This past Monday, August 6, was the 90-day mark following the major product announcements and changes during Citrix Synergy 2018.
In Anaheim, Citrix promised to deliver everything that was shared during the keynote within the following 90 days. That seemed like an unusual but welcomed move from a company often associated with not delivering on Synergy promises. (For reference, you can find all Synergy announcements in this post published on MyCUGC).
Today, I read this article which, in my opinion, gave an incomplete review of the delivery. Here my two cents on the delivery of the product promises made at Synergy 2018.
Well, It has been 90 DAYS! Really hope that @Citrix releases TODAY everything that they promised at #CitrixSynergy. Including Workspace App, #CitrixCloud updates & Access Control, #GoogleCloud integration, #ServiceNow Self-service support, Analytics, etc #TimeToDeliver #90days pic.twitter.com/4QzMs8R1Sg
— Nicolas Ignoto (@citrixguru) August 6, 2018
As you can see on the video attached to my tweet, PJ Hough made it clear that Citrix was committed to deliver within 90 days. Let’s give Citrix a shot and review the announcements made at Citrix Synergy 2018.
To be marked as delivered, the release must meet the following requirements:
- Must be available to all users (GA, Public preview, etc)
- Citrix must have communicated about the release
- Documentation must be available
- Must have been released before Aug 6, 2018
|Citrix Workspace app||Delivered|
|Citrix Workspace Experience||Not delivered|
|Google Cloud integration||Partially delivered|
|ServiceNow self-service support||Delivered|
|Citrix Access Control||Delivered|
|Citrix Site Aggregation||Delivered|
|SD-WAN in Azure||Delivered|
|SD-WAN for MSP||Delivered|
|Azure Government support||Partially Delivered|
|Windows Server 2019 and RDMI Support||N/A|
|Citrix Intelligent Traffic Management||N/A|
|Endpoint Management||Partially Delivered|
Synergy 2018 promises
Citrix Workspace app – Delivered
When we talk about Citrix Workspace, there are 2 components to think about. The first is the app, an upgraded Receiver that is used to start virtual desktops and virtual apps but also to display the new Workspace Experience.
Citrix has delivered Workspace app on Monday as expected. Multiple tech previews were publicly released from June to August and now the client is broadly available. Receiver is still available and LTSR versions are still supported. It seems that for now, both Receiver and Workspace app will co-exist at the same time.
At this time, Citrix Workspace app offers the same capabilities as the deprecated Receiver and the new capabilities that were displayed at Synergy are built-in within that client but not available for customers. Check the Workspace Experience for more details.
Note: you can download the client for multiple platforms on Citrix website but it is currently not available on the Apple Store or the Android Store.
Citrix Workspace Experience – NOT delivered
The 2nd component of Citrix Workspace is Citrix Workspace Experience and has not been released to production. The Workspace Experience is hosted on Citrix Cloud and no upgrade has been made at this time. Without the Workspace Experience, Citrix Workspace app is just a new version of Receiver without new capabilities. The plan with the Workspace Experience is to gradually migrate customers. This should start by the end of August 2018.
Citrix Workspace Experience will also bring new capabilities to Citrix Cloud control plane. See below an example with Workspace customization and branding.
Citrix Workspace Experience was demoed at Synergy multiple times and it was highly expected to be released within the 90 days.
Google Cloud integration – PARTIALLY delivered
Citrix Cloud supported Google Cloud location prior to Synergy 2018 but with limited features. The announcement at Synergy 2018 about Google Cloud was to improve the partnership. 90 days later, automation within Citrix Cloud such as Machine Creation Services (MCS) and Smart Scale are still not supported with Google Cloud Platform(GCP) and AutoScale is not available yet. The good news is that Citrix has added power control capabilities for GCP within XenApp & XenDesktop Service in Citrix Cloud. There is still a lot of limitations that make Google Cloud not attractive at all for customers who want to put Citrix workloads there, especially virtual desktops.
