BriForum 2009 Chicago breakout session topic idea list

BriForum 2009 Chicago will take place July 21-23, 2009, at the Chicago Hilton. Once again, all of BriForum's technical breakout sessions will be presented by members of the community.

BriForum 2009 Chicago will take place July 21-23, 2009, at the Chicago Hilton. Once again, all of BriForum's technical breakout sessions will be presented by members of the community. We select which sessions (and therefore which people will present) via this "call for papers" process. (Details about the call for papers and the submission process are here.)

Even though the content is driven by the community and the topics that are presented, Gabe and I spent some time thinking about the things we'd like to cover at BriForum this year. Here's the list that we came up with. What do you think? Is there anything missing? (Of course if you want to submit a session, you can pick whatever topic you want. This is just a starting point.)

VDI and Terminal Server Optimization, Scalability & Benchmarking

  • Establish reliable base benchmarks for effective monitoring and troubleshooting
  • Learn the key resource utilization differences between 32 and 64-bit operating systems – especially important because Windows 2008 R2 will be x64 ONLY
  • Learn of testing methodologies and free tools
  • Learn about the free Login VSI benchmarking utility
  • Citrix Configuration Logging
  • Increase logon time and perceived user experience using tips from our expert speakers along with free tools and scripts.
  • Learn about WAN performance and which solutions will work best for your needs

Licensing Complexities

  • As if TS wasn’t complex enough, now we have to deal with VDI licensing
  • Learn about license management
  • Demystify how licenses are tracked and used by various systems
  • Understand Microsoft’s VECD (Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop) licensing

Citrix Provisioning Server (PVS)

  • PVS is a powerful tool beyond XenDesktop VDI usage – learn how you can use PVS to manage your servers for maximum efficiency and flexibility.
  • Network and storage considerations
  • Basic PVS knowledge, including how to build bas images, best practices, and basic concepts.

Application Streaming

  • There are many application streaming solutions available – learn about each solution to make an informed decision on which is best for you.
  • Learn ways to combine VDI, TS, and Application Streaming solutions to provide local and remote users with the best possible experience
  • Learn best practices for application packaging, deployment, and integration.
  • Main products discussed will be Citrix XenApp Streaming, VMware ThinApp, and Microsoft RemoteApp.

VDI Product Landscape

  • VDI has been growing for a few years, and the big picture can be somewhat confusing.
  • Learn about all the VDI products available so that you can be as educated as possible when faced with the decision of which platform to choose.
  • Main vendors discussed includes VMware View3, Citrix XenDesktop, Quest vWorkspace, and Windows Server 2008 R2, as well as other players like Symantec Workspace Virtualization, RedHat SolidICE, and Ericom PowerTerm Webconnect.
  • Find out which solution works best for your specific use-case.

Windows Server 2008 R2 (i.e. Windows 7 Server)

  • MANY changes in Server 2008 R2 – Learn how they affect you and your environment.
  • Name changes – pretty much everything has a new name in the new release.  Learn the new names and avoid confusion down the road.
  • Learn about the new Connection Broker that is made for Remote Desktop Services (formerly Terminal Services) and VDI solutions
  • New multimedia redirection capabilities
  • Client multi-monitor support
  • Bi-directional audio support
  • RDP protocol enhancements
  • Windows 2008 R2 is x64 ONLY!  Learn how this effects you and start to build a plan for migration.
  • Do you still need third-party add-ons like Citrix XenApp?

Terminal Services

  • The old dog still has some tricks – learn about all the TS products available and determine which works best for you
  • Main vendors discussed will be Citrix XenApp, and Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, along with many other players like Quest vWorkspace and Ericom Powerterm Webconnect.
  • Learn how to build enterprise-class solutions using something other than Citrix XenApp.
  • Learn to build a secure environment from all perspectives – OS, File System, and Network

VDI or Terminal Server…or both?

  • Compare each technology based on solution-set filter that through your use-case to determine the right solution for you.

Remote Display Protocols – which ones are right for you?

  • Compare and contrast remote protocols available today and in the near future, such as ICA, RDP, spice, Net2Display, Teradici PC-over-IP, Wyse TCX, HP RGS, Quest EOP
  • Find out what’s coming in the future and where the industry needs to go in order to provide the “perfect” remote display protocol.
  • Learn which protocols are best in which situation so you can adapt your solution to meet your LAN/WAN needs.
  • What is the future of remote display protocols – “pixel” or “primitive” pushing?
  • Figure out how to select the right protocol that balances network capacity, CPU utilization, and user experience


  • Moving deeper into the post-Windows 2003 era, learn about PowerShell and how to put it to good use in your environment.

Platform virtualization and its relation to VDI

  • Learn the essentials of platform virtualization to help you choose which solution works best for your VDI solution.
  • Vendors discussed will be Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, and VMware ESX/VI 3.


  • Learn solutions to printing problems
  • Find out about tools to help you better manage your printing in both VDI and TS environments

Profiles and user environment management for VDI and TS

  • Learn how to manage your user environments effectively and reduce administration time
  • Learn to manage profiles and user experience based on user type, location, and connection method.
  • Find out how to lock down your users’ desktops to help build a high-capacity, low-downtime solution.
  • Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R8 make more changes to the built-in roaming profile capability. Do you still need third party tools?

Cloud Computing and “The Cloud”

  • Learn about “The Cloud” and where Cloud Computing is headed. 
  • Find out about existing technologies and learn if they might fit into your application vision

Windows 7

  • Learn about Windows 7 as a VDI desktop
  • Learn why it isn’t Windows XP or Windows Vista, and why you should or shouldn’t use it in your VDI deployments


  • Learn how to support users over the WAN, both via remote display protocols and locally
  • Understand the various WAN optimization vendors and products, such as Citrix WANscaler, Riverbed, and Expand networks


  • How important is de-duped storage with products like Citrix Provisioning Server and VMware’s linked-clones capability
  • New storage software companies, like Atlantis Computing, are revolutionizing the storage industry for VDI. Are these ready for prime time?

New developments

  • Experts will be speaking on new announcements that will be made in the vendor shows leading up to BriForum such as VMworld Europe and Citrix Synergy.
  • See the technology roadmaps from major vendors in the industry – Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware, as well as other third-party vendors.

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In the Application Streaming section I assume you meant "Microsoft App-V" and not "Microsoft RemoteApp". Also, kind of surprised you did not mention end-point virtualization. Finally, in the "VDI or Terminal Server…or both" section, I think the options should also include Blade PCs.




Very solid line up.

A couple of things I would like to see/am looking forward to hearing about:

VDI - Breaking the 1000 VM barrier for Desktops:

1) VDI OS Tips and Tricks: Leaner is Better!

2) GPO Best Practices and Notes from the field

3) WAN Acceleration, Does it improve perfomance or add user density, or both?

4) Resource Pools and VMs

and the mother of all debates..



Real quick which Hilton?...there is two in Chicago and the price a nights stay is quite a bit different between the two.


@Craig, we just updated the website with the hotel details It's the one on South Michigan by Grant Park. We also have a discount code for room rates.


Last year the sessions were categorized as Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced - are you going to do that again?  i.e. Are you looking for presentations for those various skill levels/audiences?