Home > Virtualization > VMworld 2010 Deep Thoughts – By Jack Handy

VMworld 2010 Deep Thoughts – By Jack Handy

This is my second VMworld experience… last year being my first… both in SFO (that is San Francisco for those not used to IATA/Airport codes). So, I feel like I have a very good basis for comparison.

Session Pre-registration

2009 – Totally! It is absolutely awesome. I loved this because I knew exactly what I was doing from minute to minute. This allowed me to get a ridiculous amount of information from the sessions (100+ pages of notes). However, it was a bummer for the people that did not get approval to attend until it was too late (wamp wamp wamp)

2010 – Suck! I believe I have come up with a plausible explanation for why VMworld did not allow for pre-registration of the sessions. But, whatever the model, it has not been good to me. In the past 3 days, I have attended… 3 sessions. I should be 5 deep by end of day 1. The lines have been ridiculous and time wasting. Lucky for me, I have other things that I can use to keep me busy… plus, I have comfort in knowing conference material is going to be made available post-VMworld. So, I can catch up then.

Just for you math-y people, in theory, by attending a 1 hour lab, you are actually consuming 2.5 hours of the time here:

  • Roughly (not scientific), 30 – 45 minutes to wait in line for your next lab
  • Each session is 1 hour
  • After each session, you have 30 minutes to get to the next session
  • If you attend a session, you get out with 30 minutes before the next one. If the next session is popular, you will not get in because people are already there.
  • The process begins again. This time, you can wait for the following session.
  • 1 hour for session + 30 minutes to get to next session + 1 hour for missing the next session = 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • Alternatively, you can bail on the last 15 minutes of the session you are in and miss on some important information.

Blogging

2009 – Uh… yeah right

2010 – YEAH! Getting into the blogosphere surrounding the VMware ecosystem has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my personal interest environment. I have been blessed with access to some neato areas, content, and experiences… which I get to share with people online. Plus, the other bloggers have been amazingly nice and cordial. None of them have seen me before, but that does not really matter. I am definitely in good company here. This has been the second most best thing this VMworld.

Social Media

2009 – What’s a Twitter?

2010 – The social media influence is everywhere. I know that blogging is included with Social Media, but I wanted to split that out. Vendors, customers, VMware, VMworld Staff, and their mothers are Tweeting and blogging about everything going on. Contests, event announcements, rescheduling, etc… being connected to the social-sphere adds a level of depth to the conference that is great. I never thought I would have a Twitter account (don’t get me started)… and I am not too sure what to do with it once I am done here. But, I am glad I have it for this week.

The People

2009 – Yeah… so, I did not really know anyone. I was new to the VMUG in Portland and I was not even sure if they were going to be coming. Someone in the group “Had better ways to spend his training money”. He’s here in 2010, by the way.

2010 – Knowing and seeing the PDXVMUG people has been amazing. It seems as though they are some of the most connected people here. The social aspect of the conference really seems to have improved the entire experience. I have met some new PDX people and gotten to know VMUG people even more. I experienced the beauty of a Veeam Vodka party with them, and it was a blast. Hard to believe that I knew no one last year and this year, I am seeing so much more because I talk to people.

Look… these kinds of events can be taken one of two points of view:

  1. This is a highly technical conference. I am hear to learn about stuff
  2. This is a community event in which there is massive amounts of information and people.

2009 was option 1. I learned a lot, but I felt like a little island in a sea of 14,000 people. This time around, I am trying to embrace the community feeling. More social, hanging out with cool people, and writing about what is going on to contribute what little I can to everyone who wants to read about it. People here have the same interests and there is always something to talk about with VMware. You may teach something to someone or thay may impart some knew nugget of knowledge to you.

Food

2009 – Meh. Nothing to write home about. Just conference food, right?!

2010 – Awesome! The hot lunch options have been excellent! So far Greek, Steak and Rice, and fried chicken have been amazing. Definitely an improvement.

Labs

2009 – Borderline. The infrastructure issues that led to non-functioning labs, only 1/2 labs working, and a small amount was pretty tough to swallow. Plus, some of the labs were more along the lines of point and click on an HTML image map versus anything of function (ex: installing ESX 4.0)

2010 – Simply amazing. The level of redundancy and technology involved has led to a spectacular environment. Please see my Lab preview posting for more details! The labs have turned out to be the logical destination when a session is not available. 

– FYI: at this very moment (around 1:10p, the labs just handed out lab number 100,000! Amazing work!)

Solutions Exchange

2009 – Fine

2010 – Fine… with iPads everywhere.

VMworld Party

2009 – A lot of fun… by myself. The Foreigner concert was great. The ice carving was a little so-so (too long). I love that it was held at Moscone… so close to the hotel.

2010 – Not too sure yet (another 5-6 hours away yet). INXS is going to be performing, which should be awesome. Looking forward to meeting up with bloggers and PDXVMUG people. Everything else is left to the imagination at this point.

 

 

As mentioned above, the VMworld conference is more than just sitting in informational sessions and meeting with people that want your money. It certainly can be if you want. But, if you go the extra mile and get waist-deep in the environment, it can be something even better.

The level of insight I feel like I have in the direction of the virtualization industry, the IT industry, and the VMware roadmap is invaluable. I feel like I can come away from this event with a better understanding of what we need to do to make sure my company is on top of the game, I am a better VMware admin, and a solid/growing network of other VMware junkies.

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