Category Archives: Citrix

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Tips to Optimize Performance of your Digital Workspace

Category : Citrix

Who doesn’t like to run a system in tip-top shape? And who doesn’t like to maximize user density and shave 5-10 seconds off a login time? Luckily our Citrix Consulting team specializes in this sort of thing, and we’ve got a few tricks today to optimize performance of your Citrix Workspace.

CPU Over-Subscription Ratio. We walk into a lot of XenApp environments and the CPU Over-Subscription ratio is all over the map. If you want to maximize user density or single server scalability (SSS) on the boxes hosting XenApp workloads, then I highly recommend a range of 1.5x to 2x. In addition to squeezing out a few more users on each box, this over-subscription range has also been proven to provide a great user experience (UX) for end-users. And as much as I love maximizing SSS, we can’t forget about UX either. If you’re curious how many VMs or users to expect on each box, then my “Rule of 5 and 10” is a great resource to quickly estimate density.

Graphics Codec. Many of you noticed that when we moved to the 7.x architecture, the “video codec” (or H.264) was the default graphics codec or engine used. And while that provides a great user experience due to the high frame rate, H.264 also consumes a lot of CPU. So, we rewrote Thinwire for modern operating systems (you might hear this referred to as “Thinwire Plus” or TW+) and kept improving it over the last 10 or so releases… and now TW+ is the default graphics codec used in the latest builds. The result is still a great user experience, but much better SSS at the same time. How much better? We typically see about a 10% improvement in scalability when toggling H.264 and Thinwire+.

WEM. Courtesy of the Norskale acquisition, this smart agent is quickly becoming one of our best friends. Why? It can shave valuable seconds off those long login times that might be frustrating your end-users. Your mileage will vary, but the more GPOs, GPPs, login scripts, drive and printer mappings you have, the more we can shave off. The trick is extracting these items into WEM and processing them in parallel (or after the shell loads), as opposed to processing them sequentially and adding to the login time.  We just did one project for a customer and shaved off about 10 seconds from their login time. So, if you haven’t checked out WEM yet, it might be time to do so.

Those are just a few tips to optimize performance at a high level. Want to know a few more tricks or want some more details on these? Join me and Greg Davis for a free, action-packed 30 minute webinar on Tuesday, June 20 at 2pm EDT. We’ll also be doing live Q&A, so you can ask us anything you want – after all, who doesn’t love a little free Consulting? 😉

Tips to Optimize Performance & Management of your Digital Workspace


Author: Nick Rintalan

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How Patent Quality Influences the U.S. Economy & Tech Industry

Category : Citrix

Recently the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Michelle Lee, resigned from her post after being appointed in 2014. When she assumed leadership, the USPTO was still adjusting to new law and procedures put in place by the America Invents Act.  In my experience working with the USPTO, she led that important office with great skill, professionalism and laudable transparency.

I believe her most important legacy will be the focus she placed on patent quality, and the subsequent impact that has had on patent troll litigation. It is my hope that Director Lee’s replacement will continue that focus on patent quality, as well as other reforms that help patent owners defend their substantial investments and reduce the need to divert resources to defend against tenuous patent claims.

Patent quality is key

Patent quality is a complex topic — both in defining what a quality patent is, and in understanding the organizational, funding, legal and political pressures faced by the USPTO.  It’s a topic to be discussed more in depth at another time. Rather, what’s important is that the USPTO’s focus on patent quality under Director Lee has taken some of the wind out of the sails of patent trolls.

Patent trolls exist, not to advance innovation and intellectual property, but to obtain patent rights in order to profit by litigation and settlements, rather than providing goods or services.  Combating patent trolls takes time and money, limiting innovation.  And it just so happens that an inordinate number of low quality patents have ended up in the hands of litigious patent trolls.

By litigating low quality patents, patent trolls have been costing the U.S. economy a substantial amount of money (some estimates are in the tens of billions of dollars per year).  If the USPTO only issues high quality patents, the ability of patent trolls to divert this money from actual innovation is greatly reduced.

