BriForum Day 1 PVS Session

DAY ONE SESSION ONE – PROVISIONING SERVER IN THE REAL WORLD – PRESENTED BY MICHAEL THOMASON

Michael works for Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, specializing Citrix/Terminal Services.

Session started out very boring, I was wanting some in depth info and some cool stuff I haven’t leaned or thought of yet. He went though some uses and case studies on how they use it to deploy Office and a healthcare app called Cerner.

Provisioning Server database – vld.mdb – will be moved to SQL in PVS 5.0. Not sure when 5.0 will be released.

He uses and recommends client HD caching instead of “Cache on Server” or “Client RAM Caching”. He has had issues with client RAM and server side caching.

You could tell he had been working with the product before Citrix acquired it because he was going back and forth between using Ardence and Provisioning Server. I have found myself doing this a lot with some of our clients.

From the description of the session he was going to cover “How to configure “static configurations” which will survive a reboot (i.e. Citrix local host cache, application data, etc.)” he never went over any of that. I was also hoping he would go into the challenges of getting XenApp to boot properly and having uniqueness for each XenApp server.

He is developing a tool called DPM. Dynamic Personality Manager. This tool automates deploying XenApp with PVS. Doing things like changing the event log paths and some other PVS specific things that he does when streaming XenApp.

Event though I didn’t learn anything new, overall he did a good job, it is hard to cover everything in 70 minutes.

BriForum Day 1 Keynote

Well I am here at BriForum 08 and I am very excited to be here. This is my first BriForm but it is the 6th BriForum and the atmosphere here is like no other IT conference I have been to. You can tell everyone here is passionate about virtualization. There are no sales/marketing sessions here just in depth technical.

They did a great job of providing long power strips under every other row of chairs for everyone to plug into for laptop power.

The wireless access was good when I first arrived but after about an hour of everyone getting on it became almost unusable. I was going to try to do some live blogging but no Internet access I had to type everything in Notepad then post it to the blog later.

There are close to 500 people here from all over the world. There were around 400 last year so this conference is just going to get bigger.

I have already met three guys from the Netherlands that were very cool. They work for a small consulting company like Varrow.

I am going to try to post a blog entry everyday on the sessions I went to and what I learned at each.

Funny quote that was displayed on the screen before one of the session “Programming is like sex, one mistake and you spend the rest of your life supporting it.”

BriForum Day 1 TS Load Balancing Session

DAY ONE SESSION THREE – TERMINAL SERVICES 2008 LOAD BALANCING AND SECURITY – THORSTEN ROOD

65 MINUTES OF DEMO – NO PRE-STAGED CONFIG ASIDE FROM AD AND VMs.

This was a very boring session, not a very good presenter, a very monotone voice.

One thing that was interesting is that he recommended to never use NLB for load balancing TS. He recommends that if you can’t afford a hard ware load balancer use DNS round robin.

BriForum Day 1 VDI Smack down

DAY ONE SESSION TWO – VDI SMACK DOWN – BRIAN MADDEN

This was a comparison of all the different VDI products on the market.

Brian thinks that VDI is still not ready for general main stream use like XenApp/Terminal Services is. He think now it is good for point solutions but that in a year our two it will be main stream.

Brian is of the opinion that the management interface, connection broker and web portal are all the same and not a reason to buy one over the other.

Protocols is one of the big bottle necks in deployment of VDI solutions.

He said the only one that has true image management is Citrix via Provisioning Server. All the others use an ugly cloning, linking syspreping process that is not clean like PVS.

He did a survey on how many used ESX/Xen/other from Virtual Iron on Microsoft. Half the room raised their hand for ESX, two people raided their hand for Xen and nobody raised their hand for any of the other products.

Representatives from all venders were in the audience

He compared the 5 mainstream products:

- Citrix XenDesktop
- VMware VDM 2
- Qumranet Solid ICE
- Quest/Provision Networks Virtual Access Suite
- Ericom PowerTerm WebConnect

Citrix XenDesktop

- VDI Only
- XenServer, Hyper-V, ESX or blades for hosting/managing VDI sessions
- Derivative of XenApp – For example if you know XenApp then the learning curve is very small.
- Uses ICA – Port ICA and is a bit different than the XenApp ICA.
- Some of the ICA features are not there – Multimedia features for example
- Same WI as XenApp
- Same farm concept
- etc..

VMware VDI – VMware Created the VDI term.

- VDM is has the lest functionality of the products compared. All of the other products have some sort of wow factor that no one else has.
- RDP+, the + is a multimedia feature add-on.

Qumranet Solid ICE

- Complete solution (hypervisor based on KVM, broker, protocol) – all in one from one vendor.
- Amazing technology
- SPICE Protocol – best one of all – can run full motion high def video.
- SPICE doesn’t work over a WAN because it requires more bandwidth for all of multimedia to work.
- For WANs they use RDP because for WAN you can’t expect those anyway.
- Has the biggest WOW factor
- KVM designer works for Qumranet
- Higher density of VMs – 52 VDI sessions on a dual quad core/16 GB RAM giving each 1 GB RAM.
- Does memory sharing like VMware

Quest Virtual Access Suited (formerly Provision Networks)

- TS and VDI solution from one management interface
- App and Desktop support
- Can totally manage ESX/Virtaul Iron VMs from creating to deletion to deploying.
- Basic support for other hypervisors
- RDP soon RGS – an HP solution

Ericom PowerTerm WebConnect

- very similar to Quest VAS
- Most Hypervisor agnostic
- RDP, Teradici PC-over-IP

A very informative session. I want to check out the SPICE protocol in action in the demo lab.

BriForum Geek Out Game Show

To qualify as a contestant you had to take an online quiz of 16 questions. After I took the quiz I felt I had done well, there were a few questions I was unsure of though.

They announced the contestants that night at the party. I was surprised that I scored the highest getting 12 questions correct. The other two contestants both got 11 correct.

As the highest scorer I got to pick the vendor to play for. Each vendor was giving their contestant a different prize. I picked Virtual App Factory because they were giving away a wii.

The Geek Out game show was done in Jeopordy style format except with no double Jeopordy and no final Jeopordy. Just 30 questions with different categories.

I was doing very well the entire game until we got down to the Code Names category. The guy next to me swept up that category and beet me 2100 to 1500. I had 1800 but missed one.

I didn’t win but it was very fun.

BriForum Day 1 VDI vs Terminal Services

DAY ONE SESSION FOUR – VDI vs TERMINAL SERVICES – BERNHARD TRITSCH FROM LOGIN CONSULTANTS AND BRIAN MADDEN

BRIAN MADDEN WAS THE HIP NEW VDI GUY DRESSED IN SHORTS AND T-SHIRT WITH SUN GLASSES
BENNY WAS THE OLD SCHOOL TS GUY IN A SUITE AND TIE.

THIS WAS A FUN SESSION WITH EACH PLAYING THE ROLE

THIS WAS A VERY INTERACTIVE SESSION WITH THE AUDIENCE ARGUING BACK AND FORTH AS WELL.

THE END RESULT WAS THAT EVERYONE AGREED THAT BOTH HAVE THEIR PLACE AND THAT THERE IS NOT ONE SOLUTION THAT WORKS IN EVERY SCENARIO.

BRIAN SAID THAT TO ACCOMMODATE END USERS FOR EVERY SCENARIO YOU WOULD HAVE TO INTEGRATE PRODUCTS FROM 10 DIFFERENT VENDORS.