BriForum 2010: Check out the first 23 breakout sessions!

Last Friday we announced that the BriForum 2010 deadline for the $500 early-bird registration discount ends this coming Friday. Several folks commented that they'd like to see a breakout session list before they commit to coming to BriForum this year.

Last Friday we announced that the BriForum 2010 deadline for the $500 early-bird registration discount ends this coming Friday. Several folks commented that they'd like to see a breakout session list before they commit to coming to BriForum this year.

BriForum is a community event, and we invite anyone and everyone to submit proposals for the technical breakout sessions. Since our final deadline for session proposals isn't until April 1, we actually don't have a complete breakout session list at this point. That said, this year have a "rolling" session acceptance process which basically means that if you submit an awesome session that we know we're going to accept, we'll tell you now instead of waiting until the very end of the proposal period.

We've already accepted 23 breakout sessions which we're able to share with you today. This year's BriForum will have 56 technical breakout session, so today's list represents less than half of the total.

So take a look at the list of sessions we have so far. (Each of these are 75 minutes long.) This is just a taste of what BriForum will be like this year. Stay tuned as we update this list with additional sessions.

Understanding and optimizing disk access patterns for desktop VM workloads

Presented by John Whaley. Most of the time your desktop feels slow, it is waiting on IO. Desktop workloads have a very different IO profile than server workloads, and require different optimization techniques and performance metrics. An optimized and tuned storage layer can be the difference between a desktop VM that runs silky smooth and one that runs like a dog. This highly technical session will delve deep into what typical desktop VM disk access workloads look like and how to measure IO performance in a way that mirrors the users' perception. You will learn the unique IO profiles of "typical" desktop activities like Windows boot, Outlook usage, Office and web browsing. We will cover the performance impact of defrag in the guest and defrag on the host, on-the-fly compression and encryption, different IO caching policies, and special considerations for SSDs and flash memory. With a little bit of magic, it is even possible to achieve BTN ("Better Than Native") performance.

BYOPC: IT Panacea or Management Nightmare?

Presented by John Whaley. IT departments are starting to look seriously at BYOPC (Bring Your Own PC) or employee-owned PC initiatives, driven by a range of factors including cost, employee demand for choice and freedom, more contractors and part-time workers, and challenges with provisioning and reclaiming physical laptops. In a BYOPC scenario, the company provides a stipend for the employee to purchase their laptop of choice (typically with some minimum requirements), which will then be owned by the employee. Is this a panacea for IT, who can get out of the business of provisioning laptops and save a bunch of money and headache in the process, or will this turn into a management and legal nightmare where IT will have to play Geek Squad to personal machines, and end up opening the company up to huge liabilities? In this session we will cover some of the pros, cons, and lessons learned from actual and attempted BYOPC deployments, from the technical (How do I keep the network secure? How do I support Macs?) to the psychological (What do the users think?) to the political (What are the internal roadblocks that have to be overcome?). Bring your opinions and experiences - audience participation is strongly encouraged.

Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View: Head-to-Head

Presented by Mike Nelson. This session will focus on the two most prominent players in the desktop virtualization market, XenDesktop and View. We will examine both from a technical and non-marketing point of view, without the FUDD, with direct comparisons between them. A live demonstration of both technologies will be previewed with real world examples. Audience participation is greatly encouraged as there is a lot of information and examples to share with everyone.

My life with Citrix XenClient Hypervisor: the ultimate beta customer report

Presented by Thorsten Rood. Let's imagine somebody stole your laptop and right after you grab a new device you immediately jump on the beta track for an upcoming solution and start using it for your daily productive usage. The same time you run into a PoC with a demanding customer that seeks to deploy a highly complex mobile line of business application generation. "My life with XenClient" ultimately summarizes the time I 100% hooked-on the platform, since December 2009! Let's find out the great options and the mad things that make you pull out you last hairs. It's going to change most of your known best-practices on desktop operations.

