Your roadmap for re-imagining the enterprise end-user computing environment
BriForum consists of 30+ sessions, split across the following topic/track areas. Look for these icons as your guide to finding the sessions that are most relevant to you:
Application Virtualisation / Management
Enterprise Mobility Management / Consumerisation
Networking & Security
Management, Monitoring & Performance
Programming & Scripting
Graphics Processing Units
4, 3, 2, 1, Liftoff! How Processes Become Virtualised
Presented by Tim Mangan
With Microsoft App-V 5.0, there are four different ways that processes become detected and virtualised. This is very different than 4.x, which used a launcher program to start virtual environments. In this session, Tim will dive deep into the mechanisms in play to start virtual environments. We’ll cover the new 5.0 SP3 options for Connection Groups (including recommended practices), RunVirtual, and Dynamic Virtualisation (JitV). You will leave with a thorough understanding of the differences between these four techniques, and when and how to use each. Fair warning: bring your own aspirin as this will be a deep dive. You will learn:
Session Takeaway:Learn how to get plug-ins to work under App-V.
Advanced Performance Analysis: Moving Beyond Perfomon and the Basics
Presented by Ian Parker
In the age of the cloud and VDI, performance issues can cripple a business in almost no time, and time-to-resolution is critical. Tools like Perfmon and Task Manager have been core parts of the Windows Server OS since the beginning. While still useful today, they don’t always provide an administrator deep visibility inside a SBC or VDI environment. Fortunately, there are new tools and techniques available. If you are looking to gain deep insight into the performance and responsiveness of Windows servers and their associated infrastructure, this session will hone in on the new options.
- How to get beyond the basics of server health
- How to look deep into individual subsystems
- How to analyse storage performance when storage is increasingly abstracted from the OS
- How to fill in the gaps that older tools can’t address
Session Takeaway: Gain insight into issues faster than before and gain the ability to gather information previously unavailable, make sense of critical issues faster, and enforce SLAs easier.
Cloud Data Security: Separating Fact from Fiction
Presented by Shawn Bass
Dissecting the XenApp / XenDesktop Logon Process
Presented by Helge Klein
Troubleshooting Windows user logons can be daunting. Many different things happen, some in parallel, others one after another. The Citrix Virtual Desktop Agent adds even more processes, DLLs, and hooks. But fear not, and don’t be intimidated! When you are armed with the right set of tools and techniques, logons can actually be fun to deal with. In this session, you will explore what exactly happens during a logon and learn how to troubleshoot performance and functionality issues. Discussion will focus on:
- The mechanics of a XenApp/XenDesktop logon process
- Top troubleshooting tool
- Techniques to speed up user logons
Session Takeaway: Everyone agrees that slow logons are one of the preeminent challenges in server-based computing! Learning how to combat this might be worth the trip to BriForum alone!
More often than not, EUC projects focus on the technology involved (limitations, functionality, restrictions) rather than the user experience, which is, of course, what matters most. In this session, Barry Coombs and Andrew Wood will discuss the important stages that you need to hone in on for an end user focused design, including desktop assessments, employee interviews, selecting departmental champions, and carefully completing a proof of concept and a staged rollout. Discover the key elements that need to be considered when wading through a mass of information from a desktop assessment and help to create a concise list of what matters. The information collected during the session will be used to highlight key design considerations that can affect the end users’ experience. Discussion will focus on:
- The importance of the user in an EUC-focused design
- Key elements that will affect a design when completing a desktop assessment
- Design considerations to ensure a successful EUC project for the user and not just the admin
- The important stages to a user focused implementation
Session Takeaway: Go beyond the technology involved in your EUC project, and discover key design considerations that can affect the end users’ experience.
Virtual mobile infrastructure is like VDI, but with Android virtual machines and mobile client apps. Certainly there are challenges—some obvious and some not obvious—but there’s definitely a place for it. Besides the obvious security and client choice benefits associated with any SBC technology, it can also work as an excellent mobile app management tool. We can also look to lessons learned from both VDI and EMM.
Session Takeaway: Get up-to-speed on VMI technologies and vendors, and discover where it fits in the end user computing and enterprise mobility landscape.
