After reading the recent blog titled “Citrix XenDesktop delivered from 4650 miles away using NVIDIA vGPU from Oslo, Norway to Florida, US – via a hotel wifi……“, I was inspired to share my quick story. Here it is…

I was recently asked by customer, a program team within the US Army based out of Birmingham AL, to come down from Washington DC and provide an overview of XenDesktop 7 and to do a demo. Their main requirement was to be able to deliver 3D applications. Now anyone who has dealt with the Federal Government in the past may know that Government LAN/WAN links are not the best so prepping for the demo I had to make sure the demo gods bless me. A candle was lit. Just kidding.

I requested a demo environment where 3D apps were incorporated and the environment was optimized with a vGPU technology with a nVidia K1 card. You see, at that time, we did not have it readily available in our demo environment (now we do!) so a manual request had to be made. The demo gods made me nervous. My request fulfilled by the demo team in a short time but came with a caveat. The demo environment was outside of the great city of Amsterdam. The Dutch! (movie reference). I was told that the US based demo environment was being used by our Mexico Sales team for a joint Microsoft/Citrix roadshow. Shout out to the Mexico Sales team. I heard the roadshow was a success. ¡Bien hecho!

So…here I am. Heading to Birmingham with the thought of  ‘what can go wrong?’

I convinced the US Army Enterprise Sales Relationship (ERM) to show up extra early to the customer site to ensure that my set up was good to go. We meet our point of contact and were escorted to the conference room, which resemble a classroom. There were plenty of whiteboards and a huge projector. I opened my recently purchase MacBook Air and I search for the guest Wi-Fi. I found nothing. No Wi-Fi. The point of contact hands me an Ethernet cable. You remember those? rights? No problem, right? I reach in my bag to pull out my USB ethernet adapter (the MacBook air does not have an ethernet port). Doh! I left it. Either way, it would not have done me any good as the network was a semi-closed network meaning that it would have taken some time to get internet access…maybe an act of Congress. Here walks in the team that is supporting this effort. Not like one or two people…make it more like 20. I told you …it was a classroom.

I look around and quickly tough to tether to my iPhone. Someone is probably thinking that was the wrong move but at the moment I had three bars (really circles) of a LTE connection…in Birmingham, AL…about to connect to a server about 4,490 miles away…to deliver a 3D application. Yes, I know. So I proceeded. You see I love doing demos first and follow up with an overview, which is what I did. The outcome…the demo was perfect. I used one of the nVidia demo apps where I a 3D head with flowing hair just gliding across the screen. Gorgeous! I then proceeded to open the customer’s demo application, which resemble Google Earth. I made the world turn. Zoomed in and Out. I did all of this without telling them where the demo environment. In fact, I used the mapping software to tell them that the server was located in the Netherlands and I was using my phone to tether. After the demo, I went over XenDesktop 7, vGPU, the work that we have done with nVidia as well as the enhancement that we have done for mobile networks. At the end of the whiteboard portion of our conversation, I was asked to demo it again. They were in shock on how smooth it was. My one hour meeting turned into a 180 minute meeting.

Lessons Learned…

  1. Be Prepared
  2. Leverage your resources
  3. Do not leave your Wi-Fi adapter for your MacBook Air
  4. Light that HDX candle.

I know I know…. not much of a technical blog but I figured I would share my experience. I was totally happy with the demo. Even more so, the customer and the contractors were thrilled and excited to move tot he next step. I was never worried. The answer…No, 4,490 miles is not far to have a virtual desktop to be delivered.

¡Bien hecho!