BriForum 2014 Session Topics

Below are the topics we'll be presenting in Boston this July, ranging from mobility management through desktop and application virtualization. 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 Virtualization/Management

 Enterprise Mobility Management/Consumerization

 Networking & Security


 Platform Hypervisor

 Programming & Scripting

  Desktop Virtualization



 Entry Level

 Management, Monitoring, & Performance



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?
• Specialized dual-persona Android devices: Use cases and state of the industry.


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Advanced Graphics and Audio with VMware View
Presented by Dwayne Lessner

3D graphics are now options for all competing VDI vendors. We’ll take a look at what is needed to support 3D applications with VMware View and find out if it makes sense for your operations team to take on the challenge. This session will talk about the impacts on the network, NVIDA GRID cards and how to architect the solution with an existing environment. We'll also cover new features from VMware that are improving the user experience around real-time audio and learn about the advancements with third party support for VoIP and video conferencing tools.

Attendees will learn:
• What is needed to deploy 3D graphics for virtual desktops in a dedicated fashion
• How to setup and configure GPU's inside of a VMware View Deployment, from Hardware to Display Protocol
• What effect with GPU have on your network and what is needed at the client side
• Attendees will see first-hand the difference in using a virtual desktop with and without GPU's


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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 support and many other organizations to analyze the performance of servers. While it is incredibly useful out of the box, it only goes so far in analyzing SBC workloads. In this session we will explore how to customize and tailor the default PAL analysis to Terminal Server / XenApp workloads to provide even more insight into state of your server infrastructure.

Attendees will learn:

• How to use PAL to analyze server performance and detect problems
• How to customize PAL to your 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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Automation Workflow in the Data Center – Automate Any Task!
Presented by Michael Thomason

With the advent of PowerShell, most administrators are writing "scripts" that take advantage of various tasks, but this session will show you how to transform your "scripts" into a true workflow foundation! Imagine breaking your "scripts" into pieces that can be linked and tied together with a workflow foundation that truly automates the data center. Transform your organization, company... eliminate middle of the night support calls! Come learn how! From your server team to your desktop team... transform the way you script and change your life! Having to do more with less? Doing the same task over and over or getting that phone call daily? Let's eliminate it! Set yourself free and empower your colleagues!

Attendees will learn:

• How to create and leverage scripts to create a true workflow
• Automate any task no matter how complex
• Handle exceptions
• Transform technology departments: from server to desktop

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Back to Reality: VDI, EMM, MD, MYOD are Overrated! Most of the Desktops Are Physical for a Reason
Presented by Pierre Marmignon

VDI, EMM, MD, BYOD are overrated! Most of the desktops are good old physical ones and nobody cares about their users! While for years now new desktop replacements have been arising, none of them have been able to replace the good old fashioned Windows desktop! While everyone is raving about the new VDI/BYOD/EMM/MDM stuff, the majority of enterprise desktops still consist of good old physical Windows PC with a crappy user experience. And it's not gonna change now! 

Attendees will learn:

• A pragmatic view of the reality of enterprise desktop/devices
• Why is the old physical desktop still the number one device for enterprises
• What can we do to make it better
• Will this Windows desktop ever be replaced?
• Why will it be so hard for new devices/usages to arise?


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Battle of the Private Clouds: An Independent View of VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix Solutions
Presented by Dane Young, Jarian Gibson & Shane Kleinert

The National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) characterizes cloud computing with five basic tenants: on-demand self-service; broad network access; resource pooling; rapid elasticity; and measured service. While many organizations have dipped their toes into the public cloud, few have dared to build a private cloud! Are you ready to step your Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform up a notch? Come check out our session where we take an independent view and review the leading three virtualization vendors and their solutions. These solutions will allow you to build and expand your current virtualization platform based around these five key tenants while maintaining control over your environment. As part of this session we will dive into the following private cloud solutions: Citrix's CloudPlaform, Microsoft's System Center and VMware's vCloud Suite.

In this session we will be covering key topics including but not limited to: architecture, features/functions, product feedback, demos of common workflows, licensing and future direction.

Attendees will learn:

• An independent viewpoint on key features and functionality in the leading three private cloud solutions
• Advantages and disadvantages of each of the three private cloud solutions


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Building HAL – The Journey to a True Artificial Intelligence (AI) - What It Takes and How We Will Get There
Presented by Chetan Venkatesh

This session is NOT your usual BriForum fare of desktop internals, feeds and speeds. This session goes where no BriForum session has ever gone before - it talks about what it would take to create a true artificial intelligence (AI) - one that can think, act and reason with sentience. Chetan will cover past AI technologies and how they work, how do today's state of art work (with a focus on IBM Watson) and where the limits of today's technologies are. Chetan will explore frontiers of quantum computing and fundamental new cognition data structures that will eventually get us there. This is a practitioners approach and we will talk about technologies not philosophy. This session promises to rock your world!

