Last month I attended Citrix Summit / Synergy in San Francisco. It was a fast paced week of tech sessions, meeting Citrites and drinking the Citrix Kool-Aid.
A typical day started at 8:00 and included sessions, a keynote, and more sessions before finishing around 8:00 at night. The hands-on learning labs were worth the price of admission. I got hands-on with previews of XenApp, XenClient, and Provisioning Server. All of the products have great things in the works.
A central theme across the product line was image management. Administrators care about image management because we spend an inordinate amount of our day patching, updating, and testing both desktops and servers. Citrix seems to understand the importance of streamlining images and more importantly, --controlling those versions. Image management left unchecked can result in excessive storage consumption as well as confusion when rolling back an update. This point is equally important for local or hosted desktops as well as server images. What if we could use the same process to update (or rollback) servers and desktops? That would truly be a nirvana that administrators have been dreaming of for years.
Highlights from the conference:
- “Start with Why” - Mark T showed a portion of Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk during his keynote. It has a simple premise, why do people or companies do what they do? He goes into a discussion on Martin Luther King Jr., Apple, and the Wright brothers. I think the whole thing is brilliant.
- SYN348: Getting from “Wow to How”, Part 4 – Design and deliver a delightful virtual desktop experience. Dan Allen and Mike Schaeffer discuss the importance of the user’s experience.
- SYN349: Getting from “Wow to How”, Part 5 – Lessons learned on the desktop transformation frontier. Nick Rintalan and Thomas Berger do a great job pointing out the pitfalls of virtual desktop implementations.
- GroupMe – It is a free group messaging service / app that was extremely useful in spreading the word on good and bad sessions and a hilarious distraction during windy keynotes. Trust me, this app is going to be a big deal. Find more information on their site groupme.com or get the app from iTunes.com or Android Market.
- There was time for fun that week. Train did an admirable job of playing to a 99% dude crowd—something that they probably aren’t used to. At one point in the show, the lead singer said he needed to get about six pretty ladies on stage to which he quickly remarked, “I think we can do this…”. Grab their new album, “Save Me San Francisco” iTunes.com, amazon.com.