Jonathan Pitre, CTA
What Citrix technologies are most important to your work?
Recently, I changed jobs and I’m now working as a Technology Specialist for a Citrix Service Provider in Montreal. Mostly, we deliver apps and desktops to our customers and partners through our custom web portal. Our portal is built around StoreFront and delivered securely with NetScaler. 95% of our apps are hosted on XenApp server images that we manage with Provisioning Services servers. Since we are managing a lot of different clients with different needs, we are looking forward to using Citrix App Layering (Unidesk) in order to reduce the complexity of our image management. Citrix WEM will also be implemented quite soon to reduce our memory/cpu usage and hopefully bring better login time.
What current tech trends are you most interested in?
Automation, DevOps and Cloud. With over 1,500 servers to manage, my mission is to automate and simplify our deployment and management. To do so, I intend to stick with technologies that are cheap, community-driven and flexible with different hypervisor/cloud infrastructure. Software such as Packer, Chocolatey, Boxstarter, PSAppDeployToolkit and PowerShell DSC are must-have tools. It’s definitely my area of focus for the next year.
What are you most looking forward to at Citrix Synergy 2017?
First and foremost, I’ll be quite happy to reconnect with old friends and the Citrix community. We always have a blast at Synergy and it’s quite enlightening to compare notes and ideas among experts.
I’m really excited to see the vendor booths. Each year I find new software that addresses existing issues in a better and more efficient way. Also, I’m quite interested to see how the new AMD Naples CPU will disrupt the servers/HCI market; hopefully some vendors will have new hardware to show.
Are there any announcements you’re hoping for?
I hope to see more of Citrix App Layering and Citrix WEM. Hopefully, more integration with Studio/Director and NetScaler is on the roadmap. Looking foward to seeing the new features of NetScaler/MAS 12 (built-in monitors for all Citrix products would be great!). I also hope the newer XenApp 7.14 features will close the remaining gaps with 6.5 (Session sharing please!). New features for Citrix Profile Management; better Office365 support, VHD ProfileDisk and cleanup capabilities would be awesome! I feel that some major announcement regarding the growing Citrix/Microsoft partnership will be made.
You’re hosting a Hot Topics Round Table during Synergy. Tell us about your topics and what you’re hoping to get out of the experience.
I’m quite excited and I must say a little nervous to be speaking at an event such as Synergy for the first time. Having worked for a finance company for the last few years, I’ve proposed to host the Security and Finance round tables. I’m looking to share the security challenges I’ve had working for a company that has 12 different offices across the globe and also learn how the Citrix community dealt in their own way with the very same issues. It should be a very interesting conversation–don’t be shy, come say hi!
Coming from Canada, are you planning to do any sightseeing around Synergy in Florida or the U.S.?
Definitely! I took a week off after Synergy and my girlfriend and her family are coming over. We will hit the theme parks and catch some sun. It should be a lof of fun!
Tell us a little about yourself outside of work–what do you do in your free time?
Well, I’m really fascinated and curious about the occult (hidden knowledge). In other words, I’m a tin-foil-hat-conspiracy-theorist-nut-job 😛 I can spend hours watching documentaries or listening to interviews about UFOs, unexplained mysteries, metaphysics, new medicine, free energy, ancient sites etc. I try to watch at least one documentary/interview a week. Gaia.com has some of the best content, it’s like a Netflix for conscious media/yoga, check it out! In the age of information, ignorance is a choice 😛