BriForum 2014 Session Topics

Below are the topics that were presented in London this May, ranging from mobility management through desktop and application virtualisation. Be sure to read the full session descriptions to learn more!

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


Platform Hypervisor

Programming & Scripting

Desktop Virtualisation

Management, Monitoring, & Performance


Editorial Sessions

5 in 75: Jack Madden’s Take on 5 Top Mobility Questions
Presented by Jack Madden

There are still many diverse questions surrounding enterprise mobility management, so in this session Jack will give his take five on separate issues. He’ll start by getting everybody on the same page with the basics of MDM, MAM, and BYOD, and then launch rapid fire into the following topics:
• Mobile anti-virus and app reputation: What’s the use case?
• What can IT do about jailbreak and rooting?
• Windows Intune, SCCM, and how the Microsoft EMM stack compares to the rest of the field.
• Mobile device management capabilities in Windows Phone 8: How do they compare to iOS and Android?
• Specialised dual-persona Android devices: Use cases and state of the industry.

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Automated Performance Analysis of SBC Workloads
Presented by Ian Parker

PAL, or the performance analysis of logs utility, has become a popular tool used by Microsoft consulting and many other organisations to analyse the performance of servers. While it is incredibly useful out of the box, it only goes so far in analysing SBC workloads. In this session we will explore how to customise and tailor the default PAL analysis to Terminal Server / XenApp workloads to provide even more insight into the state of your server infrastructure.

Attendees will learn:
• How to use PAL to analyse server performance and detect problems
• How to customise PAL to you needs and avoid being overwhelmed by data
• How to tailor PAL to the SBC workload as opposed to more general workloads


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Automating vSphere Interals with PowerCLI & Orchestrator
Presented by Mike Nelson

Automate! Automate! And Automate Again! Manual tasks are becoming a thing of the past, and with tools like PowerCLI and Orchestrator, you can have sleek and clean ways of performing even the most routine tasks with fast and error-free automation. We'll take a look at how these two technologies can help improve your processes, how they work, along with showing you some real world examples that rock!

Attendees will learn:
• How to use PowerCLI & Orchestrator to create automated tasks to simplify and save time
• Create reproducible and reusable scripts for all your environments
• Understand how the software can work together to produce even more automation


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Best Practices in SBC / VDI Environments (Part 3): Optimise Login & Response Times!
Presented by Pierre Marmignon & Shawn Bass

After two successful sessions focused on implementing SBC/VDI environments and dealing with implementation technical challenges, it is now time to focus on managing the workspace and bringing users the best experience ever: get the best logon times & the best application response time! Amongst login scripts, GPO, GPP's, UEM solutions, which one is the best and why? Which one is the one you want to avoid? In this session you'll learn how to get the best user experience for your SBC/VDI (and even physical) environment!


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Citrix Internals: ICA Connectivity
Presented by Denis Gundarev

In this session you will learn about the magic behind Citrix ICA protocol. This very technical presentation will cover the ICA communication flow in different scenarios, such as direct connections to the servers with or without session reliability. What is CGP and how NetScaler Gateway differs from legacy Secure Gateway. At the end you will have all information needed for troubleshooting, bandwidth optimisation and securing your ICA connections.


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The Citrix Mobility Stack: Uncovered
Presented by Thorsten Rood

Corporate email, access to documents and libraries, containerisation of mobile applications; most likely this no longer describes what desktop and application virtualisation provides at the core, but it has become a complement perspective of today’s device usage. While the Citrix mobility stack has been productised into XenMobile (family), do you actually know about the master puzzle around the components and can you name and define the role of NetScaler inside that hole game? Let’s lift the curtain a bit more and learn about the new layer of cake in its technical details. Join Thorsten for a drilldown and in-depth commentary on the general component layer and learn about best practices along with his notes from the (enterprise) field.


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ConfigMgr 2012 R2 and Intune: Setup and Deployment Notes from the Field (with focus on Single Sign-on & ADFS)
Presented by Kenny Buntinx & Tim De Keukelaere

This session dives into what you’ll do at the server level to drive Configuration Manager 2012 R2 and Windows Intune integration for mobile device management. The session includes real life experience from the field to setup a subscription, connectors, certificates, Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS 2.0/2.1/ 3.0), DirSync, and workplace join scenarios among all possible different server configurations that enable mobile device management in all its beauty.

