Synergy Coverage

Recap of the Citrix Synergy 2016 which took place May 24-26 in Las Vegas, NV.

It has been a tumultuous year for Citrix; with a huge internal reorganization including the appointment of a new CEO and putting the focus back on the core services. The competition is getting more aggressive and the pressure was on Citrix to deliver what is expected from the leader in enterprise mobility and applications delivery: INNOVATION!

The event was covered live in this post: Citrix Synergy 2016 – Live coverage.

Citrix, YES

Citrix, YES ?
Citrix, YES ?

The theme of the Synergy 2016 was YES.

  • Yes, you can secure.
  • Yes, you can work from anywhere.
  • Yes, you can scale.
  • Yes, you can use VMware Horizon ? oh wait? Can I?

Citrix wants to lead customers to say “Yes!” to innovation and productivity in the workplace.

First Synergy for the new CEO: Kirill Tatarinov

Kirill Tatarinov was appointed CEO of Citrix back in January and was previously working as Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Business Solutions division. He has been kind of a ghost since his appointment but aimed to use this event as his welcome party.

Former CEO Mark Templeton loved to show new technologies during his keynotes, but Kirill has a completely different approach with a more business-oriented presentation. Less geek-stuff and more high-level strategies and business talks. Actually Kirill did only one demo – Skype for Business – which was a total disaster.

Mr. Tatarinov gave a lackluster performance but let’s give him time to make his mark.

twitter Quote Kirill
twitter Quote Kirill

Microsoft + Citrix

The biggest announcement of the week, the partnership with Microsoft was taken to the next level with the 2016 edition of the Synergy. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made an appearance during the 1st keynote to talk about the partnership.

Citrix is going to offer a “Windows 10 Desktop as a Service” on Microsoft Azure which is possible for the first time ever, thanks to a change in the licensing from Microsoft.

The awesomeness of the Day 2 keynote

After the first session far from meeting our expectations, all eyes were on the second session starting with Tim Minahan, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer at Citrix who gave the Innovation Award to ArcaContinental. Then he introduced Bill Burley, Corporate VP and GM Workspace Services who used the word “Awesome” way too many times. Bill talked about innovation a lot with Secure Browser, XenMobile, Sharefile. Citrix aims to deliver best graphics for everyone, secure federated identity for any infrastructure (converged, hyper converged and cloud).

They also managed to finally make the Skype For Business demo work, cutting various network connections while maintaining a Skype video connection. Impressive.

The highlight of this keynote was – again – Microsoft with Brad Anderson, Corporate VP, Enterprise Client Mobility (@InTheCloudMSFT) at Microsoft. Citrix wants to deliver customers, value with Microsoft products (Windows 10, Office 365, Private and Public Cloud and mobile).

Citrix spent a lot of time bashing VMware (with Cortana supporting XenDesktop, but who cares?) during this keynote which backfired on Twitter.

Citrix also focused a lot on ShareFile (Office document co-editing, IRM and Drive mappers) and XenMobile. 

2016, A year of Innovation for Citrix

Citrix has been busy in 2015 and is keeping the same pace in 2016 with a lot of new features:

  • AppDisk with AppDNA
  • Native App-V integration
  • Self-service password reset
  • SCOM packs
  • Session Recording for VDI
  • Framehawk for HDX 3D Pro
  • Linux VDA with 3D graphics
  • Intel Iris Pro GPU support
  • Skype for Business
  • Nutanix integration
  • MCS I/O optimization
  • PVS Boot Device Manager
  • Simple StoreFront & NetScaler
  • Federated Auth Service
  • New session prelaunch
  • Win10 secure boot support
  • Printing server load balancing
  • Enhanced reporting & alerting
  • etc.


XenDesktop 7.9

New features of XenDesktop 7.9:

  • Federated Authentication Service
  • MCS I/O optimizations up to 95%
  • Print server load balancing and high availability
  • native support with Nutanix’s AHV hypervisor
  • Local Host Cache (soon)
  • Zone preferences (soon)
System Center
  • Citrix acquired Comtrade’s SCOM management packs
  • Updated SCOM Packs
  • Updated Citrix Connector for SCCM
Long Term Service Release
  • First cumulative update
  • Metainstaller/Quality/Stability Fixes
Call Home
  • Diagnostic uploads
  • Additional data points
  • Enhance logon duration metrics
StoreFront 3.6
  • Non-domain deployment
  • BDM support for EUFI
  • BDM partition can now be updated out of the PVS console

Key Partnerships

Citrix boosted its partnerships with Intel and Nutanix.


HDX 3D Pro integration with Intel Iris Pro Graphics

  • CPUs with built-in graphics processing
  • Supported on XenServer 7.0 and bare metal

MCS provisioning Acropolis VDI instances from Studio

  • Integrated Management
  • Strength of Citrix & Nutanix partnership
  • Low-cost, high-performance VDI

Instant VDI

  • desktops as low as $415 per

Raspberry PI HDX Ready

  • High performance, Citrix verified thin client for under $100 USD
  • Joint partnership with Citrix and Raspberry Pi
  • Fully assembled, single package based on new Raspberry Pi 3
  • OEM by ViewSonic and Micro Center
  • ThinLinx OS
  • Powerful quad-core CPU (1.2 GHz)
  • Ultra-low cost, as low as $70/device when bulk discounting is applied
  • Enterprise ready with integrated device management software for asset management, software updates and device manageability

The ready-to-deploy device is preinstalled with Citrix Receiver for Linux and embedded device management software.

