The UK Citrix User Group

The current incarnation of the UK Citrix User Group describes itself as being the result of a plan hatched over a beer by a dedicated group of Citrix engineers. For the community, by the community, the group is led by a small independent steering committee.

Quarterly meetings are free to attend and funded by sponsorship from a range of vendors. The meetings are all-day events hosted around the UK and are a combination of sessions from the Community, CTPs, Citrix and sponsored sessions. There is ample opportunity for networking throughout the day, and it is a great chance to speak with Partners, Customers, Vendors and Citrix Engineers!

For brevity, I have focused the highlights on Community and CTP sessions, for a full re-cap including all the sessions including slide desk you can visit the UKCUG website. While you are there you can also learn more about the UK User Group, how to become a member as well as details of future meetings:

For a look back at the fantastic sessions throughout 2016 – read on!

A few words from the Steering Group

Looking back – first full year with our events team, they’ve been really helpful and are helping us drive up attendance. It was our first time in Scotland – hopefully back next year. First time for a number of BYOS speakers so that’s always cool. Lots of new faces at each session which is also very pleasing. We had speakers from the US, France, the Netherlands and South Shields – truly an international community. Looking forward to 2017, which thanks to our sponsors, will have another 4 free-to-attend events.

From start to finish – UK CUG a year in review 2016

Q1 – Spring Meeting

cug-scotlandThe 2016 meetings started with a Spring in their step and a trip to Edinburgh, in Scotland. While I wasn’t able to attend in person, I did have the pleasure of following the action via the Webinar.

Highlights included:

  • Neil Spellings, who talked through his experiences with HP Moonshot followed by Shaun Ritchie covered his thoughts on AWS. A strong opening from a CTP and Consultant in End User Computing respectively.
  • The always energetic James Rankin covered much more than just the Edge Browser, taking the opportunity to discuss Windows 10 and Enterprise Deployments. As you read on, you will find out this is a theme for James!
  • Andrew Morgan treated us to a comprehensive introduction to Application Layering, why it exists, how it works and who plays in the market. A particulate highlight was his opening gambit “Friends DON’T Let friends use writable volumes.”
  • Other sessions included Jim Moyle and Andrew Wood gave a presentation on Preventing Poor Performance on PVS, a sneak peek of their Synergy presentation. You can watch the session they went on to present at Synergy Geek Speak Live on the Citrix YouTube channel.
  • Toby Brown then introduced Citrix Workspace Cloud, now simply Citrix Cloud, giving some detail into what it is, and what it is NOT.
  • Christian Reilly, Citrix CTO, had a Fireside chat and Q&A, covering many topics including big changes, and renewed focus at Citrix.

More from this meeting, including a full review and slide decks, can be found on the UK CUG site.

Q2 – Summer Meeting


Highlights of the summer meeting included

  • User group regular James Rankin brought his own session on the mysteries of File Type Association. James always brings a huge amount of experience and partial examples to his presentations, that are face paced and full of detail.
  • Jeroen van de Kamp gave a presentation on tuning Windows 10 VDI performance, using measurements tool Login VSI. Great stuff, definitely worth downloading the slides!
  • Sessions on IoT are becoming a staple of UK User Group meetings, so when John Moody he brought his presentation, he did his best to take a fresh view. So, what ARE YOU going to do with Octoblu? Grab John’s slides and get some inspiration.

More from this meeting, including a full review and slide decks, can be found on the UK CUG site.

Q3 – Autumn Meeting

cug_ben_presentingThe theme for the Autumn meeting was defiantly End User Computing, a great opportunity then for me to introduce my session, Persistent VDI using MCS with Full Clone. I gave a short introduction to the XenDesktop 7.11 feature, Full Clone. There were some fantastic questions about VDI, MCS and PvS. It’s always thrilling to have such a well-informed audience to keep you on your toes! Thanks Jim.

Other EUC highlights included:

  • Simon Townsend made a convincing argument in his presentation, on why Securing EUC is “our” problem. Us, in this context, being Citrix Admins. Simon took us on an excellent journey through the challenges of balancing Security, and the needs of demanding end users who need both performance and flexibility
  • James Rankin put unique humour and fast-paced style to Windows 10, in his Final Word. James took us on a fascinating journey deep into the heart of Windows 10, and the many different combinations of Servicing Branches and Windows Editions.
  • Fancy Automating your NetScaler? Then Esther Barthel’s presentation on NITRO with PowerShell will be just the ticket. A fantastic practical talk Esther set the scene and then jumped straight in with advice and demonstration on how to make use of NITRO API using PowerShell and JSON to invoke Rest Methods.

More from this meeting, including a full review and slide decks, can be found on the UK CUG site.

Q4 – Winter Meeting


The Theme of End User Computing continued in the Winter meeting, as Dale Steggles kicked us off with Customer Case Study on An EUC journey and current challenges in the insurance world.
Other highlights included:

  • Samuel Legrand and a discuss on Load testing in an RDS environment. Samuel discussed Login VSI, the need for a loading testing environment, either a realistic copy of or the real deal production lab. Samuel highlighted common mistakes and gave a bunch of tips and tricks.
  • A suggestion mooted at a previous meeting, Jim Moyle taught us all some PowerShell and how to make a simple GUI to support our scripts. Jim covered various options, new and old, such as Win Forms, WPF and UWP and introduced a number of useful tools such as Visual Studio Community Edition, Idera PowerShell Plus and Sapien PowerShell Studio.
  • Thomas Poppelgaard took us on a journey through recent updates in the world of Intel, AMD and nVidia vGPU developments passing through some deep thought on Virtual and Augmented reality.
  • James Rankin and Kevin Howell brought another spin on the Final Word on Windows 10, this time focusing on WaaS (Windows as a Service) and servicing options. As always engaging and entertaining delivery was backed up by good research and tons of facts and takeaways.
  • Jim Moyle, this time joined by Andrew Wood on measuring happiness. These two fine CTPs covered a number of aspects about measuring and quantifying the user experience, asking questions such as “can you boil down user happiness into a single metric”. The session gave us all a lot to think about.

More from this meeting, including a full review and slide decks, can be found on the UK CUG site.

Final Call to action

If you are based in the United Kingdom and want to get involved in the Citrix User Group, the fantastic things you can do, include:

Not based in the UK and want to find a local group, or start your own? Check out the Citrix User Group Community:

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