Citrix Workspace Cloud with Juan Rivera

Juan Rivera has been with Citrix for fourteen years. He began his career in R&D with Secure Gateway 3.X, then moved on to Access Gateway, SmartAccess, HDX (at which point I met him and got to work on a very cool project), and then finally ShareFile.

His current role is working with Citrix as the VP of XenApp/XenDesktop Dev and Product Management. He was gracious enough to speak with me for Episode #16 of the Virtualization EUC Podcast. Please have a listen.

The task of the XenApp/XenDesktop team is turning XenApp and XenDesktop into a complete cloud service. The current title, Citrix Workspace Cloud, is the umbrella term for multiple cloud services within Citrix’s product catalogue, including Windows apps, XenApp, XenDesktop, mobile, and data.

Many already have a cloud offering, but XenApp/XenDesktop does not have a collective cloud solution, and there’s some confusion because XenDesktop as a cloud service already exists.

The hybrid cloud was talked about at the last Synergy conference, and it was covered at a high level. Citrix feels it’s key to the company’s strategy. The concept of having data on-premises and off-premises because of the ShareFile acquisition is based in large part on allowing users to store data in the cloud or on customer-managed storage zones on-premises, in the customer’s own data center.

ShareFile is a privatized version of Dropbox or OneDrive, owned by Citrix. It lets administrators leverage storage zone collectors. Say you have data in OneDrive or Dropbox. As long as you have the pass-thru authentication setup with Dropbox, all data is available to you at any time. You can see your consumer-based Dropbox data and your private company data in ShareFile’s interface as one data store, with one console and one login.

SDK customers can enable this functionality by building a connector into ShareFile from other data storage solutions that are proprietary.

Citrix wants the customer to have data flexibility, regardless of where the data is stored. For example, customers with storage capacity in Azure can keep data in both their private data centers and in Azure.

The long-term play is that cloud offers an opportunity for software vendors to provide solutions to customers at lower costs. It sounds like Citrix is looking into becoming its own software’s hosting company, though that isn’t something Juan says directly.

A major goal is simplification of all the cloud XenApp/XenDesktop and mobile products that Citrix currently offers and will offer in the future.

We speak about Citrix entering the consumer arena, like a consumer-oriented ShareConnect (think of this as a reconceived GoToMyPC), and Convoi, a mobile data connection service that’s already available at the Apple iTunes Store and is coming to Android. Convoi is used for collaboration, which is something Citrix has had as an agenda for as long as GoToMeeting has been around.

Citrix wants its enterprise products to be more consumer friendly. Citrix isn’t the only software company that sees this as a necessity: it’s an industry-wide transformation into a subscription-based model.

I asked Juan how many of the HDX features will be ported to MDX. HDX runs the app on the cloud, but from the end user’s perspective, it looks like it’s running on the local device. MDX runs the app locally in/on the device while maintaining company-required security measures. The two products will gradually converge, as an example, like App-V.

We also discuss how complex it will be to manage and support all of the different methods and their delivery methods. CWC attempts to do this with many diverse use cases, to make it simpler for Citrix administrators to manage all the methods the end users require. Citrix does not want administrators to worry about the underlying tech, but just to assign workspaces based on user needs. This call is probably one of the most illuminating I have had with Citrix since I started this series.


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