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An inside look at BriForum's DEMO Lab

If you're new to desktop virtualization, check out free demo videos of 27 vendors from this year's BriForum conference.

This year's BriForum conference, homed in Chicago, brought in about 400 attendees and 35 experts from around the world -- all to talk about desktop virtualization.

In its seventh year, BriForum continued with its "vendor-neutral" format, offering a good balance against huge single-vendor industry conferences such as VMworld, Synergy and TechEd.

As always, we strived to keep BriForum technical, providing an environment where attendees can get their technical questions answered by engineers instead of marketing folks. To that end, BriForum featured a "DEMO Lab" instead of an "exhibit hall" where our sponsoring vendors brought in their products and demonstrated how they work. This year we had an astonishing 27 different desktop virtualization vendors.

Even though most people come to BriForum for the 50+ technical breakout sessions, we constantly hear that peoples' time spent at the DEMO Lab is time well spent. There's probably no other gathering on the planet with so many technical people, from so many different companies, focused exclusively on desktop virtualization.

In some ways it's too bad that BriForum is only three days. With all the attendees, speakers, breakout sessions and vendors, there's hardly enough time to see everything you want to see. And sadly, above all, we spend so much time building this great DEMO Lab just to dismantle it all three days later.

So this year we did something different. We grabbed a video camera, a microphone and my brother (the cameraman) and walked around the DEMO Lab recording the demos of every single vendor who was there. The result: A BriForum "virtual" DEMO Lab with 27 vendor videos, shot live during BriForum. This entire DEMO Lab video series is available now and is absolutely free.

What will you find when you head over to BriForum's virtual DEMO Lab?

You will see demos from companies I've written about a lot, such as Teradici's PC-over-IP remote display protocol (and Ericom's implementation of it) or Atlantis Computing's ILIO product which virtualizes the I/O stream for VDI deployments. You can view Symantec's entire Endpoint Virtualization Suite or Neocleus' new client hypervisor.

If you're looking for complete user environment management, you can watch demos from RES Software, triCerat, RTO Software, AppSense and Scense.

There were a lot of folks showing off more "complete" desktop delivery solutions, including Leostream, Quest Software, Ericom and Red Hat. Citrix was in attendance as well, demoing their new client receivers and Dazzle for Mac.

BriForum 2009 was also host to a few newer vendors (well, newer for me, at least). RingCube was there demoing their lightweight client virtualization solution that makes for a killer app isolation environment. A company called ThinLaunch showed off a product that completely locks down a standard Windows installation, essentially turning any client into a thin client. And ClearCube spin-off VDIworks was there with their new remote display protocol.

We saw a few service providers too, with MTM Technologies and Laurus Technologies both showing attendees how they could help put all this stuff together.

Even though it's 2009, we all know that printing still poses a lot of challenges, and UniPrint was there showing how their product bridges the gap between new and old environments.

Speaking of bridging the gap, Lakeside Software showed off a new product called "VMP" that goes out and analyzes your physical desktops, including which applications are being used, and then helps you plan and size the migration to VDI.

BriForum 2009 saw companies who could help "bridge the gap" literally. Expand Networks was there with their WAN acceleration products, while Wyse showed off their new VDA software which is designed to accelerate ICA and RDP over long-haul WAN connections.

We also had some more general big-name companies at BriForum this year, including NetApp who showed their Flex Cloning products for VDI, as well as AMD who has a lot going on in the virtualization space.

And finally, BriForum 2009 was once again host to visionapp, where my buddy Rick Dehlinger is CTO, who launched a new product called OpsQuick for simple down-and-dirty server and workstation automated deployment.

Brian Madden, Independent Industry Analyst and Blogger
Brian Madden is known throughout the world as an opinionated, super technical, fiercely independent desktop virtualization expert. He's written several books and over 1,000 articles about desktop and application virtualization. Brian's blog,, receives millions of visitors per year and is a leading source for conversation, debate and discourse about the application and desktop virtualization industry. Brian is also the creator of BriForum, the premier independent application delivery technical conference.

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