This is the first year that I have attended VMworld events on Sunday. I have little kids so it’s hard to justify going, but I got the green light from my wife for this year. Also, speakers are requested to check-in at the speaker lounge to validate their presentations a day before the presentation (which means Sunday for me). On the agenda for the day was registration, TAM day events, a quick talk on NSX, speaker check-in, Welcome Reception in the Solutions Exchange and possibly VMunderground.
Registration & Speaker Services
I got into SF around 9am and headed over to Moscone West for registration. It took me a few minutes to find the QR code inside of my VMworld app, but once I did it was pretty easy. The backpack was pretty sleek but the water bottle was a flimsy plastic. I went upstairs to the Speaker Services to get some snacks and approve the session presentation. I did run into GS Khalsa prior to leaving. Lastly I headed over to the TAM Day Events at the Marriott.
This was my first day attending TAM Day, in the past my colleagues have said that (due to the NDA for TAM Day) there is usually early discussion of the announcements for the following day. TAM Day 2014 talked about EVO:RAIL and EVO:RACK for example. There was some high-level introduction of a strategic direction, but I’m not sure what product would be.. I wasn’t as excited for the rest of the sessions so I skipped the next TAM session to get some air with my colleagues.
The best part of TAM Day was the Expert Lunch. It was two hours of more than 100 VMware experts. You can discuss whatever you or they want. You can ask questions. You can complain (especially if they are a Product Manager). I met Mike Foley (security), Ryan Johnson and Steve Flanders. I met Steve last year, I talked to Ryan a lot on twitter, but I had not interacted with Mike that often. Alan Renouf and Brian Graf were also in attendance as well as countless other experts.
QT And vmunderground Opening Acts
I headed over to Moscone for a QT regarding NSX. Unfortunately about 10 minutes into the presentation, the talk wasn’t as much about the technology and the particular challenges of NSX but about the use of IBM services and products to automate NSX. I convinced my colleagues to bounce and head over to Opening Acts. By the time that we got there, the panel topics were networking and automation. The automation discussion was pretty deep but covered a lot of topics. I also enjoyed that there were refreshments and a few snacks.
Welcome Reception/Solutions Exchange
My goal was to collect all the vExpert gifts. This included the following:
- Simplivity vExpert Sweater
- Coho VMworld Survival Kit
- Tegile “Tile” bluetooth finder
- Catalogic Bluetooth Speaker
- Datrium Bluetooth Speaker
- Note I missed one or two that I will get tomorrow
Overall the Solutions Exchange was really busy, just as busy as during the week. I wasn’t as interested in some of the swag as usual though. I really wanted any and all toys so that I could give them to my kids. My first VMworld I picked up these clear balls that flash when you drop them. My daughter really loves them. I did get some lego blocks, but a few larger balls or footballs would be awesome. The food was OK, bbq sliders and “bulgogi” over rice. The beer/wine was good but I wish there were more soda options. Also, I didn’t make it to vmunderground, I chose to get a milkshake with my colleagues (feet were already aching).
Day 0 was a lot busier than I thought it would be and there were a lot more people than I expected. I can only imagine the wave of people that will crush Moscone tomorrow. I met a lot of people IRL including Chris Wahl, James Brown, Nick Howell, Satyam Vaghani, Michael White and Sean P Massey. Some people I may have said hi to but didn’t really introduce myself (Chris Wahl). Others I stared at and wanted to initiate a conversation but I couldn’t get it done (Kenneth Hui, Emad Younis). I think this is an area that I just have to work on, the ability to generate good back-and-forth conversation that doesn’t result in awkward pauses and not knowing how to transition.
One last thing, there was a blog post this morning about VMware Validated Designs which may be a piece of what will be discussed tomorrow. I haven’t had time to dig deep, but Ryan Johnson worked on it so it should be good 🙂 .
Until tomorrow evening, after (hopefully) presenting my session to 400 pre-registered people!