Notes from my first E2E Virtualization Conference (New York City 2018)

After all these years I finally got to attend this long-running desktop virtualization conference.

Recently I attended the Experts 2 Experts Virtualization Conference (a.k.a. “E2E”) in New York City. I’ve been hearing about the show under this and its former name, PubForum, for as long as I can remember, but this was the first time I was able to make it myself.

If you’re not familiar with the event, it’s basically a bunch of desktop virtualization geeks getting together for some semi-formal sessions over the course of two days, and the founder and proprietor, Alex Cooper, puts it on several times a year, all over the world.

Overall, it was great to finally meet Alex, see friends old and new, and learn more about a variety of topics, so I’ll definitely be back for another.

For today, I’m sharing a few of my notes from the E2E Virtualization Conference. (I would have written about it earlier, but as soon as I got back from New York, I was busy with Google Cloud Next, so here we are.) A quick disclaimer: This isn’t an exhaustive report on every session, rather it’s just the parts of my notes that I felt like posting.

Day 1 at E2E Virtualization Conference

After a welcome from Alex, the show kicked off with Breno Basilio giving a sponsored session on ControlUp. ControlUp has always gotten lots of love from the community, and this summer the latest buzz is around ControlUp automated actions, which is coming soon. (This feature will automatically kick off a management task based on monitoring metrics.) Breno also talked about ControlUp’s recent cloud cost analysis features, which are available now for AWS, and coming in the future for Azure.

Helge Klein gave another sponsored session about uberAgent 5.0, which came out in March. The latest incarnation of this Splunk-integrated Windows monitoring tool includes browser metrics (via a Chrome extension). On the security side, it can now identify never-before-seen processes, as well as collect information about new network connections. All this got a good response from the room, and Helge also announced a free 100-user community license.

Brian Madden (the person) gave a session on IoT, similar to the one he gave back at Igel Disrupt—if you haven’t watched it yet, check it out. Personally, I think it’s great that he’s doing a lot more with mobility and identity in his new position. (See, I told you all this stuff was awesome!)

Another community member that I got to hear for the first time was Patrick Coble, who along with Jarian Gibson, presented advice on how to lock down VDI environments. It was interesting to hear all routes that Patrick uses when pen-testing VDI environments, like application help menus and “what’s new” dialogue boxes. Patrick and Jarian said they’ve been seeing more and more network micro-segmentation, primarily with VMware NSX.

Later in the afternoon, Benny Tritsch spoke about Remote Desktop modern infrastructure (RDmi). He covered many of the same issues as in his recent article with Kristin Griffin (read it here), but one interesting thing that came up was the idea of multi-user Windows 10 as an RDSH replacement. It exists in Microsoft's labs, and there are still some unanswered questions about the future of RDSH, so this issue definitely isn’t settled yet. In another session, Benny spoke about REX Analytics, which was also covered earlier this year in the TeamRGE webinar.

Day 2

I had to miss the Azure virtual networking class on the second morning, but I joined in time to hear Alex Danilychev speak about monitor affinity. This is the concept of where apps and desktops show up in displays. As you can imagine, when you access a remote desktop session from different endpoints with different sizes, arrangements, orientations, DPIs, resolutions, and numbers of displays, this can become a big issue. Alex showed tools and ways of dealing with this issue, including a mobile app to help you find the mouse cursor on large video walls.

Jeremy Moskowitz gave a well-received session on PolicyPak, which Gabe and I have covered previously. Once again, the conference was a good opportunity to meet Jeremy in person for the first time.

Some more great sessions came from Tim Mangan talking about MSIX (read his blog post for the gist of it) and Kevin Goodman and Jim Moyle talking about PowerShell.

Besides the sessions I mentioned here, the E2E Virtualization Conference had several other good sessions (I didn’t mean to slight anybody by omitting them!). Next time, I’d like to submit a session on the latest in enterprise mobility and conditional access. I hear that the Athens show will be a good one, but for me it will probably have to be the next US E2E. Until then, thanks to Alex for organizing the show—I enjoyed it!

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You don’t submit sessions for any E2E event. You tell Alex you are presenting and demand how many minutes you need. Alex is the one who submits to your commands, demands, and requirements.