Tag: VMworld

VMworld session public voting – vote early and vote often

Well maybe not often, that’s the way they used to do it in Chicago in the old days. I did want to make a plea to get your votes for my sessions at VMworld. I have several I submitted as part of HP and I promise to make them as technical as possible. My Top 10 things you must know about storage for vSphere session is crammed full of technical info, so much so that I’ve had to trim it down twice as it could easily go over an hour.

Before I highlight my sessions I wanted to mention how crazy it’s gotten trying to get session submissions approved for VMworld. Back in the ole days (2008) when I first presented at VMworld, there weren’t a lot of bloggers, there were a lot less partners and VMware had a lot less products. Fast forward to today and there are hundreds of bloggers (200+), hundreds of partners and VMware has a boatload of products. As a result they get a crazy amount of submissions each year and with very limited session slots it’s extremely difficult to get one. What really impacts it the most is that VMware has gotten so big with so many products that they need a lot of session slots to cover them all, that doesn’t leave much for partners, who are guaranteed some slots and that leaves hardly any for bloggers. It’s a shame as there are so many great session submissions each year but there are so few slots to fit them in.

Which brings me to the public voting, VMware lets public voting have an influence on the approved session outcome. Public voting is just a percentage of the methods used to approve sessions, a big part of it is the private content committee judging that is done. With the content committee, every session is given a look over and scored by the committee. Where it becomes extremely difficult is with public voting, there are so many sessions on the ballot that it quickly becomes overwhelming and nobody has time to go through them one by one. Therefore many people skim through them or look for specific sessions that they know about. What becomes really important is the title of your session, which is essentially the curb appeal that draws people in to take a closer look at your session. Many people don’t get past the titles and only look at interesting and catchy titles. When you are confronted with over 1200 sessions to vote on, you simply don’t have the time to look at them all. What I find that helps a bit is filtering on tracks, keywords or speaker names. It’s still a difficult task though, imaging voting for over 1200 people running for president, it’s just too much.

So with that I’d like to point out my sessions and let you take a look and see if you judge them worthy of your vote. I appreciate your consideration and vote or no vote I look forward to seeing you at VMworld anyway. Even if you don’t vote for me you should still get out there an vote.


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Hitchhiker’s Guide to VMworld

I originally posted this advice for VMworld in 2010, much of it’s still relevant so I though I’d re-post it, not all the links all relevant below so I posted some updated ones below…

I felt a great disturbance in the force, nah its just VMworld…

If Obi Wan Ken Obi were around he would feel a great disturbance in the force as a large portion of the virtualization talent in the world converges on San Francisco next week for VMworld 2010. This promises to be one of the biggest and best years yet with an estimated 15,000 people attending, lots of great announcements, 9 tracks with 300+ sessions and 20 super sessions. If that ain’t enough there are hundreds of vendors showing off their wares, dozens of great labs to attend and enough parties to keep you entertained from dusk to dawn. This is my 3rd VMworld and I wanted to offer some advice, observations and information that you might find helpful:

