As many of you have already seen, Citrix’s annual Global User Conference has had some major changes this year.  The first major change is that the event has been up-leveled to cover much more than the user conference but to be an industry conference around Virtualization, Networking and Application Delivery.  The second major change is that the event is just around the corner – May 20 – 23 in Houston (moved from the usual October timeframe).

Synergy will be sub-divided into 4 sub-conferences including:

iForum User Conference - The latest information on Citrix products from A-Xen.  This is similar to the classic iForum that we are all used to taking place in the fall.  The focus here will be on technical content, customer case studies, demos, hands-on and much more.  If you liked the standalone iForum in the past you’ll love the iForum portion of Synergy.

App Delivery Industry Expo - No one vendor can solve all your app delivery problems.  This conference will feature more than 50 vendors showcasing multi-product solutions, demos, architectural best practices and technical sessions on all kinds of topics covering the broader industry. 

Geek Speak Live! - The “un-conference” intended for technical experts to share their ideas on virtualization, networking, green computing, automation, app delivery and many more topics. 

IT 2.0 Business Symposium - A conference aimed at the busy executive on key topics that he is faced with in today’s wild world of IT. 

So what’s in store for XenApp at iForum 2008?  Only the best lineup of technical sessions ever!   Keep in mind that it’s still early and things could still be tweaked slightly but the current working titles and descriptions for the XenApp related session are:

Citrix XenApp, Windows Server 2008 and Your Environment

Learn the best practices for implementing Citrix XenApp on Windows Server 2008, gathered from early adopters like Citrix IT and Beta customers.  Also hear a special guest speaker from Microsoft describe the benefits of Windows Server 2008 and XenApp together!  This session will cover:

  • What’s new in the upcoming “Delaware” release – our first release that supports Windows Server 2008
  • How Windows Server 2008 will enable Delaware to be the best Windows application delivery solution we have ever produced
  • Best practices for migrating to XenApp on Windows Server 2008
  • How to manage a mixed Windows Server 2003 and 2008 environment
  • What’s new in the upcoming update to our Windows Server 2003 version

Unlocking the Value of XenApp Platinum through Enhanced User Experience

Come and see the future look and feel of Citrix XenApp.  This session will explore all the tools necessary to craft a world-class user experience that is intuitive, seamless, consistent and adaptable.  This session will cover:

  • The End User Experience Initiative at Citrix.  Find out what products are involved, what changes are being planned and when you can expect to see them.
  • See the new look of XenApp Platinum.  Learn about the project to create a consistent look and feel across all of the Platinum components and learn how these changes will affect your organization.
  • See the new XenApp Web User Experience.  Learn the new features and functionality planned for the upcoming release of XenApp. Learn ways to customize the new experience to fit best in your environment.
  • See the future of the Citrix User Experience.  Learn what’s coming next!

Tuning XenApp Farms for Optimal Performance and System Health

Join Citrix XenApp product tuning experts for an in-depth view of the tools and tips that you need to keep your farm running in tip-top condition.  In this session we will cover:

  • Application Performance Monitoring – a cornerstone component of XenApp Platinum edition built on the industry’s top monitoring solution, Citrix EdgeSight.
  • Health Assistant – XenApp’s built-in capability for monitoring the health of critical system services that allows you to take steps to address issues and mitigate system down time.
  • Other important tuning parameters around IMA, ICA and printing.

An In-Depth Look at Citrix XenApp Platinum from Use Cases to Implementation

Join us for an in-depth tour of the industry’s most comprehensive end-to-end application delivery solution – Citrix XenApp Platinum.  XenApp Platinum includes everything that the expanding or established business needs to deliver applications to users in a single secure, easily managed, easy-to-use and low cost solution.  This session will cover all aspects of XenApp Platinum including use cases and implementation highlights for client-side app virtualization, end-user application performance monitoring, SmartAccess, SmartAuditor, Single Sign-on, EasyCall and WAN Optimization.

