With Citrix Synergy 2015 just a week away, I wanted to run down my expectations for the show.
Each year I come away from the show a little excited and a little confused. I can't predict what I'll be confused about, but I can at least say what I'm hoping to see.
In the past, Citrix has made a habit of acquiring companies in the weeks leading up to Synergy. I wouldn't say it's every year, but it happens frequently enough that I've started keeping my eye out. This year, it's definitely true; Citrix has acquired a handful of companies, including Octoblu, Sanbolic and Virtual. I expect to see and hear details about those purchases, but I think we'll also learn more about products that have been waiting in the wings, such as DesktopPlayer for Windows and Citrix Workspace Cloud.
I'm still not sure what place the Internet of Things (IoT) has in the enterprise, but Citrix's acquisition of Octoblu has piqued my interest as a geek. Word on the street from Citrix's partner conference, Summit, was that there were displays of cool gadgets and automation capabilities around the show, so I expect to see that at Synergy, too. Whether or not Octoblu and IoT have a legitimate use in the enterprise, they certainly gets the attention of 2,000 geeks.
Also, since we're a few months removed from Summit, I do expect to hear and see exactly what Citrix is doing with the technology. Earlier this year, CEO Mark Templeton said Citrix isn't going to be about IoT as much as they are about IoE -- the Integration of Everything -- so I fully expect to see what that means.
Virtual influence (but no product)
Back in September, Citrix acquired a company called Virtual. At the time, Virtual made an ARM-based hypervisor for native testing of mobile applications. Citrix hasn't announced any plans to use the technology, but the company has put Virtual's employees to work. Most notably, the Citrix X1 Mouse that has been circulating since Summit is believed to be a direct result of the talent acquired from Virtual.
I've used a Citrix X1 Mouse, and it's really amazing how much it can transform your mobile Windows application experience. Hopefully we'll see more cool stuff come out of this acquisition.
Citrix Receiver and Workspace Cloud
There has been a closed tech preview of the latest version of Citrix Receiver out for a few months, and the only thing we know for sure is that it's required to use the aforementioned Citrix X1 Mouse. There's got to be more to it, so stay tuned.
It's been eleven months and four weeks since Citrix announced the enigmatic Citrix Workspace Services, which was later renamed Citrix Workspace Cloud after the company saw the confusion the nomenclature created with Citrix Workspace Suite.
Anyway, Citrix Workspace Cloud is set to make its public debut at Synergy this year. It took several months for us to figure out what it was (presumably because Citrix wasn't exactly sure what it was going to be when it was announced), but we now know that it will be a management plane delivered from the cloud, meant to be a one-stop-shop for managing mobility and desktops both on-premises and off. This will be the first opportunity for many people to get their hands on it, so I'll be paying close attention to the reaction.
I think I've been saying this for two years now, but I expect to see something tangible with the technology acquired from Framehawk (and this year, I mean it!). Truth be told, I don't know for sure what it would be or how it would be demonstrated, but Citrix stated when it acquired Framehawk that it wasn't just something that could be popped into HDX, and that Citrix wanted to get it right. After two years, I fully expect to see something.
DesktopPlayer for Windows
At long last, we finally have a tech preview of DesktopPlayer for Windows, the Type-2 client hypervisor that doesn't require you to erase a computer to run virtual machines on it. It was announced at Synergy 2014 and was only recently made available for testing. I think at the least we'll get a good look at it, and who knows -- it might even get released.
If anything happens this year, I think Citrix will target an app refactoring company like Reddo Mobility (which they've made a limited investment in). That would be an exciting move because it would breathe new life into Citrix's outdated app refactoring tools that require access to an application's source code.
Five sessions to look forward to at Synergy 2015