Tag Archives: Meeting Review

Citrix User Group XXVII review

To use the terminology of our CUGC colleagues from the left of “the pond”, this was the UK User Group’s 27th “XL” event (which means we, as always, dedicate a full day to our community sharing, and not just an afternoon like the Americans and Irish do). All jocularity aside, it’s a big effort to be able to consistently provide an entire day of presenters for the dedicated Citrix users, admins, consultants and architects out there – something which was stretched to the limit for this particular event, but which was once again managed successfully.

The venue was Societe Generale’s offices in the heart of Tower Hill (and fantastically close to the Tube station, meaning that I didn’t even have to invoke Google Maps to find the venue, for once in my life). Equipped with an excellent view and excellent staff (particularly the very friendly man who supplied Neil with batteries), it was a fitting surround for our final event of 2018.

Having finally been given a day off back in September, Neil was understandably forced straight back into presenting the news section, although this doesn’t excuse his failure to correctly insert the microphone ūüėČ Coming prior to Citrix Summit, there isn’t often a huge amount of news kicking about for the winter event, although the acquisition of Sapho was perhaps a signal of intent as to the future strategic direction of the company. There was of course the release of 1811 to be covered, along with any new features, and the deprecations – and also, bizarrely enough, the un-deprecation of Browser Content Redirection for IE11 (which I’m pretty sure isn’t even a word).

If you missed any of the content Neil covered, you can download his (now cat-free) news slides here.

It was our hosts from Societe Generale who kicked off the main part of the day, an engaging presentation from Paul Yates about their XenApp migration. Interestingly, there was also a debate within this (which is close to my heart) about the problems of Internet browsing and advertisements, which just goes to show that the tried-and-tested techniques of Citrix User Groups gone by are still bringing value to the community today. It’s always good to see people from the community bringing stories of their experiences to these events, and we can only encourage it more – Bring Your Own Session (BYOS) is something we’d love to see ramping up in 2019. More please!

If you want to download Paul’s session slides, they are available here.

Next up we had (maybe for the last time?) the inimitable Nigel Woods with his sidekick Steve Whitfield, talking about FSLogix and where they stand now they’d they’ve been absorbed into the behemoth that is Microsoft. Microsoft’s market positioning was something of a theme for the day, but Nigel and Steve gave an honest and frank assessment of where the acquisition leaves them, their partners and their customers. It was also a chance to reflect on how much FSLogix have achieved over the last few years, and hopefully we haven’t seen the last of them around Citrix user group events!

Of course, we couldn’t have an FSLogix presentation without some mention of UKCUGC’s own Jim Moyle, who rather than being present was away on his yearly “Rambo Retreat” battling injustice in the Far East – or more likely just drinking beer.

Nigel and Steve’s slides are available here.

Next up was my good self, James Rankin (all alone this time, despite the promises on the agenda), with a not-deliberately-controversial-at-all-title to my presentation “Windows Virtual Desktop – is this the end of Citrix?” All click-baityness aside, the advent of Windows Virtual Desktop is a significant change in direction from Microsoft and one which certainly cuts across some of Citrix’s core markets. We are expecting announcements further around this at Summit as Citrix reposition themselves around this, and obviously the WVD service will develop as it is revealed through 2019, but in true consultant style, I managed to answer the question posed by own presentation with an emphatic “it depends”. And I also, it must be noted, managed to get through an hour’s presenting with only three uses of sweary language – a new record.

The slides from James’ session are available to download here.

After this we handed across to rapidly-becoming-a-regular festively-attired PowerShell guru Guy Leech for a session where he talked for the most part about dumps. The content of dumps, when to take dumps, what his dumps look like, what dumps are good for, how to make yourself take a dump – this content just writes itself. Guy’s deep technical sessions are always good for the hardcore amongst us and this one didn’t disappoint. And neither did his shirt.

The content of Guy’s dumps are available for the curious here.

After a (very nice) lunch we resumed with another deep technical session, this time a community presentation from Priya Saxena of Cloudhouse discussing the intricacies of MSIX. Priya gave us a great rundown of the internals of MSIX application packaging and the fun you can have with PSF, and the depth of technical detail was very impressive. All the more impressive given that she spent a chunk of time sidestepping late arrivals back from lunch (you know who you are) and still managed to wrap it all up a full ten minutes ahead of schedule ūüôā

Priya’s session is also available for download here.

Now, prior to the event the agenda had to be quickly re-jigged due to Steve Atkinson falling ill, and much kudos is due to CTA Ronnie Hamilton offering to fly in from Dublin at short notice to fill in. What’s also worth mentioning is that he was also out on a Christmas party the night previously, so there was always the chance that fate might conspire to keep him away from the airport the next morning. But no – despite looking slightly under the weather he not only arrived on time but also made a fantastic effort to deliver his session even more quickly than Priya did. His presentation was about his favourite subject (Nutanix) on Citrix Cloud and even an unfortunate collision with the microphone couldn’t stop him from delivering it, well done to Ronnie!

If you’d like to go through Ronnie’s slides at non-warp speed (and yes the irony of James “speaks faster than Andy Morgan” Rankin making jokes at rapid-pace presenters is not lost on me), you can get them here.

Given that we were running ahead of schedule (and we had to have a plan C in case Ronnie’s plane crashed), we also need to give kudos to Dave Holborn from the UKCUGC steering group for coming up with a quick presentation at short notice and delivering it, which brought us nicely back onto time. Dave has spent a long time dealing with issues around Office365, Azure AD and Citrix Cloud and was more than happy to complain about them some more in the interests of community discussion. Again, great show for being willing to present at such short notice!

After the afternoon break we then had another community session from familiar face Andy Cooke, who gave us a presentation on Security Risks That Citrix Admins Aren’t Aware Of. As usual for Andy’s sessions it was pretty much an open discussion, and there were some frank conversations had around the security arena, and particularly about the age-old battle of security versus usability. There were also some salient points made around how we use application management technologies, and whether we should still adapt them as a security mitigation.

Andy’s slides are available to download here.

Andy’s session more or less merged into the round table session, with the security discussion feeding this very adequately. As usual, there was a lot of frank and forthright discussion, even in the absence of usual #1 Round Table Contributor Jim Moyle.

And that was that Рnaturally we followed on with plenty of industry and non-industry conversations in the networking drinks and food afterwards, but all in all a good community day with a broad range of subjects covered off for the attendees. Also, the raffle we hosted managed to (in the end) raise a total of £400, so thanks to everyone for participating.

So 2018 has managed to be a good year for the UK CUGC again, but it’s not something we can do without our sponsors, so a shout out to all of those again, particularly LiquidWare who have occupied the Diamond sponsor slot. The great bunch of sponsors that we have are the only people who keep the UK CUGC events free to attend, and hopefully we can continue this into 2019 and still maintain the great level of presenters that we’ve done in 2018.

And like I was saying in the bar afterwards – let’s try and get more sessions from the attendees next year. I have personally presented at each meeting this year and although I enjoy doing so, there’s always a need for new, fresh voices to shake things up. So even if it’s for just ten minutes- there’s no need to tie yourself down to a long slot – bring your experiences and ideas to the table. You can even bring problems – present issues that you have and put them out there to the community experts in the room. As long as it ties in to Citrix, no subject is off the menu.

So here’s wishing you a happy Christmas and New Year, and hope to see you back at events again in 2019!

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.

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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 Рbut 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 ‚Äď 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

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 

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.




Notes from the field from – Atlantis Computing

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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¬†




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¬†AppSense,¬†Atlantis 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.

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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


UK Citrix User Group Steering Group.