Attendees will learn:
• The "best practices" around setting up ADFS from the field for user authentication and Single Sign on
• List all challenges if you invested in previous ADFS 2.0/2.1 and want to take advantage of ADFS 3.0
• Discuss the common processes to follow around the Intune setup
• How to validate and troubleshoot your setup


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A Crash Course in Hyper-V for VMware Administrators – 2014 Edition!
Presented by Mike Nelson

A very popular session at BriForum 2013 with new content and demo's for 2014! VMware's vSphere hypervisor isn't the only game in town anymore. This session will outline what VMware professionals will need to know and understand to effectively administer Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor. We will go over the basics, such as technology differences and interfaces, as well as get deep with some real-world examples of how to administer Hyper-V with what you already know about administering vSphere. We will also cover administration of both hypervisors via the GUI interfaces as well as scripting PowerShell.

Attendees will learn:
• The key differences between the two hypervisors, both from a technology standpoint as well as a practical administration one
• Real-world examples of some administrative tasks carried out in both hypervisors


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CTO’s Perspective on Workspace 2020
Presented by Ruben Spruijt & Jeroen van de Kamp

Two Dutch CTO’s, Jeroen van de Kamp and Ruben Spruijt, will give their insights and unbiased opinions about the workspace in 2020. They will share their thoughts and explain what the developments mean for your organisation, users and workspace strategy. Controversial topics will be evaluated. This will be a very special session which will give you in a short period of time, tons of great food for thought for tomorrow’s workspace.


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Death to XP! Deploying the New Desktop OS Windows 8.1
Presented by Adnan Hendricks

With the looming XP apocalypse and companies scrambling on what to do, Adnan shows just how easy migrating from Windows XP to Windows 8.1 can be and how to bend the rules. With live demos on how to build a Windows 8.1 deployment solution, based on MDT 2013 and SCCM 2012 R2. Learn new deployment features, methods from enterprise to small businesses and build your best image yet. Windows 8.1 is the new BYOD enabler and we will see the built in functionality provided.

Attendees will learn:
• What requirements are needed to deploy Windows 8.1
• Migration options to move from Windows XP to Windows 8.1 and how to bend the rules
• How to decide on which deployment solution will fit their needs


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Delivering Seamless Remote Applications – Citrix Published Applications versus Microsoft RemoteApp
Presented by Benny Tritsch & Nico Luedemann

While many cloud experts are expecting Desktop-as-a-Service offerings to take off very soon, many users just want their apps embedded in their local desktops. Citrix Published Applications and Microsoft RemoteApp are the most popular delivery methods for seamless remote applications. It's an IT administrator's challenge to make the right choices if he wants to provide great user experience across different application hosting scenarios and multiple types of endpoint devices. Join Benny Tritsch and Nico Luedemann in an in-depth look at how the different methods of delivering seamless remote applications really work and how to configure and manage them in the best way.

Attendees will:
• Learn how the newest versions of Citrix Published Applications and Microsoft RemoteApp really work
• Make right choices when providing seamless remote applications
• Improve UX across different remote application hosting scenarios and types of endpoint devices


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Direct From the Performance Labs: Best Practices for VDI and a Deep Dive on App-V, a Virtual Reality Check
Presented by Ryan Bijkerk, Ruben Spruijt & Jeroen van de Kamp

Are you interested in the performance differences and best practices for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1? Curious what the performance impact is of Windows Server 2008R2, 2012 and 2012R2? Interested in the difference in density between VDI and SBC on VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V? Interested in what the deep impact of Microsoft App-V 5.0 is? All these topics, and more, will be answered in the highly energided Project VRC session. With more than 3200 different tests, Project VRC raised the bar in the VDI industry providing unbiased and independent insights for application and desktop virtualisation. Jeroen van de Kamp (CTO at Login Consultants), Ryan Bijkerk (LoginVSI) and Ruben Spruijt (CTO at PQR) will bring you up to speed with performance guidelines and best practices in VDI and App-V.


