Review:UK Citrix UG XV–“wish I’d attended sooner”

The Citrix UK User Group XV., how it has grown. Look at the size of it! We’ve had the most attendees yet. As a founding member I want to ruffle the UKCUG’s hair, hug it..take a step back and look how big it is…and in a few short years it’ll be posting it’s Facebook status from University that you can’t comment on because, well… and not coming home for Christmas because its working and you’re wondering whether to make its room an office… Just me? Again?

The Steering Group would like to thank all the presenters for their time, effort and engaging presentations. Thanks the 3D-realtime attendees for providing interesting and useful questions as well as discussing their challenges and ideas. To those 20+ on-line – appreciate the hellos when we asked, and apologies for phasing in and out, our roaming microphone met an unfortunate end on the way in.

Please bear in mind, if you sign up to the event and can’t attend, we look to send you an invite to our go-to-webinar event: While we’d much rather you attend and contribute in person we realise the day job takes precedence.  We have most of the recordings for download: more on that later.

Who comes to these events? Quick stats run down… it is mainly end users of attendees on the day but, you know here in the UK, we love to be inclusive:-

  • 60% end users/partners – up from the last event
  • 9% from Citrix – down from the last event – although, bless them, a lot of new ex-Citrix employees turned up anyways and contributed as if they were. Kudos.
  • 10% came from a vendor
  • The rest put “other” for those of you who like completeness.

Of course, many thanks to our sponsors Atlantis Computing, eg Innovations, fslogix, PernixData and LiquidwareLabs for helping to make this our fifteenth 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.

We covered…

Citrix News Update

Well, there was a lot to speak about wasn’t there. Our “Winter 2015” event slipped into 2016 so we had a benefit of hindsight.

Citrix User Group XV

They scrub up well don’t they?

We covered our growth ( go us) not only in person but on; looked at the moving on of the go-to*, Grasshopper and Openvoice products. A new interim CEO (and now a newer one); and some significant losses of workforce not only in Sydney, but in the UK as well. Kudos to those ex-citrites who came along on the day and contributed, we really appreciate your insight, your professionalism and your community spirit and we wish you the very best for the future. We touched on new XenApp/XenDesktop releases, XenMobile 10.3, HDX Realtime Optimisation, PVS 7.7 and Workspace Cloud. We had an interesting discussion on the new Long Term Service Release and marvelled at Citrix’s growth of innovation.

2016-01-20 11.53.05-1

Birthplace of the half toasted sandwich

You can download agenda from here

How a Customer Talks to Citrix Directly & How You Could Too

Ben and Andrew Earlier in the year Ben Dowen, a Senior Software Test Engineer at Citrix, had had a quick slot to highlight an opportunity for customers to visit Citrix engineering in Cambridge to talk about challenges with the developers/testers/PMs. Ben said the invite was still open and then Andrew Leitch spoke about his, very positive, experience at taking Ben up on his offer

Download the session deck

XenDesktop 7.7 Key Components

2016-01-20 10.12.23 Craig Hinchliffe Senior Product Manager – Desktops & Applications at Citrix discussed the new features in XenDesktop/XenApp 7.7, and the features that are new to 7.7 but not new to Citrix. He talked about his one man crusade against Citrix renaming stuff just for a laugh. Yes. I know – how awesome is that? There’s a lot he had to cover in an hour, but being hyper efficient he did it in 45 minutes. Well done him – its quite amazing he’s single, definitely a catch.

You can download the deck here



 CZKJpGQWQAAtT48 Stuart Kennedy talked about how eg Innovations can help you manage your end users’ experience without EdgeSight – how eg Innovation are leveraging new Citrix  APIs to monitor even more information including the new FrameHawk virtual channel, integration with NetScaler Insight and a Citrix Experience dashboards

You can download the deck here



2016-01-20 11.46.09 Fraser Norman from Liquidwarelabs articulated how Liquidwarelabs‘ FlexApp layering (for VHD and VMDK) as Flexapp integrates with XenApp. In addition there was info on how Micro Isolation works and the benefits to helping reduce the number of gold images.

Click here to download the deck 


Overview of Modern Workspace Developments and My View on Reality in 2016/2017 Including Graphics and VDI, Workspace 2020

 2016-01-20 12.04.13
You’ve got to be up early to win the “Longest Session Title of 2015” award – and  Ruben Spruijt did just that (03:45 – what’s the 0 for…etc.) . CTP, MVP, vExpert and a driving force in ProjectVRC and  Ruben shared his CTO perspective on Workspace 2020, what it means to deliver a workspace for the modern worker and how that workspace will evolve. Thoughts on VDI2.0, VDI3.0 and VDI4.0 – and when exactly the year of VDI will be.