You will learn: 

• Why AI is hard to achieve
• How do today's AI systems work and what can they do for us
• The big fundamental breakthrough happening now that makes AI a reality
• Quantum computing and what it means for AI


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Building your Own Enterprise Application: It’s Not as Hard as You Might Think!
Presented by Jason Conger

Mobility is so ubiquitous that it almost isn’t a separate concept anymore; however, mobile enterprise applications are lagging behind. So, enterprises application administrators are left to either mobilize a traditional desktop application, find an off-the-shelf application, or roll their own mobile application or website. In reality, mobile end users only need a small part of the traditional desktop applications functionality. It is possible to roll your own mobile applications for your end users to deliver exactly what they need and it isn’t as hard as you might think. Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix are making mobility easier. Mobile application frameworks like PhoneGap, Xamarin, Appcelerator, and others are easing the pain as well. This session will cover the pros and cons of mobilizing traditional desktop applications, using desktop virtualization vendor solutions, using mobile enterprise application (MEAP) frameworks, HTML5 and native mobile application development. This is not necessarily a coding session, but example code will be shown to illustrate examples of both the complexity and ease of building your own mobile enterprise apps.

Attendees will:

• Learn what Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix are doing in the mobile application space
• Learn about mobile application frameworks such as PhoneGap, Xamarin, Appcelerator, HTML5 and more
• Discover tips on mobilizing existing applications for small form factors
• Learn about using REST endpoints with mobile applications


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The Coming Storage Apocalypse: How the Storage Architectures of the Future Will Change Everything
Presented by Chetan Venkatesh

In-memory storage is opening a completely new paradigm for application developers and IT infrastructure teams. The addition of non-volatile memories completely changes storage architectures and applications in inconceivable ways today. In this session, Chetan discusses why we’re at a cataclysmic end of storage as we know it and how we will build a post-apocalyptic data center around a new set of fresh ideas of in memory storage built around non-volatile memories like Phase Change Memory, Memristor and Memory Channel architectures. This session covers VDI as well as general server application technologies.


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The Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Application Model in Painful Detail
Presented by Kevin Kaminski & Nicke Källén

Ever wonder how people are using the application in the real world? Do you understand the constraints for multiple deployment types and multiple deployments? Do you know how to make software uninstall automatically? How are applications treated if they are still running? We will take the time to discuss the design principals used for designing application management solutions within the Configuration Manager Application Model. We will focus on delivering traditional and virtual applications to your endpoints with common scenarios such as user targeting, machine targeting and operating system deployment.

Attendees will:

• Understand the design mechanics of applications, deployment types and collections
• When an application is in use and understand how Configuration Manager enforces state compliance for traditional, App-V 4 and App-V 5 applications
• Understand how to implement uninstall conditions for user targeted and machine targeted applications
• Discover when the Application Catalog is a requirement and best practice for using the Catalog


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

A very popular session at Brifrum 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 get deep with some real-world examples of how to administer Hyper-V with what you already know about administering vSphere. He 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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Crash Debugging for Beginners
Presented by Ian Parker

The dreaded Blue Screen of Death. Few things have greater impact on production services, few things are more cryptic, and few things make upper management more unhappy than server crashes. Sadly, terminal servers still seem to be prone to BSODs more than any other server workload. Recent versions of Windows have come a long way in eliminating the BSOD, but as long as there is Windows there will be BSODs. In this session we will examine some tools and methodologies for analyzing and classifying BSODs, including detecting badly behaved drivers and applications.

• Attendees will understand what causes BSODs
• Attendees will become familiar with tools to analyze BSODs
• Attendees will become familiar with ways to identify and resolve BSODs
• Attendees will learn ways to insure the stability of their environment


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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 organization, 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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Dealing with the Realities of Malware in Virtual Environments
Presented by Matt Conover

The number of malware variants and sophistication of advanced persistent threats is now such that it's hard for anti-virus solutions to keep up. Giving users administrative access but ensure the machine will get infected sooner or later. Even without admin rights, malware can be hiding in the user profile. New solutions like Bromium are great for protecting physical desktops, but how can we protect desktops in a DaaS or VDI environment? 

Key takeaways include:

• Security solutions just can't keep up with the # of new malware variants created each year. So with admin rights, it's just a matter of time before a user gets infected.
• Even without admin rights, many malware variants have built-in privilege escalation attacks that try to exploit known vulnerabilities.
• In virtual environments, the problem is even worse, many security features are disabled to avoid using too much CPU or I/O. Security updates are performed less frequently as well.
• So, what are the options to deal with it? Discuss options from most secure but with a bad user experience all the way up to accepting the inevitable and focusing on remediation instead.


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Deep Dive into PCoIP Technology
Presented by Randy Groves

As enterprise computing moves to virtual workspaces consisting of cloud-delivered desktops and applications, PCoIP technology has emerged as the fabric underpinning for many of the solutions being offered in the marketplace from vendors like Amazon and VMware. In this session, Teradici CTO, Randy Groves will provide an in-depth presentation on the inner workings of PCoIP technology encompassing the protocol, software, and silicon components being used in multiple DaaS, RDSH, VDI, and Workstation solutions. This will be an opportunity to better understand how these components work “under the hood” as well as provide valuable insights on how to tune and deploy these technologies to deliver the best end-user experience and maximum benefit in your enterprise.