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EMM Smack Down: The 2014 Edition
Presented by Peter Sterk & Ruben Spruijt

In tomorrow’s workspace, enterprise mobility management plays an important role. As personal mobile devices and applications are more and more common in today’s enterprise environments, IT organisations are struggling with security, compliancy and privacy issues. The enterprise mobility management space is crowded; there are a lot of vendors that claim to offer THE best solution. Peter Sterk (Solutions Architect) and Ruben Spruijt (CTO @ PQR) will give you unbiased insights of these solutions and an overview of enterprise mobility management. Furthermore, we will look into the challenges that arise when implementing EMM solutions; ie end-user experience, secure e-mail, deployment and application.

Attendees will learn:
• Overview of the EMM Space
• Strengths and weaknesses of major EMM players
• Challenges with implementing EMM solutions
• End-user experiences with EMM solutions


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How Folder Redirection Impacts User Experience and Breaks Applications
Presented by Helge Klein & Shawn Bass

Everybody uses it, many think about it, some despise it, but nobody really knows how it affects the health of their IT. Until now. Folder redirection is a controversial topic: even though rumored to have potentially grave effects on reliability and performance it is widely used not only with server-based computing but also with physical and virtual desktops. Lacking objective research, many administrators find it hard to argue the case for alternatives. The renowned virtualisation experts Helge Klein and Shawn Bass set out on a mission to find proof. They tested folder redirection under favorable and adverse circumstances. In this session they present their findings, giving practical advice about what works and what does not.

Attendees will learn:
• How folder redirection impacts application performance
•How folder redirection impacts file servers load
•Where folder redirection breaks application compatibility


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How the New Storage Improvements in Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 Help Your Desktop Virtualisation Project
Presented by Jim Moyle

There are many enhancements to how Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 works with storage and we can use those changes to our advantage when architecting our desktop virtualisation projects. In this session, Jim Moyle will explore the following: storage spaces, offloaded data transfer, storage quality of service, Resilient File System ReFS, data duplication and more. Some of the above features can have a deep impact on our architectures, and in this informative session you'll learn exactly what those are and how to use them.


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How to Be Successful with GPU Virtualisation
Presented by Thomas Poppelgaard & Magnar Johnsen

Do you know what type of applications that can benefit from GPU in virtual environments? Do you know the impact of running 3D applications in a virtual environment? Do you know how to plan and build a successful virtualisation solution with a GPU? Do you know how GPU intense your users are? What if you use some tools that would save you time and give you better success with your GPU virtualisation project.

In this session, we will show you some tools and methods that will enable you to plan, assess, scale, implement and monitor a GPU virtualisation solution in a very smart way. We will show real life experience from GPU virtualisation projects and how different 3D and CAD applications perform in a virtual environment.

You will learn:
• How to assess GPU intense application before implementing
• How to scale test virtual GPU applications
• How to monitor virtual 3D applications
• About pitfalls and things to look for when planning for GPU in virtualisation


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How to Get to the Root Cause of a Problem–QUICKLY!
Presented by Graeme Bailey

If you are interested in how to unblock a brewery order processing system; enabling the warehousing system of a pop (sorry, soda!) company to resume manufacturing; identifying and resolving multiple sources of packet loss in the Citrix environment of a law firm; finding several bottlenecks in an insurance company's outsourced VDI environment, or even; speeding up every application for another law firm by eliminating their SAN conflicts, you should attend this session. Graeme will use client case studies to walk through the process, tools and incredible pace to a resolution that can be achieved when you take a holistic end to end approach to technical troubleshooting.

Attendees will learn:
• No problem is so complex it can't be resolved.
• An approach to troubleshooting that is proven to work
• Techniques they can use when trying to understand performance problems
• He who has the real data about and understanding of a problem wins


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In-Depth Debugging in App-V
Presented by Tim Mangan & Patrick Mangan

This session is a deep dive through the various techniques to debug Microsoft App-V packages, as well as situations involving other products that add registry and file system filter mode drivers (such as AppSense, Res, and other user profile products). The overall theme of the session is focused on a series of techniques for debugging difficult virtual app interactions conveyed through a combination of explanations, demos, and examples of debugged issues. In this session you will learn a recommended debugging workflow for App-V, some tools you probably are not using today, and some new techniques to using tools you probably already use. Along the way, you will also learn internal details about how Windows and the App-V client operate. And maybe a side story or two.