Ready to drink from a fire hose? Shawn, Benny and Ruben, a group collective of like-minded IT professionals, will get you up-to-speed with graphics for Virtual Desktops and Apps by sharing their insights, best practices, and unfiltered thoughts around these solutions. There are several important players in this market space, and from a marketing perspective these solutions have a lot in common. The session is based on industry analysis, customer cases, and covers the VDwhy, VDCry, and various use-case scenarios of graphics for Virtual Desktop and Apps. With more than 5000 videos available, we picked the most relevant videos to show the differences of various Hypervisors, Remote Display Protocols, API support and the impact in LAN and WAN. Filled with unique content and insights, this session will be fun-filled with awesome information for anyone interested in Desktop Virtualization. Discussion will focus on:
- Overview of GPU technology partners
- The differences between Citrix, Microsoft and VMware solutions graphics solutions.
- VDWhy, VDCry and understanding the difference
- Graphics concepts
- User Experience with different VDI, vGPU, Hypervisor solutions
Session Takeaway: Get ahead of the curve with your knowledge of graphics for Virtual Desktops and Apps and learn the differences between Citrix, Microsoft and VMware solutions graphics solutions.
How do you automate the recomposition of thousands of desktops, automatically clean up orphaned desktops, and create a useful inventory of your VDI infrastructure? If you are struggling with these issues, then this session (full of techy magic tricks) is for you! Horizon View does not have a good reputation when it comes to automation and extensibility. There are no official APIs, while the View PowerCli cmdlets haven't changed since their initial release in 2010 and are still lacking features. This is especially problematic for large enterprises and cloud providers who use Horizon View as their VDI platform. During this demo rich session, we will be taking a look under the hood of Horizon View to see how to hack through it to make an admin’s life easier. WARNING: Some session topics are not supported by VMware.
- Ways of automating
- View the official and unofficial way
- Inner workings of View
- View automation best practices
Session Takeaway: Learn how to perform magic with automation and save time by moving to the Powershell console, as opposed to the slow View GUI. Automating items not supported by VMware.
How Group Policy Impacts Logon Performance
Presented by Helge Klein
Group Policy is used extensively in enterprises both small and large to configure and secure desktops and applications. It is generally considered a powerful and reliable tool, (but a little cumbersome at times). But what about performance? Which CSEs/modules should be avoided? How does the number of GPOs affect logon duration? Is loopback processing slow? Are WMI filters really that bad? If you are seeking answers to these and other nagging issues, this session is designed for you. You will learn:
- Architecture decisions affecting logon performance
- Which settings to avoid
- How to speed up user logons by optimizing Group Policy
Session Takeaway: You’ll be a superhero when you can make logons faster.
Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite is poised to conquer the mobility world - so now is the time to join and embrace. The Microsoft EMS consists of several cloud services, such as Azure AD Premium, ADFS, Multifactor Authentication, Azure RMS and Intune. In this session, we’ll explore the components of Microsoft EMS, including: how they relate to each other, how to get access to them and how you can start a proof of concept in your company.
- Get your EMS environment enrolled the right way from Day 1
- Learn the differences between an EMS standalone and a hybrid implementation (seen as an extension of your on-premise private cloud). An example of this would be self-service password reset.
- Learn to identify the components of Microsoft EMS so that you are able to use it in your environment
- Look at different use cases for mobility with EMS, starting from the identity that your enterprise content has
Session Takeaway: You’ll leave this session with the information that you need to manage and protect mobile devices with EMS, and you’ll be able to show your boss that you no longer need an on premise infrastructure to manage your mobile workforce.
How to Make PowerShell Sit Up and Beg: The Essential Tutorial for Creating Scripts that Control all Aspects of Your Desktop and Server Farm
Presented by Kevin Goodman
I, For One, Welcome Our New Enterprise Consumer Overlords
Presented by David Stafford
The Citrix ICA protocol has been around for 20+ years and has recently undergone some significant changes. In the past ICA didn’t require too much configuration other than tweaking a policy or two around multimedia redirection or progressive/adaptive display. But beginning with XenApp/XenDesktop 7.x and later, ICA has completely evolved and is no longer a single display protocol, but rather a wrapper that supports multiple disparate rendering engines. If you have deployed XenDesktop/XenApp 7.x and later and have encountered numerous and unexpected challenges, this session is a must-attend! We will explain why these issues are occurring due to changes in the default ICA rendering engine and explore how you can resolve these issues by changing the rendering engine used. This session is a complete, comprehensive deep dive into all of the latest changes with the ICA protocol to help you understand how each of the primary rendering engines actually works, and identify when you should or shouldn’t use each particular rendering engine. Discussion will focus on:
- Deep dive on each of the ICA rendering engines: Legacy, H.264, Compatibility, Desktop Composition Redirection, etc.
