Liveblog: Citrix Synergy Keynotes

Mark Templeton CitrixSAN FRANCISCO – After its biggest Summit partner event ever earlier this week, Citrix Systems kicks off its Synergy end users conference at the Moscone Center West here Wednesday.

Citrix CEO Mark Templeton will take the stage, along with numerous other executives, to discuss where the virtualization software vendor is headed. So what’s in store? Well… we’ve had a bit of a preview, but we can’t say much for the next few minutes. So let’s just see the word “cloud” will be prominently featured.

Join us after the jump for full as-it-happens news from Synergy. The Liveblog should go live at about 10:30 am PT or 1:30 pm ET.

  Citrix Synergy 2011 Keynotes (05/25/2011) 
Good morning from the Moscone West in San Francisco. Mark Templeton taking the stage now “It’s standing room only, even out on the Web,” he quips.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:36 
“We’re going to talk a lot about the cloud. That’s probably a big shock to you.”
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:37 
Templeton walking attendees through the acquisition of Kaviza from Monday. (Link goes to our full coverage. of course.)
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:39 
“Complexity is optional,” with Kaviza, Templeton says. Probably not a terribly popular option though.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:40 
Templeton: Microsoft has been Citrix’s “most strategic partner since the day God created Citrix.” Detailing how Citrix and Microsoft are aligning technology and go-to-market.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:41 

Partner getting some dap at Synergy — Templeton says 700 V-Alliance joint Citrix/Microsoft partners in 67 countries, many of whom are in attendance after Summit. 

Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:43 
Three things shaping the industry per Templeton:

  1. Ten sequential years of single-digit IT growth
  2. “The innovator’s dilemma is everywhere” –  making it difficult to change
  3. Consumerization. “The inmates are running the…. show.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:45 
There’s a growing gap, Templeton says, between what they can do as a consumer and what they can do “within the enterprise walls.”
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:45 
“We think this is going to force more change in IT than anything else in the next ten years.” With the emphasis on the word force. “We’re all doing this ourselves? How many devices did you bring to the conference?
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:46 
Years ago, Citrix started talking about BYOC – bring your own computer, “but now, it’s BYO-3” because the universe of devices is expanding.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:47 
“We don’t think we’re in the Post-PC era, we think we’re in the Three-PC era.” — Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Personal Cloud.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:48 

“People are bringing their own apps, bringing their own network, bringing their own identity, bringing their own compute.”

Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:48 
The consumerization choice: Fight it or embrace it. “We think you shouldn’t fight it. If you fight it, you’re betting against the kind of user experience, device diversity and freedom of consumerization. I don’t think that’s a good bet.”
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:49 

“Go with this transition that’s happening from a PC era to a cloud era that’s very different from the way it’s been,” Templeton says.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:52 
Cloud swtich will “require a whole different mindset” — less about building “the factory” of IT, and more about aggregating and assembling what the business needs at the moment and into the future.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:53 
“The real point is not TCO, it’s TVO,” “true value of ownership” as opposed to the Ontario public broadcaster.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:54 
“We see that in what you do with our technologies today,” he says, examples include optimizing branches, bringing in contracorts, flex-desking and on- and off-premise options.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:56 
“It’s about finding better ways for your org to do business, better ways for IT and people to work” – think about it in three words – whatever, whenever, wherever.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:56 
Templeton talking up the Citrix Innovation Award — one of the finalists is TD Bank.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:58 
And the winner is, as chosen by attendees — Canada’s own TD Bank. Their video demonstration included how they used Citrix technology to let thousands of staffers work from home during Toronto’s G20 chaos last year.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:01 

