If you are into or working with Microsoft Terminal Services or any of the Server Based Computing (SBC aka "thin client") solutions out there, I’d highly recommend that you attend PubFourm Amsterdam, starting on 2/11/2006. The name correctly suggests that the the social side of things is good fun (don’t try to keep up with those crazy Swedes!) It’s a small conference with about 50-100 Level 400 types there. Presentations are by these folks and some of the major players in the industry of server based computing. At €215 for 4 days, you will not be able to say you did not get value for money.
I attended it earlier this year in Brussels for the first time not having the highest of hopes. I was greatly surprised and my eyes were opened. I like 99% of people in IT, when I thought of SBC and getting it to really work I always thought of Citrix. I assumed that Citrix was the only player. Anyone who has deployed Citrix knows that licensing costs an absolute fortune. You’ve also probably had problems with printing (especially over WAN links) and with user profiles. I was stunned to see how alternative and widely adopted solutions that sit on top of Terminal Services can solve these cost and functional problems. We also had indepth sessions from the folks in Citrix and a sneak (secretive) peak at Terminal Services on Windows Longhorn.
The conference is great fo getting questions answered, making contacts and learning about what alternatives there are and what is in the pipeline. The low costs are there to cover costs and the conference is as good as those who attend.
Some interesting topics are being discussed this year. One of Microsoft’s newest acquistions, Softricity, is on the card. This applicaiton virtualisation solution, SoftGrid, is not only an ideal and simple way to rapidly deploy applications to the desktop but also to Terminal Servers. I’d also recommend the session on Propalms. This is the successor to Tarantella, a Citrix alternative. I spent some time with 2 of their people in Brussels. They were very excited about this feature rich and economic solution. I’m hoping I get to spend some time looking at a demo copy they gave me that I unfortunately have not had time to try out.
The social side of the conference aint bad either 🙂