Tag Archives: Citrix

Citrix Synergy Conference: It’s About User Experience

by Barry Murphy

Citrix-Synergy-2014-300x165I had the pleasure of attending the Citrix Synergy event in Anaheim, CA.
Thanks to our partner Citrix for putting on a world-class event with excellent sessions, interesting labs, a comfortable exhibition area, and some great parties.  Of note was the party put on by the M7 Global Partners that featured an in-demand cigar bar and a rocking performance by Thundherstruck, the female AC/DC tribute band.  The Synergy conference was truly a great experience.

Experience was the theme of the week; user experience, that is.  As Citrix CEO Mark B. Templeton said in his opening keynote, “it’s all about being happy.”  In order for business workers to be happy, the IT systems they leverage must not be a source of frustration.

Citrix understands that, in order for IT projects to achieve success, business workers need an experience that will allow them to not only adopt, but embrace the solutions IT teams roll out.  A good user experience is necessary for both business workers and IT.  More than ever, IT teams need to control costs while also accounting for security.  The challenge for IT is doing this in the context of the consumerization of IT.  Business workers have very high expectations of being able to access and interact with information on the devices they want, where they want.  In an increasingly mobile world, virtualization is one way to securely deliver applications and information to business workers.

To that end, Citrix showed how it aims to deliver usable solutions such as XenApp, XenDesktop, and DaaS.  Business workers will be able to access desktops and applications when and where they need them.  And, with ShareFile, IT will have a solution that allows for on-premise, Cloud, and hybrid storage environments – that is a powerful way to save money while maintaining tight security requirements.

What Citrix customers and prospects will want to remember is that one key to making virtualization and hybrid Cloud solutions work is a good productivity search (the ability for workers to easily find the information they need to do their jobs) experience for business workers.  Desktop virtualization requires turning off operating system indexing in order to conserve virtual resources – that makes productivity search impossible without a solution like X1 Search 8 Virtual Edition that decouples indexing services from the client search interface that lives on the desktop.

It is the cloud search and hybrid environment search, too, that are key to making projects successful in today’s IT departments.  Organizations store information on-premise and in the cloud and need to be able to search across all of that information.  A majority of the cloud search solutions on the market today require downloading the content from the cloud in order to index and search it, which defeats the purpose of putting the content in the cloud in the first place.  It is not just cloud search – it is the ability to search across data both on-premise and in the cloud, as X1 Rapid Discovery can do, that is required in today’s fast-paced, information-fueled business world.

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Filed under Desktop Search, Enterprise Search, Virtualized Environment

Search as a Desktop Virtualization Enabler

Desktop_virtualizationby Barry Murphy

 

Too often, search is taken for granted.  When I first started doing research on eDiscovery in the cloud, the prevailing attitude was, “as long as information is searchable, eDiscovery is taken care of.”  Sadly, many organizations have learned the hard way that it is not that easy.  There is much more to search than meets the eye.  But, most organizations do not figure that out until it is too late – until search does not work in the desired manner or at the required speed.

eDiscovery is not the only area where search is overlooked and becomes an issue.  In fact, search is a critical function for today’s knowledge worker.  Despite the importance of information access, unified search of workers’ most critical assets (email, files, desktop content, and SharePoint) is not always a huge requirement of IT organizations.  It is to end-users, however, and that is one of the reasons that X1 has had such success with the Search 8 product – it has a user-friendly interface that provides simple, fast access to the information assets users need the most.

The lesson that I have taken away from being involved in the search market is that search as a standalone application may not seem sexy, but it provides a real return on investment.  It also allows organizations to ensure that investments in other technologies are optimized.  This fact can be seen especially in virtual desktop (VDI) environments.  Desktop virtualization promises many benefits: lower IT costs; streamlined administration of IT assets; and end-user flexibility in terms of accessing the desktop from anywhere.  Given the popularity of BYOD, the consumerization of IT, and the need for mobility to support telecommuting, VDI is becoming more and more important.

It is the little details of IT projects, however, that can have big impact on results.  Some organizations find that the cost savings anticipated from VDI are less than expected because of high disk resources necessary to support Windows indexing on the virtual desktop.  Or, best practice is followed and Windows indexing is turned off – and then users are unable to search for information on their desktops.  There are two possible outcomes from this, and both are bad:  either users are rendered unproductive because they cannot easily find information or they simply reject the virtual desktop and find ways around the system.

In order to ensure that VDI deployments meet expectations, organizations can build unified search into requirements early on.  At the very least, this will help to ensure that end-users are more receptive to the virtual desktop and allow them to remain productive.  Getting end-users to buy in is often half the battle when deploying new technology.  As I mentioned, though, search is often an afterthought – an issue that only comes up after a VDI deployment where end-users complain or reject the solution outright.  That is why it is important to make search a requirement early on.

When it comes to VDI environments, a good search solution must decouple the search UI from the indexing service.  Otherwise, indexing will require virtual desktop computing resources and cut into VDI cost savings.  The goal is to minimize the RAM usage and search client footprint on the virtual desktop.   It sounds simple, but traditional search solutions are not architected for this.  We at X1 are doing a webinar with Citrix on this very issue – enabling lightning-fast search in VDI environments.  The webinar is on April 10, 2014 at 1pm ET / 10am PT.  Please click here if you would like to join us to learn how to use search to enable optimization of desktop virtualization deployments.

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Filed under Desktop Search, Enterprise eDiscovery, Information Access

Next Generation Desktop Search for Law Firms and the Enterprise

We are taking a break from eDiscovery and investigations to discuss some big news in the world of X1 search. Today I am excited to announce that we launched a major upgrade to our popular desktop search software, X1 Search 8. In addition to a new, very sleek interface (see screen shot below), and a faster and more scalable index, X1 Search 8 (X1S8) features two distinct game-changers.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

First, X1S8 comes with a built-in SharePoint connector. SharePoint is proliferating throughout the enterprise, and X1S8 provides an outstanding search experience of SharePoint, which we believe is a vast improvement over native SharePoint Search. All search results are displayed in a single sortable view with a full-fidelity preview pane, in the same view as your local files an emails. The feedback from many enterprises is that X1 now has the best search of SharePoint in the business.

The second game-changer is that X1 Search 8 is fully compatible with desktop virtualization. Finding content is difficult enough on a traditional desktop, but the issue is compounded with the virtualized variety. There are many compelling benefits to desktop virtualization, but the architecture does not facilitate or even enable traditional desktop search solutions. X1 Search 8 provides search capabilities across physical, virtual and cloud environments with results returned in a single pane. X1 was specifically architected to uniquely and seamlessly operate in virtual desktop environments, including popular Citrix solutions XenApp and XenDesktop.

Here is a 2 minute video demo overview and another demo video specific to our integrated SharePoint search support.

At just $49.95 per seat, X1 Search 8 is a time-saving, intuitive tool that saves enterprises time and money. For more information, visit www.x1.com.

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Filed under Cloud Data, Enterprise eDiscovery, Virtualized Environment