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The Cloud, DaaS and VDI at BriForum 2014

The Cloud, DaaS and VDI at BriForum 2014

Hello from Boston and BriForum 2014! Over the last few years, I’ve attended a lot of technical conferences, in traditional vendor roles – either presenting or manning a booth. I really enjoy conferences for the opportunity to meet with customers and fellow IT types to talk with them about the issues they’re dealing with, and to learn about the trends in the market.

For a rare change, I’m at BriForum purely as an attendee, which gives me the rare chance to attend some sessions from the seats, instead of on (or behind) the stage. BriForum is unique in that even while the attendance grows, the event has managed to keep a ‘user group’ feel, with lots of interaction between the audience and presenters. There’s much more of a community feel here, and a chance to chat casually with some of the key influencers in the industry.

Monday morning opened with a keynote from Brian himself:

briforum 2014 brian madden keynote

Brian talked about some of the changes that have come in the VDI/RDS space over the last year – namely the way costs have dropped to the point that a virtual desktop is much more competitive with the pricing of physical desktops, and the advances in GPU technology with VDI. GPUs are important for any CAD/CAM types of workload, but with even business apps like Office taking leveraging a GPU, it’s becoming more necessary for VDI architectures to leverage GPUs in the host servers.

Brian also talked about new entries in the market, like VMware now offering an RDS-based solution. He sees this competition in the market as a good thing for IT – it forces incumbents to start innovating again on their solutions.

One of the sessions at the event was presented by Login VSI’s own Jeroen van de Kamp and Ryan Bijkerk:

briforum 2014 project vrc

Along with Ruben Spruijt, where they talked about the latest Project VRC publication, with a focus on the impact of App-V on VDI environments. They also showed a bunch of other comparisons between OS versions and hypervisors. Of course, they used Login VSI to measure that impact.

There are a couple of other trends that seem to surface in all the sessions here this year. One is what DaaS and Cloud really mean to IT. With major providers like Amazon, Microsoft, and VMWare all offering apps and desktops hosted on their infrastructures, more companies are evaluating whether these offerings are right for them.

“The Cloud” has been mentioned a lot too. At the big vendor-specific tradeshows I go too, they all talk about how their cloud is the right cloud, and that if you have their hypervisor, you’re in the cloud already. At an independent conference like BriForum, speakers seem to have a more grounded reality in what the cloud means – that in the future the cloud will allow you to host resources where it makes the most sense – sometimes on premises, sometimes in the cloud, and often a hybrid environment.

BriForum continues to be the leading independent VDI/SBC related conference going. The content is consistently deep, and the presenters knowledgeable. I’m looking forward to more great content in the next couple of days!

-Adam

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