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A Deep Dive into Webster’s PowerShell Documentation Scripts
Presented by Carl Webster

A look into how Webster did what he did and does what he did for his Citrix documentation scripts using Microsoft PowerShell. This session will cover the who, what, when, where and why of the scripts. Both beginners and intermediate users of PowerShell can learn the techniques that Webster learned and how to avoid both Citrix and Microsoft PowerShell pitfalls. Webster will have live demos of all his scripts and will be prepared to answer questions and show why he did what he did and why he didn't do what he didn't do. 

Attendees will learn:

• How I reverse engineered the undocumented XenDesktop 7.x licensing cmdlets to get licensing info
• How to process Active Directory based Citrix policies
• How to support multiple languages and why I did NOT follow the Microsoft way
• How to ‘Save As PDF’ and how my way is much easier than what you find elsewhere on the internet
• How to use multiple parameter sets
• Some of the tips I have learned along the way
• I will also show some of the challenges I am facing (or faced) in creating the XenDesktop7.x script.


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Desktop Virtualization Monitoring Bake-Off, Part 2: Updates and More!
Presented by Shane Kleinert & Jarian Gibson

In Part 1, we set out to provide a high-level overview of various innovative desktop virtualization monitoring solutions on the market. We covered how to choose between solutions, architecture overview, performance/user experience impact and our favorite features. This year were back with Part 2 with a narrowed scope of innovative monitoring products allowing for a more detailed discussion around each of the solutions and updates since last year’s session. Monitoring solutions have been a key topic of interest and we have been working with the different vendors since last year’s session giving feedback and discussing updates. Part 2 will be a build on session from last year. 

In Part 2 we will be covering topics including but not limited to: 
• Product updates and new features 
• More testing on the updates and new features 
• Combining a few solutions to make a single solution 
• Updates to monitoring products
• vGPU/GPU monitoring building a monitoring stack with a few solutions
• Getting more out of built-in solution


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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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DIY DaaS: Creating Your Own Desktop-as-a-Service
Presented by Andy Paul

This session will discuss creating a Desktop as a Service model for enterprises wishing to create their own DaaS model for internal consumption. We will discuss DaaS architecture, creating service levels, establishing charge back models and/or internal price points.  We will discuss DaaS architectural components and delivery models; including sample reference architectures.  The service levels will include defining various desktop models and service level agreements.  The charge back model will look at costs to consider when creating a subscription fee for internal consumption.


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Google Chromebook for the Enterprise: Yeah! Or Meh.
Presented by Dan Shappir

Google Chromebooks are gaining popularity: all major PC vendors now make Chromebooks, or plan to start making them in 2014, and they’re a top seller in the Amazon laptop category. According to a report by NPD, Chromebooks accounted for over 9% of PC, laptop and tablet sales through US commercial channels in 2013, outselling MacBooks by 5 to 1. Last but not least, Microsoft is concerned enough by rising Chromebook sales to dedicate a special section on its Scroogled site just to bash it. While Chromebooks were originally designed primarily for consumers, their rising popularity, and low cost are attracting enterprises. Google and its partners are aware of this, and are starting to focus on this market segment as well. That being said, Google Chromebooks still have many limitations that can impede their usefulness as an enterprise platform. Having used Chromebooks for work - even presenting BriForum sessions from a Chromebook - and having worked with several organizations deploying Chromebooks, I have real-world experience dealing with Chromebooks capabilities and limitations in enterprise environments. In this session I will provide concrete guidelines that will enable you to determine if Google Chromebooks are a viable option for your organization and users. I will also highlight tools and applications that can increase the usefulness of this platform for enterprises.

Attendees will learn:
• Technical overview of Chromebooks and ChromeOS
• Understanding the capabilities and limitations of Chromebooks in enterprise environments
• Overview of Chromebook management capabilities
• ChromeOS applications: web applications and beyond
• Options for accessing Windows desktops and applications from Chromebooks


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Hands Off My Gold Image!
Presented by Aaron Parker

All you need to automate desktop images and build a solid foundation for XenApp, XenDesktop and View is using free tools. Stripped of fluff - just the technical details. This is a deep dive into the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit based on years of experience delivering clean, dependable & consistent desktop environments. 

In this session you'll learn:
• How to get up and running with MDT 2013 and deploying images in 45 minutes or less
• Advanced approaches to MDT with a few special tips and tricks
• Using PowerShell to tie MDT together with XenDesktop and PVS
• How to easily automate gold image builds
• Using PowerShell to integrate MDT and XenDesktop
• Tips and tricks to providing great and flexible end user experience


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HDX: High Definition eXperience –or– Have no iDea eXperience?
Presented by Shawn Bass

The HDX Protocol from Citrix has been through a crazy amount of innovation in the last few years. It used to be that you really needed to tune HDX like crazy. Recently, Citrix has been getting better about adaptive tuning out of the box. However, there are some differences between the HDX implementation that exists in XenDesktop and the HDX implementation that exists in XenApp. Also, there’s a big functional difference between the HDX support for Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, HTML5, etc. Lastly, people often don’t understand that there should be very different HDX configuration settings for users accessing via the LAN vs. over varying WAN circuits. Attend this session to learn about the various settings within HDX policy, how they operate differently on various platforms and how they impact user experience and session density. 

