Knowledge everywhere! Our experience at Citrix Synergy

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Citrix Synergy 2016 was a treat to attend for both technical and business attendees from across the globe (77% US, 18% EMEA, 5% APJ customers and partners). The conference sessions covered technical topics ranging from in-depth insights for Citrix app and desktop virtualization to relevant business topics such as ROI and TCO analysis from real life customer examples. Overall the show was a blast!

The Nutanix booth was buzzing with activity with thousands of attendees joining us at the booth for engaging discussions, demos and thought leadership sessions throughout the conference. Many sessions and in particular the ones with customers and industry thought leaders had overflowing attendees with standing room only or in some cases enthusiastic attendees sitting on the floor to gather the imparted nuggets of wisdom.

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Key announcements that captured customer attention included:

  1. Citrix – Nutanix AHV integration – Kirill Tatarinov announced the release of XenDesktop/XenApp 7.9 at his opening keynote on Tuesday. One of the most popular demos at Nutanix booth in Synergy was the integration Citrix MCS – Nutanix AHV now available with XenDesktop 7.9. Users were captivated by how they could perform fast provisioning, high speed image updates on Nutanix AHV directly from Citrix Desktop Studio UI.
  2. Nutanix InstantON VDI for Citrix – solution announced by Bill Burley, CVP of Citrix during his technical keynote on Wednesday, excited mid-market to large customers looking to deploy low-risk, cost effective VDI solutions. The option to acquire a sub $500 virtual desktop including the newly announced Citrix HDX Pi thin client, drew the attention of Global 200,000 customers of Citrix.
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Once again, Citrix proved that by bringing together the best minds in the industry, magic happens at Synergy. On one side of the Nutanix booth, a group of 50+ customers from Japan actively attended demos translated into Japanese, while on the other side CUGC members and CTPs from Switzerland came together for active exchange of best practices and knowledge. It was truly the unfolding of global wisdom and sharing across borders.

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For those who missed some key knowledge sessions and breakouts at Citrix Synergy, here are links to video recordings

The announcement for InstantON VDI for Citrix made some great waves during Synergy, and gained new fans for our powerful yet easy to deploy and manage solutions. With a starting price of $415/user for infrastructure plus a Citrix XenDesktop license and three years of support, the offer sets a new standard in VDI affordability and access.

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Calvin Hsu, VP of Product Marketing, Desktops & Apps for Citrix said in his blog post that “This solution offers our customers a full stack, end-to-end VDI solution that delivers an enterprise level experience at an affordable price point.”

Journalist Larry Dignan for Between the Lines noted that “That price could open the market up a bit for mid-sized businesses.”

The ChannelBuzz conversation with Nutanix president Sudheesh Nair highlights our plans to take this through both the Citrix and Nutanix channels. Nair continued that “Nutanix is the only hyper-converged company who doesn’t have to use vSphere. Our AHV is designed for a cloud-ready world, a no-SAN world. I think it is time to modernize the hypervisor and make it invisible with AHV at the same time. A well-designed hypervisor should be invisible. That’s the approach we have taken with AHV. You should never need to think about it – like the battery on the iPhone.”

Nutanix partners were in full force at Synergy with a heavy presence on the Expo floor. The Nutanix in-booth theater featured presentations by some of the best Nutanix experts with highlight presentations from partners which included AppSense, Dell, Liquidware Labs, NVIDIA and Unidesk. The Nutanix theater also provided audiences with a chance to hear the story of several customer VDI journeys with Citrix and Nutanix through conversations with Brett Taylor, Director, IT Infrastructure and Operations for St. Luke’s Health System, and a Principal Citrix Architect at a large enterprise organization.

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Taylor noted that “the end user experience has been the biggest driver. Cost matters of course. Creating an exceptional experience for our clinicians has been a big deal.” With a fast-growing number clinician population, the ability to grow was very important, and he went on to talk about Nutanix, saying, “that’s the good thing about this platform: you don’t have to make the right decisions all the time on scale.”

Simplicity, both for users and IT staff, was also important to the Principal architect for a large enterprise organization, noting that “it’s just the simplicity of it that made sense. Our desktop teams were constantly imaging laptops, refreshing laptops that would take forever. Now we just go back to the master image and just boot that right away. They’re able to log in right away and get into their desktops. So for them, they’re able to log in from anywhere and get their work done.”

Nutanix presented in partner in-booth theaters as well, with Nutanix CTP Kees Baggerman presenting at Intel and Sr. Alliances Manager Andrew Mills speaking to an engaged audience at NVIDIA. It wasn’t just the cool Nutanix shoes that kept the audience’s attention tightly on Mills (though they may have helped!).

Synergy wasn’t just about sessions and Expo hours however. After-hours events extended the networking fun and allowed everyone to kick back and enjoy a beverage and pleasant time with other attendees. Nutanix was a co-sponsor of the partner events including AppSense’s event at The Roadhouse, which drew a crowd of hundreds to share a beverage and snacks and talk about the latest VDI developments in a fun rock ‘n roll themed location.

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Citrix pulled out all the stops for a closing party held in an open area in the uber-cool Fremont Street entertainment district. This featured plenty of games and beverages as well as special dishes from local food truck vendors (including one that offered a frozen product from a unicorn). The highlight though had to be an arena-worthy performance by well-known band Fall Out Boy. It was a great finish to one of the best Synergy conferences ever.

Interested in following up? Send us an email at or tweet us @nutanix to:

  1. See if you qualify for a complimentary VDI assessment with Nutanix, Citrix and Liquidware Lab
  2. Learn more about InstantON VDI for Citrix including complimentary SW upgrades and training
  3. Sign up for a AHV boot camp or VDI workshop in your area

What’s next for the Nutanix VDI team? We are heading over to the second annual Nutanix .NEXT Conference being held at the Wynn in Las Vegas from June 20-22nd. The conference features a wide range of informative sessions including ones on VDI, Citrix, and Nutanix products and solutions.

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See you next year!