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BriForum London 2013: Brian Madden discusses what is hot in VDI space

Archana Venkatraman

Desktop virtualisation, consumerisation of IT and enterprise mobility management (EMM) will be some of the core themes that will be discussed at BriForum London 2013, the independent, technical virtualisation conference dedicated to VDI and consumerisation.

“All three of these are closely related,” said Brian Madden, the virtualisation guru who launched the first BriForum in 2005, told Computer Weekly. “For example, if a company's desktop virtualisation strategy does not deliver exactly what users want, then 'consumerisation' will come back to bite them,” he said.

Some IT executives who use a VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) strategy to deliver Windows on iPads, but when users do not like the experience they find their own ways to get their work done. It is important to tie consumerisation and desktop virtualisation together, Madden said.

“That same concept also applies to EMM,” he said.

In the old days, it was all about Windows apps. But now employees want iPad-friendly and Android apps, so IT executives who used to be responsible for just Windows now also have to deal with smartphones and tablets. “So now ‘desktop IT pros’ have to deal with users bringing their own devices,” he said.

Want to be successful in VDI? Do NOT create a VDI strategy

Madden advised that IT executives who want a successful and efficient desktop virtualisation infrastructure, they must avoid creating a “strategy”.

“On the surface that seems crazy," he said. "But the reality is that VDI is just another way of delivering a Windows desktop to a user.” 

If IT teams try to create a radically different VDI strategy from the rest of their desktop environment and if they try to do things different for VDI, they will fail, he warned.

“The way to be successful with VDI is to treat it as nothing more than an additional desktop form factor,” he said. “Do your VDI just like everything else. Use it only where it makes sense and don't lose sleep over the rest.”

Desktop virtualisation industry in the UK and Europe

The way to be successful with VDI is to treat it as nothing more than an additional desktop form factor

Brian Madden

According to Madden, Europe has always led the US when it comes to desktop virtualisation technology.

This may be because European and UK IT executives take a longer view in doing the "right" thing versus their US counterparts who are short-sighted and only focus on the next quarter's numbers.

IT pros here also understand that VDI is not the be all and end all and that it is just another option, he said.

According to him, Windows 7 will play a big role in shaping the desktop virtualisation industry. 

“Yes, Windows 8 is out there, but we don’t see that as being a big deal to enterprises. Most will ignore it - at least for now,” Madden said.

One of the biggest trends the industry is experiencing is that better hardware-accelerated graphics technologies from companies like Nvidia and Teradici are entering into mainstream VDI products such as Citrix XenDesktop, VMware View, and Microsoft RemoteFX, according to Madden.

Many enterprises are migrating from XP to Windows 7 and once that’s done, these enterprises will focus on desktop virtualisation infrastructure and think about how to make their businesses bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and consumerisation-friendly, he said.

Supporting new mobile devices, upgrading networking and wireless infrastructure, replacing old-school file servers and virtual private networks (VPNs) with cloud services such as Dropbox – 2013 is the year when enterprises will get all these things in order, he said.

Madden, alongside other desktop virtualisation experts such as Shawn Bass, Jack Madden, Gabe Knuth and Ruben Spruijt, will discuss enterprise mobility management, issues around platform lock-in, Windows apps and remote desktop services at BriForum London 2013.

BriForum London 2013 call-for-papers deadline looming

BriForum London 2013, which will be held on 16 and 17 May 2013, is accepting session submissions. The deadline for submissions is Friday, 22 February 2013. Potential presenters can submit proposals around topics such as desktop virtualisation, mobile device management, application virtualisation and server-based computing among others.

Here is the checklist for Briforum London 2013.

The desktop virtualisation event is designed to offer IT professionals independent, advanced information and best practices around the constantly evolving space of IT consumerisation and VDI.


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