First Things First!

Now that VMWorld Las Vegas is in the rear view mirror, I’ve been ramping up for Synergy Barcelona by carefully reading dining reviews to make sure I carefully optimize my culinary adventures. Topping my list is Cerveceria Catalana which promises 5 star food at 2 star prices and I’m hoping “Cerveceria” translates to beer in some form. More importantly I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible. When I’m not in a session, I’ll be hanging around our booth. If you would like to look me up and tell me a story about what you are doing with your own desktop transformation projects, please send me an email or a tweet during the show @kstroh

Meanwhile, I have been giving a great deal of thought about some of the sessions I am preparing.

First, I was excited to hear that VMware has discovered the importance of Windows applications in the Enterprise. It was encouraging to hear that they will eventually enable you to access Windows apps through mobile devices and tablets, but of course many of the hundreds of joint Citrix and VMware customers I spoke to on the show floor at VMworld were already doing this at scale with Citrix Receiver on their iPads and Android tablets securely accessing their XenApp farms. That said, my focus at Synergy will be about the supposed “dinosaur” of information technology that claims over a billion users and near ubiquity in Enterprise computing – The Desktop…

So what is a desktop, and why should I still care?

Beating up on “the desktop ” is becoming a recognized sport in technology circles with new teams forming weekly and negotiations about tournament play being scheduled, but the business desktop plays a critical role in the way we work with no real change on the “Horizon.” While getting access to apps and data from tablets and smartphones undoubtedly improves many of our work lives and increases productivity (certainly does for me), most(all) of us still want(need) a full desktop to spread out, manage and collaborate across multiple applications. In my case, that’s 2X 24″ LED panels @1920×1080 and a real keyboard and mouse from an HDX enabled zero client. Or… if I’m watching TV, a 15″MacBookPro with Citrix Receiver gets by. I’ve often thought that if all we ever knew was an iPad, the ability to manage multiple simultaneous apps on a big screen, with a mouse, in a windowed environment would be the biggest breakthrough of the decade complete with soaring productivity. Better yet, I’d be raving that I wouldn’t have to wipe down my screen 20 times a day.

I think we now all know that it isn’t the user experience of a desktop that is the problem, it’s just the way it most commonly gets delivered and managed, a complex stack of bits tied inextricably to a piece of hardware.

So in a virtual world, what is an Enterprise desktop?

If I had to pick just a few:

1. It is a user experience that enables multiple applications from multiple platforms to be used in parallel. Many, if not most workflows, tasks and projects we perform in the workplace take the interaction of multiple apps.

2. It is a familiar “universal bookmark” that organizes and persists the apps, data, and workflows in a way that is most comfortable and productive to the user. I could still get most of these apps outside my desktop, but without the ability collaborate between multiple apps.

3. It is a universal point of access. Once I get to my virtual desktop, I get to everything I need in the enterprise network. This is key to the convenience of the desktop. Now that you know the desktop is always in your network, this gets much easier to secure and much easier for the user. My desktop is my VPN and I can do anything.

At Citrix, we call this Desktop Transformation, where we think of a desktop as a user-centric service that can be delivered to the user ondemand rather than a device centric model where you build and ship a machine.

To get the latest thinking in how to design and build a transformed desktop strategy, I will be speaking in three different sessions among many other fantastic desktop transformation sessions at Synergy:

When is VDI the Right Choice?

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First, I’ll be presenting with Simon Plant, the Product Manager for XenDesktop is exploring “Why VDI.” There are many models of desktop virtualization to fit the many use cases found in enterprise deployments. VDI is still the leading model for buzz in the marketplace and for good reason. Simon and I will talk about some of the unique properties of VDI, how it delivers unique flexibility and control, and how to think about the state of the art of VDI architecture? If you are still struggling with provisioning options or trying to figure out when to use pooled vs. dedicated desktops, you need to hear about how XenDesktop is taking VDI to new classes of users with dramatically reduced costs and performance levels.

This session is one of  series of sessions that explores different desktop deployment models included in XenDesktop

Check out the schedule here:

What’s New in XenDesktop: The Inside Scoop

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Both Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, Derek Thorslund and I will be presenting a sneak peek of what’s new in XenDesktop. After the keynote, come find us to hear about some of the exciting directions our product designers and engineers are taking us. I’ll be giving a sneak peek at where the future of XenDesktop infrastructure is headed as we continue to consolidate and simplify while making it easier for admins to deploy desktops and apps to ever increasingly larger populations of users and use cases. As part of this I’ll show off the integration of Personal vDisk technology (from the recent RingCube acquisition) and discuss how that might be leveraged further in the future.  Then Derek will show off some of the latest thinking for Citrix Receiver and HDX technologies.

Check out the schedule here:

It’s all about me! Desktop Personalization and User Profiles

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Finally, I’ll be getting “personal”  with Dave Wagner as we talk about the latest direction and best practice for making the Enterprise desktop personal and persistent for any user. As I stated before, the new Enterprise desktop is about a personal and productive user experience. We’ll be talking about:

Our stuff… and more importantly, how to keep it out of the image and off the SAN

Our apps… where do they come from and how do we get them (hear even more about RingCube!)

and Our style… Yes, I love the picture of my kids too, but profiles is about productivity not just wallpaper

Check out the schedule here:

http://www.citrixsynergy.com/barcelona/?sourceID=kevins-rts