Citrix Summit 2017 - Thoughts

· 6 min read
Citrix Summit 2017 - Thoughts

I wasn’t able to attend Summit this year for several reasons… Anyway, this week in Anaheim, during Citrix Summit partner event, many announcement were been made. I will just sum up what has been unleashed and how, as a CTP, Citrix partner and CTO of my company, I see / understand it. By partner, I mean knowledge partner, people who know Citrix products (not SKUs), how to architecture them and how to deploy, optimize and repair / debug.

First I will comment, point by point the announcement that Citrix made public here : [link]. #CitrixPartnerLove

Transitioning from On-premises Licenses to Citrix Cloud

For customers who own existing XenApp or XenDesktop licenses, and want to move to the Citrix Cloud as-a-service, Citrix will be offering a comprehensive set of transition and trade-up offers that provide a smooth transition by enabling the simultaneous use and support of traditional Citrix offerings and new Citrix Cloud managed services. These cost-effective solutions enable existing Citrix customers with active subscription advantage or software maintenance to get the value of Citrix Cloud for not much more than the cost of renewing traditional software maintenance.

Citrix also announced a new pilot program for Citrix Service Providers (CSPs) who want to deploy workspaces leveraging Citrix Cloud. Later this year, […] , simpler approach to deploying hosted Citrix technologies.

When I read this, the first paragraph is about customers who need to make the transition to the new Citrix licensing model (Software Maintenance) to benefit what Citrix  have in its own Cloud. Nothing for us, partners, we are not in this equation. Then, CSP partners will be able, eventually, to leverage Citrix Cloud in a pilot program ( ! ) I assume, few partners, mainly based in USA… And again, only CSP partners, nothing for the other Citrix partners.

Unidesk Acquisition

This is a good acquisition for Citrix after Unidesk parted away with Dell few month ago. (if you want to know more you can click here : [link] ) This acquisition means AppDisk (and PvD) death to me, I’m not sure how things will be handle. Taking in consideration some customer already deployed AppDisk, some are even using PvD, the migration process (technical one) need to be done by Citrix and fully operational. Or, hiding behind the LTSR release, it will be easier to say, AppDisk wasn’t included in LTSR XenApp / XenDesktop version, in the next LTSR, AppDisk will be pulled off and replaced by Unidesk as an add-on to the existing stack.

Deploying Windows 10 Desktops on Azure & Deploying Apps Directly on Azure

For those organisation seeking a simplified way to deploy Windows 10 virtual desktops in the Microsoft Azure cloud, Citrix released XenDesktop Essentials. Microsoft customers who have licensed Windows 10 Enterprise on a per-user basis will have the option to manage their Windows 10 images on Azure through its XenDesktop VDI solution. […]

This is part of the lager strategy between Citrix and Microsoft to (try) to take over the world. As far as I see this collaboration between these two companies, there is no real added value until now for partners. I mean we are able as a parter to provide VDI, Windows 10 to our customer, using Citrix in our own datacenter (with all the condition and investment that this reacquire. Now customer can order a Windows 10 directly on Azure and it’s powered by Citrix XenDesktop Essentials. Once again, during the Summit, a partner event, this is targeting customers directly. That means less business for partners.

For customers who want to deliver business applications directly from Azure, Citrix announced XenApp Essentials. […] managed by, Citrix Cloud. XenApp Essentials will be available in Q1, 2017.

Then XenApp Essentials allow customer to host any application in Azure, all powered by Citrix XenApp. To remind you, Remote App is dead and buried, Microsoft chose to use XenApp to virtualize applications. All I read and understand is about customers working directly with Citrix and Microsoft. There are no plans for partners to understand how we can work with Microsoft / Citrix and customers.

Simplifying Cloud Deployments with Smart Tools

Citrix offers a new advantage for customers and partners deploying and configuring apps, desktops and mobile workspaces through Citrix Cloud. As part of Citrix Customer Success Services, Citrix is introducing Smart Check, Smart Scale and other pre-configured packages and capabilities that simplify and accelerate the rollout of new virtual app and desktop services. […]

At last, the partner love comes back to sell Citrix Cloud stuff. Even if I still think Citrix Cloud stuff are pretty hard to introduce in large customers, I know this can be very useful in certain case for SMB customers and partners who want to deploy quickly an infrastructure. But still, I don’t understand why Citrix would say to all its customers to go through a partner to provide Citrix Cloud stuff if it’s accessible with their Citrix Licenses. What is the plan for partners here ? I want to know more !

Targeting the Mid-Market with a New Citrix Ready Program (HCI Workspace Appliance)

Citrix is kicking off a new Citrix Ready program that combines the advantages of Citrix Cloud with hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) from partners to greatly simplify the scalability and management of VDI environments for mid-market customers. The Citrix Ready HCI Workspace Appliance Program enables hyperconverged appliances from hardware and storage partners to connect to Citrix Cloud to automate the setup and maintenance of XenApp and XenDesktop. […]

VDI-in-a-Box resurrected but in an hyperconverged way… Trends… Of course Citrix had to follow the trend and fill this gap here but I don’t think that as being deployed everywhere… I’m pretty sure the price will be a show stopper. Nothing very interesting and new here, marketing announcement bullshit. Atlantis have very good product, but we know this is SMB++ and large companies that are targeted, if the price of this marketed bundle is too high, that won’t be deployed. (no partners related tho, this is a marketing announcement for customers)

Complementing Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS)

To provide enhanced mobility and security to Citrix and Microsoft customers, Citrix and Microsoft have integrated Citrix NetScaler Unified Gateway with Microsoft Intune. This solution enables IT admins to check for compliance and the state of the end user device, so they can provide policy based access control and virtual private network (VPN) capabilities to on-premises applications. […]. Additional information on conditional access with Citrix NetScaler and Microsoft Intune is available at .

I love this one, only customer oriented again, and this is weird, Citrix is speaking mobility without mentioning XenMobile… This is unbelievable ! Citrix tried to push this product so much all over the world and today, not a single word about it. What I can read between the lines : With all what’s Microsoft have open for Citrix (XenApp Essentials and XenDesktop Essentials in Azure) Real Optimization pack pushed by Microsoft for all Skype for Business RDSH deployment, Citrix has to let go something, and I think the victim will be XenMobile…

So, in the end, as a partner, I don’t feel the #CitrixPartnerLove, I read a lot of cool things happening on the technology side but I didn’t saw or read anything about the way Partners can benefit from that. Citrix don’t make crystal clear how the partnership will benefit from Citrix strategy.

As a CTP, I excited to see Citrix is making some move, but still anxious to know and understand how they will execute.

As a CTO, I don’t feel our partnership with Citrix will take a new level this year again… This is very frustrating, but yeah, this is how it is.

Sources : Citrix Unveils Roadmap to the Cloud and Secure Mobility for Partners and Customers at Citrix Summit