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
Microsoft App-V 5.0 has four different ways that processes become detected and virtualized. This is quite 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 Virtualization (JitV). You will leave with a thorough understanding of the differences in these four techniques, and when and how to use each. Fair warning: bring your own aspirin as this will be a deep dive.
- Deep detail on App-V virtualization technology
- New Features in App-V 5.0 SP3 for Connection Groups
- New Features in App-V 5.0 SP3 for RunVirtual
Session Takeaway: Attendees will understand how to get plugins to work under App-V.
Advanced Performance Analysis: Moving Beyond Perfomon and the Basics
Presented by Ian Parker
Tools like Perfmon and Task Manager have been core parts of the Windows Server OS since the beginning. While they are still useful today, they often can’t provide an administrator deep visibility inside a SBC or VDI environment. In the age of the cloud and VDI, performance issues can cripple a business in almost no time, and time-to-resolution is critical. Fortunately, there are newer tools and techniques available. This session will cover some of the newer options for gaining deep insight into the performance and responsiveness of Windows servers and their associated infrastructure.
- How to get beyond the basics of server health
- How to look deep into individual subsystems
- How to analyze storage performance when storage is increasingly abstracted from the OS
- How to fill in the gaps that older tools can’t address
Session Takeaway: Attendees will gather 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
The use of cloud solutions continues to rise at a dramatic rate. Beyond the simple file sharing solutions (Box, Dropbox, etc.) and email (Office365, GMail, etc.), more and more companies are taking to the cloud for other things, like their online accounting, tax filing, CRM systems, ERP systems, etc. While the use of these systems continues to rise, so does the risk of data loss and compromise. As companies continue to try to control access to these systems, simply blocking access isn't a solution to the problem. This session will cover different methods for protection of cloud data and discuss the benefits and side effects from these different methods.
- Methods of protecting cloud data impact to the cloud platform from these protection mechanisms
- Impact to the end users when using these protection mechanisms
Session Takeaway: Attendees will learn different methods for protection of cloud data and discuss the benefits and side effects from these different methods.
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 there is no reason to be intimidated. With the right set of tools and techniques, logons can be fun to deal with. In this session, Helge explains what exactly happens during a logon and how to troubleshoot performance and functionality issues. In this session you will learn:
- The mechanics of a XenApp/XenDesktop logon process
- Which tools to use for troubleshooting
- Techniques for speeding up user logons
Session Takeaway: Slow logons are one of the preeminent challenges in server-based computing. Being able to do something about it might be worth the trip to BriForum alone.
More often than not, EUC projects focus on the technology involved (and the limitations, functionality, and restriction of the technology) rather than the users that matter the most. In this session, Barry Coombs and Andrew Wood will discuss the importance of an end user focused design, covering the many aspects required; from desktop assessment, employee interviews and selecting departmental champions, to carefully completing a proof of concept and a staged rollout. They will discuss the key elements that need to be considered when wading through a mass of information from a desktop assessment and will involve the audience to create a concise list of what matters. They will use this information to highlight some key design considerations that can affect the end users’ experience before moving on with key considerations for moving the project forward. Throughout the whole process, your eyes should be firmly on the end users and the work they need to achieve for the business.
- 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: Gain a key understanding of more than just technology, but an understanding of how to handle your next EUC project.
Ready to drink from a fire hose? In this session, Shawn, Benny, and Ruben - a group collective of like-minded IT professionals - will share their insights, best practices, and unfiltered thoughts about graphics for virtual desktops and apps. More and more customers see the benefits of these solutions. There are several important players in this market space, and from a marketing perspective these solutions have a lot in common. This presentation is based on industry analysis, customer cases, and covers the “VDwhy”, “VDcry”, and the various use-case scenarios of graphics for Virtual Desktop and Apps. Attendees will get an overview of GPU technology partners and the differences between Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware graphics solutions. 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 the LAN and WAN. With our unique content and insights, this session will be fun and filled with awesome information for everyone interested in desktop virtualization. You will leave this session packed with great content and some nice giveaways. A session you don’t want to miss.
- VDWhy, VDCry and understanding the difference
- Graphics concepts
- User Experience with different VDI, vGPU, Hypervisor solutions
- Best Practices
Session Takeaway: Attendees will get an overview of GPU technology partners and the differences between Citrix, Microsoft and VMware graphics solutions.
