Citrix Mobility London 2013

Citrix announced at the start of the year that Synergy Europe would be held in London this year.  This was great news for Citrix enthusiasts who couldn't convince their respective bosses that expenses for flights and hotels to Barcelona would represent a good ROI.

Unfortunately Citrix cancelled this London event.  The reason is that Citrix wanted to host more events around Europe rather than having one flagship event.

I attended Citrix Mobility London 2013 yesterday at the Old Billingsgate Market.  The venue was pretty nice and just the right size for the amount of people who attended.  The overall theme was "Work is not a place".  This makes sense as their technologies are allowing people to be very mobile and complete their work in most environments.

The first session was run by Gordon Payne and demo god Brad Peterson.  They talked about Project Avalon and Merlin (XenDesktop 7 and desktop & Apps as a service).  This session was fantastic, having seen Brad in demo videos online before it was great to see him in action live.   

The most impressive demo was regarding HDX mobile.  Brad connected his iPad mini to his Windows 8 virtual machine using XD7 and starting watching a Flash video.  Normally this would be choppy as the server would need to render the content and pass the screenshots to the iPad screen.

Not now!  XD7 recognises that the iPad doesn't have a local flash player so it cannot use HDX flash acceleration.  It does have a local H.264 decoder locally, so Citrix converts the content to H.264 and fires down the raw commands to be rendered locally.  The result is amazing!!

Also Brad showed the ability of using a CAD/CAM type application on the iPad mini.  He opened photoshop and played with a lot of filters and the performance was phenomenal.  This news is not new, but seeing it for yourself is pretty nice.

This session also covered (as expected!) the mobility innovations that Citrix have been working hard on.  These include the purchase of zenprise (MDM) and introduction of Worx applications.  These work in the same way as Good or Divide to separate a work container for mail, contacts, calendar etc. from the users own data.  This is great for the BYOD explosion which I am assured will occur soon enough (/sarcasm).

Sharefile integration to on-premise network drives and sharepoint installations was demoed along with native file editing.  This is awesome, Good has these abilities but not without switching between 3 different applications.

There were other sessions throughout the day discussing connecting cloud platforms, general case studies and how to provision desktops and apps as a service.  These sessions were good but nothing in comparison to the first session.

Overall I had a great day, I met up with some old customers from my days at Citrix, had a lovely lunch (mini sausages and mash with a red onion chutney and lemon posset!)

The only criticisms I have of the day were the lack of technical deep dive, the uncomfortable seats and the annoying purple/pink lights which beamed into your eyes!!

I will leave you with a comment which was reiterated by Gordon Payne throughout the day is that IT is a team sport.  This was backed up by the announcement that Citrix and Cisco are working collaboratively and Cisco will be provided Netscaler in their Nexus series.

I hope Citrix continue the theme of holding more smaller events on different parts of their suite of products and hope they include more technical sessions also.



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