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E2EVC 2016 Rome Day 1

On the 18th of November E2EVC Rome started. I arrived right on time to jump into the actual start of the conference. As usual I’m blogging my experiences.

When I arrived Alex just came in in a gladiator suite (don’t ask me why) in which he opened the event. Logically I thanked the sponsors to make this event possible and also the traditional introduction round was there again.

ControlUp traditionally started with the first session. They started with new features in the product: Hypervisor monitoring support (via remote APIs), extended XenDesktop Delivery Group monitoring and enhanced user experience metrics (app load time, protocol bandwidth monitoring incl. virtual channel). Yoni continued with community tools released by ControlUp: Logon Simulator (auto generates ICA sessions on a configured interval, really cool as other products are commercial in this area) and Application load time profiler. They also announced that Brandon (nowadays Todd) Shell joined ControlUp working on a new product Insights On-premises. They ended the session with the ControlUp Expert Program, which each one working in the virtualization space can sign up for a full lab license.

Second session was Automation in Workspace presented by Robin Plomp and Rob de Korte. They had some troubles with connecting to the beamer, so we picked up the first delay. Rob started with trying to explain the vision of RES (asked by the marketing department). They quickly continued with a live demo showing showing the IT Service Store in combination with Automation and Workspace. Again the demo is adding a empowering a new employee, it’s a pity that this use case is always done in these demos, would like to see other uses cases for the product as well. The addition of the security questions was however nice. Rob ended the session what we have seen during the demo (security, identity management, service delivery, automation).

Last session before the lunch was presented by Thomas Maurer and Michael Rueefli about the best of Windows Server 2016. Thomas started off explaining Nano Server (no roles or features, which live outside of Nano Server). Thomas also shared some PowerShell commands for Nano Server. Michael took over with the Storage improvements (Storage Spaces Direct, Storage Replica, Central Storage QoS, ReFS). Next topic was Hyper-V. Thomas started with showing the amount of new features introduced in Windows Server 2016 and continued with explaining the most important enhancements. Michael continued with the Containers, starting with the explanation why you would use containers. Thomas ended the session about Licensing changes.

After a quick lunch Douglas Brown presented the Next Big Thing. He started explaining do we need to care about the next big thing (with some nice anecdotes). Next Douglas went back back in time: how did we get here where he went through history really quickly where each 10 year the next big thing came along. Current Cycle is about Mobile (it’s about the app). Apple won because of the rise of the App Store. Douglas continued with the Power of the App with the location and the data. Douglas ended the session what’s next (2020 and beyond): To see the future, in most cases, look at the past, hardware is getting smaller and smaller, web as a destination – now it’s a data service. The app knows us better than we know ourselves and our surroundings. Artificial Intelligence (AI) I here because the accessibility of information, it even predicted Trump would become president. Another topic is the rise of the things (things will drive themselves) and will be smarter, better and will: monitor, suggest, resupply and self-maintain. Interesting insights of Douglas what will be our future (machines do everything what we do, humans will design, code, plan, dream and compose).

We continued directly with UX Best Practices for Virtual Desktops by Emily Apsey. Emily started off with the enhanced GRID monitoring features (both host as guest monitoring). Emily also mentioned tools based on the API/SDK for example the tools of Magnar Johnson. Emily made a good point about benchmarking, which is normally (much) more aggressively than normal usage. She discussed her results of her benchmarking for the Maya 2017 application.

Christian Aquilina was next with Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS): there is life beyond Citrix and VMware. Christian started with some history and the acquisition of 2X Software, which is now RAS, followed by the charasteristics of RAS (VDI/Desktop Publishing, Application Publishing, Load Balancing, Peripheral Redirection and Client Management). Also the infrastructure components were discussed. Next topic were the enhancements to the product in version 15.5 (client updates, heavy load support, new codecs in non-Windows parallels clients, Windows Server 2016 support). Next a new community program is started by Parallels: VIPP – Very Important Parallels Professional.

Next session I attended was Andrew Mills about Nutanix. Andrew started why Nutanix started with their own hypervisor Acropolis and the Nutanix infrastructure. Andrew mentioning that all layers need to have the right attention (and money). He also discusses the Citrix supported on Nutanix AHV (ShareFile/XenDesktop/StoreFront/NetScaler). Andrew also discusses the integration of Nutanix within Citrix Studio, where Andrew opts for Machine Creation Services (MCS). Other topic discussed by Andrew are Shadow Clones and InstantOn VDI.

Helge has lot of troubles getting the laptop connected to the beamer. At the end a creative solution made it possible to his session. Helge’s session was about application troubleshooting. He started directly showing some tools for troubleshooting. He started with API monitoring. He explained how you can use the tool to find out which APIs are called by an application. Helge is also showing some gems in Process Explorer.

The last session of the day was traditionally CensorNet SMSPasscode represented by Gunnar Hermansen. Gunnar started with the merge of CensorNet and SMSPasscode. The new productname is now CensorNet MFA (Multi Factor Authentication). Next he described the Unified Security Services and the product which are under these “umbrella”. Gunnar showed a funny video with David Hald talking on MFA. Gunnar continued with enhancements in the product like Policy Drive Message Dispatching, PowerShell, Audit Trial, CensorNetApp.