Alright… back to the announcements of the day, starting with the personal cloud.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:02 
Templeton says he likes simplicity — offers a graph of how technology tends to keep adding features until eventually users hate it and it’s hard to get full adoption. Cost goes up dramatically as technology gets more complex, because it’s simply not being used.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:04 
“Easier and simpler has lower TCO, and easier and simpler has higher TVO.”
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:05 
“If I were Tsar of IT, and I could make one law, it would be ‘from this day forward, we will never do another IT project that requires training.””
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:05 
Instead, design the system in a way that training is not required
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:05 
The personal cloud, as defiined by Citrix, is a “people-centric” infrastructure that includes work, personal life, devices, identities, content and applications.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:07 
First announcement on this front, Citrix is updating its GoToMeeting Web conferencing tool with HD video on Windows and Mac.  – 1920×960, six-way video.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:07 
And up comes Brad Peterson, chief demo officer. And here I thought Jim Grubb at Cisco was the only one with that particular odd title.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:08 
Impressive demo using GoToMeeting for three-way video chat via hosted desktop running on a Wyse Xenith thin client device.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:10 
HD Faces goes into Public Beta today, has been used internally since last fall.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:12 
Next up — XenClient, Citrix’s “virtual desktops to go” software. Templeton says there have been 100,000 downloads of XenClient since it was launched last May.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:14 
At launch, the focus was working with Dell, Lenovo and HP on their “volume” laptops — but with new XenClient 2, expanding the number of devices supported into more value laptops.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:16 
XenClient will now run on non-vPro systems, but there’s a tradeoff in video performance. Still can play 720 HD video in the demo, though.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:17 

Support for Radeon and FirePro graphics in XenClient 2… demoing it by running a Need for Speed game on a VM on an HP EliteBook.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:19 
“All in all, we think this thing is now runnable on about 45 million systems.”
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:19 
XenClient 2 is available as a Tech Preview today.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:20 
Also introducing XenClient XT for “the most severe and extreme computing environments in the world,” with support for much greater security, isolation and performance
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:20 
Target for XenClient XT seeems to be government, military, security — will be shipping in June.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:21 
Onto Citrix Receiver, its way of accessing hosted desktops on a variety of devices.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:22 

Receiver now on 150 smartphones, 37 tablets, 10 thin clients, plus Windows and Mac computers.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:23 
New Receiver version coming for iPad, including the ability to launch multiple apps and switch between them – support for higher-resolution desktops at 1600×1200, uses 40 per cent less bandwidth.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:23 
And there’s now Citrix Receiver for the Web — run virtual apps in any Web browser.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:24 
Their partner in the Web-based Receiver is Google, and out comes Amit Singh, global VP for enterprise business at Google.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:25 
Singh talking up how Chromebook will make IT management very simple, more secure “because it’s simply a browser and there are no viruses.” Very accurately, the guy sitting next to me says “Yet.”
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:28 
Looks like they had planned on doing a bit more of a live demo, but the “5,999 MiFi” hotspots currently in the room are leading to some bandwidth challenges.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:30 

Singh leaves after revealing that “several hundred” attendees with a card under their chair will win Chormebooks. Alas, not for the press section, so I’ll just have to keep rockin’ the MacBook.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:34 
Now the demo of Receiver on a variety of devices, including the PC with a new user interface (common across all devices) and the Motorola Atrix smartphone.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:35 
iPad demo is dogged by the proliferations of MiFi.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:37 
Now showing off Receiver on HP’s upcoming TouchPad device.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:37 
Other devices: PlayBook, Galaxy Tab… and finally using Receiver via the Web on a home PC.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:38 
Oh yeah… and we’ve got GoToManage for the iPad — manage your user’s environment via the tablet device — Citrix is positioning that as a way for IT support staff to get some of the flexibility and “workshifting” capabilities that many other uses now get.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:40 
Once again, the WiFi Demo Gods are angered.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:41 
“We have a lot of people scurrying around trying to fix this right now,” Templeton says.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:42 
GoToManage is available free, with a “freemium” upgrade model.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:42 
“Easily and freely support anyone from anywhere,” Templeton says, and it’s “coming to your favorite App Store real, real soon.” (So far, though, that only seems to be accurate if your favorite App Store is the Apple one.)
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:43 
Next introduction, the first of Citrix’s new networking products – “the world’s first front door for the data centre” – NetScaler Cloud Gateway, a central place to aggregate, orchestrate and deliver all SaaS, Web and Windows apps.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:45 
The model: Citrix Receiver connects to NetScaler Cloud Gateway, which then “aggregates and orchestrates” enterprise apps, SaaS apps.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:46 
NetScaler Cloud Gateway enables “folllow-me” apps that move with the user from device to device.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:47 