Attendees will learn:
• How products with filter-mode drivers work and interact
• A new way to use ProcMon
• Workflow and process of app and layering troubleshooting


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The Mirage Desktop: Or, Why We Abandoned VDI and Went Back to Physical Desktops
Presented by Daniel Bolton & Jim Moyle

After doing desktop virtualisation on Dell vWorkspace (50/50 RDS/VDI) for thousands of users over four years we decided to move back to physical desktops, but use VMware Mirage to manage our physical estate. This session is about our experiences with desktop virtualisation, what worked and what didn't for our thousands of users in higher education. Why we ended up moving away from desktop virtualisation and went back to physical desktops, but managing this estate with VMware Horizon Mirage.

Attendees will learn:
• Lessons learnt from four years of providing a centralised desktops to 10,000 users
• What Dell vWorkspace was like compared to Citrix and VMware
• Why Mirage was attractive to us
• How we've architected the new solution


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New Test Results – Hardware Accelerated High-end Graphics Performance in Virtual Desktops
Presented by Shawn Bass & Benny Tritsch

How good are today's virtual desktop remoting protocols when combined with physical GPUs? Virtualisation experts Benny Tritsch and Shawn Bass developed a unique, vendor-independent test methodology allowing them to visually compare Microsoft RemoteFX, VMware/Teradici PCoIP and Citrix HDX head-to-head. Join them in their session where they walk you through the results of their latest hardware accelerated tests, comparing Microsoft vGPU, Citrix GPU pass-through, Citrix XenServer vGPU and VMware vSGA/vDGA under different network conditions. See the difference between shared and dedicated GPUs in virtual desktops running on different popular virtualisation platforms.

Attendees will:
• Get expert guidance on the technical concepts of hardware-accelerated high-end graphics remoting
• Visually compare Microsoft RemoteFX,VMWare/Teradici PCoIP and Citrix HDX head-to-head
• See the performance difference between shared and dedicated GPUs in virtual desktops


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A "No B.S." Look at the Various DaaS Providers and Whether They're Ready for Prime Time
Presented by Brian Madden & Gabe Knuth

One of the benefits that Brian and Gabe got from writing their book about DaaS was that they talked to and evaluated many different DaaS platforms. In this session, they'll compare and contrast the various DaaS providers, including VMware Horizon DaaS, Citrix's platform from several different CSPs, tuCloud, dinCloud, and several others. This isn't a full on "smack down" per se, because it's hard to compare apples-to-apples when it comes to the providers since there are so many different approaches to DaaS.

So the guys will start off by looking at how you should frame your approach to DaaS, what you should look for in a provider, and what they liked and didn't like about the various providers and platforms. While they can't tell you whether DaaS is right for you, they can help you figure out which type of provider and platform you should look for if you decide to explore DaaS.


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Orchestrating Cloud Hosted Desktops – The Citrix Way
Presented by Rick Dehlinger

Many industry insiders believe that 2014 will be the "Year of Cloud Hosted Desktops" (R.I.P. DaaStm!). Recent announcements and investments by the gorillas in the desktop virtualisation industry would tend to support this assertion. One of these proverbial gorillas (Citrix) has been investing in a technology called 'App Orchestration', which they're positioning as an enabling technology for enterprises and Citrix service providers who are ready for the journey. So... what the heck is App Orchestration, and why should I care?

This session will seek to answer these questions and more, including:
• Should I be paying attention to App Orchestration? I'm not a cloud desktop service provider….
• Looks interesting on paper but how does it really work?
• Where does it make sense to use it?
• Where does CloudPortal Services Manager fit into the mix? Do I need it to get value out of App Orchestration?


