From the 3th till the 5th of November it was time for the second E2EVC event of 2023. This time the location was Rome in the same venue as the previous editions in Rome. My experiences of this event can be found in this blog.
The day before the event storm Carián was passing and caused lots of cancellations. "Luckily" I could not leave earlier then Friday morning, so I was not hit (except that the plane was completely full). Based on the departure on Friday morning I was not on time for the opening, where apparently Alex was mentioning my blogs and some 'comments' on the time used by him for opening the event made earlier. I heard that I could write down again that it was long (but don't blame me this time Alex 😉 PS Nice that you actually read the blog by the way).
I stumbled into the session of AWS when I arrived at the venue, which was close to ending, so the actually first session I attended was GPUs are still a thing by Thomas Poppelgaard. He touched 4 parts of the GPUs landscape: Rendering with GPUs (Hopper and Ada Lovelades: L40S, L40 and L4), Virtualization with GPUs (docs.nvidia.com/grid, same cards), Visualization with GPUs (CAD CAM, Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality) and AI with GPUs (Midjourney, ChatGPT, Copilot were mentioned, followed by generative AI risks like data privacy, security, IP rights, Biases, Ethical Implications and Malevolent activities. Some insights in the AI space, but mostly unclear what it has to do with GPUs to be honest).
Next session was by Benny Tritsch labeled The Science of EUC Performance Metrics. Benny started with explaining what he is doing (screen capture for measure user performance on the endpoint). Benny shared his UX Quality Criteria (Time to first bytes, application load time, user input delay, graphics APIs supported, media format supported, distortion of media, screen refresh rate, screen resolution/ display size, application stability and session availability), followed by a list of screen artifacts/anomalies. He continued with the benefits of his product EUC Score, followed by how the product is functioning and what's new in v23.10 (base telemetry collection feature embedded, new simload command-line interface, updated simload runner, improved multi-monitor detection).
James O'Regan with the session How to monitor and remediate the modern workspace using CommandCTRL was next. He really quickly mentioned the four products of Liquidware, followed by going deeper into CommandCTRL Innovations (DVR-like Playback Mode, CommandCTRL Switch, ChatGPT Integration and Protocol Mirroring). James continued with demoing CommandCTRL, lots of information is shown but from a first perspective it can be a bit overwhelming what it is actually showing (need to have a closer look to see the added value of the tool).
Lots of short (sponsor) sessions today. We continued with Sinisa Sokolic with the session how to create custom AVD images in just a few minutes. Sinisa did not have any slides, he just demoed how using Xoap product AVD images can be created quick and easy via the Image Management feature of the product.
After lunch and checking in at my (alternate) hotel I continued the day with the session Successful MS AVD implementation at a Swiss insurance company by Fabian Tshanz, Stefan Moser and Sacha Thomet. Sacha started with a quick introduction of the company Die Mobiliar and their current infrastructure where the focus of the session will be about 250 AVD Win 11 Developer Workspaces. Sascha continued with the problem statement, the situation overview and the IT architecture Point of View. Also the Self-Service is shown both from the User as Admin experience via BMC Helix. Stefan continued with explaining the Azure Automation, the Pipeline Approach and the scalability challenge. The session continued with some learnings (use reserved instances, shutdown scripts and policies, migrate to Windows 11) and a look into the future (more use cases for AVD, New Requirements, DevBox & Windows 365, real Zero Trust Client and 3rd Party tools evaluation). Sacha ended the session with alternative solutions in Azure Cloud they are using/considering (Citrix DaaS / Windows 365).
Next was Barry Schiffer with What's new in eG. Barry discussed the Physical Desktop Monitoring component by showing the most important features like Wi-Fi Strength and Latency ISP/Internet Connection. Upcoming enhancements are Event Log Monitoring, Remote Control Actions, Battery Status. Barry continued with showing some reports around the Physical Desktop. Next topic was around MS Intune Monitoring. Barry was also mentioning the new partnership between Liquit and eG. He ended with new/enhanced capabilities (Igel, FSLogix. ADM, MS Team Optimization support, Azure Right Sizing, Native logon simulations, Applications simulations).
Next session I attended was Liquit - What's New by Nico Zieck. Nico started with the acquisition of Liquit by Recast software. He explained what Recast is doing and what the consequences currently are (Liquit will stay and will be the primary application). The second part was about the enhancements in the latest version (Universal Agent enhancements, event collectors, Bootstrapper for macOS, Liquit interface, filter indicator, categories/tags, IPv6, new filters, user collections).
