Thoughts Before VMWorld 2014

By | August 22, 2014

It’s that time of the year again, VMworld 2014 is just around the corner and I’m really excited to attend. This is my third VMworld, and I feel like I have evolved my focus over the years. The first year I focused on labs, VDS/HA and a lot of fundamentals. Last year I focused on the Solutions Exchange and miscellaneous sessions. This year I want to focus on SRM, Log Insight, vSphere, Solutions Exchange and hopefully crossing paths with some of the people that I follow on social media. Here is a list ofsome of the sessions/events that I will be attending and other items of interest to focus myself prior to this huge conference.

Events That I Am Looking Forward To:

Monday General Session:

This always sets the tone for the week in terms of the technology that will be released. My coworkers and I usually view the session from the Hang Space, but get there early if you want a seat near the projector screens

Log Insight Experts Group Meetup:

I have been pretty involved with the Betas and the Log Insight product team (Bill Roth, Leila Tudury, Steve Flanders). I tried very hard to take part in MGT1265 but I could not obtain the clearance from legal in time. That being said it will be nice to meet those folks in person as well as other users of the product.


There are some good presentations here from a wide variety of people on a wide range of topics. I met Julian Wood from last year at a vbrownbag session

TAM Central:

We just got a TAM a few months ago, so we are now privy to some of the perks of having a TAM, including TAM Central. There are some great sessions led by VMware engineers in a small group setting. There were some interesting topics, but with all of the regular sessions going on, this will be hard to squeeze in.

Solutions Exchange:

Besides the swag (that I usually give to coworkers who can’t make it), I have been trying to become more aware of the what companies are out there. Last year Infinio and PernixData definitely had some buzz going into the conference. This year DataGravity came out of stealth right before VMworld to showcase it’s storage platform that also does big data analytics. As a sysadmin, I used to not engage these vendors, but now that I am getting interested in design I feel that I need to know what options are out there. If the technology doesn’t get me to stay in the Solutions Exchange, the Tuesday Hall Crawl from 4:30-6:00PM will

Sessions That I Am Looking Forward To:

BCO3428-GD – Disaster Recovery Group Discussion:
I am knee deep in SRM at the moment and a free flowing discussion with other users sounds like a great opportunity to pick some brains.

INF1601 – Taking Reporting and Command Line Automation to the Next Level with Powercli:
I don’t think this session has to be explained much. LucD is legendary in the PowerCLI forums. Alan Renouf is famous just for his vCheck script.

INF1502 – What’s New in vSphere
I’ve monitored the Beta closely so I know of some of the possibilities, but it’s nice to know what will be released.

 EUC1744 – What’s New in Workstation
I love free stuff, but I also have found Workstation to be very useful for a lot of work reasons. These products tend to have cool features that vSphere may not have due to the focus on the Web Client.

BCO2629 – Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication What’s New Technical Deep Dive
Super pumped about this one. I’ve participated in the Beta but I’m dying to see what improvements will be GA. The main thing that I am hoping to see is a beefed up API and PowerCLI cmdlets

BCO1893 – Site Recovery Manager and vCloud Automation Center: Self Service DR Protection for the Software Defined Datacenter
My company does not use VCAC for our private cloud, but the concept is quite similar. I’m hoping that SRM updates it’s API so that it can really be software defined DR as a service.

**NEW** SDDC1337 – I just saw this on twitter this morning

There have been rumors around MARVIN/EVO/etc that tend to suggest some type of VMware offered hyper-converged offering or platform. We have been looking for solutions for small/medium sites, so hyper-converged offerings are somewhat interesting, especially if it comes from a vendor that we already have a relationship with and has solid financials.

What I Want to See:

VM mobility- In my own job, customers are starting to contemplate whether they need their standby environment since SRM offers a pretty fast failover method. We have contemplated using this as a migration tool as well.

VSAN updates – VSAN started off with great fanfare but it is still lacking some core features such as deduplication. It would be great to see vSphere Replication and VDP/A have stronger tie ins to VSAN.

CloudVolumes – the recent announcement of the acquisition of CloudVolumes seems to complement the View ecosystem but it would be great to use that technology for rapid deployment of applications on windows server VMs for cloud deployments. I highly doubt there will be any big product integration announcements next week for CloudVolumes, DynamicOps was acquired before VMworld and was not integrated for another year.

Who I Want to See/Meet:

My company sends a good amount of people to the conference, so I will definitely see them and probably go to sessions with them, but I like to break out meet new people including..
Engineers who build the products
People that I interacted with on twitter/social media
Other customers (what’s their environment like, how is their organization laid out)

What I Am Not Hyped About:

I studied for a few weeks..a few weeks ago. I took a break and can’t get back in the groove. I’ll probably review from the study notes over the weekend, but on Monday I have a four hour date with the dreaded “Visio-like design tool”.

Thursday General Session:
This seemed to be added and removed from the schedule.  This is the day after the VMworld party, so I don’t expect a large turnout. The session tends to be about some sort of technology that is disrupting the market.

VMworld Food:
It’s not super bad, but it tends to be a hassle. I did enjoy two years ago when they setup food outside, I got a nice VMworld blanket to sit on. One thing I don’t get is that for breakfast the caterer did not let you go back into the line to grab an extra bagel or whatever. And they SCANNED your badge at the entrance so you could not go through the line again.


It should be a fantastic week, see you at VMworld!

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