CUGC XL Texas 2023: A Day at the Zoo

by Scott Banewski, Houston CUGC Leader

In case you missed it, there was a great CUGC XL event in Houston on February 23rd.  The CUGC groups from Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin all met at the Houston Zoo and learned about how toilets work in space!  Well, honestly, that wasn’t the only reason we met, but if you missed the speech from retired astronaut Clayton Anderson on his journey to space, it was incredible.  Of course, we also learned a lot about Citrix, security, how NetScaler is back, and we got to see demos from some great sponsors.  

CUGC XL Texas - Clayton Anderson
Retired astronaut Clayton Anderson at CUGC XL Texas. “Never a Commander, Always a Leader.”

The event started with Clayton sharing stories about his long list of rejections on trying to join the Space Shuttle program and how he never gave up.  He continued toward his goal, was eventually accepted, and did indeed fly on the Space Shuttle and visited the International Space Station. 

Clayton spoke of his journey to become an astronaut, the training involved, and how not to get discouraged if something does not work out the way you expected it the first time. This connected with a lot of the attendees … NetScaler firmware upgrade anyone??  Even if the expected outcome was not what you had planned for, do not give up, you just keep going, you must adapt and overcome. His determination and positive attitude helped him fulfill his dream and set a great example that can be used in everyday life. He told stories of floating in space, looking down at Earth from the ISS…oh, and in case you didn’t know, they wear diapers when they launch on the Shuttle. 

CUGC XL Texas Panel Discussion
CUGC XL Texas Panel Discussion hosted by Alchemy.

We had a panel discussion provided by Alchemy about CVAD, NetScaler and how hybrid cloud is a topic people are asking about. The panel had some great audience participation with thoughtful questions on how the cloud and hybrid CVAD environments are becoming the next “go-to.” 

CUGC XL Texas - Jake Rutski, NetScaler
CUGC XL Texas – Jake Rutski, NetScaler

Next up was Jacob Rutski and the topic everyone was excited about, NetScaler is back!  Jacob talked to us about new features in NetScaler, including some that people may not even know are included with their licenses. He shared some best practices, how certificates are not your enemy, and how ADC is not a bad word.

CUGC XL Texas - Patrick Coble
CUGC XL Texas – Patrick Coble talks Security.

After a delicious lunch, we had a presentation from CTP and security expert Patrick Coble. If you have never heard Patrick talk or read any of his blogs, do yourself a favor and Google him, you can thank me later.  He talked about how we all have a “Swiss army knife” to help secure our CVAD and NetScaler environments. He explained what two-factor is and why you should use it, not to use the NetScaler nsroot account, and what happens to a VDI when you put too many tools on the image. 

CUGC XL Texas - Scott Lane
CUGC XL Texas – Scott Lane sharing Citrix updates.

Finishing up the XL event was Scott Lane who spoke of the latest and greatest from Citrix. He delivered a “State of Citrix” update and the DaaS model from Citrix. A lot has happened at Citrix so far this year, but it was good to have a person explain what was going on and that there are new innovations coming soon with Citrix products. 

This was an XL event to be remembered, great topics and an incredible location.  A big thank you to our speakers and sponsors to make this event what it was, without them it would not have been possible.

Miss the event? We have more XL and Xchange events on the horizon – check out our calendar!

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