I was lucky enough to attend the Citrix Mobility 2013 event held in Billingsgate Market , Lower Thames Street in London today. The Citrix event was attended by 400+ people and was a “free” event as long as you registered.
Gordon Payne kicked of the the keynote with the message “We believe people should be able to work from anywhere. People are the centre of IT, the PC era is over, the cloud era has begun”
Payne went onto reflect how “Citrix is now 24 years old and has some simple beliefs
- work is not a place
- simplier is better
- any-ness wins
Citix is a growing business spanning 6 business units; social collaboration (Gotomeeting), data sharing (sharefile), mobile platforms (XenMobile), desktop virtualization (XenDesktop) , cloud networking (Access gateway) and cloud platform. Today was all about Mobile
Payne highlighted that Mobile related topics where 3 in the top 10 of the recent Gartner top 10 CIO focus areas. CIO’s constantly ask him “i want to mobilize my business” and he often quizzes them on why… the answers he gets it;
- Consumerization – claims the consumurization trend leads to BYOE , bring your own everything (data, device, applications, networks)
- Generations – through education they have flexibility but in the workforce we try to lock them down.
- Disruption in society/nature – how do we continue to cope with pandemics, social/political changes in the world. Business disruption with the changing pattern of 7 year boom/bust.
When he asks them how they are going to meet these demands, CIO answers vary, but one interesting one was DOS is the answer, Not Microsoft DOS of course, but DOS= “Don’t own Stuff” = buy services rather than products
Change has taken a while but it’s here now
Payne commented that Cirtix have been working on delivering a Mobile workstyle strategy that was about changing things, the workplace and how people work together, but this had taken time. In May 2012, at a synergy event in LA, Citrix announced Project Avalon to deliver windows apps and desktops as a cloud service. Citrix now have 2000 partners offering desktops as a service
The product Xen Desktop 7 brings together applications and desktops and the FlexCast management architecture unifies desktops and applications provisioning and automation. AppDna (only in the platinum version of XenDesktop) includes an improved app migration tool, this is the basic layer of their architecture. Payne then switched gears to focus on Mobile – HDX Mobile, which is part of XenMobile allows you to put “shims on told of old applications, to accelerate, map click/point to swipe, unlock smartphone type functions (GPS, camera) to old applications”, do be honest the word SHIM sounds like a wedge – but the demo and further conversations left me thinking otherwise.
We then saw Brad Petterson (Chief Demo Officer
@brad_peter_son) on the stage who took us through some great demo’s during the keynote , the first of which was a new Citrix receiver client running on an iPad mini conneted onto a xendesktop running Windows 8. This demo makes the iPad mini look like a surface tablet. (ironic)
The demo also showed off the features of HDX mobile, specifically HDX Media Stream showing an HD video (well 720p) video, traditionally Citrix would render the graphics in the backend and send full graphics stream wrapped in the citrix protocls. This made this pretty unusualable over any particular network, especially when you have a remote data centre. But taking advantage of devices such as the iPad (which has an MPEG4/H.264 codec) the backend (XenDesktop or XenApp – one assumes) will render the video and deliver an MPEG4 workstream allowing the device codec to do all of the hardwork.
An acqusution splurg, but a nice story
Citrix see themselves addressing several problems spaces;
- Devices that you need to configure, provisiom and secure
- Apps that you need to control with email + web, and inter-app controls as well as app stores
- Data to be shared and synced, securely
This led to 3 product macro functions covering
- Mobile lifecycle management for which they have MDM and device control points (such as AccessGateways)
- Mobile apps & data for business (XenMobile and WorX)
- developer tools and the answer is
A new product line called XenMobile, 3 acquisition of $700M in cost that are wrapped into XenMobile. Those acquisitions were sharefile, bytemobile (data and video optimization solutions for mobile network operators.), Zenprise (MDM). Those integrations have taken place over the last 18 months, but it’s clear from today they are well integrated from a technology and marketing perspective.
The next demo showed how to onboard a device in 2 steps;
- An application is downloaded from the public app store to being a device enrolment of an MDM certificate (which then applies an MDM policy) and a
- Work Store application which gives you access to the corporate application store.
Once the device was enrolled a small set of pre-configured corporate applications where downloaded. Firstly an email/calendar/contacts client called worxmail, a browser called worxweb and sharefile ). These 3 applications are the top 3 most demanded apps by their corporate clients.
The demo then showed you can do a selective Wipe as the administrator, but you can also do a full wipe, which seemed strange when we are talking about BYOD? I quizzed one of the Citrix Techies in the both outside and they said you can also have a much lighter set of MDM checks by not using the Zenprise features of Xen Mobile at all, for example if you wanted to check “jailbreak” detection on an iOS device you could using the XenMobile gateway / formerly the cloudgateway without the device enrolment.
MDX technology – allows adminstrators to control what the wrapped applications can do (i.e. they cannot send data outside of their container) – very quickly covered hence the picture. To allow companies to add their own applications . Worx App SDK claim to wrap your corporate application with 1 line of code.
Citrix announce a further 80 applications they would be releasing into their appstore (Workstore storefront?) and appealed to their customer to convince their favourite app provider to convert. Here’s a sneak preview…
- Citrix Synergy 2013 Opening Keynote Recap (marioz.com)