If you haven't had a chance to experience Citrix Synergy in the flesh, all I can say is, add it to the bucket list and you won't be disappointed. Suffice it to say, this year's Citrix Synergy was a major highlight for FSLogix, taking home Best New Technology and Best of Show for Cloud Cache. For first time attendee, James Kindon, he "...expected the event to be awesome, but had no idea how amazing not just the conference is, but how priceless the chance to meet with the community, and the inner team around the products we work day to day in."
Below is an except from James Kindon's blog post, Synergy 2018: WEM and UPM Fun, detailing the latest announcement from Citrix regarding Office 365 support in UPM/WEM:
Container Capability (Outlook OST and Windows Search)
Anyone who has read any of my soap box rants to date will know that I am a huge fan of the FSLogix Suite of products, and it’s something that I try and deploy in all of my engagements when dealing with Office 365 and Citrix Application and Desktop Delivery. You can read up on why here
Probably the biggest announcement for me in the UPM space is the ability to now roam the Outlook OST and the Outlook Search Index for the users natively using UPM driven containers (VHDX files), very similar to the way in which FSLogix addresses the existing challenges with their product (however limited currently to just the OST and Search Index). This feature was announced in the WEM session; however, this is a Citrix Profile Management Solution, and does not require WEM to be in play for the feature to be consumed.
The containers will be created and managed by UPM as part of the user’s profile, and appears logically to be a combination of the new “Large file handling” feature of UPM and brand-new functionality built into the solution
This isn’t the first attempt by Citrix to address the “OST Demon”, the App Layering team introduced an Office 365 Layer to assist here, however it missed the all-important search index roaming, and required you to deploy the app layering infrastructure simply to address the containerisation of the OST. hmmmm.
This announcement opens the door for many organisations that cannot afford the additional (though minimal and well justified) cost of FSLogix Office 365 Containers, and now provides an option to address the horrid performance challenges of Exchange Online in Published environments, all natively within the Citrix Ecosystem.
Does this put FSLogix on the ropes? Absolutely not, their product is mature, simple, proven and addresses a range of scenarios and technologies that are critical to a successful Office 365 deployment. Outlook and Search is just one component that they address with their Suite, however they still have plenty more to give in the 365 space (OneDrive, Skype, Licencing, OneNote), as well as plenty of other tricks up their sleeves with Profile Containers and Application Masking etc.
When I look at the landscape now and the options available to customers, the world is a substantially different place than it was 18 months ago. For the younger generation who are reading this, I have included a range of emoticon images to describe my current feelings towards it all
For those that want an actual read up, then I suggest the mighty David Wilkinson’s blog post here
Read more about James Kindon's first experience with Citrix Synergy