whenever I write a blog here on the SAP Community Network I do it for a specific reason: to talk about an upcoming event, about a new product supported by SAP or something similar. Today I have a couple of reasons for writing this blog, so it will be a bit longer blog than usual. Enjoy reading it.
SAP TechEd 2013
First of all I want to thank everyone having visited our booth at SAP TechEd Las Vegas this year. As always it was a great experience to talk with our customers running SAP solutions powered by Citrix. In average Citrix and SAP have around 110.000 common customers, e.g. providing SAPGUI published by a Citrix XenApp landscape is more or the less the de-facto standard when it comes to virtualizing SAP frontends. And we are very proud that SAP is one of our most important customers too, running a large global Citrix farm for providing a variety of applications to SAP employees.
(As you can see on the picture we even offered “overflow space” 🙂 during Vishal Sikka’s keynote, so other partners having to be on the show floor could follow the presentation too.)
As I said we had many good talks and discussions with customers, and almost all of these went like this: “We are a Citrix customer, we love your products, everything works great. What’s new, what’s next?”. Well, looking into 2014 I can tell you that we will have a lot of new things to talk about but to finish this section about SAP TechEd let me write about “SAP 3D Visual Enterprise” and “Big Data Visualization with SynerScope”.
SAP TechEd US 2013 was the first event ever where we showed a real live demo of SAP 3D Visual Enterprise powered by Citrix XenDesktop and NVIDIA. Working with our friends from the SAP Co-Innovation Lab (Citrix is a lab member since COIL was founded in 2007) we had an NVIDIA GRID server running at SAP Labs Palo Alto (no, this wasn’t one of these demos where a local server is hidden under a booth table, this was the real thing), with XenServer (providing NVIDIA GRID vGPU technology) and XenDesktop on it, provisioning the viewer of SAP 3D Visual Enterprise over VPN from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas. The demo worked great, even over a network used in parallel by thousands of customers and event guests (Well, this is what Citrix is about, “Powering mobile workstyles and cloud services”):
As you can see on the photo shown above we ran the SAP 3D Enterprise Viewer with Citrix Receiver on a variety of devices including tablets and smart phones. Well, of course a smart phone screen is a bit small for this kind of CAD-like application but we could stream the application on a larger screen at the booth. SAP’s VE team provided a couple of demo scenarios, the one you can see here is a CAD model of an oil rig with more than 40 million vertices; not bad at all to be able to run this smoothly over WAN. (for the network experts: the average latency was 90ms)
As I mentioned already this was the first time we showed SAP 3D Visual Enterprise on Citrix/NVIDIA at a public event, now we are back at the SAP Co-Innovation Lab to make more functional tests, develop sizing guidelines etc. We already have a couple of customers using SAP 3D VE in a Citrix/NVIDIA landscape, I hope many more will follow in 2014. Stay tuned for more information about this soon.
A second demo we showed was Big Data Visualization with Synerscope, a company working together with SAP around HANA analytics:
For this demo we used the same landscape running in Palo Alto, and customer were amazed how fast the graphical visualization could be shown at the booth, considering that the mouse movements have to go over the network in the Venetian from Las Vegas to Palo Alto, to the server at COIL, has to be analyzed by the server, processed by the NVIDIA card (through XenDesktop and XenServer), and brought back in real time to the mobile device on the show floor. Again a great example how partner products, provided by Citrix, NVIDIA and Synerscope in this case, can be used by SAP customers to have an excellent user experience wherever an application will be used. If you want to learn more about Synerscope you can find their contact on the bottom of the page at www.synerscope.com.
Maybe you are wondering why I am so excited about this? Well, first of all this a great opportunity for Citrix, SAP, NVIDIA and other partners working together to deliver a new type of 3D graphics enhanced applications to customers. Second, this brings me a bit back to my roots. When you look at my LinkedIn profile you can learn that originally (in the 80’s) I studied robotics and applied computer graphics before I switched to the enterprise market with SAP, so working now at Citrix with the company I used to work before (SAP) on a topic I learned about many years ago already is just very exciting.