Application Virtualization: Deliver all Windows Applications with Isolation and Streaming

Application Virtualization packages applications and streams them into an isolation environment on the servers in your datacenter and now directly to end user (client) machines.  This eliminates application conflicts and simplifies app updates.  This session will cover:

  • Best technical practices to exploit applications streaming benefits
  • Guidelines for successful application delivery implementations
  • How to combine Microsoft App Virtualization sequences with Citrix XenApp
  • A case study illustrating the how to and the business value

XenApp – Advanced Design and Configuration

Back by popular demand, and always an iForum favorite, this in-depth technical session will cover critical design considerations for any XenApp environment from architecture and networks to servers and farm scalability.  Whether you’re planning an upgrade or a new implementation of XenApp, Platinum Edition, you’ll want to have a full understanding of these advanced concepts and best practices.  This session will cover:

  • Methodically approach the network-related aspects of XenApp
  • Address WAN or other network issues to ensure successful implementation
  • Plan and design your server farm zones for high scalability
  • Optimize the server farm for maximum stability and high performance

Building Green Citrix XenApp Farms by Maximizing Server Scalability

Server consolidation has both economic and environmental importance, and businesses and government agencies alike face increasing pressure to reduce space, as well as electrical and cooling costs within the datacenter. This session will discuss per-server capacity planning and provide methodologies and techniques for maximizing and measuring per-server user scalability. We’ll also discuss how Citrix XenApp adds capabilities for pinpointing and resolving scalability bottlenecks.  In this session you will learn:

  • How to configure XenApp for higher user density through memory management features and technology
  • Techniques for monitoring application performance and alleviating server bottlenecks
  • How to leverage 64-bit Windows server platforms for dramatic increases in server capacity

Solving Security and Compliance Headaches with Citrix XenApp

Painful and becoming more painful: security and regulatory compliance!  This technical session will explain how XenApp and its end-to-end application delivery elements address these security and regulatory challenges. In this session you will learn:

  • How to protect user data
  • How to address regulatory compliance and risk management challenges including Sarbanes Oxley, HIPAA, FDIC, HSPD-12 and more
  • How XenApp mitigates risk and makes compliance easier

Flash!  Got Media? – Exciting Solutions for Multimedia Application Delivery

How are virtualization technologies evolving to address the new generation of rich media applications? Supporting Flash Applications, 3D graphics, animation, VoIP and video are increasingly important in the enterprise. Find out about the Citrix Multimedia Virtualization Initiative and the latest capabilities from Citrix and our ecosystem partners. Learn how to optimize video playback and deliver high-resolution images.  Get a glimpse at new technologies under development to handle the most advanced multimedia requirements and emerging RIA platforms 

Printing Virtualization with XenApp and XenDesktop – Roadmap and Best Practices

Enterprise printing infrastructures are complex and getting more so. As if the day-to-day management of print servers, printer drivers, application compatibility issues, and print performance issues wasn’t hard enough, the additional moving parts needed for application and desktop virtualization can exacerbate these issues. Printing virtualization is a strategy that can help. In the same way that application and desktop virtualization decouple and facilitate centralized management, virtualized printing infrastructures can help tame your printing challenges. This session will explore the concept of printing virtualization and some of the key technologies that Citrix is developing to enable it. We’ll also have a look at the product roadmaps and discuss best practices for today and the future. In this session you will learn:

  • Printing virtualization strategy
  • Key printing technologies:  XML Paper Specification (XPS) and Universal Print Server (UPS)
  • XenApp & XenDesktop printing feature roadmaps
  • Printing best practices for today and tomorrow 

In addition to those sessions, there are others planned that include a lot of helpful information on XenApp and its interaction with other Citrix products.  These include:

Citrix XenDesktop: How and When to Add XenDesktop to XenApp Implementations

Provide Global Availability for XenApp using Citrix NetScaler Global Load Balancing

XenApp and XenServer – Better Together

Technical best practices for integrating Provisioning Server for Datacenters with XenApp to deliver the Dynamic Datacenter

Citrix XenApp delivery to branches: Architectural Choices

Citrix Solutions for the Optimized Branch

Utilizing EdgeSight to Ensure the Best Application Experience in XenApp Infrastructures

Testing 1-2-3, Testing 1-2-3: Ensuring reliable, scalable XenApp infrastructures through automated load and regression testing

So book your ticket for Houston today and get set for the best iForum ever which will be part of the even broader and more content rich Citrix Synergy!  To register, go to http://community.citrix.com/synergy-registration