TL;DR – I’m at Synergy. It’s been a while. I’m taking a test Thursday. Wish me Luck.
These first six months since starting my new role with Dell Cloud Client Computing have been filled with opportunity to dive (back) into myriad of technologies and I am savoring it! The group I am in (CCC) has the distinct advantage of pulling from a massive portfolio of hardware and software products to design and deliver end-to-end solutions encompassing Application Virtualization and delivery of Virtualized Desktop, from the endpoint through servers, storage, and networking comprised in many cases completely of our own IP.
Commanding the vast offerings of hardware is exciting, as is the challenge of remaining more than conversant in multiple hypervisors and then add to that the virtualization software for platform and VM/App provisioning and lifecycle management, thin and zero clients and it’s quite a bit to get and keep your arms around.
The big four: Citrix, VMware, Microsoft and Dell vWorkspace.
I have been a hands-on IT professional for nearly 20 years now. The first 15+ as a customer and end-user. In that time I’ve had a chance to work with each of the above mentioned biggies. Some more than others…
Yeah. There I said it! That gives you an idea of the last time I actually ran a Citrix farm! This was of course in the late 90’s/early 2000s when WinNT, Novell and Win98 were still around. In fact it was @scobee who first introduced me to Citrix, the PNA and the ICA client. Together with Scott, we migrated the education customer I was working for off of Windows 98 and onto Win2k workstation and using Citrix, published MSOffice and other apps instead of installing them onto hundreds of newly replaced desktops.
Following that introduction and successful deployment of dozens of apps across a single campus, the opportunity to lead a larger project for of which Citrix was a major component presented itself. I then took this new knowledge and deployed a smaller set of applications across dozens of campuses from one central site, even including some vehicle mounted devices which at that early-period in time actually had mobile data connections. It was perfect for Citrix and the overall project provided an incredible learning opportunity in a real world environment. Fast forward five or six years and I had maintained these environments and done a number of other pure Microsoft Terminal Services RDSH and remote application publishing jobs for the same customer. Thanks Scott for introducing me to what became a cornerstone of my career.
Then I met virtualization… and well, that was VMware ESX(i). The next period in my career took me through server consolidation and that awful thing that you could do called P2V… Once infrastructure consolidation had proven to inspire further confidence, the organization I was with at the time had a need to change the way they managed their large computer labs. VMware View came to be and a VDI project with zero clients was born and delivered in 2010. Today, while I have moved on from that org, the environment remains up and running in production and servicing users 24×7 in multiple busy labs. I am a VMware User Group co-leader in San Diego, a member of the vBrownBag Crew at ProfessionalVMware.com and have been recognized as a vExpert three times.
So, why am I going to Citrix Synergy if I’m such a VMware guy?!?
Well, I recognize the place for each solution and am not blind to the shortcomings of each. Keeping up with all the major players is table stakes for success. For the same reasons I also attended MS TechEd last year.
What’s my plan?
Well, the primary reason I am attending is to support the efforts in the Dell booth. That means setup of demo equipment and putting in the long hours on my feet to speak with customers and partners on the expo floor. I will also be packing in as many hours of hands on lab time and sessions that fit into my schedule. My ultimate goal is to sit the CCV-A certification exam which I have scheduled for Thursday in an attempt to gain maximum exposure during the first part of the conference… Wish me Luck.