VMworld Europe 2012 – Day 2 – Solutions Exchange

The day kicked off with the second general session of the conference. This one was focused on the future of End User Computing (EUC) and was hosted by CTO, Steve Herrod. Now many people believe that End User Computing = VDI. They’re wrong, it’s so much more than that and some of it was demonstrated during the general session.

I won’t do it justice here but it’s worth trying to watch the video of the general session or looking up some video demos of Mirage and the Horizon Suite. There are some amazing developments coming along. EUC is certainly full of innovation.

After the general session I spent most of the day in the Solutions Exchange. I like to set aside a big block of time to visit the vendor stands as it saves me having to run back and forth between sessions and the Solutions Exchange. As any attendee will tell you, that’s quite a long walk!

I’m not going to go into detail about the conversations that I had in this post but I did want to mention the vendors whose stands I visited for a chat:

  • Tintri
  • vKernel
  • VMware
  • Acronis
  • Symantec
  • OCZ
  • QNAP
  • InfoBlox
  • FusionIO
  • PHD Virtual
  • NetApp
  • EMC

The majority of the rest of my day was spent in and around the Hang Space and Solutions Exchange doing some networking as well as watching some of the vBrownBag talks.


VMworld Europe 2012 – Day 1

This was the day that 8000 or so people descended on the conference centre in Barcelona as VMworld opened its doors wide. Whilst the Fira Barcelona appears to me to be a bigger venue than the Bella Center in Copenhagen, it does still have its pinch points and I was glad to get there early enough in the morning to avoid the rush to the keynote speech.

For me, this was the first time that I’d seen (or read) anything publicly from new VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger, since he took office and I was interested to see how or if the message had changed since Paul Maritz moved on.

Pat’s keynote speech was well delivered and well received in my opinion. I sensed though that he was being careful to try and establish his credentials as someone who can take a successful company like VMware and continue to grow it. I hope he is.

Despite being able to watch VMworld sessions online, there were a few on Day 1 that I wanted to see. They were:

  • VSP1168 Architecting a vCloud Infrastructure with David Hill, Aidan Dalgleish, Frank Denneman and Rawlinson Rivera
  • ITT1918 Is My Organization Ready for Cloud with Kevin Lees and Andy Troup
  • CIM1274 What’s New in vCenter Orchestrator 5.1 with Thomas Corfmat, Joerg Lew, Ian Hirsinger and Christian Rudolph

All three were well presented and interesting and I took something away from each of them that was either new to me or sparked an idea or a thought in my head and that’s the benchmark of a worthwhile session for me.

I also spent a small amount of time in the Solutions Exchange (more on that in another post) and in the Hang Space watching vBrownbag sessions. You can catch up on these sessions online here.

In the evening I headed to a combined vExpert / VCDX / VMware CTO reception in a hotel. It exceeded my expectations and I got to meet many other vExperts and VCDXs. VMware CTO Steve Herrod was there briefly (see below) but left hurridly after being accosted by Gregg Robertson and Darren Woollard who were trying to persuade him to attend the forthcoming UKVMUG. No joy on that front but maybe a future London VMUG…

L-R: John Troyer (VMware Communities); Erik Ullanderson (Director Global Certifications); Steve Herrod (VMware CTO)


VMworld Europe 2012 – Day 0

I’m calling it Day 0 as the full conference started on Tuesday. Monday was Partner Day at VMworld and a chance for many to just turn up and register as well as take a few Hands-on-Lab sessions and do some networking.

I walked to the venue from my hotel and eventually managed to find my way into the Hands-on-Labs as I was keen to try out a few of the changes to elements of the vCloud suite (I haven’t managed to update my home lab yet since 5.1 was released).

I’ve enjoyed using the labs in the past and I did so this time as well but I came away with a few observations / suggestions that I’d like to share:

The manuals for each accompanying lab were a little tricky to navigate at times. I know a few people accidentally missed parts of the labs out. Others, like me found that there wasn’t quite enough screen real-estate available to show screenshots and their accompanying text.

Whilst the labs must of course be fairly prescriptive and cater to all ability levels, it might be nice in future years to have some options around the detail presented in the manuals so that it is possible for some to try and navigate the products themselves without being to exactly which button to press or value to enter.

