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By Ben Goodman, Lead Evangelist, End-User Computing

In my previous blog I discussed why an End-User Computing (EUC) specialist should attend VMworld. We discussed the announcements, the opportunity to hobnob with your peers, and of course all the EUC-focused sessions. Today I’m highlighting the top 10 can’t miss sessions for you to check out while you are there at the show.

First let me take the opportunity to plug my session that will be co-presented by Kit Colbert, EUC CTO: EUC2321 – When Mobile Met Desktop: AirWatch and Horizon Vision and Integration Strategy. It is a beautiful love story of two disparate technologies from opposite sides of the tracks. Despite the odds they came together to revolutionize EUC. In other words, we will cover the integration of Horizon and AirWatch in a level of detail that hasn’t been shared to date.

Let’s get started with the best of the rest, in no particular order:

1) EUC2035 – Horizon 6 Technical Overview

Justin Venezia – Consulting Architect, VMware
Jim Yanik – End-User Computing Architect, VMware
Thursday, Aug 28, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Obviously learning more about the newly released Horizon 6 will be at the top of many EUC specialists VMworld to-do lists. This session goes beyond the marketing and the press releases to give you real technical detail on what is going on under the covers of Horizon 6. The session is presented by two of VMware’s Architects who will bring real world experience on how Horizon 6 will work in the wild.

2) EUC1155 – Enabling True Mobile Productivity

John Marshall – SVP & GM, AirWatch
Chris Hazelton – Research Director, Enterprise Mobility, 451 Research
Tuesday, Aug 26, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Normally I wouldn’t recommend a session that conflicts with mine, but the GM of AirWatch, John Marshall, will be on a panel with two customers that have extensive experience with AirWatch’s Mobile Application Management, Workspace, and Content Locker. An exceptional mobile analyst, Chris Hazelton, will moderate the panel. For awhile we have focused on managing and securing mobile devices, but what about the next step, making user more productive on those devices? You’ll hear strategies for how real customers are using AirWatch technologies to make their users more productive on their mobile devices.

3) EUC1653 – Horizon 6 Hosted Applications Technical Deep Dive

Warren Ponder – Director, Product Management, End-User Computing, VMware
Andrew Johnson – Sr. Manager / Staff Architect, End-User Computing, VMware
Tuesday, Aug 26, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

It is no secret that one of the most hotly anticipated features of Horizon 6 is the new application remoting capabilities. This session, given by Warren Ponder who was an integral part in the building of this capability and Andrew Johnson, whom I call “Technology Rain Man”, will give you all the information you are looking for. They will deep dive into how VMware implements these new features, detailing architecture, sizing guidelines and even share some tips and tricks.

4) EUC2249-SPO – Panel Discussion: From the Trenches – What I Learned About Deploying Desktop Virtualization (VDI) Alongside Virtual Servers

Panel includes:
Joshua Wollard – Director of IT Services, Austin Pain Associates
Alexander Gellerman, Flushing Bank
Adam Blevins – Director of Technology, HCCA
Jeremy Stephens, Santa Claran Hotel Casino
Sheldon D’Paiva – Sr. Solutions Manager, Nimble Storage
Monday, Aug 25, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

If you haven’t noticed by now, I really enjoy sessions that give the attendees a real world view (no pun intended) of what it means to use our technology. This panel will discuss what happens when Horizon gets out in the wild, discussing what they have learned when deploying virtual desktops in the real world. They will share their mistakes so you can avoid them and their successes so you can emulate them. This is a special opportunity to hear from people that have been there and done that.

5) EUC2551 – Re-Imagining VDI Design: Architecture for Next-Gen Desktops

Daniel Beveridge – Sr. End-User Computing Architect, Office of CTO, VMware
John Dodge – Director, End-User Computing Technical Enablement, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 27, 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

This is an exciting session, presented by leaders from our Office of the CTO and technical enablement teams, and it is all about pushing the envelope of VDI. VMware has plans to revolutionize this space using cutting-edge advancements in software and hardware. The technology detailed will lower the cost of virtual desktops while creating a more manageable and rich end-user experience. The best part is this isn’t strictly futures, they will detail how you can leverage these capabilities today.

6) EUC1258 – From the Fire Hose Series: 3D Graphics for Virtual Desktops Smackdown

Bernhard Tritsch – CTO, BlueCue
Ruben Spruijt – CTO, PQR
Shawn Bass – Blogger, Consultant, ShawnBass.com
Wednesday, Aug 27, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

This session features some of the most respected voices in VDI today. They will dive deep on 3D graphics for virtual desktops, sharing their real word experiences and insight. Getting to hear from all three of these speakers should be a treat, and with a focus on the increasingly important area of 3D graphics, it’s a can’t miss session.

7) EUC1727 – Technical Deep Dive on Delivering Shared Sessions, Apps, and Virtual Desktops from the Cloud with Horizon DaaS.

David Gilon – Sr. Product Manager, VMware
Danny Allan – CTO, Horizon DaaS, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 27, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

You may be trying to discover if Desktops as a Service (DaaS) makes sense for you. Understanding all of your different deployment options and what really lies under the covers of a DaaS is key. This session will feature two of the foremost technologists in DaaS today, giving you a technical overview of Horizon DaaS and the services that are delivered with it.

8) EUC1535 – The One-Two Punch: How Horizon View and Mirage Modernized Our Desktop Infrastructure

Logan Smith – Solutions Engineer, HCR ManorCare
Jeff Szastak – Staff Systems Engineer, VMware
Monday, Aug 25, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

As I mentioned before, sessions with a real world spin, especially those featuring real customers, have a special place in my heart. This session details

HCR ManorCare, who used a combination of Horizon (with View) and Mirage to upgrade or replace over 7,500 XP workstations distributed across 500+ locations while minimizing the impact on the current infrastructure and improving the user experience.  HCR ManorCare will detail their experience and share best practices for pulling it all off.

9) EUC2126 – Preview the Latest Release from AirWatch

Kevin Jones – Professional Services and Support, AirWatch
Monday, Aug 25, 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

For those that are passionate about mobility this is a great opportunity to see what is on the Horizon (also no pun intended) for AirWatch. The session will cover AirWatch’s entire Enterprise Mobility Management platform, including Mobile Device Management, AirWatch Workspace, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Content Management and Mobile Email Management. You’ll get to see the latest and greatest coming out of AirWatch and get to ask questions of an AirWatch leader.

10) EUC2108 – EUC Design Double Check – Validating Your EUC Solutions

Justin Venezia – Consulting Architect, VMware
Michael Bradley – Senior Consultant, VMware
Thursday, Aug 28, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

My final recommendation follows my pattern of endorsing sessions focused on real world experiences. In this session, two of VMware’s most experienced professional services members will share their techniques for creating a best-of-breed EUC design. The session will also include a real-world customer case study.

These are my recommendations; they represent a great variety of session that would be a blast for any EUC specialist. You should really check out the session scheduler, because there is an incredible variety of great EUC-focused sessions to keep you busy and entertained at VMworld.

Don’t forget to follow us (and me, too!) for real-time updates, tips and important announcements in the coming weeks and live throughout the course of the show.