Citrix Summit 2020 Round-Up from Liquidware!

We just returned from Citrix Summit 2020 in Orlando. Although this show is for Citrix community channel partners, it is the first event of the season. As such, it seems to serve as a jump start for the community each year. 2020 was no exception!

SandDolphinCitrix began its first events at the Swan and Dolphin in Orlando and many Synergy (Thinergy/iForum etc.) and Summits have been held there. This was the first Citrix show in many years to be held at this same venue – so it was a bit nostalgic for many of us longtime community members. I was at the first Citrix “Thinergy” in 1998 and it was a bit of a walk down memory lane to have the Citrix Summit exhibit space in the same hall this year. For a while it seemed that the community outgrew this venue but now it seems perfectly sized for Citrix Summit again. It’s not that the community is necessarily shrinking, the Swan and Dolphin have also added meeting space over the years so it is a bigger venue now.

Citrix wasted no time with quality keynotes with the latest announcements and messaging for partners. To catch the highlights you can read this Citrix blog.  https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2019/01/07/citrix-summit-19-day-1-highlights/

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As for Liquidware, we were a proud Silver sponsor and we leveraged the opportunity to show off the latest version of ProfileUnity and FlexApp that had just been made generally available days before the conference. Many partners asked how we add value and go beyond Citrix UPM, WEM, and Citrix App Layering. We were happy to share with them our ability to run on any Windows desktop, manage users across all Windows OS versions and our integration with the three major clouds. We spoke to many current partners and former partners of Ivanti (including RES and AppSense) who were most interested in our dedication to the channel and the innovation they were seeing in our solutions. Innovation such as ProfileUnity and FlexApp’s ability to leverage Amazon, Google and Microsoft Azure clouds to stage applications, user authored data, and dynamic user profiles to offer customers a zero downtime transition to solutions such as Microsoft WVD and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops on Azure.

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Stratodesk/Liquidware Interview

Many of Liquidware’s vendor partner community were also attending or sponsoring  Synergy including Citrix, Microsoft, Nutanix, IGEL, ThinPrint, Stratodesk, and 10Zig. Look for partner videos from their key representatives in the next few weeks on Liquidware.com.

Liquidware was also invited to be part of IGELs partner community event Sunday evening. As an integrated partner with IGEL, with Stratusphere UX, I also was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak directly to IGEL partners at luncheons in the next two days. I shared our ability to have end-to-end user experience metrics with Stratusphere UX which has been integrated into IGEL’s Edge OS firmware.

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IGEL Partner Luncheon – Jason E. Smith from Liquidware and Jed Ayres from IGEL

Citrix also threw a final night appreciation party at Universal Studios. It was a great evening and memorable event.

Citrix Summit seems to be a harbinger how Citrix Synergy will go every year. If this year keeps with that tradition we’ll be in store for a great Citrix Synergy in May. Hopefully we’ll see you there!

Latest Version of Stratusphere UX now on Azure and AWS Marketplaces

The latest Stratusphere UX release (v. 6.1.4) has made it to both the Amazon Workspace Marketplace and the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

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You can find Stratusphere UX on the Amazon WorkSpaces Marketplace

The solution now provides focused support for AWS appliances.  And a new patented CID key adds support for Amazon AppStream.

Azure Marketplace

Stratusphere UX is now also featured on the Azure Marketplace.  The solution includes specialized CID keys to support WVD, as well as RFX metrics on Windows 7 (RDP 8) so they can take advantage of the RFX protocol.

EoS for Windows 7 makes this a good time to plan a migration to the cloud with Stratusphere UX.

Anyone considering moving their Windows desktop workloads to any cloud platform, can leverage Liquidware Stratusphere to conduct FIT assessments to determine their readiness to move to the cloud.   This information is critical in ensuring that the cloud environment has been sized properly to existing real-world desktop workloads and that the infrastructure can meet performance SLAs.

The end of Support for Windows 7 desktops makes this a critical time for customers to move workloads to Azure or pay stiff charges to continue to support physical environments.  So NOW is a very good time to consider and plan your migration strategy for Windows 7 with the help of a robust monitoring solution.

A good first step – especially if you’re new to hosting workloads in  cloud environments – is to conduct a Stratusphere assessment, which performs essential measurements of the existing environment and provides a FIT composite score that indicates the workload can move seamlessly to the new environment.    Anything less than a perfect A score means that some level of adjustment or remediation may be necessary.  This information ahead of time, saves countless hours and effort in the ultimate migration to the new cloud environment.

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Keeping Multi-Platform Hybrid Desktop Environments Optimized

Today’s desktop environments are increasingly diverse, encompassing multiple platforms, delivery modes and sophisticated technologies. In the past decade alone, a number of trends have converged to make managing desktop environments more complex than ever.

This blog summarizes the information contained in the Process Optimization Whitepaper located on the Liquidware website.

Windows OS Churn and Increasing Resource Consumption

Over the years, succeeding versions of Windows OS have consumed greater levels of resources, particularly CPU and RAM. This trend is not surprising, as each new version needed to support a wider set of more robust applications and features.

Through the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft introduced new versions of its operating systems on a roughly three-year cycle. However, with the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft changed its OS release schedule. Every six months, Microsoft releases a major update to Windows 10. Below you can see a timeline of Windows 10 releases for the past few years. With this schedule, the shelf life for a new Windows 10 version has become roughly 18 months. Moreover, each succeeding version has consumed greater amounts of CPU and RAM – as well as fluctuating levels of IOPS.

 Windows 10 is now a frequent spur of change in the workspace environment. Yet the process of desktop image design, maintenance and distribution has not changed to match this development. It remains time-consuming and complex. Administrators’ maintenance cycles typically lag behind the pace of Windows 10 updates. Image OS and application optimizations and acceptance testing may be performed before updates go live. But, with the sheer number of rapid and massive updates, all negative impacts cannot be assessed and eliminated for every cycle. During the gaps between image updates, workspace performance is likely to vary.

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Process Optimization Can Minimize the Effects of  Windows OS Churn

Liquidware Stratusphere UX includes a feature called Process Optimization that can smooth over the Windows update impacts to desktop-user experience by automatically leveling out resource utilization, directing more resources to foreground applications over Windows OS background processes that may vary with each new update. Process optimization thus reduces monopolization of limited resources and improves the user experience. If required, the administrator also has the option to set explicit priorities and termination rules to further optimize the user experience.

As Microsoft continues its Windows release schedule, new processes are likely to be introduced, and every image iteration can introduce variations in the environment. Process Optimization is designed to automatically address these changes to keep workspace performance feeling smooth for users until new images are composed and distributed. Continue reading

Windows 7 End-of-Support is NOW! What’s Your Safety Net?

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I personally took this picture while on the edge of Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona in 2018. The drop, just three feet from me, was 1,000 feet straight down. You can’t tell it but I was crouching so I would not dare fall…because I did not have a safety net. With a wife and three kids looking on, I had too much to risk! Many others have not been so cautious and have fallen to their death at the exact same spot. But I had a strategy to play it safe.

With Windows 7 end-of-support here (January 14, 2020), what’s your strategy to play it safe with Windows 7? Are you planning on migrating to Windows 10? Do you plan to pay up to $100 a month per desktop to keep using Windows 7? Or are you going to Microsoft WVD so you get extended support for free?

We recently delivered a free webinar that sums up the challenges for those organizations still on Windows 7. We also talk about your options. Time is ticking and you need a safety net if you still have Windows 7 desktops! View the recorded webinar now.