What I learned at BriForum 2010

For those of you who didn’t know, last week was BriForum and I was able to attend as a speaker and as an attendee.  I think it was a great event, and I believe it was the largest one ever, so congratulations to Brian, Gabe and the TechTarget team.

What did I learn last week?  I learned 10 things, which ironically fits nicely into this blog. Without wasting more of your time, here are the Top 10 Things I Learned At BriForum all for your enjoyment 🙂

10. Lou Malnati’s is great pizza and only 2 blocks from the hotel. Is there anything better than Chicago Deep Dish pizza?

9. During the keynote, many people plan to go down the Windows 7 route, but hardly anyone has done it yet.  Nothing really Earth-shattering but just proves the point that Windows 7 will be a major force by 2012. For now, your best bet is to start planning and get ready for your migration because it will take time.

8. The Citrix employees have a good sense of humor.  One session joked about the number of consoles XenDesktop has.  It was even stated that maybe Citrix needs a console to manage consoles or that secretly Citrix collects consoles.  Every Citrix employee in the room, including myself, was laughing pretty hard.

7. There is more to HDX/ICA than the protocol.  Citrix spent 15+ years optimizing the protocol. I knew many of these items already but I still learned a few more things like how scrolling is optimized.  For example, if you scroll in Excel vertical, horizontal or diagonal, the data new screen data isn’t sent again, the endpoint is simply told to shift position.  Cool.

6. Anyone that does Windows 7 64bit migration better have a Plan B when apps fail to function.  Most common option for organizations, according to Shawn Bass, is to leverage XenApp.

5. Cloudbursting your XenApp environment into the cloud is possible as demonstrated by Rick Dehlinger and Jim Moyle, but no cloud provider was able to meet their 7 requirements for enterprise deployment. Only SoftLayer performed the best by reaching 6.

4. Profiles were a major focus (big surprise).  A talk focused on the differences between profile streaming and profile segmentation as ways to optimize the user profile.  In essence, profile segmentation requires application knowledge, profile streaming does not. However, profile segmentation also allows one to migrate their settings to Windows 7. And it seemed to me that although profile segmentation required more work, the value was greater.

3. Profile redirection is oftentimes a good thing until we focus on the AppData folder.  If we redirect the folder, we optimize logon but might make apps slower. So do you start with the fastest logon and take the hit in the application performance or vice versa.  Seems like taking a logon hit is better as it only happens once, whereas having application performance issues might make the application unusable.  Best option is to pick one approach, then use profile solution to optimize further.

2. If users get something great, they will oftentimes accept missing functionality. The perfect example is the iPad and multitasking.  The same can be said for virtual desktops. If the experience is better than their traditional desktop, users might accept missing functionality. Maybe it isn’t experience, maybe it is availability, functionality, speed, etc?  What can you give your users?

1. Most desktops are not mission critical. They do not require expensive storage. Steve Greenberg even asked why when we do desktop virtualization do people all of the sudden believe the desktop is critical when the traditional desktop is simply garbage and disposable? No idea and a great question. That is why Paul Wilson and I have been speaking about using local storage instead of SAN storage for your virtual desktops.  It is also why we typically don’t see people implementing live migration for their virtual desktops.

There are plenty of other interesting points from BriForum and many interesting sessions. I know I’ll be spending more time watching the recordings from the sessions I couldn’t attend and re-watching a few of the sessions I could attend.  But overall, it was a great week and nice to hear other perspectives.

See you in 2011 🙂

Daniel – Lead Architect

1 thought on “What I learned at BriForum 2010”

  1. Thank you for taking the time to summarize some of the sessions. I really like where the VDI discussion is going – What can we give the users to make them enjoy their experience over a traditional desktop. Consumerism driving IT has really changed the way users view computing. IT Departments that do not change with it are dinosaurs. IT Departments that champion the same principles that consumer technologies provide will have a job tomorrow!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.