ServiceNow self-service support – Delivered
The ServiceNow integration announced during Synergy 2018 is key for Enterprise customers who hope to achieve Workspace automation. The goal of any large organization is to have the ability for users to request for specific services that then initiates an approval workflow and automates the provisioning of these resources. ServiceNow support was a key announcement this year at Synergy and Citrix has delivered. You can find the app on the ServiceNow Store.
You can download the ServiceNow Connector guide.
Note: you need to be a ServiceNow instance admin to be able to install the app in your environment.
Citrix Access Control – Delivered
Access Control(initially App Control) allows customers to aggregate SaaS applications within Citrix Workspace. The main advantages of this aggregation is that you can now leverage Citrix technologies for SSO and in-app security policies.
Citrix Site Aggregation – Delivered
Few days ago, Site Aggregation has been made generally available. Customers can now combine Citrix Workspace with a full Citrix infrastructure located on-premises.
Rebandring – NOT Delivered
Citrix announced that most of its services will be rebanded under the Citrix Workspace brand. As of today, Citrix Cloud is displaying some informative messages about an upcoming rebranding but nothing has been released yet.
SD-WAN in Azure – Delivered
As part of the partnership with Microsoft, Citrix has delivered SD-WAN on Microsoft Azure with the public preview of Azure WAN.
Citrix SD-WAN for Managed Service Providers (MSP) – Delivered
New pricing was already available before the announcement at Synergy 2018.
Citrix Cloud in Microsoft Azure Government – PARTIALLY Delivered
Citrix Cloud government is a cloud that is separated from the regular Citrix Cloud allowing US government agencies and other public-sector customers to use Citrix Cloud Government services according to regulatory and compliance requirements. Citrix and Microsoft announced that Citrix Cloud would be available in Microsoft Azure Government back in May 2018. This support was announced by David J. Henshall during the keynote so it was expected to be available within 90 days as well. While Citrix Cloud already supports workloads in Azure Gov prior to Synergy, Citrix announced later that the Citrix Cloud control plane will be moved into an Azure Government location later this summer.
Windows Server 2019 and RDMI Support – N/A
The support of Windows Server 2019 and Remote Desktop Modern Infrastructure (RDMI) was announced by PJ during the keynote but it was not expected that Citrix would bring this support within the 90 days. Windows Server 2019 is expected to be released around Q3-Q4 2018 and Citrix will support that new version on day 1.
Citrix Analytics – Delivered
Citrix Analytics was announced by Citrix during Synergy 2017 in Florida. The product is part of the Workspace SKU and has a lot of potential. Citrix has been working on it for a while now with only selected customers. Analytics service is now generally available and you can test it today.
Citrix Intelligent Traffic Management – N/A
Citrix bought Cedexis on February 12, 2018 and has renamed the product to Citrix Intelligent Traffic Management. Nothing else was announced for this product since Synergy and the product has not being integrated with Citrix Workspace yet.
New Endpoints support in Citrix Endpoint Management – PARTIALLY Delivered
Citrix announced new managed capabilities at Citrix Synergy 2018 such as Windows 10 with SCCM co-existence, Mac OS X with Filevault encryption and new devices support (Workspace Hub, Chrome OS, Apple tvOS, Alexa for business).
It seems that Alexa for Business support has not been rolled out to all customers and is only available with XenMobile Service 10.18.12 and up. Citrix still has to deploy this new version of the service to all its customers.
The documentation for Alexa for Business is available here: https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenmobile/xenmobile-service/provision-devices/alexa-for-business.html.
Synergy 2018 was focused on short-term goals and Citrix promised a lot during the conference, probably too much. But they put the extra effort and worked hard to meet the 90 days deadline. At the end of the day, my biggest disappointment is that the Workspace Experience is not available yet. This was the most exciting announcement at Synergy and Citrix really missed the mark here.