As usual, lots of cool stuff at BriForum this year. About 25 vendors, hundreds of attendees, and as always, some of the industry's best sessions. Although this is traditionally a technical show around the Citrix and terminal services community, many attendee companies have already started looking at various forms of virtual desktop and have full scale pilots in progress. Aside from some of the ongoing debate around VDI versus Terminal Services, I was able to hear some really interesting dialog and debate on the need for virtual desktops in general. I've been hearing from more IT managers that have recently become responsible for both the traditional desktop infrastructure and the centralized, server based computing gear - this is a change. From their perspective the answer is yes, they're going to need both. They're going to have centralized, traditional and hybrid.
Ruben Spruijt from PQR had several great sessions including his annual "Streaming Smackdown" with a review of products covered in his Application Virtualization Solution Overview and Feature Compare matrix posted on BrianMadden.com. Our Symantec Workspace Virtualization 6.1 (formerly Altiris SVS + AppStream) product is included in the lineup and we spent three solid days doing booth demos of the new 6.1. Many of the attendees were Symantec customers using other products, like security and storage, and have just started looking at and using products in our Endpoint Virtualization Suite. Outside of platform and OS virtualization, pure application virtualization seemed to be in use by nearly everyone, on traditional and virtual environments, followed by streaming, brokering, and products that improve or replace profile and user personality management.
Randy Cook, inventor of SVS and SEV's Distinguished Engineer (in attached pic), had a great propeller spinning technical session on how different application virtualization solutions work at the architectural level. It was cool to see inventors and product managers from most of the other leading solutions in the room - kind of a virtual brain trust. All the vendor booths had great demos and I have to say that I am really excited about some of the changes being discussed in the market. Having been involved in server based computing for fifteen years or so and working toward the reality of ASP and forms of utility computing, the last several years have really overcome major hurdles toward this vision. I'm looking for more in what remains of the second half of 2009 and I'm sure the lineup of startups and stalwarts won't let me down.
Coming up next, VMworld 2009 in San Francisco. We'll be in booth #2110 with a great lineup of product demos and technical experts across a wide variety of Symantec's top products. On Wednesday, September 2nd at 10am we have two great speakers; Sheri Atwood, Vice President, Global Solutions, and Steve Morton, Vice President, Product Marketing. Sheri and Steve will be speaking at a Super Session called, "Complete the Promise of Virtualization." Many of you will remember Steve from Altiris, and as the "host" of the great ManageFusion show. Click here for full session detail, and discount for Symantec customers and partners.
Photo: Jack Madden, producer of Brian Madden TV, films Brian Duckering demo'ing the 6.1 version of the Symantec Endpoint Virtualization Suite, while Randy Cook sits in the background working bugs.