Attendees will learn:
• How to optimize HDX for different network connections
• What HDX features exist for different client endpoint platforms
• Decisions on HDX policy settings can have an impact on user experience and session density
• How to make the proper decisions to have the best outcome


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How Folder Redirection Impacts User Experience and Breaks Applications
Presented by Aaron Parker & 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 virtualization experts Aaron Parker 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 to Build a Citrix Infrastructure in Amazon Cloud
Presented by Denis Gundarev

Public cloud services such as Amazon EC2 are becoming more popular in enterprise. You can use it as a disaster recovery solution or as a primary service. With Amazon you can establish a global presence for your services in a matter of minutes. 

In this session you will learn:
• How Amazon AWS was used to build a production XenApp cloud for a global service provider
• Tips and tricks on configuring NetScalers and XenApp on AWS
• How to deal with networking and security groups on AWS
• How to scale the deployment globally and locally


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How to Implement a Large Scale VDI 3D GPU Project: An Aerospace VDI Case Study
Presented by Steve Greenberg & Jared Cowart

Phase I- The information presented is based on a project done with a real world Aerospace Company (not named because they do spooky stuff). Topics include how to classify users and use cases, performance levels, approaches to infrastructure design, and, developing an innovative security model. A sample Bill of Materials for Servers/Storage/GPU will be presented as well as guidance on configuring the data center, and, how to transform the organization to adopt Cloud concepts, strategies and operational practices.
Phase 2- Deep Dive into GPU capabilities from different vendors that are GRID enabled, available functionality, features/benefits and, how they fit into system design decisions. These will include Citrix leveraging VMware, XenServer, VMware on VMware, RGS on VMware or Citrix.

Attendees will learn:
• Key concepts around delivering virtual desktops with remote 3D graphics
• How to quantify use cases and apply proven solutions to a wide range of performance requirements (how many vGPUs, XenDesktop vs XenApp, density, etc.
• Learn the key components of a proper VDI architecture design (servers, storage, I/O)
• Clear the FUD by learning the 3D capabilities of multiple vendor products


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IdP, SAML, OAUTH – New Acronyms for a Cloud World
Presented by Dan Brinkmann

If terms such as IdP, SP, SAML, and OAuth are foreign to you and you're moving to "the Cloud" you need to attend this session. Federated authentication using your company Active Directory credentials using an IdP is an industry standard model. Learn how identity providers and service providers protect your credentials while allowing them to be used with third party untrusted providers. Learn how mobile is using this model to authenticate and protect your identity on personal devices.

Attendees will:
• Learn how an IdP protects your Active Directory credentials while allowing them to be used with a SaaS solution
• Learn the terminology used in federated authentication
• Learn how to use Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services to federate with Service Providers
• Understand the workflow of a SAML authentication request-Basic troubleshooting of IdP/SP authentication


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Intro to Microsoft Hyper-V over SMB 3
Presented by Joe Shonk

With the release of Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft has changed the game with updates to a number of technologies including Hyper-V and SMB 3.0 and introduced a number of new technologies like storage space, data de-duplication, tiering, etc. In this session you will learn about the difference between a traditional Hyper-V cluster using shared storage and a Hyper-V cluster using SMB. What is SMB 3.0 and why does it matter? We’ll discuss SMB Multichannel, SMB Direct, SMB Transparency and SMB Scale Out. How do you design and build out your own Microsoft Failover Cluster File System? 

Others topics will include:
• Use Scale out File System
• Leverage Clustered Shared Volume (CSV) caching
• Understand the requirement and implement SMB Direct (RDMA (iWARP)/RoCE/Infiniband). This feature is amazing!
• SMB Direct vs. not using SMB Direct
• Integrate and leverage storage spaces, tiering and data de-duplication
• How to design and build out your own Hyper Cluster to run on your new File System
• Use Kerberos and configuring constrained delegation
• Running Active Directory on Hyper-V over SMB
• How to share a .vhdx disk between multiple guests
• Integrating Hyper-V over SMB with System Center Virtual Machine Manage Lessons from the field
• What works, what doesn't
• Best Practices
• There will also be demos, demos and more demos. 


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A Look at App-V Performance
Presented by Tim Mangan & Patrick Mangan

Microsoft’s App-V 5, while a major step forward for application virtualization in many ways, was also a step back in performance for some customers based on how they wanted to use it. This session begins by looking at the causes with in-depth examples, showing how certain apps can perform not-so-well in certain scenarios. It continues on with an explanation of on-going work to make improvements (at least those not under NDA), and covers recommendations on what to do about it. 

Attendees will learn:
• Tuning VDI for App-Virt
• When to train package for streaming
• When and how to pre-publish
• Other ways to improve publishing/execution performance


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Maximizing Monitoring Data from the Built-In Citrix Tools
Presented by Jo Harder

XenApp/XenDesktop licensing provides not only product functionality, but also a large amount of embedded monitoring data that may be very useful. Before researching and purchasing additional tools, it may be beneficial to maximize your existing purchase. In particular, we'll spend about half the time reviewing EdgeSight, which provides extensive data monitoring for XenApp 6.5 and earlier, as well as XenDesktop 5.6 and earlier. While EdgeSight is a bit temperamental and difficult to use, some assistance in getting over the hurdles can yield extensive data that can provide a clear and unique picture of your environment. And once you get started using EdgeSight effectively, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it for planning and troubleshooting! In addition, we'll explore some additional Citrix tools such as Scout, as well as how EdgeSight has been incorporated into XenDesktop 7.x. 

