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My VMworld schedule & what you shouldn’t miss

October 12th, 2011

I’ve been working on my VMWorld Europe schedule which is a lesson in compromise begging for more hours in a day!

There are just far too many sessions which I would like to attend but I need to also take in the following:

Its not just the sessions that are important but I want to have enough time to do some of the hands-on-labs as getting down and dirty with a product is probably the best way to learn, far better than PowerPoint (or should that be SlideRocket?).

Solutions Exchange
I also want to have enough time to spend in the Solutions Exchange getting a feel for what are the right products to complement a virtualisation & cloud environment. I find being able to walk around yourself, looking at what products are out there, what issues they are trying to solve and how they co-exist with all the other products is invaluable to give you a good base to build a great virtualisation and cloud infrastructure.

The big storage companies will of course be out in force but I’m very interested in what some of the other newer storage companies have to offer. Storage is one of the biggest and most expensive challenges with virtualisation and luckily this is driving innovation so I’m keen to see what’s new.

I’m also interested at looking at some performance/availability monitoring/reporting products. This is a difficult category as there are many products, some complement each other yet others compete. There is no one management product that does it all and with your virtualisation environment growing by the day the challenge you will soon face if not already is ensuring that your environment is working as it should and being able to monitor and report on it correctly becomes more and more important.

I would also like to see what private cloud enabler/transtition/orchestration/automation products are available. vCloud Director is obviously VMware’s one but there are others and I’m keen to see what they offer for companies that may not only be concerned with building VMs on ESX but perhaps XenServer/Hyper-V or even physical servers and how they allow you to create a private cloud service infrastructure perhaps using your existing tools and processes as a starting point. I like the idea of private cloud embracing all the technology you use rather than just VMware.

I’m sure there are plenty of other products I’ll be interested in when I have my walks around the Solutions Exchange. What else should I be looking at?

I’m also trying to make sure I have as much talking/listening and networking time as possible. This is absolutely invaluable at a converence such as VMworld as you can consume all the PDFs, PowerPoints, SlideRockets, video’s etc. from the comfort of home but you can’t get face to face with people, talk through challenges, meet some gurus, get and give some advice and generally get to be immersed in the greatest community IT has to offer. I’m also very excited to have the chance to meet up with as many vExperts I can spot.

As for sessions, I’ve decided to concentrate on sessions that have some live element to them as you can’t get the same experience without being there along with sessions that cover products in which I don’t have much experience so I can learn.

I already fear my arranged schedule is too busy, I’ll just have to see!

My Schedule

09:00 SUP1018 — The Biggest VMware Management Launch Ever! – Find out What’s New & What’s Next.
I’ve picked this one as it is the VMWorld announcement session which will be interesting to see what’s new with Management.

Other recommended sessions:
VSP1882 — Managing VMware ESXi with VMware vSphere PowerCLI – Luc Dekens, Alan Renouf
BCO2874 — vSphere High Availability 5.0 and SMP Fault Tolerance – Technical Overview and Roadmap Keith Farkas, Jim Chow

10:30 VSP3067 — Mythbusters Goes Virtual – Eric Sloof and Mattias Sundling
This one had great reviews from VMWorld Vegas and appeals to me as a session to get some great tips and hopefully give me my VMworld tip of the week.

Other recommended sessions:
BCO2479 — Understanding VMware vSphere Stretched Clusters, Disaster Recovery and Planned Workload Mobility – Lee Dilworth, Chad Sakac
EUC2866 — View Troubleshooting: Looking Under the Hood – John Dodge, Matt Coppinger
VSP1999 — esxtop for Advanced Users – Krishna Raj Raja
VSP3116 — VMware vSphere 5.0 Resource Management Deep Dive – Frank Denneman, Valentin Hamburger

12:00 CIM1264 — Private VMware vCloud Architecture Technical Deep Dive – Chris Colotti, David Hill
I’ve only done a small amount of work with vCloud Director so I’m hoping this one helps me delve a little deeper.

Other recommended session:
BCO3334 — Site Recovery Manager Future Product Directions: Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery – Nestor Dusko, Ashwin Kotian

13:30 VSP1883 — VMware vSphere PowerCLI Best Practices – Luc Dekens, Alan Renouf
I’m taking this one just in case I manage to get a glimpse of PowerCLI Man!

Other recommended sessions:
CIM2452 — VMware vCenter Operations Technical Deepdive – Kit Colbert
VSP1883 — VMware vSphere PowerCLI Best Practices – Luc Dekens, Alan Renouf

15:30 General Session — Steve Herrod, CTO and SVP of R&D
Hopefully he will show some cool demos!

09:00 General Session — Raghu Raghuram, Senior VP and General Manager of Cloud Platforms

10:30 VSP1933 — Storage I/O Control for Networking-Attached Storage Datastores – Ajay Gulati
I’m a big fan of NFS so this interests me as the next logical addition.

12:00 VSP3205 — Technology Preview: VMware vStorage APIs for VM and Application Granular Data – Satyam Vaghani, Vijay Ramachandran
This one is from a tip from Duncan Epping who says this is where you could get a sneak preview of what cool stuff is coming up for Storage.

13:30 Other recommended session:
VSP2447 — Understanding Virtualized Memory Performance Management – YP Chien, Kit Colbert

15:00 VSP1682 — VMware vSphere Clustering Q&A
A live Q&A with the gurus, Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman, not to be missed

Other recommended sessions:
VSP2894 — Virtual Distributed Switch Best Practices – Vyenkatesh Deshpande

16:30 LAS4010 — The Hyprid Cloud for Infrastructure
I like the idea of this one to go through how the hands on labs work which is a great public cloud infrastructure example.

Other recommended sessions:
CIM1600 — VMware vCloud Networking Finally Explained – Kamau Wanguhu
VSP2122 — VMware vMotion in VMware vSphere 5.0: Architecture, Performance and Best Practices – Sreekanth Setty, Gabriel Tarasuk-Levin
VSP3255 — VMware Storage vMotion Deep Dive and Best Practices – Min Cai, Ali Mashtizadeh

09:00 General Session — Paul Maritz, President and CEO

11:00 VSP2447 — Understanding Virtualised Memory Performance Management – YP Chien, Kit Colbert
Understanding memory performance is one of the most useful things you can know to tackle issues and be able to scale your environment and manage capacity.

12:30 VSP2894 — Virtual Distributed Switch Best Practices – Vyenkatesh Deshpande
I don’t know enough about dvSwitches so I’m hoping this teaches me some more.

Other recommended session:
VSP1700 — VMware vSphere 5.0 Storage Features – Cormac Hogan

14:00 EUC2846 — VMware View Enterprise Architecture Design and Implementation Best Practices – Tommy Walker, John Dodge
I’ve worked extensively with XenDesktop and would like to know View as well.

Other recommended sessions:
VSP1823 — VMware Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler – Manish Lohani, Mustafa Uysal
VSP2376 — Performance and Scalability Enhancements in VMware vStorage VMFS 5 – Mostafa Khalil

Can’t wait!

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