- Server side and client side CPU and Bandwidth impact for each of the ICA rendering engines
- Client side and server side requirements for each rendering engine
- Details on how to configure which ICA rendering engine is used
- Details on selecting the correct ICA rendering engine under various situations
Session Takeaway: You will walk out of this session with a deep understanding of all the new ICA rendering engines. You’ll know how to configure them, and how to identify when you should (or should not) pick a particular rendering engine for a given situation.
Know Your Enemies: Analysis of Applications for Virtualisation Projects
Presented by James Rankin
Most projects that I work on have one common factor: none of them have any idea of the true scope of the applications that are within their estate. This session will focus on what you need to know about each application and discuss technical solutions that are available to solve the problem of application analysis. It will include a demonstration of a real-world implementation of a successful(ish!) application analysis phase and how it benefited the overall project. Technological solutions that can be used to gather the information required
- Common problems that can be avoided when analysing applications
- Some tips and tricks to doing the analysis quicker and more effectively
Session Takeaway: To learn from real-world experiences about issues that can arise from improperly analysed application estates, and possible technological solutions to speed up analysis. Attendees can brag about how they will probably need subtitles to understand my north-eastern accent!
Everyone is talking about layers. All the vendors talk about why their solutions are best. What is layering technology? What is the difference between the top layering vendors? In this session, discover an unbiased opinion on today's top layering offerings from Unidesk, VMware and FSlogix, their use cases, limitations and ease of deployment. See for yourself how powerful these solutions can be, not just for IT but for the end-users. Attendees will learn about:
- Pros and cons of each vendor’s solutions
- Ease of deployment and scalability
- How these solutions work with no marketing BS
Session Takeaway: Attendees will gain marketing-free insight into each solution, including strengths/weaknesses and where they sit in End User Computing. Hopefully, they will remember two VERY honest presenters!
Lego for Geeks: Hardware Building Blocks for Great VDI Test Labs
Presented by Benny Tritsch
Building your own benchmarking lab can be both painful and expensive. On average, two out of three lab components will not work as expected and it will take months or even years to identify the right building blocks. Join Benny Tritsch in this session where he walks you through his list of lab equipment that proved to work--and the components he eliminated. Get expert guidance on how to build a great test lab from white label servers, WAN emulators, frame grabbers, video cameras, audio recorders, and test clients.
- Learn from the expert how to identify the hardware components needed for a great test lab
- Understand how WAN emulators and frame grabbers work in test scenarios
- Gain insight into common methodologies used by researchers and scientists to build test environments
Session Takeaway: Many IT pros and developers in the virtualisation market don't know how to build solid test environments, allowing them to produce results on a quality level that convinces vendors and market analysts. Benny Tritsch is a physicist and computer scientist who worked in research for ten years. In his session, he will share the methodologies he learned to select the right hardware components for great test setups.
PowerShell Remoting: Manage Your (Customer) Environment From Your Laptop
Presented by Jeff Wouters
This is a session filled with PowerShell Remoting—the powerhouse feature introduced in PowerShell v2 that’s enabled by default in Windows Server 2012 and above. Did you know that the Server Manager in those operating systems are basically a whole bunch of PowerShell Remoting and WMI/CIM in the background? During this session, we’ll cover the different types of remoting in PowerShell, how to use them, and how you can implement them in your environment. We’ll also discuss how to do it securely, the so-called “second-hop” challenge, how to handle domain-less environments, and much more!
- The four flavours of remoting in PowerShell
- PowerShell Remoting basics
- How to do PowerShell Remoting securely
Session Takeaway: Attendees will learn what PowerShell Remoting is, how to use it, how to do it securely, and how to configure it to work in any Windows based environment.
Predicting the Future of Windows, or Lack Thereof
Presented by Dan Shappir
What does the future look like for Windows? Will Windows 10 herald a resurgence of interest in the Microsoft platform, or is this just another step on an inevitable road to oblivion? Will virtualisation and Cloud computing revitalize Windows, or will they relegate it to middleware? Is the future of Windows on the front-end, on the back-end, both, or neither? In this session, Dan will attempt to predict what the future looks like for Microsoft Windows based on the evidence, past experiences, analysis, and wild guesses.
- What might Windows look like in five years? In ten years?
- If Windows goes away, what might its replacements be?
- What will enterprise IT look like in a post-Windows world?
