Roughly nine years ago I attended my first VMworld. It was VMworld Europe; I had applied to be our company’s representative in years before that as well but wasn’t selected. You can imagine that when I was selected I was ecstatic. The experience, well, I felt like a little kid who visits Disney World (or Disneyland) for the very first time. Instead of having my picture taken with Goofy or Donald Duck, I would ask questions of product engineers and technical marketing engineers. My parade was the keynote by Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum; I will never forget that and some of the awesome new technologies announced during those keynotes.
Fast forward to 2015. The situation is a bit different today. Today I am slightly panicking as I know VMworld is coming up in a couple of weeks and there are still so many things I need to do. Fortunately all travel arrangements have been booked months ago, but I still need to make final changes to several slide decks and review material produced by others. On top of that I will need to dry-run my slides at least three or four times. Yes indeed, most of us will need to practice to ensure that our sessions meet your expectations … expectations which are usually set enormously high, as VMworld is an industry-leading event, and I am fortunate enough to have been selected to be a part of five different sessions.
But it is not my intention to talk about myself for three pages and leave you wondering what this article was really about (besides an ego-boost). I am hoping by now all of you are well prepared. All travel arrangements are done and your session schedule is locked. If by any chance that is not the case, let me start by giving you five suggested sessions. These sessions are by some of my favorite presenters, and I know they will knock you off your feet. If you don’t have any of these in your schedule you are missing out, in my opinion, on the best that VMworld has to offer.
- INF5211 – Automating Everything VMware with PowerCLI – Deep Dive – Luc Dekens and Alan Renouf
Luc and Alan have been in the top 10 sessions for as long as I can remember. Not only are they very entertaining speakers, but also they are very knowledgeable when it comes to automating literally every single aspect of an SDDC.
- INF5306 – DRS Advancements in vSphere 6, Advanced Concepts, and Future Directions – Naveen Nagaraj
This is as hardcore as it gets. DRS is the cornerstone of resource management and you can expect Naveen to go deep. He’ll explain things like the DRS algorithm and how things like shares/limits/reservations/resource pools work.
- INF5701 – Extreme Performance Series: vSphere Compute & Memory – Fei Guo and Seong Beom Kim
Interested in how the CPU scheduler works? Wondering how Transparent Page Sharing is helping or potentially hurting performance? Attend this one!
- PAR6417 – vCloud Air Disaster Recovery Deep Dive – David Hill
I’ve attended many sessions by Dave, and have never been disappointed. vCloud Air DR is a very interesting concept, and one of the best use cases for the public if you ask me as it removes the need for an expensive second datacenter which is only used in emergencies.
- STO5336 – VMware Virtual SAN – Architecture Deep Dive – Rawlinson Rivera and Christos Karamanolis
This is probably my personal favorite topic, and with two great speakers I can promise this one will be a hit. I also assume it is “sold out” by now, but if a repeat shows up– sign up, you will not be disappointed, as Virtual SAN is the future.
Besides great sessions, VMworld is also an excellent event for networking, to discover new products and companies, and of course to make new friends. At each of the VMworld events I have attended I have spent at least four to eight hours walking around the Solutions Exchange talking to people. I usually come prepared with a list of vendors and people I would like to talk to, but I also just randomly walk around and talk to people at booths that have interesting-looking products.
There are also many receptions and parties where you can make new friends or extend your network. One thing I always try to do though, is during lunch
Last, but definitely not least, there is the VMworld party. Who doesn’t like hanging out with friends, drinking a couple of beers (or wine/soda) and listening to music? This year the VMworld party is once again at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. If you ask me, that by itself is worth attending the party. On top of that, there will be two great bands playing—it should be a great time!
I hope to see you at VMworld, and maybe even in one of my sessions. Believe me when I say that all speakers, bloggers, and authors are very approachable. If you feel like it, don’t be shy– stop by and say hi.
Read more from Duncan at Yellow Bricks.