Now the Administration needs to appoint a replacement for Director Lee, and Citrix would encourage the Administration to move quickly to find a candidate with these qualities:

  • A patent attorney who also has broad IP knowledge and experience;
  • First hand commercial experience in IP-focused industries;
  • A commitment to training and retaining skilled patent examiners;
  • Timely patent application examination with issuance of high quality patents that can withstand scrutiny, and
  • A director who will continue to revive and reform the U.S. patent system.

Why is this all important you ask?

It’s simple: the USPTO has substantial power to influence the U.S. economy based on the economic value and technological quality of the patents it issues (or doesn’t). Innovation, protected by IP law, stimulates research, investment, business creation, jobs, and general economic wealth.

Citrix encourages the Administration to nominate a director who will wisely harness and direct that great power.  We encourage a balanced approach of protecting innovation while also reducing the negative effects of patent trolls, not by over-weakening the enforceability of patent rights, but rather by penalizing abusive litigation tactics and ensuring that only high quality patents are granted.


Author: Lesley Hamlin

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Welcome to the Future of Work

Category : Citrix

We are living in a rapidly changing world. Broad adoption of new technologies is transforming how we work and live.

Citrix is excited to play a role in this ongoing digital transformation by empowering people and organizations to seize the opportunities it offers. In May, at Citrix Synergy 2017, we shared how we see the “future of work” and our vision for a better way to interact with technologies—people-centric, secure, flexible, and productive.

Today, approximately half of the people participating in economic activity consider themselves “digital natives.” They grew up with technology and they expect to be connected with it at all times, from the devices they carry to the clouds and services they use. For this new generation, work is no longer a place—it is an activity.

At the same time, it is important to keep in mind the other half of the workforce—those of us who joined digital revolution as adults, or who are still making this transition. Organizations must be focused on “digital dexterity” to ensure that allof their people can participate in digital transformation. This involves both cultural and technological advances—starting with modernization and simplification of business process and applications, continuously looking at new ways to automate and, of course, ensuring the digital literacy of the entire workforce.

Technology adoption as a driving force

The cloud has been a prime enabler across a broad range of new technologies in recent years, including mobility, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, IoT, and more. While almost every organization on earth embracing public cloud, it is also important to be thoughtful about existing investments and environments. Citrix believes in the hybrid cloud approach, allowing our customers to take the most out of the public and private clouds and existing on-premises deployments.

We see that more than 90 percent of companies are now friendly to BYOD policies that address the needs of the new mobile generation of workers. Citrix is focused on ensuring both the flexibility of end users and the security and control of IT by delivering the most comprehensive enterprise mobility management solutions.

While mobile workstyles become the norm, reimagining the actual physical workplace is also an important priority for organizations. People need a modern, advanced environment in which they can come together and collaborate. Intelligently connected devices and the internet of everything enables new, unique workplace scenarios across the industries. At Synergy 2017, we demonstrated Workplace Experiences — the way Citrix envisions, working in close cooperation with our partners, how the future of work looks.

We see artificial intelligence as one of the most exciting next waves of digital revolution. It is predicted that companies who embrace intelligence-driven processes will have a $1.2 trillion advantage in marketplaces. At the same time, most organizations say they are not yet prepared for handling the data they have, much less the data that intelligent machines will deliver in the future. Citrix is committed to helping our customers close this gap.

Dealing with the cyber security challenges ahead

A world of pervasive, mobile, multi-network connectivity creates an ever-larger surface to protect. Organizations need a way to secure their infrastructure without increasing complexity, and, in the face of unprecedented cyber threats, they need to do it all proactively.

The world is under attack. Those threatening our enterprises are no longer hobbyists, but terrorists with unimaginable resources to form cyber security attacks and weaponized technology. A Citrix survey conducted by the Ponemon institute found that a vast majority of companies — nearly 80 percent — see the need for a new approach to cyber security. In fact, in the next few years, companies will spend more than $1 trillion on cyber security efforts.