Tech Bake-Off Reloaded: An Independent Review of Citrix XenDesktop vs VMware Horizon View
Presented by Jarian Gibson
In our original Tech Bake-off session in 2012, we discussed the bake-off framework and provided various tips from the field. Fast forward to 2015 and technologies such as vGPU, hyperconvergence, and storage architecture enhancements have been introduced into the End User Computing space! Citrix and VMware have both made changes to their product stacks by way of acquisition and/or introduced new features and functionality. Both companies have introduced their suite of product stack/solutions. In this session, we will go over the updated framework and have an independent review of Citrix XenDesktop vs VMware Horizon View.
- Updated Bake-off Framework Bake-off tips reloaded
- Review of Citrix XenDesktop stack
- Review of VMware Horizon View stack
- How they stack up against each other
- Thoughts on evolution of both product stacks
Session Takeaway: Attendees will be updated on our framework and comparisons of VMware and Citrix EUC stacks.
In this session, Dane Young and Thomas Poppelgaard will take participants through the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). These topics will include important decision points and data required for each of the critical stages of the development: needs and application assessment, pilot and production build, end user roll-out, and management and monitoring.
Throughout these stages, Dane and Thomas will dissect the anatomy of the GPU-Enabled Virtual Desktop, focusing on CPU, memory, GPU (Cores & Memory), disk, network (steady state and peak bandwidth, latency), image management strategy (persistent, non-persistent, hybrid), operating system (Version, x86, x64), Firmware (individual components), endpoint peripherals, application backend infrastructure structure, user data (profiles, documents, application files), and monitoring and reporting. At the end of this session, participants will have a deeper understanding of the multiple aspects affecting end user experience, adoption, and growth of Virtual Desktops within their organisations.
- Deep understanding of each of the ICA rendering engines
- CPU and Bandwidth impact of each ICA rendering engine
- Know how to select and configure the most appropriate ICA rendering engine based upon different scenarios such as WAN type, client type, etc.
Session Takeaway: They will have a deep understanding of all the new ICA rendering engines and not only how to configure them, but also when they should or should not pick a particular rendering engine for a given situation.
The App Whisperer (Virtually)
Presented by Tim Mangan
What is the worst part of delivering desktops? The apps, of course! In this session, Tim will show you the latest techniques to prepare and then analyze apps virtualised using Microsoft App-V augmented by free tools. Using these techniques, you will be able to spot apps requiring re-sequencing due to issues not raised by the sequencer, find when special deployment options (such as publishing to computer accounts) is needed, understand app extension limitations, and know when apps require testing in connection groups due to the existence of browser or office limitations are present.
- Recommended practices for virtual app sequencing
- How to detect common cross-app interactions
- New tools to detect issues affecting virtual apps
Session Takeaway: You’ll have a much better understanding about app virtualisation.
The Community-Driven Desktop Virtualisation Best Practice Analyser; How to do Image Optimisation the Right Way
Presented by Kees Baggerman
How many desktop virtualisation projects have you done? How many times have you done image optimisations, adding registry keys, setting services, etc.? How about a tool that makes this all easy and straightforward to do? We've built a desktop virtualisation best practice analyser that will check any outstanding optimisations and will fix this for you, if needed. We want this to be completely community-driven, so if you find a useful addition to the list, you can go to our website and submit the suggestion. It will be added to the definition file which you can download and use in the Desktop Virtualisation Best Practice Analyser.
Session Takeaway: Image optimisation can be a royal pain. This tool can help you as it’s community driven, constantly updated, and built to be used cross platform.
Instead of using virtual desktops, many users just want their remote apps embedded in their local desktops. Microsoft Azure RemoteApp (ARA) allows users to run Windows programs hosted on Azure side-by-side with their local programs. This makes Azure RemoteApp programs appear as if they were running on the user’s local PC or tablet. In this session, Freek and Benny dive deep into Azure RemoteApp. They will start by explaining the underlying concepts and demonstrating a cloud-based (quick) deployment. In addition, they cover the more advanced Hybrid Deployment including setting up connectivity to on-premises servers as well as creating custom templates. A particular highlight of the session is the advanced part, discussing Azure RemoteApp performance, auto-sizing, limitations, and tips & tricks. Other topics covered are pricing, licensing and SLAs. Come and see the session and allow two Microsoft RDS MVPs to guide you through the magic behind Azure RemoteApp!