In this session, you will learn:
• How to effectively use the monitoring tools that are embedded and included within your existing Citrix licensing at no extra cost
• How to finally and realistically get EdgeSight functioning flawlessly so that you can quickly extrapolate specific data points when needed
• Other monitoring tools from Citrix that can assist with troubleshooting and data requirements
• Brief overview of third-party Citrix monitoring tools


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Microsoft and DaaS - Are They in the Game?
Presented by Rick Dehlinger

The Cloud Hosted Desktop market space ('DaaS' to some folks) has seen major changes over the last year, with both VMware and Amazon announcing/releasing hosted offerings which they run and manage. Microsoft's long been rumored to be working on an offering of their own. So - will Microsoft throw a card on the table and enter the game? Assuming they do - what will their offering look like? What will it do for me? What impact will it have on the market? This session will dig deep into the topic in an attempt to answer these questions and more.

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New Test Results: Virtual Desktop Performance on HTML 5 Clients
Presented by Benny Tritsch & Shawn Bass

With HTML5 based web clients and the fact that every modern browser is HTML5 aware, the possibilities to remote into virtual desktops are almost limitless. But what does this mean for performance and user experience? See Benny Tritsch and Shawn Bass use their unique, vendor-independent test methodology allowing them to visually compare VMware Horizon View 5.3 web client (Blast HTML5), Citrix HTML5 Receiver and Ericom AccessNow versus native reference remoting clients.

Attendees will:
• Learn how HTML5 clients for remote desktops work
• How good is the performance of VMWare Horizon View Blast HTML5, Citrix HTML5 Receiver and Ericom AccessNow
• Which use cases are best suited for HTML5 clients


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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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Ok, We’re Mobile. Now What?
Presented by Brian Katz

So, you’ve decided to take your company mobile. You’re gung ho about giving everyone a smartphone and /or a tablet. How do you manage it so your whole company benefits from being truly mobile?  This session will talk about how you rollout EMM to your company based upon the size. We will take a look at a few different company scenarios and talk about how to choose an EMM vendor. We will talk about what policies you want to set up and how to set them up to be secure and keep your users happy. We will look at the different ways to deploy EMM and what are the pitfalls for each, and how to be successful when deploying to your user base.

In the end, it’s about having a successful mobile program while avoiding sending your users down the FUIT route. How to rollout EMM based on your company profile. What sorts of policies you need and how to set them up and how to avoid common EMM pitfalls.


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Orchestrating Cloud 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 virtualization 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
• 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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Profile Madness: Roaming, Microsoft UE-V, AppSense & UPM. WTF Should I Do?!
Presented By Nick Rintalan & Dan Allen

Windows profiles have been the cause of much weeping and gnashing of teeth for many years now. Today there are myriads of options for dealing with profiles; local, roaming, mandatory, third party such as AppSense, Citrix UPM, RES, etc. and Microsoft has now entered into the managed profile fray with User Experience Virtualization (UE-V)!!! What the heck are you supposed to do and how do you make sense of which technology is best for a specific use case? This session will help make sense of the various options and discuss the pros and cons for each option and help you choose the most appropriate solution. Some of the user cases that will be discussed include: RDS/terminal server sessions, non-persistent VDI desktops, persistent VDI desktops, physical desktops and laptops 

Attendees will learn:
• The pros and cons of the various profile solutions mentioned above
• Which profile solutions are better for which use cases (RDS vs. non-persistent VDI, etc.
• Why folder redirection is a necessary evil that Shawn Bass has to live with


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RDS-o-Matic: From Excel to a Full RDS 2012 Environment in One Click
Presented by Claudio Rodrigues

This session will show how and why we created RDS-O-Matic, at this stage an Excel spreadsheet that spits out a full RDS 2012/2012 R2 environment with a single click. It even gets to the point of creating VIPs for your NLB needs (Connection Broker, Web Access and Gateway). You could be running a full RDS 2012 environment in minutes without having to worry how to set all this up. 

Attendees will learn:
• What RDS 2012 R2 is
• All components explained
• What is missing when compared to the competition
• Everything you need to know PowerShell wise about RDS 2012
• If RDS 2012 is all you need or not


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RemoteApp 101: Delivering Seamless Remote Applications
Presented by Benny Tritsch

Instead of using remote desktops, many users just want their remote apps embedded in their local desktops. Microsoft RemoteApp allows users to run hosted Windows programs side by side with their local programs. This makes RemoteApp programs appear as if they are running on the users local PC or tablet. Join Benny Tritsch in his hands-on session on how Windows Server 2012 R2 RemoteApp works and how to use it in a way that provides great user experience. He walks you through RemoteApp configuration and management best practices, covering different deployment methods, application hosting scenarios and types of endpoint devices.            