Yet, simply spending more is not going to solve all of our security challenges. Adding to the complexity of systems only adds to vulnerabilities. Today, companies are using 30-40 add-on security products that may not be all needed. In addition, they are focusing on securing and protecting devices when the information those attackers are trying to steal lives in myriad places. WannaCry, possibly the largest ransomware attack in history, is just a taste of what lies ahead. Attacks are not going to stop, and attackers are only going to get smarter and more cunning.

All of these ideas—the coming trends in technology changes and adoption and the new threats from cyber security—are the reasons why Citrix is investing heavily to help you embrace digital dexterity and secure and protect your enterprise.

Delivering the workspaces of the future

We need to harness rapidly evolving technology advances to power the workspaces of the future while helping organizations become more secure. For the last 12 months, Citrix has been focused on executing on our strategy to deliver the world’s best-integrated cloud services for the secure delivery of apps and data. We have worked tirelessly toward that goal, and at Synergy 2017, we reported that we have delivered on every single promise and more.

Our focused execution enables Citrix to be the #1 provider of Secure Digital Workspaces for companies of all sizes. And we are now poised to deliver an industry-leading modern digital workspace service that is unified, secure, contextual, and modular, to help our customers improve the digital dexterity of their businesses and reimagine how and where work gets done.

At Citrix Synergy, we made several big announcements that will help us deliver on this promise. First, we announced Citrix Workspace, a unified experience for all of our products on a single platform, offered as a service to you. The Citrix Secure Digital Workspace Service gives users access to all of their apps and documents in a single place, regardless of where the app or data is hosted—mobile, public cloud, private cloud, local or on-prem. The service provides native device integration, delivering a seamless experience on any device.

This service offers both contextual access and performance, so users see only the apps and data they can access from any given location. And contextual performance means that the workspace adapts to what is being shared or accessed—whether it’s a small data file or a large video file, it makes no difference in the end user experience.

As an answer to our commitment to cyber security, we announced the new Citrix Analytics Service, which offers a unique, 360-degree view of user behavior and context. Citrix has access to a lot of critical data—from networking and desktops to a myriad of business files—and so we can deliver a turn-key, autonomous system that can enforce granular security policy controls across our products.

Taking a closer look at security also means reassessing how we view networking. As the traditional network perimeter becomes a thing of the past, we’re enabling a software-defined perimeter designed to secure access and protect data in any scenario. Security is being built into every aspect of our strategy and technologies.

And to add to our commitment, we have announced the new Citrix Security Practice in our professional services organization. This practice is a focused group of security professionals who can help you assess your environment, workspaces and overall networking strategy, and help you create this software-defined perimeter.

Only Citrix has the edge to deliver the modern, adaptive, digital workspace that the market requires, and only we can give users and IT both the experience they desire.

Citrix is powering the future of work

The Citrix Secure Digital Workspace is our answer to the future needs of the enterprise. By focusing on empowering the workforce with tools designed around its needs, we can unleash its full creativity, bring new talent from new places into the organization, and help the components of the business work and collaborate more effectively. We can ensure that people who touch customers, wherever they may be, are equipped with the most current and relevant information, as well as the most innovative tools and capabilities, so they can excel at what they do for those customers. That’s how you keep a business on the leading edge of productivity.

At Citrix, the future of work begins every day. And on a personal note, for the last 16 months with the company, this has been my driving motivation: to help Citrix — and all of our people, customers, and partners, as well as the industry at large — realize and truly deliver the future of work. The Citrix Secure Digital Workspace is an important part of that picture and an important example of the dramatically accelerated innovation we will deliver.

At Citrix Synergy 2017, it was my great honor to report that Citrix had delivered on every single one of our promises from the previous year, and to take a look ahead at articulating a clear vision, strategy and product roadmap to support it. We are laser-focused on achieving our mission. In everything we do, we are relentlessly driven to make work more productive, secure and human-centric, wherever and however business takes place. That is a future worth believing in.