Jeff Ulatoski was next with the session Apps Everywhere: it ain’t just App Volumes no more… The session started slowly but finally came to the topic Apps Everywhere with Apps on Demand (VMware Horizon, AVD, Windows 365, Amazon Workspaces, AppStream 2.0 and Citrix). Jeff continued with the Citrix Deployment Guide with VMware App Volumes and showed a demo of such an environment, followed by the support of Amazon. Jeff showed the possibilities to offer different versions of an application on one icon including feedback and reporting on this topic. Jeff continued explaining the roll-back capabilities of AppVolumes as last topic.
The impact of AI on End User Computing by Gerjon Kunst and James O'Regan was the next session. James kicked off with the history of AI (which already started in 1950 till 2023 with the current ChatGPT). Gerjon continued with the big players in this space: Google, OpenAI, Microsoft, Nvidia, Tesla and IBM and where to start with AI (ChatGPT, Midjourny, Dall-E, Business Application Integration and Microsoft based options). They continued with use cases in VDI: Intelligent Assistance (proactive questions, seamless customer interactions, interactive VR-based training simulations and emotionally intelligent chatbots), predicative intelligence (predictive maintenance, smart resource allocation, adaptive interfaces, predictive content, instant actionable insights, automated dynamic reporting), collaboration/communications (real time language translation, transcripts, AI-optimized virtual meetings), security/compliance (real time compliance, intent based detections, behavioral biometrics) and wellness/productivity enhancements (ai-enabled ergonomic suggestions, cognitive well-being monitoring). Next topic was how to start the journey of AI showing the possibilities of AI (Team integrations, build your own bot). James continued with Responsible AI based on the principles (inclusiveness, fairness, transparency, accountability, reliability/safety and privacy/security), followed by downsides of AI and AI regulations (which is currently being discussed in the US and EU governments).
Last session of the first day was What's new in Citrix by Christian Schwendemann. First topic was brining cloud innovations to on-premises: universal subscription, web studio on-premises, Autoscale on-premises (power management, dynamic provisioning, vertical load balancing), Hybrid Citrix Director (both Cloud and on-prem from one console). Christian discussed quickly lots of topics/enhancements like Secure Private Access for On-Premises, new Citrix Workspace User Interface, Custom Domain to Citrix Workspace, Citrix HDX Plus for Windows365 and EDT Lossy on Citrix Gateway Service. Next topic was Director & Monitor enhancements, followed by MFS Synthetic Monitoring Probes. Christiaan continued with Local Host Cache Dashboard and configure Sync Failure alerts. Citrix Analytics for Performance was the next topic Christian discussed, followed by Session Recording Events in Citrix Analytics and Session Recording in Citrix Director. Also VDA Clipboard Activity is now available in Citrix Analytics. If you want to stay up to date check updates.cloud.com and the Citrix blogs.
After a nice evening/night the second day of E2EVC Rome 2023 started at 10:00 with a session of Sean Corrigan with the session How to migrate 75K users from on-prem to cloud? I have definitely not done this..... Initially migrate 15K users to cloud, migration should be seamless, don't trust Broadcom. They moved from Windows Server to Windows 10. They had large challenges with define groups of people, users not able to move cloud, application tests, fail fast fix fast. Last topic what their current status is: ongoing delayed migrations where infrastructure is available, conversion of existing on-premises resources, removal of VMware from thousands of hosts, confidence in the system, Cloud promises are not real.
Second session of day 2 was What is VMware Anywhere Workspace and what does it have to do with Horizon? by Jack Madden. Jack is going through all components of Anywhere Workspace Platform (Virtual Apps/Desktops, Unified Endpoint Management, Digital Employee Experience including Platform Services). Jack continued going into more detail on Unified Endpoint Management (any endpoint, any platform, across any use case including security topics like Mobile Threat defense, Secure Access, App/Device VPN tunnel, Risk Score, Patch Management and Vulnerability Management). Next topic was Digital Employee Experience (Deliver, Measure, Analyze, Remediate) including an overview of the DEX solution overview (Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub, Workspace ONE Intelligence Experience Management, Employee Sentiment, Guided Root Cause Analysis, Workspace ONE Intelligence for Horizon, Digital Employee Experience for Horizon, Workspace ONE Assist for Horizon).
