VMworld has been, and continues to be (IMO – but I’m biased) the most awesome tech conference (and that’s saying something, considering that EMC World is right around the corner – REGISTER NOW). One thing I’ve always dug is the degree of “community” around VMware.
BTW - I think this sense of VMware community is changing a little – hard to put my finger on it. I think part of it is the magic is moving to other parts of the stack – partially around networking (think of folks like Scott Lowe and Brad Hedlund going to Nicira), partially around new storage models (so much going on here in startup and big company land), partially around automation (whether it’s crazy awesomeness around Puppet, vCAC, or any of a million startups). Part of it is around the “who’s who” changing as people move into new things, new roles, and new stars appear.
While parts of what make up the community may be changing, it is the community that makes VMworld magic. If I think about other conferences, they don’t have the same community submission and voting process. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: in my experience the process is very fair. I’m not always happy with it, but it does tend to be fair.
The community (vendors, customers, partners, VMware folks) all make submissions, and then we all vote.
I’ve put some of my favorites (not just the EMC ones) past the break – check them out, and if you are intrigued, VOTE!
First thing first – open the voting by going to the VMworld page here.
How I pick starts with the presenter – someone who I know will make it deep, interesting, entertaining – i.e. valuable for the audience. The WORST sessions tend to be the vendor commercials. Conversely vendors that actually go deep, focus on tech and best practice can actually be some of the best. There’s debate about the “customer sharing their experience” sessions – I dig them (real world!), but others don’t (yeah, real world that doesn’t reflect my real world).
Ok, here are some of my favorite sessions (you can search based on the session #):
- Ask the Experts/Panels… My FAVORITE type of session. At their best, they are are informal, educational, honest, interactive, and entertaining. I would vote for these over all others.
- 4818 The Software Defined Datacenter Panel (Kamau Wanguhu, VMware; William Lam, VMware; Duncan Epping, VMware; Cormac Hogan, VMware Alan Renouf, VMware). Killer panel. Anything could happen.
- 4569 Ask the Expert vBloggers (Rick Scherer, EMC; Duncan Epping, VMware; Vaughn Stewart, NetApp; Scott Lowe, VMware; William Lam, VMware). 3rd year doing this one – and it’s always one of the most entertaining :-) But, Rick, I’m not on it? Why did you reject me :-)
- 4570 Ask the Expert VCDX's (Rick Scherer, EMC; Matt Cowger, EMC; Chris Colotti, VMware; Duncan Epping, VMware; Jason Nash, Varrow). VERY bright people on this panel. Have a VMware emergency? (or in the case of Chris, have a need to get ripped?) These are the people to call :-)
- 4571 Ask the Experts - Storage Leaders (Chad Sakac, EMC; Eric Siebert, Hewlett-Packard; Vaughn Stewart, NetApp; Rick Scherer, EMC; Jason Boche, Dell) Smart to break out the storage Ask the Experts. In past years, this branch of topics tended to overwhelm other worth topics. Honored to be on this panel with my compatriots.
- Just cool-a$$ tech and storage
- 5193 Everything you need to know about DRS Resource Pools - Aashish Parikh, VMware & Frank Denneman, VMware. DRS = magic (and more and more important every day). Understanding may remove the mystery of DRS, but none of the magic :-)
- 5506 Flashback. Flash Now. Flash Next. Zero To One Million IOPs In A Flash. - Robin Ren, EMC
Dan Cobb, EMC. The tech in this session is FACE MELTING.
- 5464 Leading Edge: Evolving To A Software-Defined Data Center – Chad Sakac, EMC. This is the “everything but the kitchen sink” session I have done (and gotten good public scores – sheepishly) that puts together the whole kit-and-kaboodle of the VMware/EMC integration and roadmap across all domains.
- 5420 Software-Defined Storage: The Art Of The Possible – Chad Sakac, EMC. This is a deeper dive into what I think the industry needs to do to make real SDS a reality.
- 5638 Best Practices with Software Defined Storage – Vaughn Stewart, NetApp & Chad Sakac, EMC. In this one, Vaughn and I will double-team to make it a vendor neutral schmorgasborg :-)
- 5892 Storage and CPU Noisy Neighbor Issues: Troubleshooting and Best Practices - Krishna Raja, CloudPhysics & Maish Saidel-Keesing, Cisco. Great presenters. The team at Cloud Physics has some cool tech, but the session will have something for everyone.
