Four sessions I'm looking forward to at BriForum

BriForum London covers everything from Microsoft VDI licensing to best practices for optimizing VDI workloads -- and even a session on how to fail at VDI.

BriForum London is this week, and because it's our conference, you can imagine the Brian Madden team is pretty excited (and busy). I'm looking forward to sessions about optimizing platforms for VDI, demystifying Microsoft VDI licensing and more great stuff.

It's our eleventh show overall and second in London. We started BriForum after years of going to vendor-sponsored shows like Citrix Synergy that focused on a single line of products. We began thinking about doing our own conference with sessions by experts we were talking to about the real-world things they were doing, not just what one company was up to.

So, in 2005, we started our own show in Washington, D.C. Back then, Citrix Synergy was called Citrix iForum, which -- combined with a few beers -- is how we came up with the name BriForum. The first show was two days and delivered a dizzying amount of technical information. Nowadays, we have two shows in different cities. This week is a two-day show in London, and from July 24 to 26, we'll have a three-day show in Chicago.

We'll announce the Chicago sessions in a few weeks, but for the London show, here's what's exciting to me:

Insider's guide to virtualization: A virtual reality check

This session, given by Project VRC creators Ruben Spruijt of PQR and Jeroen van de Kamp of Login Consultants, digs into best practices for all VDI workloads and platforms.

Project VRC is now the industry standard benchmarking software for VDI environments, and the session will focus on best practices for optimizing Windows 7 for VDI, as well as share previously unpublished results of testing they've done with Windows 8. This session happens every year, comparing results of different combinations of platforms, operating systems and storage, and each year it brings something new to the table.

Demystifying Microsoft licensing for client virtualization

This may sound like a boring session (or an impossible promise), but speaker Nathan Coutinho brings his years of Microsoft licensing experience to London in a session that should, if nothing else, clarify some of the confusing parts of Microsoft VDI licensing.

More on VDI project pitfalls:

Desktop virtualization project pitfalls: Microsoft VDI licensing and more

Five reasons a VDI project stalls: What's the holdup?

How do you stop a VDI deployment in its tracks? Scale up!

Why do virtual desktop projects fail?

Nathan is our go-to guy when it comes to licensing questions. He'll explain how Virtual Desktop Access, Software Assurance, extended roaming rights and the new Companion Device License work together for both enterprise and Desktop as a Service environments.

How to fail at VDI

Dan Brinkmann makes the trip to London this year after presenting at his first BriForum in Chicago last year. His session will be tongue-in-cheek, because we obviously want to see people succeed with VDI pilot projects, but it will describe how he's seen companies fail at VDI. From trying too hard to save money (even though you're getting more features) to trying to do too much without the right skill set, Dan's session should be a good one.

Remoting multimedia and interactive graphics applications

Shawn Bass and Benny Tritsch return with the next phase of their session that dives deep into the experience of the top remoting protocols in use today, including RemoteFX, HDX and PCoIP. Shawn and Benny put in dozens of hours before each show to give us accurate, technical information on exactly how these protocols work on the wide area network (WAN) and what you can do to optimize them.

This session goes even deeper into audio and video streams, as well as high-end graphics applications. The speakers put those features through many tests and report the results, which saves admins time when trying to see which protocol is the best for their specific use. It's awesome stuff.

These are just a few of the sessions I'm excited to see. Brian Madden and I are also presenting this year, as is Jack Madden. Jack's session is on mobile device, data and application management; mine is about how to get VDI features without actually doing VDI; and Brian is giving one on the consumerization of IT, as well as a birds-of-a-feather session about what the future of end-user computing will look like.

We'll have sessions just like these at BriForum Chicago, too, which has discounted pricing until June 1.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Gabe Knuth
is an independent industry analyst and blogger, known throughout the world as "the other guy" at BrianMadden.com. He has been in the application delivery space for over 12 years and has seen the industry evolve from the one-trick pony of terminal services to the application and desktop virtualization of today. Gabe's focus tends to lean more toward practical, real-world technology in the industry, essentially boiling off the hype and reducing solutions to their usefulness in today's corporate environments.

This was first published in May 2012

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