  • The sessions, so many to choose from, so little time, you’ll be lucky if you can attend more than a dozen of them. They’re just so much other stuff to do there its hard to find time to go to sessions. I recommend you pick a few that you really want to see and don’t sweat it if you miss some, remember they’re all recorded and you have plenty of time to see them after VMworld. I usually choose based on certain people that I want to hear speak and meet after the session. After all you can always hear the session later but you can’t meet the speaker after VMworld is over. This year their is no mandatory registration for sessions, anyone can show up and its first come first serve until the room is filled.
  • The labs, always pretty hectic to get into them but this year they made them bigger and better. Gone are the instructor-led labs and they are are now all self-paced. They are also ran from servers in a big cloud somewhere instead of being on-site which should be better because they have much more time to setup and test everything before the event instead of trying to rapidly put it all together at Moscone.
  • The parties, there are no shortage of them and trying to pick and choose which ones you want to attend can be even more challenging than picking sessions to see. There is a pretty comprehensive list of them here. Sunday is the big warm-up party at the Thirsty Bear, you have to register to get in (its already closed) but if you try going later (after 8:00pm) they may have some room for anyone to go in. Monday is the opening Welcome Reception in the Solutions Exchange, food, beer & vendors, a good way to start the evening. Afterwards we are having the official VMworld tweetup from 9:00pm – 11:00pm, space is limited so RSVP if you want to attend, this should be a real fun event. Finally on Monday evening if you are into stogies, a group of us are going to smoke them after 11:00pm at a local cigar bar, RSVP here. You can’t smoke anywhere in San Fran so if you like cigars come along. Tuesday seems to be the day every vendor throws a party, so pick the ones you want to go to and hop between them. Personally I’m going to try and make it to 3-4 of them including the Veeam party which is always great. Contact your vendors if you don’t have invites and they should be able to get you one. Wednesday is the big official VMworld party with INXS playing this year, don’t look all over the place outside in the Yerba Buena gardens as the band doesn’t play there, they play indoors in the same area as the keynotes are held.
  • The networking, that’s what VMworld is all about, don’t be a hermit and don’t be afraid to talk to people. People like Mike LaverickJason BocheScott Lowe and Duncan Eppingaren’t surrounded by security guards and are down to earth guys who will talk to anyone. So go say high, introduce yourself and have a conversation, you’ll be very glad you did so afterwards. Don’t know where to find people? Well parties are a good place to start, everyone seems to gravitate there. Do yourself a favor and get on twitter if you’re not already and you’ll know in real time whats going on. You can see a full list of people tweeting and blogging here and see real time feeds of tweets here, the official VMworld hashtag is #vmworld.
  • Plan your trip appropriately, you’re going to be on your feet a lot at VMworld, you better have comfortable shoes or you’re going to have real sore feet. Pack light if you can, you might want to being an extra bag, there are lots of prize giveaways and free swag all over the place so I can almost guarantee you’re going to go home with more than you came with. If you’re going to walk around with a back pack don’t stuff it too much, its going to get awfully heavy after wearing it a few hours. I travel light and don’t want a full laptop to lug around, I bring a netbook, iPad and iPhone and choose the one I want to carry for what I need to do at the time. Don’t forget power, especially for your iPhone, I carry 3 battery packs so I can charge it as needed without an outlet. Wi-fi coverage at Moscone is so-so and 3G in San Fran is always bad and will probably be even worse at VMworld due to an additional 5,000 or so iPhones/iPads all fighting for service.
  • Set your priorities and expectations ahead of time, VMworld has plenty to offer and you’ll get as much out of it as you put into it. Sessions are at the bottom of the priority list for me, things like networking and going through the Solutions Exchange are at the top. If you make a schedule it will be challenging to keep it as there are plenty of distractions at VMworld. Be realistic and don’t try and cram your schedule so full that you stress yourself out and are rushing to get to everything. Relax, enjoy yourself and have fun.
  • VMware makes a point to show off their talent at VMworld, this means those geeky developers that are normally locked up all day making the next version of vSphere are there and usually available to talk to. What better person to ask your HA question than someone who actually developed the feature. VMware has lots of other smart people there so be sure and check out the VMware booths in the Solutions Exchange to meet them. Also new this year are knowledge experts that you can schedule one-on-one facetime with. It’s not just VMware that has their smartest and brightest at the show though, most of the vendors do also so go by your favorite vendors and talk them up and get your questions answered.
  • The Solutions Exchange is like a Super Walmart, everything you can possibly need for VMware products all under one roof, take your time, stroll around and I guarantee you’ll see many cool products that you probably never knew existed. VMware has an incredibly rich ecosystem of vendors that can help solve your pain points and enhance your environment. Do make a point of spending plenty of time there, besides learning a lot you’ll leave with pockets stuffed with vendor swag.
  • If this is your first time at VMworld or San Fran it can be a bit intimidating, especially when it comes to finding your way around. If you get there on Sunday try and pick up your badge then rather than fight the crowds on Monday. Walking around and trying to get your bearings can help, be sure and use the maps of the Moscone that are published on VMworld.com and in the docs you are given when you check in to see where everything is. If you need information don’t hesitate to ask someone, or even better trying tweeting it and you might get a quick answer. The more social you can be at VMworld especially if its your first time will really help you out as us virtualization folks are a friendly lot that don’t bite and are glad to help out a vComrade.
  • See San Francisco if you can, there is lots to see in the city, know how to get around ahead of time, BART and the public transportation are great for this. Go see the sea lions at Pier 39 (watch out for the Bush Man), take a boat trip to Alcatraz, see the Muir Woods, Golden Gate or go climb Coit Tower. I have a big list of things to do in San Francisco here.
  • Know where to go after the action is over, once VMworld closes each day there are plenty of parties, after the parties are over many gather at popular spots. One such spot is the lobby bar of the Marriott Marquis hotel which is 2 blocks from the Moscone. I had many great late night conversations with others there each night after all the parties ended.

VMworld is four short days and will fly by before you know it, so be sure and make the most of it and soak up the incredible amount of knowledge that will be available both formally through labs and sessions and informally through talking to others. Enjoy the show and I hope to meet many of you there

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Things to do in San Francisco at VMworld

VMworld was last in San Francisco in 2010 having gone back to Vegas in 2011. Back in 2009 I compiled a list of links of things to do in San Francisco that you might find useful this year. Compared to Vegas there is just so much more to see and do and at least you’re not trapped in a hotel all day & night. One of those unique attractions in SF is the famous Bushman, forget booth babes, I would love to see a vendor hire the Bushman for their booth in the Solutions Expo and scare the crap out of virtualization geeks. Here’s the link to my San Francisco link post:


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VMworld sessions by the numbers

This year it seemed even tougher than ever to get a session approved, I know of many good sessions/speakers that were shot down. VMware has taken over more and more session slots and when you take into account the sessions that they owe sponsors as part of their sponsorships, that leaves not much for everyone else. There are a lot of good bloggers and vExperts that have submitted great session proposals that are now finding it almost impossible to get approved. Part of the problem stems from the fact that VMware has really grown as a company and their product portfolio is getting larger and larger. As a result they have a lot more session areas that they probably need to cover which squeezes out everyone else. Gone are the days of just ESX & vCenter Server being the featured session topics, now we have dozens of other products that they need to cover at VMworld.