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PowerShell’s Desired State Configuration
Presented by Jeff Wouters

The flagship of PowerShell v4, Desired State Configuration (DSC). Wouldn't it be nice to define what the configuration of a server (or multiple) should look like, and hold it against a target? If something isn't in compliance, fix it! In a nutshell, that's what DSC does, to ensure the desired state of a target. During this session, I'll explain how DSC works, what it can and can't do, the difference between the two flavours of DSC (Push vs. Pull). All of this with lots and lots of demo's.


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SAML and Other Types of Federation for Your Enterprise
Presented by Denis Gundarev

IT is evolving. Ways to access the data and applications evolving too. Companies use cloud services more often. And almost any new application forces new credentials for access. Managing all these credentials is a hard job. But how you can make it easier? What if you will unify the access in utilise single Sign-On? Most of your users already have some kind of digital ID such as their Google profile or Microsoft account. At least they have Facebook or Twitter.           

In this session you will learn:
• What is federated authentication
• How to add federation support for your legacy applications
• How NetScaler can help you to access XenDesktop environment using Facebook (or any other) ID


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Thin Clients – Don’t Believe the Myths. How to Make the Right Decision for Your Company
Presented by Andy Morgan & Shawn Bass

The current state of the thin client market is zero, thin and fat. A lot has changed in how we deliver to end points but customers aren't aware of the pitfalls associated with their quick decisions. New challenges and technologies focused around offload have emerged, what do you need to be aware of to make an informed decision?

Debunking Thin Client myths, avoiding their pitfalls:
• 7 year life cycles… yeah right
• Linux is more secure
• Zero client’s performance
• Disk space
• Vendor development focus

• Do you really understand the licensing implications of your decision?
• Where do I need a VDA / csl / RDS Cal.
• How does Microsoft SA help?

Windows end points:
• Security vs usability
• Should they be domain joined?
• Should the user sign in as themselves?
• How can this be achieved using available technologies?
• Understanding the key features in Windows Embedded to help secure the device
• Antivirus, do I require it?

Here to the rescue: Wouldn't a thorough decisional tree to aid you with your decision of which thin client may suit you best? A concise list will be presented of decisions to be weighed up when buying a thin client. An awareness of the gotcha's surrounding the key decisions you will face and some real world experience lessons learned to take away. You’ll also get a better understanding of the licensing implications of thin clients.


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Virtualising the User Workspace
Presented by Adnan Hendricks

This session showcases Adnan’s vision of the perfect user workspace driven by Microsoft UE-V, an enterprise-scale user state virtualisation solution that delivers a personal experience across multiple devices. Showing simplicity in deployment and easy integration with other management tools. The new user workspace contains different platforms and virtual applications with App-V, virtual environments from VDI to fat clients see how UE-V smooth’s the kinks keeping users on track within their workspace. An enabler in the BYO time period.

Attendees will learn:
• From the base image and user profiles to roaming / virtualising the user settings in windows and applications
• How to create the best enterprise desktop environment
• Configuring and using Microsoft UE-V, UEV Deployment in the enterprise
• Which approach to deploying Applications using App-V.


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What’s Best for VDI Storage Optimisation–Hardware or Software?
Presented by Erik Ableson & Vincent Branger

Vincent & Erik take sides on choosing a hyper-converged storage solution for VDI. We will debate the pros and cons of going pure software vs an SSD accelerated solution. We'll be basing the discussion around two excellent products in this space, Atlantis ILIO and GreenBytes vIO, but will also touch on some other implementations like Liquidware Labs Flex-IO, VMware vSAN, Nutanix, etc. We debate the architectural advantages of each approach and weigh in on the cost, management and implementation issues to try and help you decide which one is best for your environment.

You will:
• Learn how to choose between software and hardware accelerated VDI storage
• Learn which is best fit for your VDI implementation
• Learn how to defend your choice of VDI storage


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XenDesktop 7 Sizing for Dummies
Presented by Helge Klein

Sizing a virtual desktop deployment has always been challenging. Getting it right is as difficult as it is important; mistakes affect the user experience, cost - or both. With the right tools and methodology, however, sizing becomes a standard task that can be completed quickly and easily. In this session, Helge explains and demonstrates all the required steps. He explicitly covers how to use free tools to quickly determine relevant numbers like session footprint which are essential for sizing calculations.

