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

The Citrix UK User Group XV. XV..my, 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…

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EVENT Review: UK Citrix User Group X – September 2014

Citrix UK User Group logo

The tenth UK Citrix User Group meeting took place at the offices Cisco in London on 24th September. We’d like thank our friends at Cisco for their hospitality and support in helping to keep the event free to attend. It was our most heavily subscribed event to date with so many of you signing up we were unable to accommodate all the requests to attend. This is why we decided for the first time to host the entire event as a simultaneous webcast using Citrix GoTo Webinar via some strategically placed webcams. Many thanks to those of you who joined us both in person and remotely.

The September meeting had a performance and optimisation feel with some great sessions from all corners of the Citrix ecosystem on how to make life increasingly productive for your users.

The event sessions started to a packed house at 09:30 with an update on some recent changes and releases in the work of Citrix from UKCUG Steering committee member and CTP Neil Spellings.

What’s new with HDX

A HDX Update from the queen of HDX herself, Citrix HDX Product Manager Rachel Berry. Rachel described the various use case scenarios for graphics acceleration and highlight how the use of hardware graphics acceleration is moving more and more into many more use cases, not just high-end graphic design and media. For so many reasons one of the most memorable uses of this 3D technology was discussed – that of the Haptic Cow (and sheep) to train veterinary students. For some reason these things tend to stick in the mind…

Download What’s new with HDX presentation

Why UCS for VDI (Sponsor)

cisco-logo

Chris Bashworth of Cisco showed how Cisco UCS integrates with the Citrix portfolio and why it makes a great platform to host VDI solutions. There was certainly some love in the room for what it is possible to achieve with UCS.

Download the Cisco presentation

XenServer: What’s New, & What’s Coming

Senior Manager of Partner Engineering at Citrix, David Cottingham delivered an informative and fun-filled “What’s new” session on XenServer as well as a “what may or may not be new in the future” section just for good measure. With particular emphasis on the continuing advantages of delivering 3D graphics acceleration via NVIDIA GRID technology exclusively through XenServer.

Download XenServer: Whats New and whats coming presentation

LUNs, zoning, fabrics, and SANs especially can all go jump off a bridge (Sponsor)

Nutanix logo

Friend of the UKCUG and Senior Nutanix Engineer David Gaunt then described the converged and linearly scalable “webscale” future with the help of a number of (pictures of) glasses of beer to describe Nutanix clustering. Needless to say close attention was paid at this point.

Download the Nutanix Presentation

Avoiding Negative Perceptions of Desktop Virtualization

Following the success of the Bring Your Own session (BYOS) approach instigated by our allies over at the Dutch Citrix User Group (DuCUG). The first UK BYOS session was included in our agenda and was gallantly delivered by James Rankin who presented on how to avoid negative user perception during a desktop virtualisation project. His presentation was very well received and a great start to what is sure to become a regular feature of the UKCUG meetings.

 Download Avoiding Negative Perceptions of Desktop Virtualization presentation

Podio – the hidden gem of Citrix

Our first special guest appearance was DuCUG member Kees Baggerman giving us some insight into how Podio can be used to great effect to run a business operation. Kees delivered this presentation with his countryman Ingmar Verheij at E2EVC in Brussels which went down very well land he didn’t disappoint on this solo engagement at the UKCUG. For those reading this post from non-profit organisations, we recommend you spend some time following this up as Podio is free of charge for non-profit use and can really make a difference to your productivity and workflow processes.

Download Podio Presentation

Netscaler Performance

Our next guests were DuCUG member Barry Schiffer and Julien Stanojevic in a Netherlands/France joint presentation on performance testing on Citrix NetScaler. Barry and Julien’s research has directly led to changes in the supporting documentation Citrix produce for NetScaler, and particularly to an increase in the stated scalability of VPX appliances. This has benefited numerous customers and is a great example of the value of community engagement to vendors such as Citrix.

Download Netscaler Performance Presentation

XenApp 7.5 in AWS

The UKCUG’s own Neil Spellings (CTP) then presented a session where he showed how a fully operational battle station XenApp 7.5 environment can be initiated into AWS in approximately one hour.

Download XenApp 7.5 in AWS Presenation

Break Down the Barriers of VDI Deployments (Sponsor)

Atlantis logo

The performance and optimisation theme continued when CTP Andrew Wood from the UKCUG and Atlantis Computing showed how Atlantis USX (incorporating ILIO) can deliver massive response-time benefits to your virtual machines and how you can see for yourself with a free 10 desktop or 1 XenApp host trail of ILIO. This demonstration showed that, in tests with Cisco UCS Atlantis achieve VSI Max scores of less than 850 for 70 concurrent XenDesktop Sessions which can only be described as “Crazy Fast”.

Download Atlantis Presentation

Round Table

The meeting finished, as is tradition on such occasions, with an open-forum round table “geekspeak” event discussing whatever topics the audience wanted to discuss. Many things were raised here including the future of virtualisation and what the various contributors saw as the direction of travel in the industry and what is due to change in the skillsets required to deliver the IT services of the future.

It was then time to continue the conversation over some light refreshment. Many thanks to sponsor Atlantis Computing for contributing to this part of the evening.From there, a UKCUG meal was sponsored by Nutanix so that the tech-chat could continue into the night.

You can re-follow the event via storify

Thanks to everyone who attended this time and to wish you all well until we see you all once more. Hopefully at the next “Christmas-themed” event scheduled to take place on the 17th December on London’s South Bank.

We hope to see you there!

The UKCUG team would like to say a really big thank you to our ongoing sponsor of this event, without whom it would not be possible to maintain this free-to-attend user group meeting, so a big round of applause to: Atlantis Computing, Cisco, Norskale and Nutanix.

Join us on Twitter where our list 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.