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Replace Your SAN! How the New Storage Improvements in Microsoft Hyper-V Help Your Desktop Virtualization 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 virtualization 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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SBC Round-up 2014: An Overview of the Many RDS/SBC Add-ons and How They Stack up
Presented by Claudio Rodrigues

This session takes a quick look at well-known SBC/RDS add-ons (Citrix XenApp, Microsoft RDS 2012, 2X ApplicationServer, ProPalms TSE, Quest vWorkspace, etc. and how they compare to each other. This is a must have session if you are either on the market for a solution of this type or if you are thinking about switching vendors in case you currently use something similar. 

Attendees will learn:
• What is out there in terms of SBC/RDS add-ons as of mid-2014
• How these products stack up
• The pros and cons of each product
• How much these things actually cost when it is all said and done


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Sequencing for Success
Presented by Rory Monaghan & Ryan Will

Ryan and I will discuss the best practices to get the best results with App-V. Ryan will detail how to use symbolic links, shims and other methods to enable you to produce a disposable application ready for us with any potential client. Sequencing once for many. Rory will discuss some sequencing best practices and give food for thought regarding planning. Just because an application can be sequenced, should it? Just because Microsoft says something like drivers can't work or DCOM, that doesn't mean you’re dead in the water yet. There may be a way to get around this. Also, Rory will cover some sample case studies of his successes for clients versus some failures.

Attendees will learn:
• How to produce an application that can be used for all of your customers who need it despite possible unique settings for each
• Examples of where this can be useful and required. e.g. Cloud Services
• Case studies of different client projects and success versus failures
• An idea of what set of applications may be better delivered as a local traditionally installed application
• How to decide to deliver applications which have been reported to have issues during Sequencing e.g. an application with DCOM, an application with Drivers, an application with COM+
• Learn some sequencing best practices and possible gotchas


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Showdown: AWS vs. Azure for Desktop Delivery
Presented by Henrik Johansson

It’s time, your moving to the cloud (insert cheers). Now comes the big question: to which one? You already have O365 but you are really interested in that S3/Glacier storage for backup.?? In this session we will do a showdown between two of the biggest players and also strong Citrix partners on the market, Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. We will compare how their different feature sets, service offerings and technologies affect your ability to deliver a modern desktop delivery solution using a public cloud. We will compare key features like: available SaaS (database, exchange, AD, storage etc.), automation, deployment and backup , cost models, BYOL (Bring-Your-Own-License) , integration with existing on-premise platforms , load balancing, network, traffic optimization and external access, available guidelines/reference architectures, comparing toolsets like Powershell/SCVMM/Azurepack vs. CloudFormation/AutoScale and use of cloud offered services like Amazon Workspaces.

Attendees will learn:
• Understanding technology difference between AWS and Azure
• Difference in the public cloud cost and license models
• Challenges/solutions regarding their SaaS/IaaS options
• Guidance on which cloud is better for you


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Solving the “Data Ingestion” Problem
Presented by David Stafford

In today's IT environment, the vast majority of information work is taking place outside of IT controls. Continued focus on trying to contain enterprise information is falling short when it comes to creating a compelling value proposition for users to willingly want to share personal information with the company. I've coined this as the "Data Ingestion" problem. Join me while we look at several ways to solve this problem from the perspective of the user and not IT. Come prepared to contribute, debate and walk away from this session much more aware than when you arrived.

Attendees will learn:
• What is the "Data Ingestion" problem and are you part of the problem or the solution? 
• What are things that encourage users to retain information outside of IT controls? 
• What compelling value can we offer to users to share this data back with the company? 
• How to manipulate 1928 channels to create an incredible Christmas Lights display* [Time permitting]


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Strategies to Optimize Your VDI OS Gold Images
Presented by Richard Agnew

This session will present in detail, system tools and techniques to optimize windows desktop OS performance and reduce image size resulting in reduced SAN storage requirements. The presentation will start with a generic windows desktop OS installation with all updates applied and describe methodologies to optimize to a final Gold Master Image. 

This process will utilize windows system and third party utilities to:
• Delete Windows update files (750 MB to 2 GB)
• Clean the transactional metadata (typically 750 MB)
• Eliminate Windows junk files (100's of MB)
• Clean, defragment and compact the registry (by as much as 20%)
• Optimize the windows environment for VDI including numerous configuration and registry modifications
• Eliminate unused hidden devices from windows device manager
• Offload antivirus security for virtualized environments to obtain higher operational performance and minimize impact on virtual servers with enhanced scan avoidance and scanning based on overall load of the hypervisor
• Increase VM and application performance by optimizing reads and writes for increased bandwidth to VMs, eliminating application bottlenecks and enabling more VMs on a single physical server. Also presented will be benchmarks before and after optimization. 