It seems like VMworld has gotten too big for it’s britches and steadily completed the transformation into VMwareworld. It’s unfortunate that they do not try and expand it out by adding additional rooms and capacity as they are just shutting out their loyal partners and all the great bloggers, customers and vExperts out there. If you’ve been to VMworld for many years you’ve probably noticed the change yourself. Many people will start to get discouraged and no longer submit session proposals which is unfortunate. VMware really needs to step up and support a non-VMware led conference that allows all the great content & speakers outside of VMware to have a voice like a VMware Technical Exchange.

Was going through the Schedule Builder today and was curious as to the number of sessions for different categories:

Total sessions: 455 (This includes all the different session types)

Sessions by Type:

  • Breakout Session – 293
  • CEO Roundtable – 1
  • Certification Exam – 1
  • Group Discussion – 56
  • Hands-on Lab – 36
  • Meet the Experts – 16
  • Panel Session – 35
  • Spotlight Session – 17

Sessions by Days:

  • Monday – 141
  • Tuesday – 146
  • Wednesday – 181
  • Thursday – 55

Sessions by Technical Level:

  • Business Solution – 108
  • Technical – 165
  • Advanced Technical – 58

I also searched on company keywords for speakers and here were the results:

  • VMware – 306 (includes sessions that may be shared with other companies)
  • Cisco – 6
  • EMC – 6
  • Dell – 5
  • NetApp – 4
  • HP – 4
  • IBM – 3
  • Hitachi – 1

As you can see VMware dominates and all the other large companies are getting squeezed out, but hey it’s their show and I guess they can do what they want.

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What are you most looking forward to at VMworld?

[poll id=”8″]

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Justification Links

Sample letter for justifying VMworld to your manager
Why attend VMworld during financial crisis?
Attend VMworld 2009
VMworld, just be there!
VMworld 2009 Right Around The Corner
VMworld 2009
Why attend VMworld?

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Select VMworld sessions released for general public

About 2 months ago, John Troyer asked me for recommendations for 10 or so of some of the VMworld 2008 & VMworld Europe 2009 sessions to be released for free to non-attendees. It was hard picking just 10 and I ended up with about 30 of the ones I thought people would enjoy the most. Well it took a while but they just announced that they are now available for free and it’s almost the exact session list that I picked out back then. So head on over to the VMworld website and check them out, there is some great content there. You do need to have a  VMworld account to view these sessions, if you don’t already have one you can get one by registering for free.

VMworld Europe 2009:
AP07 – Virtualized Oracle Database Server Performance and Best Practices
DC07 – What’s New in vCenter Server
DC14 – Overview of 2009 VMware datacenter products
DC15 – Hypervisor Competitive Differences: Beyond the Data Sheet
DC26 – vStorage – Storage integration for the VDC-OS
TA12 – Introducing VMware Converter 4.0: What’s New and Different
TA15 – Protecting your vCenter Server with Server Heartbeat
TA17 – End-to-End Disaster Recovery Approach with Automated SRM Failback
TA20 – Cisco Nexus 1000V Technical Preview

VMworld 2008:
AD2764 – Managing VMware with PowerShell
BC2215 – Top Tips for VMware Consolidated Backup
BC3141 – Understanding Options for Virtualized Disaster Recovery
EA2244 – Virtualizing SQL Server Using VMware Infrastructure
EA2263 – Deploying Exchange 2007 on VMware Infrastructure 3
EA2347 – Citrix Presentation Server Virtualization in VI3 – Best Practices
EA2538 – Using IBM WebSphere Family Products with VMware
EA2672 – VMware is the Best Platform for Java Workloads
PO1323 – Best Practices for Virtualizing Active Directory
PO1520 – Managing VMware ESXi in the Datacenter
PO2061 – VMware VirtualCenter 2.5 Database Best Practices
PO1944 – Architecting and Managing your Storage Effectively with Virtual Infrastructure
PO2218 – Everyday Usage of the RCLI
PO2841 – Virtualization – The Big Picture
TA1401 – Understanding Host and Guest Memory Usage and Other Memory Management Concepts
TA1405 – VMotion Technical Deep Dive
TA1440 – ESXtop for Advanced Users
TA2213 – VMware Infrastructure 3 Storage: iSCSI Implementation and Best Practices
TA2375 – Intepreting Performance Statistics in VI3
TA2550 – ESX Server Best Practices for Performance
TA2554 – VI Networking: Advanced Configurations and Troubleshooting
TA2668 – VMware ESX Architectural Directions
TA2920 – Overview of VMware Product Directions
TA3807 – VirtualCenter Directions
VD3261 – VDI versus Terminal Services
VI2389 – Licensing for a Virtual World
VI2940 – VMware ESXi: The Easiest Way to Get Started
VI2715 – Making the Case: Selling Virtualization When ROI isn’t Enough
LAB05 – VMware Infrastructure – Security Hardening & Best Practices (VMware VirtualCenter/ESX/ESXi)
LAB09 – Scripting VMware Infrastructure: Automating, Integrating, and Extending VI

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