Posts Tagged ‘Workspace’

Better Together – OneDrive for Business and ShareFile

Every once in a while I receive the question, “Why should I use ShareFile if I already got OneDrive for Business”.
Out of a natural habit, I always respond “It depends”. That’s perhaps the most common answer in IT and also the safest one, at least for the IT pro. Nevertheless, I want to address this question and its dependencies in this blog post.

Why do we need Content Collaboration tools in the first place?

First of all, why do people ask this question? Well, people need tools to safely synchronize data across their variety of devices and perhaps more importantly, they need to collaborate with each other. Sharing data with content collaboration tools are indispensable. Working, simultaneously, on the same document is a clear example of driving productivity and meeting user expectations on how we, as human beings, like to digitally collaborate when it comes to data. The need for secure content collaboration tools is a fact. At first, we started to use synchronization tools in our private lives, very convenient with all our devices. Later on, we started to share them with relatives and friends. All these consumer style solutions really helped us and made our lives easy. A lot of us, myself included, started thinking “Why don’t we use these solutions at the office?”. And so, we did. A great example of Consumerization of IT, as we introduced consumer solutions (e.g. Dropbox, OneDrive, WeTransfer) into the enterprise world. Organizations recognized these shadow IT initiatives and addressed the challenges. Enterprise File Sync and Share solutions (e.g. Citrix ShareFile, Box, Egnyte) were implemented.

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NVIDIA GRID M10 – GPU for the Masses

Today, may 18th 2016, NVIDIA publicly announced its new member of the Tesla based GRID family. With Tesla based GRID we already knew the M6 and the M60. This lineup is now accompanied with the M10, a true GPU for the masses!

Last week Jim McHugh, VP and GM of NVIDIA, held a special NVIDIA GRID pre-briefing where he shared this announcement about the GRID M10 Tesla. With this new M10 a virtual desktop with an excellent User eXperience (UX) becomes available for all. Before I share all the details about the M10. Let’s have a quick refresh about why GPU accelerated virtual desktops are that important.

Why do we all need a GPU

When we buy a desktop or laptop computer these days a great UX is available right away. Fire it up, go online and YouTube your way into this experience. We stream at 1080p minimum and expect non less. And naturally we have a great UX with whatever we do on our customer devices, whether we edit our vacation photo’s and videos, create a fully animated presentation with Microsoft Sway for our kids, we expect a great UX. We bring these expectations with us to the office. We expect non less when we are at work. Besides this graphical expectation we also expect to work wherever we are using the device of our choice. This calls for a highly flexible solution, brought to us by desktop virtualization techniques such as VMware Horizon and Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop for example. With these solutions you are able to deliver a centralized, virtualized desktop environment to anyone with any device as long as they are connected. This is great, but what about an excellent UX? This is where graphics comes along. We still expect this excellent experience, right? With NVIDIA GRID technology we are able to deliver this excellent UX, but every excellent solution comes with its price.


NVIDIA first introduced the K1 and the K2 cards. These GPU’s are based on Keplar. Later on GRID 2.0 brought us the M6 and the M60 based on the Maxwell architecture. These GRID solutions made it possible to deliver a virtual desktops for the CAD/CAM designers but also for the knowledge workers using MSFT Office, Web browsers and multimedia software. Everybody could leverage the graphics power of GRID technology. With this GRID technologies the vGPU profiles allows us to use a graphics board up to 32 ConCurrent Users. Off course you are able to more NVIDIA GRID cards in a server. In some cases up to 8 cards per node. For a complete list of supported see All NVIDIA preferred partners have models available supporting up to 4 NVIDIA GRID Cards.

So now you have bought a new server with fancy Broadwell processors, a ton of memory and a smart software based storage solution and on top of it all you added these awesome GRID cards. With a standard HPE DL380 Gen9 server you are able to fit two M60 GRID cards, allowing you to serve 64 VDI desktops with this awesome UX. But what to do with the rest of this great piece of hardware? Naturally you could serve regular VDI desktops with all resources left, but everybody deserves an excellent UX. Now with the new M10 you can. This GRID card is designed for density.


With the NVIDIA GRID M10 you can serve up to 64 VDI desktops with an excellent UX. Using the same DL380 this results in 128 CCU per server. This finally delivers a GPU for the masses. Let’s have a look at the M10 specifications.

M10 Specifications

The NVIDIA GRID M10 is optimized for Virtual PC and Virtual Applications Workloads. This is a true graphics card designed for user density. How does the M10 fits in with the M6 and the M60?