Best practices in Virtualizing Terminal Services and Virtual Desktops: The Virtual Reality Check

Presented by Ruben Spruijt and Jeroen van de Kamp. In this energetic session, Jeroen van de Kamp (CTO, Login Consultants) and Ruben Spruijt (CTO, PQR) will present all the important results and best practices for Virtualizing Desktop (VDI) and Terminal Server workloads found in Project "Virtual Reality Check." This unbiased and independent R&D project started early 2009 and included more than 400 tests. The goal of Project VRC is to analyze the developments in the Application and Desktop Virtualization market and to present the results in a unbiased and independent way. In the haze of the extreme amount of innovations and many marketing promises this information is highly appreciated. The topics in this fast-paced session are:

  • Introduction Project VRC
  • Highlights, performance differences, and best practice conclusions for Terminal Services and VDI workloads on:
    • Bare metal Terminal Services; 2003/2008/x86/x64
    • Hypervisors: Microsoft Hyper-V v2, VMware vSphere 4.0, Citrix XenServer 5.5
    • VDI: Windows XP, Vista, Windows7
  • Performance impact using different HP Proliant state-of-the-art hardware solutions
  • Performance impact of Application Virtualization in Virtual Desktop environments
  • Future plans and roadmap
  • Q&A

When you're looking for independent advice and a Reality Check in relation to Virtualizing Terminal Server and Virtual Desktop workloads, if you are curious what the impact of different hypervisors and the performance differences with various hardware is, if you are searching for best practices for your virtual Desktops, then this is the presentation you must attend!

Who cares about backup and restore of VDI?! - The topic no one talks about

Presented by Brad Maltz. While Virtual Desktops have been around for a few years, organizations are starting to truly transition into newer Virtual Desktop designs through VMware View, Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft VDI and others. Unfortunately backup and restore environments have not been redesigned along with the new VDI rollouts. During this session we will discuss many facets of backup and restore for VDI including:

  • Do you need to backup anything? The Desktop OS? Application Data?
  • What are backup technologies / vendors that can simplify VDI backups?
  • How do other large VDI environments backup their environments?
  • What administrative best practices can be implemented to simplify VDI backups?

Citrix EdgeSight for Load Testing best practices

Presented by Claudio Rodrigues. This session will show you how EdgeSight for Load Testing (ESLT) works and how to get the most out of it. The contents of this session are based on years of experience using the product since its TLoad days. Learn what works, what does not work and how to use this tool to mimic as close as possible, real world workloads on your servers. Even though this is indeed a Citrix tool, you can indeed use it for load testing your terminal services environment, even if you do not currently own any Citrix product.

The top 10 mistakes why TS/Citrix projects fail.

Presented by Claudio Rodrigues. The idea is simple. Gather the top 10 mistakes when implementing/planning a TS/Citrix environment and bring these to the world. We would then explain how to avoid these traps for a successful deployment!

The top 10 mistakes why VDI projects fail.

Presented by Claudio Rodrigues and Steve Greenberg. The idea is simple. Gather the top 10 mistakes when implementing/planning a VDI solution and bring these to the world. We would then explain how to avoid these traps for a successful deployment!

Windows 7 and the virtual desktop revolution

Presented by Daniel Feller. By all accounts, 2010-2011 will see organizations migrating off of Windows XP and onto Windows 7. The big question you have to ask yourself is if your migration will follow the processes of the past that are plagued with expensive desktop refreshes, numerous compatibility issues and long rollout delays. Since the last major desktop refresh, Windows 98-Windows XP, technology has advanced to improve and overcome these age old challenges of the desktop life cycle. What if you could have your users running Windows XP 1 day, then magically be using Windows 7 the next day while leveraging the current desktop hardware devices? This session is focused on the Windows 7 migration challenge, including:

  • Learning from the past
  • Understanding how desktop virtualization fits into the puzzle
  • Technical factors to consider for the migration
  • Planning for the migration

Mandatory and Default user profile tuning

Presented by Jon Wallace. As the industry moves on, profiles are becomming more and more visible and pretty much every 3rd party personalization vendor recommends the use of a mandatory profile to begin with. There are various elements on tuning that can be applied to a mandatory profile to improve logon speed, usability and more and my session will focus on practical applications of these elements. The session will be a live session where I build and tune a mandatory profile with tuning live. There will be little to no power-point and i'll explain all of the various registry changes as I walk through the creation. I will base the session on a Windows XP mandatory profile due to the wide knowlege in the community but the principals and application also apply to Windows 2008, Windows 7 etc...