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What the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Means for You

Category : Citrix

The GDPR is upon us! Well, almost…

If your organization serves customers or individuals in the European Union, you’re likely already aware of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Introduced in response to concerns about data privacy, the GDPR will go into effect on May 25, 2018, requiring responsibility and accountability for every organization that processes the personal data of individuals in the EU. In today’s global economy, that includes the vast majority of enterprises and a large proportion of smaller businesses as well. The extensive requirements of the GDPR—and the high cost of non-compliance—make preparing for this new regulation a top priority for today’s organizations.

GDPR Basics

The first thing to understand about the GDPR is to whom it applies and what it covers. The regulation refers to both “controllers” and “processors” of data—in other words, any organization within the EU and any organization that stores, handles, or processes personal data of EU residents in any way. Personal data is defined quite broadly to include not only information provided by the individual, but also observed data such as online identifiers, browsing history or social media posts; data derived through straightforward processing such as previous transactional history; and data inferred through more complex processing. Given this, companies need to be extremely thoughtful about the handling of any data they collect.

The GDPR is all about accountability and governance. Companies must take steps to minimize the risk of breaches and uphold the protection of personal data, ensuring compliance through documented technical and organizational security measures.


If GDPR compliance seems onerous, consider the alternative: organizations that fall short of GDPR requirements can face stiff penalties on a two-tier fine structure. A lack of compliance can bring a penalty of €10 million, or 2 percent of global revenue, whichever is greater.  Companies that violate the rights and freedoms of their data subjects—including those that fall victim to hacking and other breaches of personal data—are subject to twice that penalty. Add this to the already-considerable set of risks associated with a data breach.

Incident Response

In addition, under the GDPR, organizations will now have a 72-hour breach notification obligation. This applies to more than just the loss of personal data; any breach of security leading to the destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorized disclosure of, or access to personal data must be disclosed within the mandated time period. This requirement will cause many companies to mature rapidly their data incident response programs.

Additional Rights

Beyond new penalties, security requirements and incident response obligations, the GDPR extends additional rights to individuals in the EU, including the right to be informed about the use of their personal data, the right to have access, to erase and transfer their personal data.


At its core, the GDPR is about trust. It is about companies handling the personal data of their customers, partners and employees with care and respect. As a vendor that helps the world’s businesses mobilize and secure apps and data, Citrix’ relationship with its customers is built on trust. Citrix views GDPR as an opportunity to reinforce that relationship, and Citrix is relentlessly focused on helping our customers secure all of their data, and supporting our customers’ GDPR compliance programs.

To learn more about how Citrix can aid in your GDPR preparation, please refer to:

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What Makes an Expert in the Age of AI

Category : Citrix

Author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell fields audience questions posed by Citrix CMO Tim Minahan on stage at the inaugural Synergy Innovation Super Session series presentation. I’ll be featuring my favorite images here each day of the conference. Watch for them!

It’s not a puzzle world anymore. It’s a mystery world. The nature of the problem that we face is fundamentally different.

“It’s not a puzzle world anymore. It’s a mystery world. The nature of the problem that we face is fundamentally different,” Malcolm Gladwell explained. The New York Times bestselling author kicked off our Innovation Super Session series with an intriguing look at what it means to be an expert in the age of machine learning. It was an engaging and thought-provoking break after a morning of intensive breakout session learning and a highlight of Day 2 at Synergy 2017. What else happened today and what’s coming up tomorrow? Take a look:

Innovation Super Session

He’s an insightful writer and an even more compelling speaker, and we were thrilled to have Malcolm Gladwell at Synergy as one of our inaugural Innovation Super Session speakers. Judging by tweets from the crowd, attendees agreed.

@gladwell speaking about the future of work, puzzle solving vs mysteries, old vs new techniques. My favorite keynote so far.

Malcolm Gladwell at talking about the future of work. Love big ideas and interesting thoughts.

Malcolm Gladwell – amazing speaker talking about distinction between puzzle and mystery, artificial intelligence

Malcolm talked about how AI will impact decision making and productivity in the workplace and how to make sense of the daunting volume of information on our plate in an age of big data and AI. What does an expert look like in this new world? “An expert in the future is not a puzzle solver. It is a mystery solver. It’s someone who is practiced in the art of making sense of complexity,” he said, and illustrated the challenges by drawing parallels between the medical doctor of today and the doctor of just 30 years ago, who had a more limited data set and fewer options at his disposal.

