CUGC #3 - March 22, 2017

Recap of the third Citrix User Group Community (CUGC) event in New York City. Hosted at Societe Generale on March 22, 2017.

On March 22, the third New York Metro CUGC event was held at the French investment bank Societe Generale (SG) in Midtown. It was the first event this year in the New York Metro area, and the second held at SG’s New York offices. As always, yours truly live-blogged the event. Want a play-by-play recap? Check out the blog post here: NY CUGC #3 – Live coverage.

The New York Metro CUGC team was excited to once again bring together IT professionals from around the surrounding New York area. We even hit a record-high attendance for this session, with more than 100 attendees!


Featured speakers

We had amazing speakers for this conference including Ron Oglesby (@RonOglesby)  and Landon Fraley (@landonf) from Citrix and Matt Boyajian (@liquidwarelabs) from Liquidware Labs.


Ron was the first to hit the stage with his App Layering (previously Unidesk) presentation. Citrix is pushing hard with App Layering since its acquisition back in Jan 2017. Unidesk is not only about app layering but also about managing the OS and the drivers and injecting the layers. App Layering is not a product but an underlining technology that is all around right now. It is according to Ron really simple to understand at the high level. He made a parallel with Microsoft App-V (previously SoftGrid) where applications are delivered/streamed at logon. With app layering the application behaves like it is installed in the image but it is not.

A layer can contain one or multiple applications or even just some registry settings.
– Ron Oglesby

The idea behind Citrix App Layering is to have a model that allows OS and Apps to be moved between hypervisors and even between on-premises and Cloud. Ron predicted that Citrix App Layering will become the default way to manage operating systems and applications within 2 years. 

There are two methods to deploy the layers:

  1. Layered images can help you to manage the content of the image. Via Unidesk GUI, you can centralize the content of all your images. No matter how many different XenApp silos and server configurations you have, now you’ll only have to update Windows and apps once. This method is used for some apps that need to be delivered before the logon like AppSense for example. You just need to create an OS layer,one or multiple App layer(s) and one or more platforms layer(s), then you need to group them logically in an image template.  Unidesk will put all your layers together(compilation) in a single image and will let you decide on the output. You can build your image for Hyper-V or VMware at any time. If you later decide to migrate to AVH, you won’t be have to rebuild your image but just re-compile it to the proper output format. Once the image has been built, there is nothing else managed by Citrix App Layer and there is nothing  installed within the image. You can import this new disk in PVS for example. Administrators managing multiple vDisks will be saving a lot of time with this technology. For those managing only few vDisks, they will not see the benefits of it.
  2. Elastic Layering attaches virtual disks (located in a network share) – in real time – at login (session level) using in-guest virtual disk (VHD) mounts. The mapping is based on AD groups membership. If the app is already mounted in the machine, it does not need to be re-mounted for a new session.

There is no application isolation like in Microsoft App-V but only session isolation.

Everything is managed by the Enterprise Layer Manager (ELM) virtual appliances that is now available in Citrix Cloud.

In term of licensing/entitlement, all editions will have access to Citrix Layering Images and Elastic Layering. Enterprise editions will have access to one connector and Platinum will have access to multiple connectors.

Citrix App Layering is an entitlement to customers of XenApp (Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum editions), XenDesktop (VDI, Enterprise and Platinum editions) and Citrix Workspace Suite with active Citrix Customer Success Services Select (previously Software Maintenance).
– Citrix

Ron had to face many questions from the audience about App Layering and mentioned that Citrix App Layering was in all points superior to Citrix Personal vDisk.

After the network/food break it was time for Matt to discuss how to defend your Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp infrastructure. He gave us an overview of the main challenges that we are facing as administrators. Then he explained the benefits of Liquidware Labs Statusphere UX that provides the visibility required to more effectively manage desktop performance and the user experience. This solution is platform-agnostic and complements Citrix EdgeSight and Director for comprehensive Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop monitoring. He showed us how we can leverage Stratusphere UX to analyze login, broker connections and graphics resources. It allows you to quickly get to the root cause and minimize risk for issues impacting the user experience. Landon took over for the last presentation of the night and introduced his Workspace IOT lab. Landon showed us the integration of Citrix Octoblu with Rasperry Pi and Amazon Echo. Not available for the public yet, it was exciting to see some of the latest Citrix technologies adapted for professional usages.


The main attraction of the event was the Synergy Pass giveaway. Sylvia T. was the lucky winner and we will be happy to meet her at Synergy 2017 in Orlando, FL.


Jay M. and George M. both won $100 amazon gift cards provided by Liquidware Labs.


We also gave away many CUGC t-shirts to our attendees during the Trivia/Quiz presented by Howard Mansbach.


Below are the people who worked hard to make this event a success. All these people are true passionate and we are fortunate to have them involved in our Citrix User Group Community! Big thumbs up to all of them !

From the left to the right: Herman Sheynin, Howard Mansbach, Matt Boyajian, Ron Oglesby, Aida Luu, Giri Sonty, Ivan Carrasco,  James Ma and Nicolas Ignoto.


Landon Fraley, Srini Kukkula and Aurel Malaj are not on this picture but were also involved in this event.


We’d like to thank our sponsors, host and partners who made this event possible.

  • Sponsor: Liquidware Labs (Joe Castro and Matt Boyajian)
  • Host: Societe Generale (Reda Benkirane)
  • Partners: Citrix (Ron Oglesby and Herman Sheynin) & CUGC HQ (Katie Heidkamp)


It was a great event with an active and enthusiastic crowd. Presentations by Ron Oglesby, Matt Boyajian and Landon Fraley were both enlightening and informative. Ron’s session on App Layering garnered a lot of excitement within the group, with plenty of questions and discussion. We also had a great time running our Citrix Trivia Quiz with the group, and are happy to bring one of our members, Sylvia, with us to Synergy next month! We look forward to our next event, most likely in June to debrief the Citrix Synergy 2017 in Orlando. Stay tuned!