Towards a new desktop: the future of client computing

Presented by Martin Ingram and Brian Madden. This will be the third time we have looked into the future of client computing and man, does it keep unfolding. Keeping in mind the quote 'The past is like a foreign country, they do things differently there' we will start by looking back at how the future looked to us a year ago and then see what have become major themes and what has gone away. Looking forward, we will then look at new technologies that may become the standard ways to serve users in the future and what has to happen for them to be useful to us. Summarizing at the end with the key directions for the year to come and for the longer term.

Why is desktop virtualization getting so complex? Pulling out the complexity.

Presented by Martin Ingram. Every new technology brings with it a new set of requirements that make implementations increasingly complex. This cannot go on or we will end up with unmanageable, fragile systems. In this session we will look at the sources of complexity and how we can partition our architectures to avoid spiralling complexity. I will start by showing how the addition of new technologies into our existing systems leads to increasing levels of cross dependancies and complications and hence makes adoption of new technologies difficult and expensive. I will then move on to look at how we can partition our architectures to control complexity.

Large farm design considerations for XenDesktop

Presented by Nick Rintalan. What I basically want to present/discuss/share at BriForum this year is how to scale XenDesktop on a massive scale. I'd like to share my field experiences from designing and implementing XD at our largest customers. I've been involved with the design and implementation of XD at our largest customers in the US. But I want to share what the lessons learned from those projects were with everyone at BriForum - specifically around scalability. Some of the things we have learned around DDC roles, Virtual Center bottlenecks and PVS are probably going to be very interesting to the crowd at BriForum. And I'd basically walk through a XD architecture that is able to scale to 10,000+ users and beyond. And similar to my BriForum presentation last year, I'll save a spot at the end for "XenDesktop Worst Practices" and the most common mistakes that real world customers make when deploying XD. The other thing I just wanted to mention is I had a blast presenting at BriForum last year and I'd love to make this a regular thing. And judging from the feedback ratings/scores from last year, I think most participants found my session useful and mildly entertaining. I'd like to keep that streak alive in 2010... :)

A complete Application and Desktop delivery Solutions Overview (2010-2011) in 75 Minutes

Presented by Ruben Spruijt. With a wide range of application and desktop delivery solutions available, determining which solution can best accommodate your requirements and desires is no simple matter. Ruben Spruijt will present an complete vendor independent overview of all the current and upcoming application- and desktop delivery solutions. Topics of this presentation will be:

  • Server hosted VDI
  • Server hosted VDI GPU Accelerated
  • Terminal Services
  • OS Provisioning
  • Application Streaming and Virtualization
  • Local Desktop/Laptop
  • Web Application and Acceleration
  • Blade PC
  • Display Protocols
  • Connection Brokers

VDI: The Good, Bad and Ugly

Presented by Ruben Spruijt "Virtualization seems to be the magic word in IT landscape of today. Desktop Virtualization seems to be the ultimate goal for a lot of people. Ruben Spruijt will present VDI: ‚Good, Bad and Ugly in an energetic way and gives his view and vision combined with real life experiences to the audience. This session concludes:

  • Desktop Virtualization Overview
  • What are the real world non bull-*** reasons to use VDI!?
  • What are the Bull-*** reasons to use VDI?
  • What are the lessons learned of implementing VDI at large scale deployment?
  • What are best-practices for optimizing a XP and Win7 VDI template
  • Live demo
  • Understanding the storage impact of VDI
  • Q&A"

Building a low-cost home lab, the virtual way

Presented by Simon Gallagher. Ever wondered how you can run all that enterprise-scale goodness in your house in a way that your wife won't complain about it? Then you need this session, learn about how to use VMware vSphere and open source tech to build a lab with shared storage, layer 3 networking, replicating SANs and as many virtual hypervisors as you need for less than $1k USD Build a 20 node ESXi cluster on 2 physical boxes? test out VDI scenarios, scripts and provisioning processes? sure, done - come see how we did it Based on this post