We’ve changed the dynamics of decision making, he explained, and we need people who can act socially, not just operationally. Who are analysts, not collectors of data. And who are comfortable with uncertainty.  “What we want experts to do is to occupy structural holes in the decision making process that a machine can never touch…In the future we are not getting rid of human judgement. We are much more in need of human judgement than ever before.”

What we want experts to do is to occupy structural holes in the decision making process that a machine can never touch… In the future we are not getting rid of human judgement. We are much more in need of human judgement than ever before.

I hope you were able to attend this inspiring discussion. The Innovation Super Session series is one of the programs you can’t benefit from unless you’re here, so be sure to join us next year in person if you couldn’t make it to Orlando!

Tuesday highlights

The envelope please: our CMO Tim Minahan announced the winner of the Citrix Innovation Award just before Malcolm Gladwell took the stage, and I’m so proud to recognize SCL Health, which won both the popular vote and the expert panel vote with over 5,000 votes cast. SCL Health is a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to improving the health of people and communities. Their $2.5 billion health network aspires to provide comprehensive, coordinated care through 13 hospitals in three states – Colorado, Kansas and Montana. This prestigious award has recognized our most forward-thinking customers for more than a decade, and we are delighted to see how our customers move their companies forward with Citrix solutions. Watch their inspiring story here.

Our interactive sessions—including Match.Geek, Meet the Experts and Hot Topics—have been a hot ticket all week. It’s no surprise, since you told us you wanted more of these: we even had to move some to bigger rooms to accommodate the interest! It’s clear how valuable your conference feedback is and how we are always refining the conference in response; please remember to take the post-event survey on Thursday. One of the most anticipated and most-attended interactive sessions so far was Jacob Morgan’s session, SYN716: The experiential organization: why organizations that focus on employee experience crush those that don’t. Some of the others include:

SYN201 Hot Topics Roundtables (with Adam Gamble, Carl Behrent, Dan Kennedy, Daniel Schlimme, Greg Tiber, Jim Dirkes, Jonathan Pitre, Ryan Gallier, Tim Riegler and Walter Scott)

SYN404 Hot Topics Fireside Chat—ShareFile Desktop Tools: how to choose the right tool for the job

SYN707 Meet the Experts—Build a robust security framework in the age of hospital smartrooms and IoT

There are still a few seats available with some of our geeks in the Match.Geek program, and you may be able to fly standby if your favorite geek is already booked. Just go to the session you would like to attend and wait in line; seats revert to standby 10 minutes before each session and will be filled on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Looking ahead: Innovation Super Session

Tomorrow, you will not want to miss our second Innovation Super Session as we welcome former U.S. Secretary of State Gen. Colin L. Powell. He is now is a strategic adviser at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and serves on the board of directors of Bloom Energy, an alternative energy company that provides unique on-site power generation systems utilizing an innovative new fuel cell technology. In March of 2014, he joined the board of directors of General Powell will talk about cybersecurity threats and the need for leaders within government and corporations to come together as the first line of defense. We’ll be back in West Hall D for this exciting presentation tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. ET.

Up next: Diversity in Technology

By the time you read this, I’ll be at the Diversity in Technology networking event, Making Ordinary Teams Extraordinary: Why it Pays to Tap the Power and Potential of Your Team. Diversity strategist and author Lenora Billings-Harris lays down practical and actionable insights on how diversity plays a big role in success and fuels high-performing teams. Diversity, and leveraging the power of difference, is a major topic of discussion in global companies, and I’m looking forward to hearing Lenora’s perspective. If you’re able to join me, it’s in the Tangerine Ballroom on West Concourse, Level II.

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Citrix and Microsoft: A Year of Achievement … and We’re Just Getting Started

Category : Citrix

One year ago at Citrix Synergy, Citrix and Microsoft kicked off a powerful expansion of our partnership to help our customers securely embrace the cloud and mobility, extending and deepening our long-time partnership which spans 25 years. We announced Azure as our preferred cloud. Our vision energized our customers, and generated praise from industry analysts and press.

