Originally, I had titled this blog post to be Citrix Synergy 2018 Top 10 Sessions, but to be honest, I could not find 10 sessions that I truly enjoyed, so here we are with just five.  I am not trying to knock the conference, or the presenters, but rather the content.  I found that too many of the sessions were very cloud focused, which I get – cloud is the future, however for many of the attendees, moving their Citrix workloads to the cloud is simply not on the immediate road map.  And with all things cloud, technologies change very rapidly, so to have a “point in time” presentation of the current state of the Citrix cloud might be interesting, it does not benefit very many organizations today.  I attended as many sessions as possible, so I would be able to write this blog post, and of course, to learn.  Isn’t that why we all go to conferences?

Citrix Synergy TV – SYN207 – XenApp and XenDesktop tech update (May 2018 edition) .  While this session is not a super deep technical dive on the Citrix stack, what it is, is a view into the Citrix  roadmap for the next 12-18 months.  If you are interested in the future of Citrix, and some decent Chuck Norris jokes, then spend the next 90 minutes watching this.  If I remember correctly, this session was offered three times at Synergy three times, and it was standing room only all three times.  Here is the write up from the Synergy website.  Stay up-to-date with the latest technical advancements in Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop. Are you incorporating the latest capabilities and recommendations into your implementations? With quarterly releases, it is extremely important to understand what new options are available, what optimizations are recommended and how to properly design around the latest technologies. With the speed of innovation, so much has changed in a year: this tech update session will provide you with the latest information on numerous topics in a fast-paced format. You will also learn about details on the newest release, the latest results from testing and optimizations, and updated design best practices.

Citrix Synergy TV – SYN138 – Citrix App Layering Best Practices and Troubleshooting.  With the demise of Citrix App Disks, app layering appears to be the new hotness.  Everyone is interested in keeping the golden master as clean and light as possible.  Citrix App Laying (formerly Unidesk App Layering) is the way to accomplish this.  Here is the official description of the session direct from Citrix.  Join App Layering expert, Ron Oglesby as he reveals best practices and solutions for top troubleshooting scenarios facing Citrix App Layering customers. In this session, you will gain knowledge of best practices for OS Layer creation/configuration, and insight into App Layering packaging functionality along with ways to avoid common missteps. Ron will also address the top issues and resolutions seen by Citrix Support and the available App Layering logs that can be used in the troubleshooting process.

Manage your user experience from Workspace Environment Management Service.  Workspace Environment Management (WEM) is the real deal.  If you manage a Citrix environment, at any kind of scale, you need to do your self a favour and check out this session.  While not the most technical session out there, it is interesting nonetheless.  WEM has lots of potential to replace not only GPO’s, but some elements of Profile Management.  User experience management is a critical topic for IT organization. Citrix Workspace Environment Management Service provides a centralized cloud management platform that makes management of user experience simple and reliable. Join this session to learn how Workspace Environment Management Service simplifies Office 365 management, easily enforces security rules and optimizes your VDI and physical endpoint performance, thus reducing TCO.

Citrix Synergy TV – SYN133 – End user workspace experience with Citrix Receiver, today & future.  I have to admit, the title of the session is amusing to me, in that at the very same conference, Citrix announced the death of Citrix Receiver as we know it (soon to be called Citrix Workspace App).  All that being said, the session itself talked about where receiver Workspace App is headed in the very near future.  Here are the notes straight from the Citrix Synergy App.  As we move to the cloud, Citrix continues to innovate and changes the application delivery paradigm with Citrix Receiver, enabling people to be more productive on any device, anywhere, over any network. Attend this session to find out more about the unified Citrix Workspace experience built for Citrix Receiver across desktop, mobile and web, along with the road map and release strategy for desktop and mobile as well as Android and Windows. Learn how enterprise administrators can take advantage of auto-update with Citrix Receiver for Windows and Mac, and how to optimize the user experience for XenApp and XenDesktop with Citrix Receiver SDK. You’ll also hear about innovations in AR, VR and IoT and learn about Citrix Analytics Service and what it means for users with Citrix Receivers.

Citrix Synergy TV – SYN201 – Citrix App Layering: top 10 lessons learned.  Yet another Citrix App Layering session, which in my opinion shows the interest/value that customers are seeing in this solution.  Even before Citrix acquired Unidesk, the product was highly regarded in the End User Computing community.  The format of the session, is not a traditional top ten list (similar to this blog – GUILTY), but rather some very general guidelines.  Citrix App Layering is a key tool for application and image management that is being rapidly adopted by customers who need to consistently manage applications and images as they move to the cloud. This session will discuss Citrix Consulting’s top lessons learned from working with Citrix App Layering in the field from a technical and operational perspective. Attendees will learn key tips and tricks for successfully adding Citrix App Layering to a XenDesktop environment.