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Tips and Tricks on Building Agentless Antivirus Scanners for VMware View Virtual Desktops
Presented by Yury Magalif

This tips and techniques session is best for administrators and consultants looking to implement an Antivirus solution for their VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). The goal is to minimize I/O impact to VDI. We will discuss the two most developed scanners taking advantage of VMware vShield Endpoint application programing interfaces (APIs), Trend Micro Deep Security Antivirus 9.0 and McAfee Agentless MOVE AntiVirus 3.0. New this year is the discussion of VM-based scan policies. Overall, we will focus on real-world examples of VMware, Trend Micro and McAfee best practices. For example, the participants will learn whether to use their current Antivirus for VDI versus VDI agentless antivirus, why the VM Communication Interface (VMCI) driver is important, how to deploy the Security Virtual Appliances (SVAs), why you should disable VMotion for SVAs, how to test your solution using EICAR test files and how to shut down your VDI agentless antivirus VMs properly if doing maintenance. A basic understanding of VMware vSphere, VMware View and Enterprise Antivirus solutions is recommended. 

Attendees will learn:
• How to minimize AntiVirus scanning I/O impact to VDI
• Whether to use your current AntiVirus versus VDI agentless Antivirus
• How to pick the best AntiVirus vendor for your environment
• How to test your agentless AntiVirus for effectiveness Using EICAR files
• How to deploy and maintain your Trend Micro or McAfee infrastructure


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Uncovering the Citrix Mobility Stack
Presented by Thorsten Rood

Corporate Email, access to documents and libraries, containerization of mobile applications; most likely this no longer describes what desktop and application virtualization provides at the core, but it has become a complement perspective of today’s device usage. While the Citrix mobility stack has been productized 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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Unleashing the Power of NetScaler
Presented by Henrik Johansson

Citrix NetScaler has one of the most powerful policy and expression engines on the market. We will show how to optimize and avoid lengthy expressions. Demos on how to use some of the powerful yet simple features like pattern-sets for powerful rewrite-rules and how to convert those old standard expressions to advanced. How you identify different types of devices like smartphones and tablets to use in your XenMobile/web deliveries. You will also learn about the different advanced features like HTTP Callout to create a white/black list and AppFW for enhanced security. 

This session will cover:
• Convert from standard to advanced expressions
• Identifying clients (smartphones/tablet, etc.)
• Use features like HTTP Callout, pattern sets/string maps for effective expressions when modifying data on the fly
• An introduction to using regex and what it can do for you
• AppFW and what it can do
• Creating a proper StoreFront/NS policy.
• Live demo!


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VDI High Availability and Why Persistent Desktops Are the Devil
Presented by Dan Allen & Nick Rintalan

As VDI has grown in popularity and adoption, keeping VDI constantly running with maximum uptime is becoming an important and difficult thing to do.  This session will discuss in detail how to make both VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop VDI environments highly available through a properly designed pod architecture.  Additionally, this session will cover how you can successfully move 80%+ of your VDI users to non-persistent VDI for maximum availability, scalability and ease of administration.  This session will also discuss why persistent desktops should be avoided like the plague and only used as a last resort for specific use cases that require it.


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Virtual Data Center Infection: Attacking VDI from the Endpoint LIVE!
Presented by John Whaley

Many organizations have implemented VDI as a solution to desktop manageability and security concerns, believing that running desktops on a central server will improve security. However, VDI encourages end users to access their secure desktops from uncontrolled and unsecured clients. In this session, we will demonstrate an actual attack that works on all major VDI products whereby an infected endpoint can remotely compromise a VDI instance upon initial authentication, completely unbeknownst to the user. We will also discuss techniques to guard against these types of attacks. 

Topics include:
• The security properties of VDI offerings from major VDI vendors
• Real and theoretical attacks against VDI
• A methodology for evaluating the security of a VDI solution
• Best practices for securing VDI


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Virtual Rescue: Saving IT and the Enterprise from VDI Disasters
Presented by Mark Knouse

You’ve been there before. There’s a new restaurant in town and everyone is excited about checking it out. The disappointment when the service is slow, the food is terrible and the drinks are watered down is soul crushing. The same soul crushing disappointment is experienced every day by employees subjected to VDI disasters. VDI disasters have a variety of symptoms ranging from slow start up to interminable print jobs to ever expanding and expensive storage. Before scrapping the whole thing, call in a VDI rescue expert to track down problems and restore productivity. A trusted consultant is often the only solution that makes sense. Internal IT is so busy fighting fires that there’s no time to implement the necessary solutions for a VDI rescue and productivity suffers throughout the business as a result. VDI is susceptible to the “Cowboy Culture” where IT spends all of their time riding in to save the day for problems they created in the first place. "Cowboy Culture" VDI disasters share a few common elements: poor documentation, constant help desk calls and poor stack integration.

In this session, longtime corporate IT veteran and VDI evangelist Mark Knouse will discuss the soul crushing VDI installations he’s seen and how to build a trusted consultant relationship while turning around a VDI disaster. 

Attendees will learn:
• How “Cowboy Culture” breaks down an IT department and kills enterprise productivity
• How to recognize when the client needs to be saved from themselves
• A non-proprietary approach to IT and VDI combined with solid documentation, simple solutions and thorough knowledge transfer is the best way to build a trusted consultant relationship
• How important it is to have ownership of the stack, or at least tight and seamless integration with other layers and work with other service domains to find problems before production


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VMware View vs. RDS: The Land of Good Enough
Presented by Dwayne Lessner

This is a comparative session on the features of VMware View and Microsoft RDS. Hyper-V 2012 R2 with RDS has come a long way. This session will give a comparison of features and what would cause you to select one over another in regards to virtual desktops. This session will cover display protocol, storage architecture, broker architecture, site failover, application support, licensing, GPU support and operational impacts of maintaining the overall system. Using like systems, we'll explore the time and effort needed to deploy 400 desktops on both VMware View and Microsoft RDS and how you go about maintaining your fleet. 