Over the past year, we’ve consistently executed on our plan, introducing compelling services that are now available in the Azure marketplace. We’ve also announced new security and mobility innovations to help businesses make it easier for their people to work, securely and productively.

More importantly, our customers love these purpose-built Citrix Cloud Services on Azure, based on how quickly they are adopting them. In fact, we’ve seen more than 500 deployments from the Azure Marketplace in just the first two months.

Today, the following services — launched in the past year — are available:

  • XenApp Essentials: the easiest and fastest way to securely deliver Windows apps from Microsoft Azure to any device, available through the Azure Marketplace. Optimized for Azure, XenApp Essentials delivers a simplified management experience with security configurations, management, and user experience features.
  • XenDesktop Essentials: the first service for deploying Windows 10 in the cloud. An industry first, XenDesktop Essentials enables customers who have purchased Windows Software Assurance on a per-user basis the option to host their Windows 10 Enterprise Current Branch for Business images on Azure.
  • NetScaler Unified Gateway integration with Microsoft Intune: This solution enables IT admins to check for compliance and the state of the end user device, so they can provide policy based access control and virtual private network (VPN) capabilities to on-premises applications. The new solution with Citrix NetScaler Unified Gateway provides greater security and flexibility for customers who need new ways to manage mobile access to sensitive data and apps, while giving administrators greater endpoint management and control.
  • NetScaler VPX Global Server Load Balancing now available on Azure: This will allow managers to enable active failover or load sharing across multiple Azure regions, and even to on-premises data centers, particularly critical as enterprises begin capitalizing on a hybrid cloud strategy to account for unplanned outages. In addition, NetScaler VPX capacity was increased to 3Gbps, while adding support for multiple IP addresses on either single or multiple network interface controllers; increasing instance scalability to support broader workloads in the cloud.
  • NetScaler SD-WAN on Azure: This new offering enables enterprises automatically build secure and always-on connections from any branch or data center, and take advantage of the NetScaler SD-WAN ability to identify and optimize cloud traffic.

In addition, we continue to see tremendous adoption of our co-developed solution for delivering Skype for Business in virtualized environments through XenApp and XenDesktop. When Microsoft released Windows Server 2016, Citrix provided day one support for XenApp and XenDesktop to run on Windows Server 2016, so customers can benefit from security integrations, like Device Guard and Credential Guard with Hyper-V. And we continue to help Microsoft and Citrix customers manage their migrations to Windows 10, including the latest edition, Windows 10 S. Designating Azure as the preferred cloud for Citrix also means that ShareFile enterprise customers will default to Azure moving forward

Integration work is currently underway to enable customers to combine the advantages of Citrix XenMobile and use Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS). Soon, customers will be able to use Microsoft EMS to manage Citrix Secure mobile apps. Work is also underway to embed NetScaler VPNs in Microsoft EMS Mobile Application Management offerings, and Citrix will be building an enterprise mobility management service for customers on Azure.

Our engineers are hard at work on a new wave of innovations that will help our customers move faster, even as they enhance their security. Our collaboration continues to gain momentum.

So, what’s next for Citrix and Microsoft? We are excited to preview Citrix Secure Browser Essentials built on Azure. Coming in late 2017, Citrix Secure Browser Essentials is a simple cloud based offering for secure remote access to the internet that isolates end user internet browsing from enterprise endpoints and networks.

So, stay tuned. There is a lot more to come this year.

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Get Ready to Rumble!

Category : Citrix

Citrix enjoys giving back to communities through our SimplyServe programs. At last year’s Citrix Synergy conference, I helped organize a SimplyServe IoT event for a Las Vegas grade school class. We taught 30 fifth-graders how to build a push-to-talk video walkie-talkie in 90 minutes using the Citrix Octoblu IoT platform.

We are stepping things up at this year’s Citrix Synergy event with a Battle Bots competition!