Cloud Gateway admin includes the ability to track status of all SaaS applications, user account problems, etc. — includes SaaS License Provisioning.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:52 
Demonstration addressing “follow me data” across devices – saved on a laptop in an encrypted portion of the hard drive.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:56 
Data is synched from the data centre to the device — includes the ability to remotely lock and remotely erase.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 11:58 
Templeton moves along to XenDesktop – “It’s been a revolution, an amazing journey for us.”
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:00 
Templeton talks about the “big investment” in HDX, its multimedia engine for virtual desktops in XenDesktop — says a new version offers 3x the performance
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:02 

In Service Pack 1 of XenDesktop 5, adding Intellicache, which Templeton says will cut storage costs by 50 per cent.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:03 
And onto the second networking announcement, a way to connect the private cloud to public clouds through NetScaler.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:05 
“You need to make the public cloud completely transparent, make it look local to everything in your data centre,” Templeton says. To do that, you need a bridge — hence NetScaler Cloud Bridge. “Connect your data centre to any cloud.”
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:05 

For cloud-phobic enterprises, keep the data and the directory internal, but send compute out to the cloud. — choose which aspects your organization wants local or i the cloud, and move back and forth seamlessly.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:08 
NetScaler Cloud Bridge to launch in June.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:11 

Templeton “shifting gears” once again, having done Personal and Private cloud, now talking about Public Cloud.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:12 
“A lot of people think today that by using server virtualization, you’re using private cloud. We hate to disappoint you, but you’re not.”
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:12 

Templeton talking about existing public cloud Citrix relationships with Amazon Web Services and Rackspace, brings out Lew Moorman, chief strategy officer at Rackspace.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:15 
A year ago, Rackspace announced they were moving to Citrix. Today, all Windows users are on, and Linux users are being moved.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:16 
Moormon talking about OpenStack — the public cloud open-source project championed by Rackspace and NASA as well as 25+ other customers (including Citrix.)
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:16 
“One of the fastest-growing open source projects in history,” Moorman says.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:17 
Citrix introdces Project Olympus — “bringing the scalability of OpenStack to you in the enterprise,” based on OpenStack and XenServer.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:18 

Allows you to run “a real cloud in your data centre, the kind Rackspace runs.”

Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:19 
Early Access program including software from Citrix, services from Rackspace and reference hardware from Dell available now. General availability, and likely the formal product name, later this year — probably in time for the European version of Synergy in Barcelona.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:20 
Future model needs to be “more flexible, more agile, more cosnumer like and driving more business productivity and impact,” Templeton says.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:22 
Five things to do to make it happen:
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:22 
1) Device and network independence: “Make it your manifesto,” a la Netflix
2) Any to any connections, secure when needed, a la eTrade or online banking.
3) Self-service user experiences, a la Virgin America airlines.
4) Elastic service and variable cost, a la Amazon Web Services.
5) Designful approach to service, a la iTunes – this is the hardest part, because “most of us have grown up building systems where the end user experience is pretty distant.”
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:25 
“This is how we plan to help you to do something new,” leading the transformation of IT that’s radically different from the past.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:26 
And on that note, Templeton is wrapping up. But not before “two more things” — Apple and Android.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:27 
“We’ve enabled Windows apps anwhere,” says Gus Pinto, chief innovator for Citrix Receiver.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:28 
Talking about the explosion of great mobile apps, and how it’s “not fair” that those apps are stuck on a form factor.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:28 

Citrix working with BlueStack to deliver Android apps on Windows.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:29 
Demonstration showing Android app Pulse on Windows desktop.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:30 

The “wow” factor: Using an HP TouchSmart PC to use the same kind of gestures possible on an Android tablet on a PC.

Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:33 
Now showing off “for the first time, the next general of virtual desktops,” Pinto says
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:36 
Drag and drop a Mac desktop from the Receiver Store and it’s delivered.
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:37 
And to preview HDX on said Mac desktop, what better way than to use Angry Birds?
Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:38 

And with that, Templeton wraps it up, and so do we. Thanks for reading, and goodbye from San Francisco!

Wednesday May 25, 2011 12:41