This October I’m off to Spain for my first VMworld experience at VMworld Europe 2015. This is an awesome opportunity, VMware’s annual conference covering the virtual world is one of the biggest cloud and virtualisation events in Europe.
Although bad timing between the US event, my work calendar, and my wallet meant I missed out on an offered “official blogger” spot in San Francisco, that disappointment was turned into jubilation when I got the go-ahead for a regular pass to the European leg. I’m still planning to write up my highlights from the Barcelona week on this site and I’m sure they’ll be some tweeting going on too. I usually take copious notes at conferences, not only so that I can remember things myself, but also so I can disseminate information back at the office. This blog provides a bit of focus to those sprawling OneNote pages and hopefully someone out there will find it useful too!
So, what can you expect from these posts? Well, content at this conference is arranged down 5 tracks- “Software Defined Data Centre”, “End User Computing”, “Hybrid Cloud”, “Cloud Native Applications”, and “Technology Deep Dives & Futures”. Whilst I expect my primary focus will be on the SDDC track (with a spot of End User Computing thrown in) as that’s my day-to-day, I’m going to make sure I pick up some sessions from the others. Events such as this are ideal for not only developing that focussed knowledge, but also getting more appreciation and detail of the wider ecosystem- and there’s some great stuff out there.
My work on picking those sessions has already started using the online Session Builder and Content Catalogue. Some sessions are already filled up so sorting out my timetable is vital even this far in advance. I’m also filling up my reading (and watching) list- I believe pre-conference learning is vital to ensure that I get the most from the few days of the event.
So, six weeks to go till the big event- see you there?
Here’s five things from the US leg of VMworld 2015 I’m looking forward to finding out more about at the European event in October.
- Project A2– The Enterprise Mobile Management of Airwatch coupled with the application delivery of App Volumes. Could this be another tool for our “Any App, Any Device, Any Where” toolbox?
— Chris Bradshaw (@aldershotchris) September 1, 2015
- VSAN, VVols, and more- There’s a lot of new storage options out there to support a vSphere 6 Virtual environment, so I’m planning on spending some time fighting through the vJargon and finding out which bits are best for the future of the infrastructure I manage.
- Cross-Cloud vMotion. Live migrations of VMs between clouds is (in my opinion) a vital component of the public/private/hybrid Virtual Infrastructure Model. And coupled with the long-distance vMotion features this could be a big step forward.
- Software Defined Data Centre- There was lots of content about the SDDC, the latest iteration of VMware’s modern Virtualisation Architecture, integrating Storage and Network virtualisation into the Server virtualisation package. I’ve got several related breakouts already in my Session Planner around this, both from the technical point of view but also looking at how an organisation can change and benefit from the technology.
- Ready for Any?- The tagline of the conference is “Ready for Any”, but several people have commented that perhaps this is “Any VMware product”. Despite this we’re starting to see more interaction with Microsoft- an MS Exec was even onstage during a Keynote talking Windows 10 and a demo of App Volumes working alongside SCCM, so perhaps the utopia of “any VM vMotioning between any vendors’ cloud” will soon be possible.
#VMworld focus on hybrid cloud means VMware inside and VMware outside. Where does that leave customers use other public cloud?
— Al Gillen (@algillen) August 31, 2015
I should also give a quick mention to Terkel Olsen’s comprehensive T-Shirt Reviews
VMworld Europe 2015 is next week. Whilst this is my first time at the VMware conference (yep, I’m a NewV), here are some general purpose tips from my other conference experiences.
- Travel: Scope out the transport to the venue in advance- is registration open the evening before? Don’t wait till the Monday morning rush hour to find out how the local metro works. You’re likely to be doing a lot of walking, even when you get to the venue, so make sure you wear comfortable footwear.
- Go to those breakout sessions, even if they are being recorded. This is your learning time, your (hopefully) not interrupted by the day-to-day of the office time. If you skip those sessions you may not get the chance to go back and watch them. You’ll certainly miss out on the chance to ask questions, follow up in person with the speaker, or use that new-found knowledge later in the week.
When you’re at the sessions take notes. Lots of notes. This might be just a personal thing, but I find I can recall the knowledge much better if I write it down, even if I don’t refer back to all the notes.
- Tour the Vendor area. It’s not just about getting free pens and t-shirts- find out about the products. From the big conferences like VMworld and Ignite down to the more local one’s like VMUG or the Insight show you have the opportunity to speak to several vendors in one place rather than arranging separate trips or online sessions with each one. But do pick up the t-shirts anyway 🙂
- Speak to your fellow IT Professionals. There’s a lot of networking activities at these events and it’s a great opportunity to make contacts in the industry and find out how everyone else does things. You might find your next job, next employee, next sale, or next purchase. Even if you feel like the most reserved, shy, introverted person in the room go and speak to someone. If nothing else that might be one more friend for next time.
- Remember, when it’s all over, you can go back to the office and relax 🙂
The anticipation, the build up, the packing. All done, and I made it to Barcelona yesterday evening to start VMworld today. With over 10,000 attendees and hundreds of sessions and labs to choose from this is going to be a busy few days!
Today’s schedule included discussions with vendors, hands-on-labs, and a couple of breakout sessions- MGT6521-QT “Adapting to Change: The IT Admin Role in the Hybrid Cloud Era” and the “NewV-101 New V Welcome Session”. The first of these was one of the new “Quick Talks”, at 30 minutes long. I quite like this format mixed in with the traditional full-length sessions, it allows me to look into a broader set of topics that I might not add to my schedule if it was a longer session.
Despite the brevity of the QuickTalk there was plenty of interesting material. In the world of constantly changing technology IT needs to stay relevant, and the role of the IT admin is evolving because of this. For example where the IT admin would have traditionally written ad-hoc scripts, the need for more automation in IT means that this process is now much more akin to formal software development- a much more structured approach is required. There is more of a focus on enabling the business, providing self service and self healing systems. The IT admin is ideally placed to handle this with their intimate knowledge of the systems and hands-on approach, the role isn’t going to go away but it will change.
I rounded off the formal sessions for this starter day with the NewV welcome session. This covered the basics of how the conference works, and whilst most of the material was already covered on the website leading up to the event, it’s nice to have a refresher and any gaps filled in. We even had the VMware CMO onstage to reassure everyone that the world wasn’t going to fall apart following the announcement from Dell and EMC (who are an 80% shareholder in VMware) this morning.
So, on to tomorrow with the General Session to kick the day off at 9am.