Hacking Horizon View
Presented by Mitja Bezensek
How do you automate the recomposition of thousands of desktops, automatically clean up orphaned desktops, or create a useful inventory of your VDI infrastructure? 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 look under the hood of Horizon View and see how to hack through it to make the admins 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 do 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 small and large to configure and secure desktops and applications. It is generally considered a powerful and reliable tool, (if 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? Those and many other questions will be answered in this session. In this session you will learn:
- Architecture decisions affecting logon performance
- Which settings to avoid
- How to speed up user logons by optimizing Group Policy
Session Takeaway: If you can make logons faster, you are a superhero.
How to Get Started with the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite
Presented by Peter Daalmans
The Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite consists of several cloud services, such as Azure AD Premium, ADFS, Multifactor Authentication, Azure RMS and Intune. In this session, you’ll learn what the components of Microsoft EMS are, how they relate to each other, how you get access to them and how you are able to 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: Microsoft EMS is going to conquer the Mobility world and it is now the time to join and embrace. Learn how to manage and protect mobile devices with EMS. Show your boss that you won't need an on premise infrastructure anymore to manage your mobile workforce.
How to Make Windows PowerShell Sit Up and Beg
Presented by Kevin Goodman
Sure, you can go to some other conference this year to learn how to create registry entries and move files around by writing Windows PowerShell scripts. But at Briforum you will learn in just 75 short minutes how to do anything you can do in C# or C++ or Java with a PowerShell script. Learn how to build a GUI application that rivals any app built by those snobs over in development. Learn how to control any application including services and device drivers. But most importantly, learn "how to learn" similar techniques for everything we don't cover in this session. Do you need to be a programmer to attend this session? Nah. If you understand the concepts of Sequence, Selection, and Iteration and know how to read OPC (other people's code), then you will benefit from this session. Attendees will learn how to write posh scripts that:
- Control other applications including services and kernel mode device drivers
- Have a GUI (graphical user interface)
- Elevate privileges to allow non-administrative users to perform administrative tasks
- Run in the context of another user
- Create and consume events from the Event Manager
Session Takeaway: Even if you are not an advanced programmer, this session will enable you to tackle advanced projects by simply writing scripts. Impress your C++ and Java friends with scripts that can do everything their languages can do -- with less time and effort.
I, For One, Welcome Our New Enterprise Consumer Overlords
Presented by David Strafford
The battle is over. Resistance has proven futile. In the enterprise, consumers have won and we are just along for the ride. Come along as we examine consumerization topics ranging from FUIT to BYOD, security to obscurity, and what the next 2-3 years will mean as we make the transition from being IT authorities to IT guidance counselors. Those still standing after this intense session will have learned:
- The mandatory requirements of modern enterprise consumers
- How Enterprise IT must transform to be a member of the enterprise consumer community.
- How exciting the next 2-3 years will be for IT professionals that are ready to lead this charge.
Session Takeaway: Historically, my sessions have been a blend of history, humor, and sarcasm. This session improves upon the 'sit back and relax' nature of the past with a few calls to action in order to help attendees make new arguments to their bosses on how to thrive in a consumerization culture.
ICA Protocol Confusion - HDX, DCR, H.264, Framehawk, Compatibility Encoder, Legacy Mode, WTF is going on with ICA?
Presented by Dan Allen
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. (In fact the actual rendering engine that’s used will even vary depending on your client side and host side OS.)
Customers who have deployed XenDesktop/XenApp 7.x and later have encountered numerous and unexpected challenges with ICA due to these architectural changes. This often leads to a confusing and undesirable user experience.
During this session, we will explain why these issues have been encountered due to changes in the default ICA rendering engine and how you can resolve these issues by changing the rendering engine used. This session will take you on a deep dive of all the latest changes with the ICA protocol and help you understand how each of the primary rendering engines actually works. More importantly, we will help you understand when you should or shouldn’t use each particular rendering engine. Items covered in this session will include the following:
- 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: Attendees 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.
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 and VMware, 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
- 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 virtualization 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 virtualization 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, and Andy Morgan
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.
The Anatomy of a High Performance, GPU Enabled Virtual Desktop
Presented by Dane Young and Thomas Poppelgaard
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 organizations.
- 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 virtualized 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 virtualization.
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 build 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.
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.