- 4652 esxtop For Advanced Users - Krishna Raj Raja, CloudPhysics. esxtop is one constant go-to tool in the vCloud/vSphere admin’s kitbag, and when you combine it with the ditto above, makes this one a must see for me.
- 5892 The Decisive Admin: How to Make Better Choices Operating and Designing vSphere Infrastructure -John Blumenthal, CloudPhysics, Inc.& Drew Henning, HDR Inc. John’s great and thoughful, and this topic (fundamentally about the connectedness of the elements of the stack) is an important one.
- Interested in high availability and DR? Very hot topics today – more and more Site Recovery Manager and streched clusters being deployed every day.
- 4872 Operating and Architecting a vMSC based infrastructure - Duncan Epping, VMware
Lee Dilworth, VMware. If you’re looking for this topic with the most neutral stance, this will be the session. We’ll make sure that in the EMC session we avoid “koolaid” like the plague – but Duncan and Lee are awesome, and will toe the neutral line.
- 4572 Building a vSphere Metro Storage Cluster for VMware Horizon View – Rick Scherer. Rick is a great presenter, and a VCDX. This combines two great topics and technologies. It also is interesting because DR/HA of View hasn’t been easy in the past, so interesting to see if this is a better approach.
- 5038 Achieving High Availability with vSphere Storage Metro Clusters and EMC VPLEX - Joe Kelly, Martin Valencia from Varrow. Varrow has some of the best cross-domain experts I’ve seen at a VAR. They’ve had a lot of experiences with a lot of technology – so I would expect that this would be a very balanced and deep session.
- 5803 Continuous operations for VMware in the real world – Ashish Pelakar. Ashish is on the Engineering/PM team for VPLEX and Recoverpoint, count on this being a deep, and forward-looking session.
- 5129 Protection for All - vSphere Replication & SRM Technical Update - Lee Dilworth, VMware; Ken Werneberg, VMware. Good title for the session. While stretched clusters tend to get all the attention, simpler SRM solutions are generally the answer for many customers. SRM and vSphere Replication continue to get better every day, and this is the team to give a tech update.
- 5276 Next Generation ‘Economical’ Data Protection for Business-Critical Applications – Yossi Saad. Yossi didn’t do a great job on the session details on this one. So why did I include it? Because of something I know is coming :-)
- 4872 Operating and Architecting a vMSC based infrastructure - Duncan Epping, VMware
- Interested in EUC?
- 5883 Managing Desktop as a Service Environments with vCenter Operations for View - Bruce George, EMC, Wayne Watson, VMware. Not enough people know about the vCenter Ops/View integration. If you’re using View, trust me, check out this session.
- 5285 Making the most of Flash Drives in your VDI Design - Jim Sanzone, EMC; Itzik Reich, EMC. Two GREAT presenters, and a GREAT topic. The use of Flash (as a cache, as a tier, in all-flash arrays) is the main way to get to a high performing and economic EUC design. These two. know. their. stuff.
- Interested in management and automation? You should be. This is what makes a cloud a cloud.
- 5472 vCO - Say hi to Razor and Software Defined Storage - Magnus Nilsson, EMC; Jonas Rosland, EMC. This session has everything needed to be awesome. Magnus and Jonas are both great, but this is filled to the gills with new tech goodness. Again, they needed to carefully write it to avoid getting into trouble, but trust me – will be one for the ages.
- 5537 Building Open Adapters for vCenter Operations – Matt Cowger. Matt is a rock star. He is on the team that works hand in hand with VMware, and came from Salesforce.com where he was one of the folks behind their (highly automated) VMware infrastructure. He has a TON of experience of hacking together vCOPS adapters. Come to this session, and you’ll be able to make an adapter for just about anything.
- 5685 Backup and Recovery for vCloud and Hybrid Services – Clint Kitson. Clint is also a rock star. He’s been furiously working away on some secret stuff for about 4-6 months with the vCHS (“vCheese”) team (that’s vCloud Hybrid Service for those of you following at home) team. This should be the “coming out party”. Will prove to be a great session for anyone looking at backup and recovery for vCD.
- 5278 vCenter Operations: Advanced dashboard creation and monitoring made easy - Bas Raayman, EMC. So you have vCOPS. Congrats! You have a powerful tool at your fingertips. A key part of getting the most from it is building your own dashboards. Bas is an awesome guy, a great passionate technologist and a great presenter (and a great friend). Check it out!