Attendees will learn:
• How to size all three kinds of virtual desktops: hosted shared, pooled and dedicated
• How to easily determine the numbers required for the sizing calculations
• Which common mistakes to avoid

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Sponsored Sessions


BareMetal and Type 2: Beyond the Physical Device
Presented by Doug Coburn
Sponsored by Moka 5

Join as we discuss ways to extend the use of existing devices in today’s drive for system management simplicity. We will be talking about use cases in the Retail Banking, IT Governance, Data Segregation, Security and others.

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Deliver a superior mobile graphic experience with the new HP Hosted Desktop – HDI Solution
Presented by Ed Ellis
Sponsored by HP

Ed  is a senior consultant on VDI,  Enterprise Mobility and Enterprise Security.   Working in France at the HP Moonshot Discovery Lab EMEA, he is the solution architect for numerous enterprise accounts supporting the design, POC and deployment of corporate projects. He was also owner of a web application company which developed and customized Web 2.0 applications, and was quality analyst at Google Inc.

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Introduction to GPU Virtualisation & Optimisation
Presented by Jason Southern & Erik Bohnhorst
Sponsored by NVIDIA

An overview of the options available for GPU’s across the main Hypervisors used in desktop virtualisation, introducing NVIDIA vGPU

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Making ONE user equal ONE workspace
Presented by Simon Townsend
Sponsored by AppSense

This session discusses how the the users workspace has evolved and demonstrates the benefits of independently managing the “user" across the multiple platforms, operating systems and delivery methods which make up the workspace of today. 

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The Future of Desktop Storage: Hyper-Convergence and In-Memory
Presented by James Moyle & Andy Woods
Sponsored by Atlantis Computing

Join Andy Wood (CTP) and Jim Moyle (CTP) from Atlantis Computing who will be discussing the latest developments in next generation storage options.

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Storage for VDI – off-the-peg solutions while not assuming one size fits all
Presented by Trevor Cooper
Sponsored by Fusion-io

In this session Fusion-io discusses the various ways to deploy flash in a VDI environment and the benefits and considerations of each approach.

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Vendor Showcase


BYOD and Mobile Computing Represents New Application Readiness Challenges for IT
Presented by Chris Harms
Sponsored by Flexera

Chris Harms (Senior Solutions Engineer) emphasises how managing applications for BYOD and mobile devices requires a continuous business process to manage Application Readiness. Importantly, Chris identifies the critical need to link Application Readiness and Software License Optimisation business processes to ensure that applications are managed across the entire software lifecycle - from application packaging and delivery to software license management. Joining these two business processes enables IT to embrace the consumerization of IT by letting employees use the latest devices they prefer while ensuring IT has the processes in place to ensure reliable application delivery to these devices and proactive management of software license compliance.

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Tintri VM-Aware Smart Storage
Presented by Troy Alexander
Sponsored by Tintri

Tintri VM-Aware Smart Storage is a completely new class of storage that has been built from the ground up to learn and dynamically adapt to the high IOPS and low latency workloads required for Server and Desktop Virtualisation.

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Top 10 Problems to Solve in your Desktop Environment with FSLogix Apps
Presented by Kevin Goodman
Sponsored by FSLogix


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When Virtual is not Virtual. How to get the Last Apps into the Cloud
Presented by Peter Bookman
Sponsored by Sphere 3D


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X-IO Showcase
Presented by TBD
Sponsored by X-IO


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How are topics selected?

The BriForum conference team carefully evaluates all session submissions carefully in order to select only the most relevant topics and the top independent voices in the field. All sessions are reviewed against strict criteria, including the level of technical detail offered, the take-home value to the audience, and credibility, among a number of other things.

BriForum planning team

Curious who the masterminds are behind the BriForum agenda? Learn more about Brian Madden and Gabe Knuth:

Brian Madden Brian Madden Bio
Independent Analyst, Blogger and Author,
Gabe Knuth Bio
Independent Industry Analyst & Blogger,