I couldn’t make it in person for SAP TechEd Amsterdam but “eating our own dog food” aka using GoToMeeting HaJo Odlozinski from SAP COIL and I ran a session together, presenting the SAP 3D VE PoC:
It was a great presentation, the only challenge for me was to be on time at SAP Labs Palo Alto to prepare the GTM session, making a video/sound check etc., I had to leave our house at 4:30am PDT. 🙁 Well, I probably will never get rid of working in different time zones … 🙂
That’s all about Citrix being at SAP TechEd US in Las Vegas this year, see you at another SAP event soon.
As mentioned already the #1 question asked by customers visiting our booth at SAP TechEd was “What’s new”? Well among the many things Citrix and SAP are currently working on together I want to highlight just a couple of them.
Citrix products supported by SAP
When you recently looked at the Citrix solution/product component structure XX-PART-CTX-* on service.sap.com you probably saw some new entries there. This is the current status, showing the list of Citrix products supported by SAP:
As you know everything started with XenApp supported by SAP, many years ago, actually called Citrix WinFrame Server, Citrix MetaFrame Server and Citrix Presentation Server at that time. NetScaler is certified by SAP since 2008, and in 2010 we added XenServer to the support list. XenDesktop and Citrix Receiver followed end of 2011, and this year we added CloudPlatform, CloudPortal and CloudBridge. Of course a large portion of the more than 110.000 common customers use XenApp and XenDesktop to virtualize SAP frontend components and products, or NetScaler to optimize the network traffic and XenServer to virtualize the backend systems but we have now more customers testing CloudPlatform and CloudPortal too.
CloudStack Collaboration Conference
Btw, while I am talking about CloudPlatform allow me to mention one upcoming event which will be important for customers to attend if you are planning to use cloud orchestration in your data center.
As you may know Citrix acquired cloud.com back in 2011, and we added Citrix CloudStack to our product portfolio then. In April 2012 we gave it to the Apache Software Foundation, and based on Apache CloudStack we offer now ‘Citrix CloudPlatform powered by Apache CloudStack’ (which is the enterprise version supported by SAP, as mentioned above).
Now, to learn more about Apache CloudStack, to listen to presentations from companies using it successfully to run their cloud environment and to have the opportunity to network with many cloud gurus and experts I highly recommend to attend the upcoming “CloudStack Collaboration Conference“:
Looking at the sponsor list at http://cloudstackcollab.org/sponsors you can see many familiar names, including companies like CA, Citrix, NetApp, Juniper, Sungard and VMware, just to name a few, so you can learn about not only what we at Citrix are working on but also from other SAP partners.
Getting back to the component list shown below for a moment allow me to explain one important thing. Although these components are visible for customers opening support tickets on the SAP Service Marketplace you always have to select an SAP component first, the one related to the product you are having a problem with. SAP’s support colleagues will look at your problem first, and when they confirm that the problem is caused by or linked to the usage of Citrix solutions/products they will assign the support ticket to one of our components which will trigger a message forwarding to us. If a customer would select a Citrix component directly we have to re-assign it to an SAP product component and send it back to SAP which is just adding more time to the overall support workflow. So please always use SAP product components when opening support tickets, never use XX-PART-CTX-*.
Citrix/SAP Customer Council
As we have many new and exciting topics to work on we decided together with colleagues from SAP to establish an Citrix/SAP Customer Council to get direct feedback from our common customers how they use Citrix and SAP products today and what kind of features, functions and use cases they would like to see in the future. If you are interested to learn more about this initiative please drop me an email, you can find the contact information at the end of this blog.
I can’t tell a lot of details today yet but I am sure 2014 will be a great year for Citrix and SAP customers. We got a lot of great feedback and many requests for new solutions, functions and features during the last months, now on to development and shipment. Stay tuned.
If you would like to get in contact with us you can reach the SAP team at Citrix
on Twitter at @SAPonCitrix
via email at saponcitrix at saponcitrix dot com
If you want to provide direct feedback regarding product features and functions please get in contact with us and ask about joining the Citrix/SAP Customer Council. (Support problems need to be routed via the SAP Service Marketplace, following the usual workflow).
Director Strategic Alliances
Citrix Systems, Inc.
saponcitrix at saponcitrix dot com