As I said though, I enjoyed the labs that I did.

The remainder of the day was spent networking and in a blogger session organised by Nutanix. After that finished I attended the VMUG party at a restaurant a few miles away where I met a number of people who I’ve only ever conversed with via their own blogs or on twitter including Damian Karlson, Michael Webster, Josh Atwell, Jack McCleod and Luc Dekens – all great people to chat with.


UKVMUG – 15/11/2012

The first UK-wide VMUG event went so well last year that it’s on again this year. Once again it’s on at the National Motorcycle Museum just outside Solihull (nr. Birmingham).

National Motorcycle Museum
Coventry Road
Bickenhill, Solihull, West Mids, England B92 0EJ

A detailed agenda has yet to be published but the day starts on Thursday November 15th 2012 at 8am and includes:

  • Registration and Breakfast
  • VMUG Welcome
  • VMware Update
  • Keynote
  • Breakout Sessions
  • Lunch
  • Keynote
  • Breakout Sessions
  • Closing

The night before there is a vCurry reception (also at the museum) sponsored by Veeam. What are you waiting for? Register here!


CloudCamp London 24/10/2012

It’s been some time since I went to CloudCamp – January if I remember correctly. Well, it’s on again and I’m due to be in the country so I’ve just registered for it.

For the uninitiated, CloudCamp is an unconference (a participant-driven meeting) where people who are interested in Cloud Computing exchange ideas and look at pictures of kittens (you’ll understand if you go).

On the agenda…

Registration, beers and networking from 6pm. Followed by:

  • Kick-off 6.30pm
  • Introduction to CloudCamp Joe Baugley EMEA CTO Cloud at VMware.
  • Lightning Talks; to include Kuan Hon from Queen Mary University of London School of Law talking on cloud contract negotiations, Steve Chambers on Cloud Star Ratings, and more talks to be announced.
  • Unpanel – cloud experts volunteer to join the panel to answer questions from the floor
  • Unconference – an opportunity for everyone to further discuss the topics surfaced in the unpanel that require further discussion.
  • From 8:30pm: Networking, drinks and pizza
  • 9:30pm close

Find out more and how to register (it’s free) at cloudcamp.org/london.

VMware UK’s VMworld Ticket Giveaway

Want to win a ticket to VMworld Europe in Barcelona next month? VMware UK are giving one away and it’s pretty simple to throw your hat in the ring. Simply sent a tweet to @VMware_UK saying why you want to go and include the hashtag #VMworldticket.

If you’re not a fan of twitter, simply add a comment to VMware’s blog post, where you’ll also find more details about the competition. The deadline for entires is 12:00 BST 28/09/2012.


UKVMUG 2012 Call for Papers

As the days get shorter, colder and wetter (is that actually possible this year?) it means that November is drawing nearer and that heralds the next UKVMUG in Solihull.

The UKVMUG is the country’s VMware and Virtualisation community conference held annually and this it’s year on November 15th. Put the date in your calendar!

The organising committee have today asked for submissions for community presentations to be made via a google form. If you have a good idea for a presentation on a project or specific technology and you want to present at the VMUG then pop your ideas in here.

Last year’s event was very well attended. See my review of it here.


Symantec vExpert Briefing Day 29th March 2012

Symantec, I am so sorry.

There, my apology is out there. Now I ought to explain it…

Back in March I responded to a thread on the vExpert forum about a briefing day that Symantec were planning to host at the headquarters in Mountain View. (I’m actually a former Symantec employee – via an acquisition – but that’s not exactly relevant.) Fortunately I was working in the Bay Area at the time and, as I was due to fly back the following day, my workload was light enough to allow me to attend. What follows is a description, or review, of the day. Obviously I should have posted this about 5 months ago (hence the apology) but things got a little busy around then and this has been sitting in my Drafts since then.