The Client Hypervisor: A deep dive into Type I virtualization on Client Devices

Presented by Steve Greenberg. "Client-based VMs will leverage the power of local computing, enable offline, allow great local performance, require smaller datacenter footprints, provide for centralized management, provide for easy backup and rollback, etc." and "90% of the future "VDI" will be client-based"- Brian Madden This session will set out to explore and examine these statements by looking at the underlying architecture and design of a client hypervisor to identify the potential benefits and limitations of this approach. This session will cover the technical architecture of a Type I Hypervisor and how and where it can be successfully be used. A comprehensive demonstration of XenClient will be done live as well an interactive stress test to see how and where it can be broken.

Live Debate Smackdown: Virtualization versus bare metal for XenApp and RDS workloads

Presented by Steve Greenberg. Are we seeing the promised results of virtualization for complex workloads? One school of thought believes so, another thinks we may have been led down a marketing rabbit hole. This session will provide an entertaining and thoroughly geeky look at this important debate topic including: To virtualize or not virtualize XenApp and RDS workloads Baremetal vs Hypervisor performance, when is baremetal actually a better choice? How do we compare user densities when using a 64bit OS? Is the Cost of virtualization worth it? What is the performance cost of virtualization? Do we really gain better management? Is Provisioning Services worth deploying? Does Application virtualization deliver on it's promises? Does shared storage bring benefits for the added cost? When are there simply too many layers in the stack? The format will be an informed and passionate debate on both sides of the question providing valuable information and observations from the field- true Edutainment

Citrix XenClient Hypervisor in-depth architecture

Presented by Thorsten Rood. Type1-Hypervisors feel like the ultimate weapon and the long awaited remaining piece in the puzzle on flexible application delivery concepts. Citrix is there, providing the first enterprise-targeted mature release of such technology. Let’s drill down what’s in the product and which things to take care of. This is a rock-solid walkthrough on the componentization puzzle you get with XenClient and all its surrounding technologies and services.

Citrix Provisioning Services survival track reloaded

Presented by Thorsten Rood. Within a dynamic datacenter world, almost no reason exists why not any kind of XenApp workload should be powered by Provisioning Services (and referring to VDI with XenDesktop, it's obvious anyway). But PVS will become a monster if you are working with demanding customers and expect to scale out a solution easily and you need to meet SLA and expectations. Due to the overwhelming success on this session on last BriForum in 2009, this by nature is the reloaded version with most up to date notes from the field. Let's reveal the dark side of PVS again, it's still there. Enjoy!

Live Demo: Installing & implementing Citrix VM-hosted apps and Microsoft Remote App for Hyper-V

Presented by Wilco van Bragt. Both Microsoft as Citrix released a feature in their latest product released which allows to publish applications from a workstation version operating system (such as Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows XP). In this presentation I just want to use a couple of slides explaining the feature, but most of the time the presentation will be dealing about the installation and configuration of these features using a life demo (so actually installing and configure the features).

The best freeware tools for SBC and app virtualization admins

Presented by Wilco van Bragt. This presentation will be an updated and revisited session of the previous given presentation at BriForum 2007 Amsterdam. In the session I will show the available freeware tools for SBC and App-V / SoftGrid (if needed we can make two separate sessions) infrastructures. In comparison with the previous presentation I focus on what's missing in the product and how the freeware tool can accomplish this (more focusing on the showing the tools than slides).

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It looks like these topic descriptions are rough drafts and may not be ready for public dissemination.  For example, Nick Rintalan lists a number of clients but states "but we probably wouldn't be able to name these companies explicitly in the abstract".  You may want to double check some of this content...


Oh yeah, these are definitely the rough drafts of the topic descriptions that we'll clean up before the show. Our intention was just to give a preview of the work in progress.

But I'll run through them now.. Thanks!


Thanks for the info Brian. See you in Chicago.


These looks great, but everyone knows that the intangible value of Briforum is the discussion that happens colleagues between the sessions.