Today was the first day of the Citrix Synergy Lunch Table Tech Chats This year, they were very well attended. These special lunch tables are provided for anyone who wants to have an unfiltered chat with fellow Citrix Synergy attendees on one of five topics:

  • Citrix Community User Groups
  • Mobility
  • Networking
  • Virtualization
  • Speak Your Geek

Community User Group Tables

@kbaggerman and @IngmarVerheij

At the Community table there were lots of discussions about Citrix User Groups (CUGs). Throughout the world the CUGs are setup in a different way, some are focused on driving sales while others are about sharing knowledge and real life experiences. The general impression was that communities should empower people to learn from each other. A number of Citrites (Citrix employees) joined the discussion and shared their love for user groups which help them get valuable feedback from the field. Challenges that where mentioned frequently were the distance to travel, finding (or getting) the time to attend (which is an investment in the knowledge of the attendees) and finding sponsors.

Mobility Tables

@barryschiffer and @magnarjohnsen

What are you doing with mobility?

We are using XenMobile mostly we are a  previous zenprise customer. We are just using it for device management.

What challenges do you have with Mobility?

Enrollment is complex for the user and the certificate popups is annoying. The way we are using it , the users does not get any value from it, only IT security does.  It’s just annoying to the user.

The users are scared of the remote wipe function, ‘cause they have private stuff in their phones that they don’t want to lose. So some users even has two phones, one private and one business to make sure the private stuff is not messed with by IT. Mobility is a technical challenge, but also a strategic challenge. There are different teams involved from IT that has to collaborate to have success with mobility, security team, euc team and Network team.

What are the most important business applications that you use on mobile devices?

That is email And Citrix Receiver. We publish e-learning stuff with flash content through a published xenapp internet explorer.

What about mobile file access?

Unsure about the business case for using sharefile. It would be nice for some cases, but we actually don’t need it yet. The new connectors for existing file shares and personal Cloud storage Looking interesting though.

What about BYOD?
We allow it, but with limited support and access.

We were discussing a problem with implementing worx mail, because users may already have emails in the native email app, that will not be remove by XenMobile policy only with a full wipe.

There is also an overlap in Xenmobile MDM and the appcontroller functionality, sometimes hard to know where to implement what features. It will probably be better with XenMobile 9.

Networking Tables

@rsrevord and @Obwrong

No report today.

Virtualization Tables

@24x7itconnect and @joharder

The topic of Virtualization during the Lunch Time Tech Talks created many engaging conversations today.  There were many industries present at the table including legal, education, financial/banking and healthcare.  The participants ranged from very experienced to newbies.  One of the hot topics discussed was moving our applications/workstations to the cloud.  Overall, everyone agreed that Workplace Services was an interesting announcement and they were looking forward to learning about this new offering.  However, there was some uncertainty related to moving their data to the cloud.  General concerns were security and cost.  In fact, there was a general feeling that all of the hype about the cloud was more of a marketing strategy than anything else.  Even within the topic of BYOD, they felt that they would prefer to secure their date in their own data centers over moving to the cloud.  In the world of VDI the industries represented during these conversations were engaged in some form of on-premise VDI deployment and determining use cases.  Their organizations were excited about providing virtual desktops to their users and while there were occasional user grumbles their users were overall happy with these deployments.

There were also some great conversations about migrations and application packaging.  Universally, everyone agreed that migrations to new versions of XenApp were painful and required a significant amount of planning and work.  Unfortunately, quite often, once the effort was about to commence, a new version was released, which started the process all over again.  As a result, many had legacy version of Citrix products.  We also spent some time discussing applications.  Those that were virtualizing applications were all using App-V.  Some applications package quickly and easily, but some took over a week to get working correctly.

Speak Your Geek Tables

@tabularasa138 and @shaunritchie_uk

Lots of good discussions at the Speak Your Geek tables today.  The keynote was a good catalyst of discussion.  We talked about the newly announced Citrix Workspace Services and what this was and how it could integrate into our existing environments.  VMware recently announced horizon 6 and we discussed how this affected Citrix and if it was a real competitor to XenApp.  That led us to talking about the XenApp product lifecycle. How long is XenApp going to be in the marketplace?  5 more years? 10? 20?  We all felt it was going to be around a long time.  We discussed what the next acquisition could possibly be.  Firewall company? App company?  We had a good amount of discussion around the Citrix Service Provider model and how it competes in the market place.  Is it worth it to upgrade to 7.5 from s 6.x environment?  Is there ROI to justify it?  Would some of the new features like the rumored pre-launch and license caching make it worth while?  Overall, we had a good hour of conversation across a multitude of topics.  I hope we have the same type of conversations tomorrow and Thursday.

Thank you to all the leads. You’ll recognize them. They are wearing black and white striped shirts – like referees. (See the photo above.)