We have selected a middle school robotics class from Orlando, the site of Synergy 2017, to join us in a three-hour SimplyServe community service event consisting of building Citrix Octoblu-powered battle bots and concluding the event with a real, live battle bots competition! Intel has donated 50 TinyTile microcontroller boards to serve as the “brains” of our battle bots, while Citrix is donating the rest of the battlebot parts (gears, breadboards, wires, and even googly eyes)!


The rules of engagement for our BattleBot competition are simple. Last bot standing (and moving) on the board wins. You can push your opponent off the board or disable them somehow so that they can no longer move – and you win! This event is going to be a blast!!

battlebot board

Our SimplyServe Battle Bots Competition will be held at Citrix Synergy in Orlando, FL on Thursday (May 25th) from 1:30-4.

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Securing the Future with Artificial Intelligence

Category : Citrix

Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are already transforming modern life, from voice-activated personal assistants, to self-parking cars, to self-configuring conference rooms, to systems that help doctors diagnose disease. As more things become interconnected and AI-enabled, our world becomes smarter, more convenient and more productive.

Last October, the Mirai botnet took advantage of hacked IoT devices to take high profile websites, such as Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, Airbnb—and, it was rumored (incorrectly), the entire nation of Liberia.

How do you secure a world of dizzying interconnectivity? If innovation is generating this unprecedented security challenge, it’s only fair for innovation to help solve it—AI to the rescue. Look to the evolution of our telephone system.

At some point, human operators could no longer keep up with growing scale and complexity, and automation became essential.

Now, AI will power new a new generation of technologies for anomaly detection, machine learning, behavioral analytics and other tools to help keep our devices clean and secure.

Mind you, AI isn’t about to replace the human element—rather, it will augment our own expertise, helping security professionals make the right decisions just as it now helps diners choose the right restaurant for dinner. Even in a world reshaped by artificial intelligence, humans remain in charge.

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Apps are On the Move, What’s a CIO to Do?

Category : Citrix

People have been on the move for a while — workspaces, applications, and data are increasingly accessed from mobile devices. This has had a big impact on application delivery. For any business these days, its all about apps and its all about the customer experience delivered by these apps.

Now applications are on the move too — to the cloud. The critical applications on which businesses depend are increasingly delivered from the cloud and there are clear economic benefits driving this transformation.

Not only are applications moving to the cloud, but the components that make up applications are getting more numerous, more distributed, and need to be dynamically managed. Micro-service architectures are driving this transformation.

In addition, as Nick Lippis pointed out in a recent blog post, there is no single cloud that fits all needs; in order to maximize the economic benefits and flexibility promised by this transformation, the cloud must be hybrid. Also, applications are increasingly being assembled with components that are deployed between on premise datacenters, private clouds, and public clouds. All of this must be integrated into one digital business platform that can be managed dynamically.

Application components have been deployed traditionally using what Gartner called an “application delivery network (ADN),” which was defined as “a suite of technologies that, when deployed together, provide application availability, security, visibility, and acceleration.” This concept of deploying a robust and flexible application delivery infrastructure is even more relevant as applications move to micro-services and hybrid cloud deployments.

The ADN, as originally defined, consisted of an Application Delivery Controller (ADC) to distribute traffic between data-centers and applications and a WAN optimization solution to manage application traffic between the branch and datacenter. This needs an update for the cloud era to include five key functions all working seamlessly together:

  • An application delivery controller (ADC) which secures, distributes and optimizes application traffic
  • A security function to manage security threats
  • An access gateway function to manage access to apps by users and things
  • A WAN optimization and virtualization solution
  • Management and analytics software to provide visibility and automation across the whole application infrastructure.

There are some key points to consider as you evaluate the application delivery infrastructure you need to assist your journey to the hybrid cloud:

One to Any: First, the basics. All the elements of your application delivery infrastructure must be available on any cloud. You need the assurance that you won’t be locked in by a choice that could lead to migrations and future costs. Identical functionality must be available on any of the clouds you use. In fact, the same feature set should be available on any hypervisor or even in a container. This way, you can support the app development lifecycle, as well. The only way this can be ensured is by selecting software which has an identical code base, feature set, APIs and management, irrespective of where it is deployed.

