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6 High Notes from Citrix Synergy 2012: A Conference Recap

If I was to summarize last week's Citrix Synergy I would put it like this: the energy was high and the show was great!. It's really great, at least for me personally, to see Citrix evolve so much, to think that at one point this company was a single-product company. It feels like it was that so long ago. Citrix has truly diversified its portfolio and solidified its message and value proposition. Here are some of the highlights of the show.

Project Avalon is the codename for a project that Citrix is working on to automate and orchestrate XenApp and XenDesktop in the cloud from a single pane of glass. In essence, Avalon will allow you to burst into a cloud provider and provision desktops or applications automatically. The cool thing here is that you will do all of this from the same management console. So, no new management console needed -- the same console you are using to provision XenApp locally will be the console to provision XenApp in the cloud and so on. The technology will leverage Citrix CloudBridge to establish a secure tunnel between your datacenter and the cloud provider and then provision in the cloud.

Podio is probably the acquisition I'm most excited about. Citrix acquired them in early April. Podio is essentially a competing offering to VMware SocialCast and Cisco Quad. With tight integration into the GoTo product sets, Podio is going to be an excellent collaboration and workflow engine. Citrix showed how Podio will integrate with ShareFile, GoTo Meeting and other products at one session.

Virtual Computer is a great acquisition that significantly enhances the XenClient product with superior management capabilities and I was very happy to see Citrix acquire them. I think this will boost the adoptability of XenClient in the enterprise. It seems like a natural path for Citrix to take.

GoTo Assist is now free for iPad and Android. You can now use it to support customer, friends and family with their technical needs on these devices. So, it's not a huge announcement but I think it is a smart move, as more and more devices are mobile. Being able to use GoTo Assist for free to support these devices will lead to better adoption of the full GoTo suite.

HP had probably the coolest announcement at the show. The company showcased the All-in-One thin client LCD monitor with HDX System on Chip technology. The cool thing was the price point of about $400 and the fact that the entire device is powered by Power over Ethernet, or PoE, needing only 13 watts to power. Now, that's really cool.

Wyse Xenith 2 also made a cool announcement with a SoC architecture, improved performance and a very good price point for XenDesktop implementations. Xenith in my opinion is a phenomenal value add.

[Editor's note: This article was updated with corrections regarding a) GoToAssist customers being able to move up to the full Goto suite; b) HP's HDX chip pricing at $400, a $200 difference from what was previously posted. Sorry for the inconvenience.]

Attendance at Synergy was about 6,500 this year but it felt bigger -- I definitely sensed the excitement and energy of the attendees. I enjoyed it thoroughly and will be blogging in more details about many of the announcemens in detail in the weeks to come. Of course, I have to report that my SYN110 session on running XenDesktop on vSphere was packed. I also attended an extensive Citrix Technology Professional certification track with some amazing and very bright folks.

Were you at the show or did you follow the keynote? If so, share with us what you liked here.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 05/14/2012 at 4:59 PM


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