Preorder now for only $89USD and available on July 1st.

XenServer 7.0

  • XenServer’s virtualized graphics leadership continues with
    Intel (GVT-g) Iris Pro Graphics and NVIDIA GRID vGPU only supported by XenServer (for now)
  • Unique Secure Scan APIs for “better than physical”
    agentless workload protection
  • Support for Windows Server 2016 & Docker container support
  • Simplified Infrastructure Management with proactive
    monitoring & reporting in Health Check

Available now.

Secure Browser

Secure Browser allows remote access to web and SaaS applications from the cloud (or on-premise) with zero end point configuration, the app is launched from the cloud or datacenter and opens up a Receiver for HTML5 session inside the user’s preferred browser.

Functionality & Performance

  • Logon speed improvements
  • Session launch usage monitoring


  • Support for internal webapps
  • Authenticated external web app launch
  • URL whitelisting for published Chrome browser sessions
  • Watermarking for authentication launches

There are three options for Secure Browser that give customers flexibility with both on-prem and cloud options.

  1. The full hosted Citrix Cloud service, which is as low as $20 per user/month.
  2. Second is the XenApp Secure Browser Edition at $150 per user/device.
  3. The free (with XenApp/XenDesktop) Secure Browser Deployment Kit.


4 key areas were highlighted at Synergy around XenMobile:

  1. Secure productivity apps
    • Secure forms
    • Workx chat
  2. Secure mobility
    • Derived credentials (not yet available)
    • MAM only mode for people reluctant to enroll personnal devices
  3. Better together
    • Smart Access will be available soon. Smart Access will prevent the launch of an HDX app (delivered by XenDesktop and XenApp) from Worx Home if mobile non-compliance is detected.
    • Windows 10 devices support
    • Workx apps with Office 365 available now
  4. Citrix Cloud
    • Citrix Workspaces is now Citrix Cloud
    • Running on Microsoft Azure
    • XenMobile Cloud adoption is growing rapidly
    • Most of Citrix services are now available in Citrix Cloud


Drive Mapper

Reduce storage costs and increase the performance of file sync and share in virtualized environments

Connector Sharing

Single point of access to all data sources, quicker adoption with no migration

Office 365 Co-Editing
  • Allow simultaneous, real-time collaboration
Information Rights Management
  • Protect files even after they are downloaded and re-shared with another person
ShareFile Workflows
  • Available during the second half of 2016
  • Streamline document feedback and approval processes
  • Key use cases:  Legal contracts, HR forms, and approvals
Customer Managed Encryption Keys for Cloud Storage
  • Available end June 2016
  • Customer-managed encryption keys for better control over security
  • Cost benefits of the cloud by using the cloud-based key management services rather than hosting on-prem


Management & Analytics System

  • NetScaler MAS is an orchestration, automation, visualization and analytics platform for application delivery services. It abstracts infrastructure deployed in data centers and hybrid cloud environments into a set of resources that enables agile IT for application delivery services. For agile IT, NetScaler MAS provides tools to insert NetScaler load balancing in the development environment consistent with the production environment, supports containers and micro-services and allows app developers their dedicated view of the app-centric infrastructure. This provides continuity across Dev and Ops reducing IT administration complexity which accelerates application development/deployment. For traditional IT, NetScaler MAS allows network ops teams to scale application delivery services, dramatically simplifies troubleshooting through actionable insights.
Citrix SD-WAN

Citrix Cloud Bridge is now Citrix SD-WAN, available in 3 platforms:

  • STD
  • Enterprise

  • Tech Preview only
  • General availability on 6/30/16
  • NetScaler CPX is a NetScaler in a container form factor. It is built out of the same code base as the traditional NetScaler ADC. It runs on a Linux OS and is packaged as a Docker container.
  • Limited availability on 5/24/16
  • General availability on 6/30/16

HDX Proxy

  • HDX Proxy is now Free
  • up to 500 users

Citrix Cloud

Previously Citrix Workspace Cloud.

  • Apps and Desktops service is now XenApp and XenDesktop Service
  • Secure Browser is now Secure Browser Service
  • Mobility service is now XenMobile Service
  • Secure Documents service is now ShareFile
  • Lifecycle Management Service is now Lifecycle Management
    • Smart Scale “VDA power management” service
    • Automated upgrades and updates
  • Workspace Automation is now IoT Automation


Citrix offered Instructor-led Learning Labs scheduled on Sunday and Monday before the Synergy. 

The Instructor-led Learning Labs workshop package included up to three labs on various topics for only 99 bucks. 


Citrix User Group Community

Even with an incredible growth, Citrix did not feel like putting the community in the spotlight this Citrix Synergy. Shame on you Citrix… shame on you! Hopefully, They will put more effort in the CUGCs next Synergy.