Our 2nd CTO in as many meetings – if we get another I think we get a set of glasses, or a free coffee.

You can download the deck here



Latest on Citrix Workspace Cloud

 2016-01-20 12.46.37
no battle plan survives contact with the enemy” goes the saying, and if you we paying attention from the Agenda deck you’ll notice this wasn’t the how the day was planned. Still, up next was Ian Firth, Principal Product Manager at Citrix at Citrix talking about Citrix Workspace Cloud – whats new, what’s improved and what “cheaper pricing” actually means in H.M. The Queen’s pounds, shillings and pence ..once its converted to dollars.

You can download the deck here


Improve XenApp performance by Using Tracking Protection

2016-01-20 14.00.44 Wise men say that you should always consider how modern browsers can impact the performance of your XenApp environment. Do you hope that you can keep performance stable with users able to access any sites? Often admins admit that Its The Hope They Can’t Stand.  Here, one fool rushed in with his Bring Your Own Session.  James Rankin discussed how you can use IE add-ons to reduce the CPU demand on your XenApp servers by removing website adware with Tracking Protection. We also discussed how many football teams wear red and white stripes.

Click here to download the deck 

James had some video in his session – if you’d like to view it with his exciting audio – check out his youtube video

Technical Deep Dive – Windows I/O and scaling infrastructure for applications

2016-01-20 14.48.34 Wait! Jim Moyle doing a presentation on I/O and the impact of latency for VDI? Hasn’t he done that before? Possibly… Here demonstrating a “Greatest Hits” deck to fill at short notice, Jim thrashed our crowd pleasers. Very useful stuff: how to understand averages, evaluating cost of SSD. “That was worth coming for today” I heard one attendee say. We may have all dimmed the lights, held lit lighters aloft and waved our arms. You had to be there.

Click here for the slidedeck 


 2016-01-20 15.21.23 Ruben Spruijt, CTO at Atlantis Computing talking about how Atlantis Computing can help deliver Hyper Converged Infrastructure in a Citrix World. Ruben explained the benefits of Atlantis USX software and the Atlantis HyperScale appliance and how they can be used to make the virtual workspace better, cheaper and faster than a PC.

Click here for the slidedeck 


Feedback for StoreFront 3.1 Tech Preview

 2016-01-20 15.44.42  Feng Huang  Senior Architect at Citrix had a hard task when it became apparent few had looked at the StoreFront 3.1 Tech Preview

That said, with the new console, the new PoSH SDK, background health check and zone based optimal routing to name but a few features available that he talked through, maybe that will change

Click here for the slidedeck 



Citrix AppDisk Feature Comparison with other Application Layering Product

 2016-01-20 16.42.34 Nigel Woods talked about current trends in app deployment and where application layering fits into that. Nigel looked at what Citrix AppDisk will be doing once it is released and how it compared to other layering technologies and whether layering will replace App Virt/SCCM delivered apps.


Click here for the slidedeck 

Round Table:


Generic Round Table Shot Because I Forgot to Take One

The Roundtable is always a popular session, although for practicalities it is less in the round – key discussion points included:

  • Is App Layering a Fad? Is it new tech for new tech’s sake or was it filling a gap. Consensus appeared to be that App Virtualization was often complex and too often shipped out and shipped back to be installed locally – App Layering definitely has a place, but it is still “new” and needs to be understood at scale
  • Discussion on the importance of Filter drivers
  • Citrix Needs to Listen More and Talk Less to Customers – there was an appreciation of teh attendance of Citrix people and customers and the support for the UG, felt that this needs to happen more. Yet again a desire for a return of a larger European event that allowed customer to talk to PMs/Engineers rather than be dazzled by jetted in suits.

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, recordings of the events (there are two due to TryingToSortAClicker Gate) #1 and #2. You can download all the decks at once from this link .. did I not mention that earlier and you’ve downloaded them all individually…my bad.

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

The user group meetings in 2016 should be as follows:-

  • 27 or 28 April – Edinburgh
  • 6 July – London
  • 29 Sept – London
  • 31 Nov or 1 Dec – London

Keep an eye/ear out for more details. Edinburgh is pretty much sorted, but the “London” dates can move if you have a better idea. Our goal is approximately four events a year, we’re open to suggestions. Regardless of the venue, 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.


Thanks, and see you April.

UK Citrix User Group Steering Group.