and tools can be uploaded by a forum.  Templates will allow quick updates rather than waiting for service releases.Then a look a v10 simplification of what they do at the moment. Managed from Unified Web console.In 15 mins (I think… I had to step out towards the end..) … but the rest ran on time so.. <doffs cap>. Download the deck here

 

Workspace Cloud Citrix Lifecycle Management

lcm-CIWWm6NWIAAV24Y What Jim Moyle and I wanted to do was give an interesting an entertaining conversation about Workspace Cloud and Life Cycle Management. Since the invention of the demo, there have only been five demos that were rated the most magnificent, the most pure. This presentation was not one of them. Windows Media broke; and Powerpoint. 🙁 I can only apologise for a number of technical difficulties, which were exciting (and I didn’t need that particular excitement so bad).Mind, what we (still) delivered (on time) was :-a) How cumbersome Windows 10 is with differing screen resolutionsb) The importance of Powerpoint Presenter view and listening when someone tells you that…alright many peoplec) Engaging the audience even when it has all gone Horribly Wrong.d) How Workspace Cloud workse) How LifeCycle Management works

f) Never rely on Windows Media Player. Ever.

g) You can flame someone’s demo with Octoblu.

h) When life gives you lemons.. hey.. at least there are lemons.

Which proves if you think your session will go wrong,  it can still be fun and people can learn something.

The UK CuG is a warm and friendly audience for you to dip your toe into presenting to peers. Consider submitting your own session for a future event.

Link to a (working ) LCM overview here via CUGC (requires sign-up)

Link to deck here

 

Authentication SDKs for XenApp / XenDesktop and NetScaler

ai-CIWfdVtWIAAXzt3 Andrew Innes is an Architect for (most) Authentication@Citrix and he engaged the CuG to discuss authentication flexibility for Citrix technologies using the SDK.He showed a graph of attack vectors from Verizon DBIR which shows credentials as the weakest/most targeted item by hackers. Andrew talked through how the SDK provides the mechanism to perform Risk based authentication and can ask extra questions when logging on from different or untrusted locations. The SDK also provides a way to create a Legal disclaimer, custom auth checks, and Password reset link to external service. To review the deck click here

 

Building a XenApp Environment Using PowerShell DSC

 iain-buvqM On the back of his highly acclaimed presentation at E2EVC Berlin Iain Brighton, Principal Consultant at Virtual Engine discussed using DSC to manage a Citrix environment.  Because while excitement sounds as if you need it so bad, once you move beyond your teenage years the consistency that predictability brings means you get home to see the small people/cats/dogs/significant others/not work.This is an impressive piece of work, freely available to the community and all respect to Iain for engaging in it.To review the deck click here

 

Roundtable: 

roundtable

The Roundtable is always a popular session – key discussion points included:

  • Is Automation Good – who automates; who owns the process of automation for your business?
  • How Quick Should Change Happen – who is in charge of the SLA and are they incentivised to make change happen quickly?
  • What does Agile Mean? agile too often a buzz word but it is a culture, not a technolgy
  • Small Changes Easier; Big Changes Harder – evolve, don’t shift
  • Understanding the business is key
  • vGPU capability is mainstream, not niche

And that was that.

For a view of the twitter feed of the event you can follow the Story here. As mentioned at the top, no recording of this event but you can discuss that with us on

Again, thanks to our sponsors AppSenseAtlantis Computing, eg Innovations, fslogix, PernixData and LiquidwareLabs

The next user group meeting should be around Sept 2015 with another event in December. Keep an eye/ear out for more details. Our goal is approximately four events a year – hope to see you there.

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. One person can make a difference, and everyone should try: we’re happy to help.

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, we look forward to interacting with you in realtime-3D or otherwise.

cugc

Thanks, and see you September time..

UK Citrix User Group Steering Group.

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