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June 2017 – Michael Baum


Michael Baum
Cincinnati, USA

What Citrix technologies are most important to your work?

We are a very large XenApp shop, with over 1,000 servers delivering both published desktops and about 1,200 published applications across our enterprise; ~98% of our environment is on v7.13. Because of the size of our environment, and number of applications, we could not manage this environment effectively without PVS, which I find to be such an amazing product in itself and works so well. I am looking forward to utilizing App Layering (Citrix UniDesk) to further simplify our environment and help with image management. Also, logon time is our primary metric (KPI) today (measured by Director) so I’m excited about what WEM (Norskale) will be able to do in driving these numbers down further and/or potentially improving server density.

What current tech trends are you most interested in?

Automation and scripting for us are huge, automation/scripting combined with PVS is the only way we keep a handle on our environment. I love Windows PowerShell and find it so easy to do literally “anything” with it, so am always looking for new use cases for it in our environment. I also find the SD-WAN “hybrid WANs” (bonding multiple circuits) really cool and a great way for enterprises to gain bandwidth while saving costs.

You were the lucky winner of the Cincinnati CUGC’s Citrix Synergy 2017 pass raffle. What were some of your favorite sessions? 

This was my third time at Synergy, but it’s been a couple years since I’ve been (I previously attended the two years Synergy was in Los Angeles); I was really looking forward to Daniel Feller’s Tech Update and he did not disappoint–awesome session–highly recommend you check it out on-demand. It was packed full of great content! Also Ron Oglesby’s App Layering (Citrix UniDesk) session was great, he and Chris Midgley are full of passion for this and willing to answer any questions you have. I’m looking forward to App Layering even more after this session.

Were there any great surprises for you this year?

A couple things I found really cool that I hadn’t really thought of before Synergy, were Receiver supporting VR type devices (checked out one on the Expo floor) and the Samsung DeX type devices (or Microsoft Continuum) and the potential use cases as really an “everything” device. This just shows the continual move to more mobile platforms and how Citrix is well equipped to handle “Any Device, Anywhere.” From a non-technical perspective, I was really looking forward to hearing Colin Powell speak; he did a fantastic job, great humble leader and speaker with a wealth of experience. He told great stories with good humor, and I’m very grateful for the experience to see him.

What were you most looking for at Synergy this year, and did you find it?

For the sessions, my primary two goals were to get the Tech Update and dig into App Layering, both of which were great. My other goal was networking with other attendees and exchanging “war stories” from the frontlines and finding out how others are overcoming real-world problems. I met a ton of great people from around the country (and the world!) in different industries; got some great ideas of things to try and definitely the common theme across the board was that we all struggle with trying to manage large numbers of persistent VDI desktops (again bring on the UniDesk layers!). So yes, this was my best experience at Synergy so far and I can’t wait to return again (hopefully sooner than later).

Tell us a little about yourself outside of work–what do you do in your free time?

I enjoy spending time with my wife (Alicia), and my two little boys (Roberto – 3, Lucas – 9 months). My sons love anything with trains and being outside. They love water and building sand castles, so I wish we lived closer to a beach to visit it more! I love learning and understanding how things work, so I enjoy reading about technology and leadership across industries and figuring out ways to be more effective (in everything: work, leadership, home etc.). Change and growth these days is no longer a choice, but a necessity, in the ever increasingly fast-paced and connected world we live in; so I enjoy growing and changing with it!

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