- 5008 vCenter Operations and the quest for the Missing Metrics - Eric Sloof, NTPRO.NL & Duco Jaspars, vConsult – two of my favorites in the community, and a great topic. Knowing how to get the most out of vCenter Operations is key. Echoes some of the topics in Bas’ session, but if you have vCOPS or are thinking about it, those two would be my “must go” sessions.
- 5539 Analytics Brings vSphere and Storage Administrators Together - Raghavan Srinivisan, EMC. EMC Storage Analytics (vCenter Operations + a unique EMC adapter) gets some amazing customer feedback… If you’re an EMC customer, you want to use this with your stack – it’s low cost, even if you don’t have vCOPS (and if you do already, the adapter plus right in).
- 5426 Using VMware Clouds to Accelerate Innovation in Your Business – Wade O’Harrow, EMC, Matt Cowger, EMC. I’ve talked to the guys, and this is an interesting take and role play to show how you can make the connection between vCloud and IaaS and ultimately what matters (and what the infrastructure is there to support) – the app developers.
- Interested in advanced use case studies? Use cases can be very enlightening, particularly when they are a little more “out there” (less interesting to do a “hey I deployed vSphere ESX and vCenter and saved a ton of money)
- 5073 Enabling Global Product Development Agility at EMC using VMware Software-Defined Data Center technologies - Chirag Patel, VMware & Sachin Mullick, EMC. An interesting real-world large scale vCloud Suite use case. I know this one well – lots of lessons learnt.
- 5943 Leveraging SDDC for an Enterprise PaaS solution at EMC - Alex Mittell, VMware & Paul Divittorio, EMC. This layers on top of the IaaS layer where many stop, and shares what we’re doing around deploying our own PaaS model.
- 5388 Building Big Data Clouds for Compliance - Wayne Varga, K3DES; Davi Ottenheimer, EMC; Mike; Villegas, K3DES; John Stanford, RMS. This is a REALLY cool case. Deep compliance needs, and huge scale models. Check it out!!!
- 5612 Real World Best Practices: SAP in a Fully Virtualized Environment - William Reid, EMC. SAP. Virtualized. ‘Nuff said.
- 5489 Insourcing Apps onto Private PaaS with vCloud and Puppet - Edward Newman, EMC; Mike Norris, EMC. A cool example of use of emerging tools to build a full PaaS stack.
- 5538 How Midsize Enterprises Are Evaluating Public Cloud Offerings – Tommy Trogden, EMC. This one is FASCINATING. A series of customers, sharing how they evaluated public cloud options. I’m all over this.
- Interested in security in the era of SDDC?
- 5411 Building Dynamic Security into a Private/Hybrid Cloud - Davi Ottenheimer, EMC. Check. out. David’s. Bio. ‘Nuff said.
- 5397 Top Security Threats to Cloud: The Seven Samurai - Davi Ottenheimer, EMC. Ditto.
- 5341 Delivering secure multi-tenancy on a VMware platform - David Barker, EMC. An interesting example of how we use vCD and vBlock and attest to security and isolation.
- 5616 Building security and compliance into a vCloud environment and PROVING IT. - Robert Porter, EMC; Eric O'Callaghan, EMC. This session’s focus around attestation is an important one. One of the most important things when it comes to cloud adoption (private/public/hybrid) is the ability to PROVE compliance when needed and on demand. Not easy, but there are great answers.
- Interested in Oracle on VMware?
- 5180 Extreme Virtualized Oracle Performance in a Proven Architecture – Sam Lucido. Sam’s great, and this topic always deserves a look and a refresh. Oracle as VMs on modern hardware smokes what people have built over the last few years on the stuff that is often pitched as “the most powerful” way to deploy.
- 5585 Reduce Oracle TCO by 28% - Learn the secrets Oracle doesn't want you to know! – Sam Lucido. This is the other half of the question of “Oracle on VMware”. Not only can performance rock, but you can save a lot of money (often the opposite of what people are told). Learn the tricks of the trade. This one could get us in trouble :-)
- 5444 Virtualized Oracle Database / RAC Storage on Direct NFS Client: Best Practices – Jeff Browning. I love dNFS and I love VMware. Put it all together, you get a simple, high performance Oracle environment. Jeff knows a ton about this config.
- 5777 Test Report of VMWare vMotion of Oracle Database in a Cloud Storage Environment – Robert Johnson. This one had me scratching my head – but hey, who doesn’t like seeing a whackload of test data?
Regardless of whether you vote for the ones I dug, or discover your own, VOTE! I’ll see you at EMC World/VMworld!