- Getting familiar with the Azure Remote App concept, the scenarios and it’s limitations
- Get experience into setting up Cloud- as well as Hybrid Deployments of Azure RemoteApp
- Gain insight into the more advanced topics of Azure RemoteApp and learn tips & tricks
- Familiarizing with the licensing options, pricing and SLA
Session Takeaway: After this session, attendees will have gained great insights into the various options of Azure RemoteApp allowing them to start implementing it or convince they’re companies to start doing a Proof of Concept.
VDI Storage in 2015
Presented by Brian Madden
The past few years have been huge for storage in VDI. Now that pretty much every storage vendor can support persistent disk images, we found that storage is no longer an architectural blocking issue for VDI. Unfortunately we have now swung over to a "paradox of choice" with so many storage vendors and technologies to choose from, each which enable even more choice when it comes to how we design our VDI environments. In this session, Brian will use the current VDI storage landscape to frame conversations around:
- Persistent versus non-persistent VDI images.
- RDSH versus VDI and the impact storage has on that decision.
- "Hardware" storage versus "software" storage versus "virtual" storage solutions.
- Whether storage technology matters? (SSD, disk, memory, caching, etc.)
- Whether IOPS matter anymore?
- "In box" storage from Citrix, VMware, etc. versus paying for third party storage.
- Real world 2015 storage costs per user
With the Citrix Workspace Cloud (CWC) solution, the way we approach deployments and lifecycle management will change. CWC will allow deployment of different services and fulfill a variety of different customer needs. CWC is the next evolution in how we deploy the Citrix stack of products. CWC is not only for those who want Citrix to manage the control plane, but also brings lifecycle management to your environment. In this session we will go over:
- Overview of CWC Architecture and Services
- The value it brings
- How it changes deployments
- How it changes lifecycle management
- Cloud vs On Premises deployments
- Demos, demos, and more demos
Session Takeaway: Attendees will learn more about CWC from people who have been in early access beta and giving feedback to Citrix about it. Get our insights and thoughts on the solution.
What to do when things break: Tools you need to know to resolve critical events faster and more efficiently
Presented by Ian Parker
It happens to us all sooner or later. An application or piece of infrastructure starts misbehaving or breaks completely. Critical applications or desktops become unstable or unavailable. Users are angry and SLAs are at risk. This is not the time to start learning what tools can take a process memory dump, capture a CDF trace, or how to force a server to write out a full memory dump. In this session, we will go over tools and techniques to help you gather information quickly and easily to work with other groups, including application developers, hardware engineers, and software vendors, and speed up time to resolution.
- Learn tools and techniques to diagnosis application faults and hangs
- Learn tools and techniques to diagnosis server issues
- Understand which tools work the best for different situations
Session Takeaway: Attendees will learn how to analyze problem applications and how to provide information faster to vendors to resolve issues. The session will cover how to provide information vendors may not be aware of and how to minimize the amount of new skills to acquire in an emergency.
Windows Rebooted! Why you should move to Windows 10 and its ecosystem
Presented by Adnan Hendricks
Are you still not sure whether Windows 10 is for you and your business? This session takes you on a spin around Windows 10, showing you all the latest features and functionality available in this great new operating system. Learn how you can customize and mold it to your needs. See how you can make it do what it’s meant to do: drive you forward and be more productive. This Windows MVP shows you why you don't need to wait to implement and is guaranteed to inspire you to get started immediately after this session.
- Learn what’s new in the user interface of Windows 10
- The different deployment options and ways to upgrade
- Learn the features and functionality that matter (why to move)
Session Takeaway: Windows 10 will be the operating system to move to after XP/Windows 7
XenMobile 10 Deep Dive Demo With Notes From the Field
Presented by Thorsten Rood
This session covers the XenMobile product line-up from provisioning and onboarding users up to all app functionality and ecosystem insights. While running through the procedure in true real time, you’ll gain a deep technology insight into how all the moving parts play together and unleash the power of mobile work styles. This is a technology mix that ranges from NetScaler to application authentication mechanisms and the MDX architecture, plus of course all the Worx apps. Thorsten will include the most relevant notes from the field and provide you with best practice to make your users actually happy while maintaining a high level of security and integrity for the whole platform.
- Complete product understanding
- State of the art configuration and architecture
- Details how real-world needs make it into production settings
- Uncover most commonly overlooked details
Session Takeaway: This experienced session is being held in its third year and its approximately 7th generation now, updated to the latest version of shipping technology.