Tesla lineup

The expected list price of the M10 is to be expected around $ 2.500. With the new M10 the licensing model is applied as well. For virtual applications a minimum of $ 10 (annual subscription) per CCU is required as well. See for a complete overview on GRID licensing my previous blog

With the GRID 2.0 M6 and M60 GPU boards NVIDIA was able to deliver twice the performance for Designers, Power Users and Knowledge workers. With the M10 there are able to deliver twice the user density with up to 64 VDI desktops leveraging the Maxwell based GPU performance. For knowledge workers the M10 provides the highest level of experience for all their apps on any device. With the M6 and M60 the power users and designers are fully served. With the introduction of the M10 organisations can now provide any level of experience for any workload.

The M10 fits in with the Virtual Applications or Virtual PC license model. Virtual Applications with Citrix XenApp is great combination where the M10 really would be appreciated by users.

Final Thoughts…

I believe a VDI environment should have it all. Support for any OS, any client device, any connection and available whenever I need it. I compare my VDI environment performance wise to my laptop computer, just like any other business consumer. This means my VDI desktop is equipped with a state-of-the-art CPU, the right amount of memory and with the right (software based/converged) storage solution and perhaps most important a GPU which delivers an awesome User eXperince! As I said, all business consumers have these expectations or at least deserve such an experience. With the M10 this is possible. The M10 is optimized for user density. This means we are able to fully benefit from all resources a server delivers these days.

My only concerns are still the licensing costs. It adds an extra $ 10 per CCU to the environment, on top of the card itself. Depending on our concurrency ratio this number could come down, but still, its extra. Working on many public tenders, where competitive pricing is required its hard to get sold. In most situations graphics are only required for a small portion of users. With the K1 and the M60 a GPU came available to many power users. The M10 is the next step to deliver a GPU to of us, a GPU for the masses!

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Build, connect and extend to the cloud with Citrix Workspace Cloud – Part 2

Last week the first part of the ‘Build, connect and extend to the cloud withCWCLogo
Workspace Cloud’ blog was published. You can find it here. Make sure you have read it before continuing this blog post. 

Now it’s time to dig into some details.

CWC from a technical perspective 

A traditional Citrix environment has several Citrix related core components within the IT infrastructure. So, besides the workloads, functionality to employees, we have a XenDesktop/XenApp controller, Licensing server, XenMobile Server, ShareFile StorageZone Controller, StoreFront servers, NetScaler and of course a SQL instance, at least for your XenApp/XenDesktop site configuration.

Let’s take a XenApp/XenDesktop environment as an example. An on-premises environment has all these different components installed, which you have to maintain. With CWC most of the core components are delivered “as a service”. The Delivery Controller, Licensing, StoreFront, and SQL are brought to you as a service. The images below illustrate the difference between a traditional on-premises and a CWC environment. The CWC components are ‘in the cloud’.CWC

This is an example for a XenApp/XenDesktop environment. As you can imagine the XenMobile Server (appliance) and the ShareFile Control Plane are deployed into CWC as well.

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Build, connect and extend to the cloud with Citrix Workspace Cloud – Part 1


In this first blog I’ll share my thoughts on Citrix Workspace Cloud (CWC). What exactly is it and what is being solved with CWC? Why and when is it beneficial to organizations? These are the questions I answer in this blog series ‘Build, connect and extend to the cloud with Citrix Workspace Cloud’.

This first part is all about what is being solved with CWC. It’s about the hybrid cloud options with Citrix Workspace Cloud Services. Part 2 of the CWC blog is about the technical perspective. In the near future I’ll go into some details regarding the various CWC services. For now, enjoy reading.

Towards the Hybrid Cloud

Nowadays, many organizations are struggling with all kinds of questions about cloud. If they have a clear understanding about what ‘the cloud’ has to offer (e.g. public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid), they face the question which part of their IT infrastructure is cloud ready. Where to start? Which parts of the IT infrastructure can be moved towards a cloud solution? In some cases, it’s ‘simply’ a strategic (management) decision to enter the world of cloud. Whether it’s a strategic goal or not, organizations still need to explore which parts of their IT infrastructure will suit a cloud solution. Simply migrate an entire IT infrastructure at once isn’t a realistic option. A good start, for example, is Exchange Online (part of Microsoft Office 365). No longer a full blown on-premises Exchange environment is required. Simple sign up, swipe your card and you are good to go. So, before you sign op for any cloud solution at all, get a very good understanding of an IT infrastructure and the relations between the various components.

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