Next was Benny Tritsch with the session Deep Dive: Collecting, analyzing and understanding Windows performance counters. Benny started off with Task Manager versus Performance Monitor where Performance Monitor is showing the actual results. Next Benny explained the Windows Performance Counters (provider, counterset, counter, instance, counter value). Using the (values of) the counters is called a consumer (task manager, resource monitor, performance monitor, process explorer, typeperf.exe, logman.exe or third-party tools). Performance API architecture was the next topic, followed by Performance Data Provider Tools (CtrPP, LodCtr). Benny discussed using Performance Monitor in detail (addition counters /w _total/_allinstances, save as report). The most important EUC Counters according to Benny were shown on one slide. He continued with the Performance Counter Path Syntax, followed by mentioning the PerfMon Data Collector Set setup (two slides of tasks then need to be done). Benny is advising to use PowerShell to collect the counters. Benny is mentioning that the Couter Names are localized, this can be solved by using the IDs (but it is less clear as you only have the IDs, so a 'translation' is required). The session ended with explaining how Benny is using the counters in his EUC Score product (including AutoIT) and the Data Miner tool they are working on.
The session From zero to AVD hero in 40 minutes session by Barry Schiffer was next on the schedule. The session was a full demo showing all the steps: starting by registering for an eG trial, downloading/installing the eG agents on the system, set-up to monitor Azure Subscription, setting-up the logon simulator, showing the collection of the AVD information, installing the agent on the AVD machines and showing the information of the AVD machines. Barry also showed some of the default dashboards like the Azure Dashboard, User Experience, Applications, FSLogix Monitoring and the AVD infrastructure, followed by some Report capabilities around AVD.
The next session I attended was Profile Container Wars - Citrix Profile Management vs FSLogix from an end-user perspective by Markus Zehnle. Markus started with the set-up he used for testing FSLogix versus Citrix Profile Management (On-Prem Windows Server 2022 21H2). The tests were about User Logon performance (existing profiles) and storage resiliency (re-attach). He shared the results of the different tests with different profiles with one user logon at the same time (CPM /o async GPO - 17, CPM /w async GPO - 15, CPM /w async + Local Cache - 16, CPP /w async GPO + Local Cache + Replicated user stores 16, FSLogix VHD Locations - 9, FSLogix Cloud Cache - 10). The same test was done with 5 users logon simultaneously (a few seconds more maximum). Next test was verifying the resiliency (CPM without Replicated User Store --> not functioning, also after the file server is back, CPM with Replicated User --> same as without Replicated User Store, CPM with Replicated User + Local Cache --> functioning). The same tests were performed with FSLogix (one location, not functioning when unavailable, but coming back after the file server is online again), FSLogix with Cloud Cache Locations (keeps running without issues). Next was a comparison between the features of FSLogix and Citrix User Profile Management. Unfortunately for Markus James Kindon just published a feature comparison a few days ago, but nevertheless his comparison was good including detailed information. The features are pretty comparable, biggest difference is logon performance based on async versus sync GPO processing, Redirection not possible with CPM and the non-ability to handle Team v2 by FSLogix.
Brian Leffer with the session PowerShell GUI for CVAD – One Tool was the last session I attended. Brian started explaining what they are using before his tool (ServiceNow, Omada, Citrix Studio, XenCenter and Citrix Director). He was missing one tool, would have better reporting options, dashboard with quick list, automation of tasks, customizing reports for the management, deploy apps and desktops as easy as possible and housekeeping. Brian started with his tool in 2020 and showed the tool in a demo. From the back I was sitting it was a bit difficult to see it, however he showed some nice options (the slides have a full list of capabilities). Brian also shares what's next coming in the tool (reporting/PowerBI for Dashboards, Housekeeping, VDI/Apps Deployment using PowerShell, VDI Sizing Automation incl disk expansion, create HTML5 webpage as GUI for scripts using API). The tool is available for download from GitHub (link on the slide).
I flew back on Sunday morning, so I did not have a change to attend any of the sessions. Again I enjoyed the atmosphere at E2E VC, connected with too many people again to mention them all without forgetting someone and enjoying the dinners with wonderful food and drinks (of course you cannot leave Rome without visiting a Gelateria for an ice-cream, have a tiramisu for desert and drink some limoncello). Looking forward to Madrid already in the first weekend of May 2024.