Attendees will learn:
• The operational impacts of selecting VMware View vs. Microsoft RDS
• Are the advanced features of VMware View needed for successful deployment?
• What third party products could be used to enhance View and RDS on features that might be lacking in your organization?
• Are you able to switch if you start with RDS and then move to View?


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WebSockets Everywhere: The Future Transport Protocol for Everything
Presented by Dan Shappir

The WebSocket communication protocol was created to provide TCP-like communication between web clients and web servers. But it quickly became apparent that WebSockets provide a great transport mechanism for client / server applications in general. In fact, many applications that have nothing to do with the browser are adopting WebSockets, and implementing their own protocols on top of it, instead of directly on top of TCP. In this session I will provide an overview of the WebSocket standard, and describe its method of operation. I'll also explain why WebSockets have become so popular with application developers. In the context of IT management, I will detail the security implications of using WebSockets, and the requirements of a successful deployment of applications that utilize WebSockets.

Topics include:
• Understanding the WebSocket specification
• The benefits and limitations of WebSockets
WebSockets security benefits and constraints


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What You Really Need to Get Started with VDI
Presented by Kevin Goodman

This beginner’s session will teach you all you will need to know about virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). It will cover why you should consider migrating to virtual desktops along with the benefits you will receive and tradeoffs you will encounter. We will also cover the current state of the technology and provide detailed analysis on how to determine if a VDI project will succeed or fail within your organization. At the end of the session you will be provided with slides that you can use as a basis for any VDI presentation you present within your corporation. 

Attendees will learn:
• The basics of VDI
• The state of the current technology
• Reasons to migrate to VDI
• Benefits of VDI
• Pitfalls to avoid
• How to analyze if your organization should use VDI

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Where to Stick It? VDI Storage Considerations
Presented by Andy Paul

Discussion of the biggest headache of VDI: storage. Which storage is right, how to size and plan your storage accordingly and new storage technologies to mitigate concerns. We'll look at solid-state drives, local storage, storage acceleration, SAN, NAS and emerging solutions. We'll also discuss the pain points of poor storage performance, troubleshooting storage and solving the problems.

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The Worst Citrix and Microsoft “Best Practices” of All Time
Presented by Nick Rintalan & Dan Allen

Still think the pagefile should be 1.5x RAM? Is not redirecting AppData a best practice? Are you a firm believer that Citrix PVS should be made a physical box no matter what? Is session reliability still “The Devil”? Think again. In this session we’ll explore some of these old best practices as they relate to Citrix and Microsoft technologies. We’ll debunk myths and set the record straight by providing the new leading practices in these areas. 

In addition, we’ll take a fresh look at some of the more popular controversial topics, such as:
• Local storage vs. shared storage
• PVS stream traffic isolation vs. consolidation
• Single farm vs. multiple farms
• MCS vs. PVS 

Attendees will learn:
• That best practices are sometimes crap, they change and evolve every day. There is a reason we say "it depends" so much.
• How customers are using things like MCS, local storage and multiple farms.
• Why shared storage and a single large farm can be stupid decisions.
• You will be the smartest Citrix and MSFT person at your company after attending this session.
• You will know all the new/latest best practices.


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You're Paying for MDOP Anyway…Make the Most of It
Presented by Rory Monaghan

Many enterprise IT shops operate with enterprise agreements with Microsoft, many are Software Assurance customers which provides them with access to Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. App-V has made its presence known in that landscape; it is part of the pack, many overlook the other tools available as part of the suite. I believe if the benefits are all put out on the table, more will consider implementing more of them.

Topics include:
App-V: An Overview of the benefits of App-V. Also a breakdown of the different type of infrastructure architecture which can be implemented and cost considerations.
UE-V: An Overview of UE-V. How using UE-V with App-V can help get you closer to that non-persistent desktop experience without the added cost of paying for AppSense or RES tools. Of course the considerations of limitations compared with those other solutions need to be factored.
MBAM: Why it may not be the best but who it might suit. Do you already use BitLocker? Do you struggle with other encryption tools prohibiting your support teams from deploying critical applications or scripts which require a reboot? Is your current encryption tool hurting your imaging process? MBAM may help.
AGPM: Get more transparency and control over Group Policy Object changes. This is a problem faced by many companies. Provide the ability to assign different roles to administrators, set up change control and roll back controls. BUT beware, its success means you need to take away some access levels from your administrators.
DaRT: Another toolset which would be stupid not to leverage if you have access to it. A one stop-shop for technicians. A run through of the tools and their uses.
MED-V: This just gets a mention. By the time of the event, this will be redundant. If there's no new release before then, it will be mentioned, otherwise, it will not. XP Mode with centralized control...

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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.

Interested in learning more? Visit the Call for Papers page.

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,