Citrix Synergy 2012 Wrap-Up

By | October 19, 2012

This year I attended Citrix Synergy 2012 in Barcelona. In this post I will primarily focus on application delivery. There was also news on cloudservices, but this will be another post.

To begin with the flagships XenApp / XenDesktop, there was not much focus on these products. There is coming a new release with support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. On November 1st a preview comes available. The project name is Excalibur. The major change is that XenApp will now be part of the XenDesktop Controller and IMA services is dead. XenApp is also managed from Desktop Studio and you can also use Machine Creation Services to deploy XenApp servers, as I already predicted in my earlier blogs. Not a word about PVS. In Desktop Studio you manage your environment, in Desktop Director you can monitor and troubleshoot your environment. This functionality is extended and replaces EdgeSight for XenApp.The focus on this Synergy was on mobility. The Receiver will be the hub for all your mobile services, and this has a new name, MDX, which probably stands for Mobile Device eXperience? The following services will be available in the Receiver:

  • Hosted apps and desktop
  • @WorkMail
  • @WorkWeb
  • Mobile apps
  • Sharefile

Hosted apps and desktop are the ICA connections. This technology is proven and not changed. There will come a super codec for iPad devices to enhance video playing. And now it’s time to switch from Web Interface to Cloud Gateway if you want to use the following new features.

@WorkMail uses a secure mailclient, similar to the native mailclient on iOS or Android, but it runs within a secure environment in the Receiver and uses a microVPN to connect to the corporate lan. This offers a good solution to separate corporate mail on Bring Your Own Devices. The mail can be remote wiped, without affecting the private mail.

@WorkWeb offers secure access to internal corporate websites on the LAN without url rewriting. It also uses the microVPN functionaliteit. MicroVPN is a clientless vpn. You can publish internal websites as a shortcut in the Receiver.

Mobile apps offers the possibility to send native apps to an iOS or Android device. These will be installed within the secure area of the Receiver. The apps can be self-developed apps or be obtained from third party suppliers. It is not possible to use apps from the iTunes store, because these are signed and it is not allowed by Apple. But you can probably buy a modified version from the supplier directly. All data that is created by the apps is stored within the secure area and can be remotely wiped.

Sharefile was already available as a separate app, but can now be put within the Receiver. The advantage is that you can use it with your own Mobile apps within the secure area. Sharefile is available with on premise storage and now also offers the possibility to provide access to your Windows fileshares and Sharepoint sites. As you can see, Citrix is offering a complete mobile device experience, including app deployment, secure traffic and remote wipe. The difference with other third party tools is that other tools often want to take complete control over the device. With a BYOD, you don’t want that, so this is definitely a good solution.