It’s Monday after MMS 2011 and I’m only just recovering.  No, not in that way!  In fact, it was my most responsible trip to Vegas on record – I ate a proper breakfast each of the 6 days I was there, which should tell you something.  What I’m recovering from is the sheer volume of great conversations with partners and customers, breakout sessions and keynotes that included or featured Citrix solutions.  Below is not an exhaustive list of things that happened, but a summary of the most relevant happenings at MMS.

Day 1:

Cloud was the topic of the day, and while the keynote didn’t have all the sex appeal of “Consumerization of IT”, it was quite clear that the private cloud and System Center solution is getting much more mature.  VMM 2012 was the star of the day and not to be understated is the broad scope of management VMM 2012 offers.  VMM 2012 offers a full datacenter management scope and fabric, storage, network and service level management.  In this section of the keynote, it was also announced that VMM 2012 will fully support XenServer – something we saw last year at Synergy 2010.  This will certainly have a great impact on our mutual customers decisions, whether they be related to desktop virtualization or traditional server virtualization.

Another announcement coming out of the SCVMM portion was support for network devices, especially load balancers.  Specifically called out was the ability to manage IP address pools, MAC address pools and load balancers.  What this means is that provisioning a NetScaler directly from SCVMM 2012 is completely feasible.  Not 100% of the configuration will occur within SCVMM, but the intent is not to replace a manufacturer’s management platform, but to simplify initial deployments as well as ongoing monitoring.  When all is said and done, NetScaler, with VPX on Hyper-V as well as deep System Center integration is an essential component to the overall private cloud strategy.  In other words – it’s not just about LB for an app, but a completely integrated component to the datacenter fabric.
 Day 2:

Consumerization of IT.  What an ambitious topic, especially for Microsoft who seems to have had a really difficult time addressing “robots and fruit” in the marketplace.  But Brad’s keynote really hit it out of the park from the start.  System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) was the star and the overarching tenant was not managing machines but delivering “user-centric” computing.  The first big announcement was that SCCM 2012 will be able to push policy and control Android, iOS (iPhone and iPad), Symbian, and Windows Phone 7  devices. It was a bold move and I’m sure a controversial one within Redmond, but I feel absolutely the right thing to do.  This kicked off a significant run of great announcements and demos for Citrix and Microsoft.  Here is a rundown of the highlights:

  • SCCM 2012 integration with XenApp.  Bill Anderson showed in his State of the Union session a unified management scope for SCCM.  In the keynote he showed that the integration just gets better
  • A new feature in SCCM 2012 is “supersedence” and it allows for an older version to be replaced with a newer version based on device policy.  This can be an App-V package or a XenApp configured app.
  • A powerful video was shown at about the 30:15 mark of the day 2 keynote that featured an HR admin connecting to XenDesktop via an LCD/LED device at home.  In addition to running a Windows 7 desktop, the user was able to nearly instantly use the SCCM software catalog to get Visio and open a critical document. 
  • Scalability and cost model were discussed with Deb McFadden and Michael Kleef and they featured an impressive XenDesktop system running on Dell hardware powered with Hyper-V SP1.  End result was an impressive 120 virtual desktops per blade.  The impact of dynamic memory was also very apparent as Michael showed the perfmon curve
  • Brad Anderson, in response to the demonstration and testing proclaimed, “with SP1 and working in conjunction with Citrix, we now have the highest density of VMs, bar none.  We also have the lowest cost per VDI session, barnone.”

By keynote end, it was resoundingly clear; Citrix and Microsoft have deep collaboration across sales, marketing, product management and engineering

Over the coming weeks, we will be working with our Microsoft peers to blog and post about much more content, so please keep a lookout on your RSS feed.