Now you know and it’s time for me to get back to my brief review of the day…

The day was organised by Jordan Pusey (@JordanPusey), an Alliance Marketing Manager for Symantec. He coordinated getting everyone there. The criteria that had been set was that the vExperts had to be US based and, except for me, they were. I was one of six vExperts and we were more than outnumbered by people from Symantec! 🙂 Present were:

  • Shane Williford (@coolsport00) – A virtualisation guru on Experts Exchange
  • Bilal Hashmi (@hashmibilal) – Author of cloud-buddy.com
  • James Bowling (@vSential) – Author of vSential.com
  • Chris Nakagaki (@zsoldier) – Author of zsoldier.com
  • Ryan Makamson (@virt_pimp) – VMUG leader

And on the Symantec side there were numerous people whose names I didn’t catch (another apology to Symantec) as well as:

  • Kristine Mitchell (@kmitchel) – NetBackup Product Marketing Manager
  • Renee Carlisle (@SymRenRPM) – NetBackup Product Manager
  • Abdul Rasheed (@AbdulRasheed127) – Technical Marketer
  • Sean Doherty (@SeanDinfo) – CTO of Symantec’s Enterprise Security Group (and a fellow Brit)
So, what was the day all about? Well this was the outline plan that we were given:
Time Topic Speaker
12:00 – 12:30 Reception/Lunch Dale Zabriskie, Symantec Evangelist
12:30 – 1:15 Virtualization Security Todd Zambrovitz, Sr. Product Marketing Mgr, VirtualizationColin Gibbens, Principle Product Manager, Information and Security Group
1:15 – 2:00 Virtualization Security discussion Dale Zabriskie, Moderator
2:00 – 2:30 Break
2:30 – 3:30 V-Ray and Virtual Backup George Winter, Staff Technical Product Manager, Backup
3:30 – 4:30 Virtual Backup Discussion Dale Zabriskie, Moderator
4:30 – 5:30 ApplicationHA Desmond Chan, Sr. Product Manager, Storage and Availability Group
5:30 – 7:00 Dinner with the vExperts

On the face of it I was slightly worried that this might have been a bit of a sales-oriented day but I need not have been concerned. Right from the outset the purpose of the topics was set out. Basically Symantec wanted to talk about their products and solutions in the context of how such technologies were being used day-to-day. So, taking backup as an example, they wanted to understand what challenges we perceived there were in the virtual infrastructure backup space. Yes, we talked about the various pros and cons of their products but as people who use such technologies and implement them. Essentially you could say that we were helping them fine tune their products a bit through some very interesting discussions.

Besides backups, we talked for quite some time about virtualisation security, anti-virus and HA. There was quite a long discussion about the merits and demerits of agentless anti-virus that I made quite a few notes on.

So what did I get out of it? Well, I wasn’t paid to be there. I ought to get that out of the way straight off. Aside from meeting some very well switched on people at a major vendor, I met 5 other very knowledgable and opinionated vExperts and I got to talk about technology with them all. That for me is what I wanted.

I did take away several thoughts that I won’t share now but that might become the subjects of future posts (when I get the time to research them and write it all up). Oh, and I also walked away with a portable battery that helped power my iPad on the flight back 🙂

It was a great day, I enjoyed it a lot and I’m grateful to Symantec for inviting me along.


London VMUG 19/07/2012

It’s not been that long since the last London VMUG and already the next one is upon us. Sadly I won’t be able to make this one as I’ll be out of the country – it’ll be the first one that I’ve missed for quite some time – but it looks like there’s going to be some very good sessions on. Especially the NDA session. See what’s planned here:

  • Centrix Software Presentation
  • Fusion-IO Presentation
  • Whiptail Presentation
  • EMC Labs Throughout the Day
  • Lee Dilworth – VMware Availability Update: vSphere Replication, Stretched Clusters and BCDR
  • Darren Woollard and Gregg Robertson – vSphere Nerdknobs
  • Chris Evans – The Storage Architect’s View
  • Chris Gale – Fusion-IO More Desktops. More Virtual Machines. More Data-Intensive Applications. Faster. Cheaper. Simpler.
  • Matt Northam and Simon Hansford – Government Can Run vCloud, How Skyscape Did It
  • Martyn Storey – VMware NDA Roadmap Session – PLEASE NOTE:  Entrance to the NDA session is strictly dependent upon the following criteria: Signed, personal NDA; Photo ID and proof of where you work; not working for a vendor, partner, or competitor.

The event is sponsored by Centrix Software, Whiptail, Fusion-IO and EMC (for the labs). It’ll be in the usual place with the customary vBeers afterwards.

What are you waiting for? Register here.