Automation, Visibility and Analytics: Because of the increasing complexity of the app deployment landscape, you must be able to automate critical provisioning, configuration and management tasks. Management must be consistent across the hybrid cloud. App workloads will need to scale up and scale down, not just in one cloud environment but across your hybrid cloud environment. You need a powerful and flexible way of managing and correlating events from all corners of your hybrid cloud.

The application delivery environment can provide a rich set of data about apps, users and devices. You need to harness this data for application performance management, troubleshooting and security threat mitigation. Individual cloud environments provide specific tools to provide some degree of visibility, but what you need is end-to-end visibility of all the components of all your apps wherever they are deployed. You will also need powerful analytics tools and anomaly detection to enable you to proactively identify and address issues across your hybrid cloud. Finally, all of this needs to be app-centric: making it easy for app developers to deploy “hybrid cloud ready” apps as well as providing role-based access to application based performance management and troubleshooting information.   Finally, open APIs and the ability to integrate easily with orchestration systems, SDN controllers and other tools and systems are key requirements.

Security: In the hybrid model, the security perimeter is no longer the DMZ on the edge of your data-center, so keeping your apps and data secure is even more of a challenge. Your application delivery infrastructure needs to provide network and infrastructure oriented security capabilities such as SSL-based encryption, DNS security, and comprehensive Layer 4 attack protection. You also need a comprehensive application firewall function in order to identify application layer threats and manage them. A key requirement is to be able to enforce security policies consistently across the hybrid cloud environment.

Flexible Licensing: Another critical element is to do with ensuring that the solution elements you need can be purchased in a way which aligns with the hybrid-cloud business model. For the components of your application delivery environment you should be able to simply buy the capacity you need and then be able to deploy it where you wish: on any cloud, any “form factor”, physical or virtual. This makes sure that your investment is protected. In fact, you should be able to pay for capacity on demand and in a fully automated scenario, move licenses around dynamically as capacity requirements shift.

Reliability and Availability: Your choice of a hybrid cloud delivery model should allow you to create a cost-effective resiliency model between clouds. The concept of global server load balancing can be used to assess the health of applications and route traffic to an alternative cloud in case of issues. In fact, with a well-integrated automation solution it is possible to automatically spin up new workloads as well. Again, it is key that this isn’t tied to just one cloud and works seamlessly between on-prem and cloud deployments.

Secure Access and Single-Sign On: Another key function which must be provided by the application delivery infrastructure is user authentication and single sign-on access to any applications, irrespective of where in the hybrid cloud environment those apps are deployed, or whether they are on-prem, SaaS, or web apps. In fact, as part of the move to a hybrid cloud environment there is an opportunity to both enhance security dramatically and reduce costs by replacing existing remote access and AAA solutions with a well architected gateway function in the application delivery infrastructure.

Accessing the Apps: The way users access apps and data needs a rethink, too. As applications and desktops were migrated to the data center, the bandwidth required between the branch and the data center grew rapidly and the WAN became very important. But now, as more applications are delivered from the cloud, the traffic needs to be managed much more intelligently, application by application. Application level policies must be applied in real time to avoid “tromboning” cloud or internet-bound traffic through the data center and ensure optimal path selection, while all the time ensuring end-to-end QoS and security. A fully integrated SD-WAN solution must be deployed to manage the branch connectivity.

In conclusion, the journey to the world of hybrid-cloud is underway and we believe a careful choice of a unified and powerful application delivery environment is the way to achieve consistently high levels of customer-experience, performance, and security, both for cloud-native applications and traditional applications which are being migrated. This approach avoids the costs and restrictions of using cloud-specific or fragmented tools and unlocks the true value and flexibility of a hybrid-cloud application environment.

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Redefining the ADC: Managing hybrid/multi-cloud application delivery

Category : Citrix

Learn how Citrix is redefining the ADC to manage application delivery in hybrid and multi-cloud environments with Citrix NetScaler. Learn more at