Heading to #VMworld 2016 Vegas

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I am a regular attendee of the VMware VMworld and have continuously attended each of the last 4 years VMworld events in Europe, as an ordinary attendee like most others, mainly thanks to my employer who understands the importance of such events. This year however, there’s a little change of plans. I’ve been lucky enough to receive a free blogger pass to attend the VMworld 2016 event in the US from VMware. VMworld 2016 US event is being held in Vegas, in the Mandalay Bay hotel and conference center which is pretty awesome…!

I’ve never been to Vegas so little excited to be heading over there but to be really honest, I’m more excited about being able to attend the US version of VMworld. Having done European VMworld event over the last few years, they’ve all been great but the contents & the new product announcements have been by and large the same as in the US version which usually takes place before European event (So most of the news / updates / announcements you here in VMworld Europe are already somewhat public knowledge). However this time around, I will be one of the first to hear about them as they are being announced which is great.

And its the first time I’ve been selected to receive a blogger pass by VMware. Blogger passes are issued to a handful of current VMware vExperts (only 50 issued in total for the US event) so I was very lucky there. Its usually given to active community bloggers who take the time out to evangelise technology and happy to blog about it for the good of the community. I do this anyway whenever I attend VMworld where I summarize each of my day there and mention any exciting topics / updates / vendors I’ve come across or things I’ve learned. So I’d expect to do the same this year too and aiming to get a summary blog post out at the end of each day to cover the news & the activities of the day.

While the blogger pass covered the cost of the event, VMware doesn’t cover the other expenses such as flights and hotels… Thankfully, my employer, Insight has stepped up there which was great.

Given below is a summary of my plan during the event. It would be good to meet my fellow vExperts / customers / techies / community members while I’m there, perhaps over few beers. Please do come say hi if you see me or hit me up on twitter (@s_chan_ek)…etc.

Itineraries

Most people will typically travel either few days earlier or stay behind few days after the event to explore the city..etc but unfortunately due to cricket commitments where I play league cricket on every Saturday, I’m reduced to being there for the exact event duration only. As such, my itineraries are as follows

  • Travelling out: Sunday the 28th of August: Travel from London Heathrow via Chicago to Vegas (United Airlines)
  • Accommodation: I will be staying in the MGM Grand hotel which is a little walk away from the event location (Mandalay Bay Hotel & Conference Center)
  • Travelling back: Friday the 2nd of Sept, from Vegas via Montréal back to London Heathrow (Air Canada)

 

Planned sessions

Anyone travelling to VMworld are advised to use the Schedule Builder beforehand and schedule any breakout sessions you want to attend. I’ve always done this in the past and have tried the same this year. However, despite attempting to book many interesting breakout sessions and workshops on the same day the Schedule builder went live, most of the really good ones were already full. So I’m guessing the demand for the event in the US is far higher than the one in Europe and I’m expecting to see lot more crowd that at the European VMworld.

The sessions I’ve managed to book to attend are as follows. Some of them are new subjects while most others are more of a refresher from previous knowledge for me. Having learnt from the previous VMworlds, I’ve been careful not to book session after session and allow enough time for blogging in between as well as hall crawl and networking with people which, arguably are far more important that attending breakout sessions or workshops which lot of people, especially newbies don’t realise.

  • Monday the 29th of August – I have the following sessions I’ve scheduled so far. Some may change depending on when I managed to get in to some other sessions I’ve had to wait list for.
    • 11am-12pm: Software-Defined Networking in VMware Validated Designs [SDDC7587]
    • 1pm-2pm: Virtualize, Secure, and Extend Your Data Center to the Cloud Using NSX: A Perspective for Service Providers and End Users [HBC7830]
    • 2pm-3pm: Introducing Virtual SAN for VMware Photon: The Best HCI Platform for Containers and Cloud-Native Applications [STO8256]
    • 3pm-4:30pm: VMware NSX Distributed Firewall with Micro-Segmentation Workshop [ELW-1703-USE-2]

 

  • Tuesday the 30th of August
    • 11am-12pm: Understanding the Availability Features of Virtual SAN [STO8179]
    • 12pm-1:30pm: vSphere Integrated Containers Workshop [ELW-1730-USE-1] – Wait Listed
    • 2pm-3pm: How to Deploy VMware NSX with Cisco Infrastructure [NET8364]
    • 4pm-5pm: Containers for the vSphere Admin [CNA7522]
    • 5pm-6pm: The Architectural Future of Network Virtualization [NET8193R]

 

  • Wednesday the 31st of August
    • 9:30am-11am: Realize Automation 7 Basics Workshop [ELW-1721-USE-1] – Wait listed
    • 11am-12pm: How to Use Machine Learning to Increase Application Availability [INF9608-SPO]
    • 1pm-2pm: PowerNSX and PyNSXv: Using PowerShell and Python for Automation and Management of VMware NSX for vSphere [NET7514]
    • 2pm-3pm: Implementing Self-Service Storage Provisioning with vRealize Automation XaaS [SDDC9456-SPO]
    • 3:30pm-4:30pm: Building Cloud Native Architectures [CNA9926]

 

  • Thursday the 1st of September
    • 12pm-1pm: VMware Certificate Management for Mere Mortals [INF8631]
    • 1:30pm-2:30pm: Winter Is Coming. Are You Dev/Ops Ready? Instant Clone Is! [INF8396]

 

Other events

Usually there are many other vendor and vExpert events that also take place, out of hours to discuss products as well as networking with people. There is a list of such activities published here and outside of the normal VMworld welcome reception and the VMworld party, I will probably attend the below (I may have to cancel some last min due to exhaustion & last min change of plans…etc :-))

  • Sunday the 28th of August 7:30-9:30pm: 2016 VMUG member party @ House of Blues – Mandalay Bay, 3950 S Las Vegas Boulevard
  • Monday the 29th of August 9pm-11pm: Trace3 Annual VMWorld After Party @ Daylight Beach Club, Mandalay Bay, 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89119
  • Tuesday the 30th of August 7pm -10pm: vExpert 2016 Las Vegas reception @ The Mob Museum, 300 Stewart Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89101

 

About VMworld Event

As mentioned earlier, I’ve attended VMworld Europe edition over the last 4 years and it has been such a good event to attend given the amount of knowledge, insides, tips you can gather, seeing the variety of the VMware echo system partners out there and their solutions and most importantly meeting and being able to network with people that you’d otherwise never get the opportunity to (like product managers and engineers). And usually its such a well organised event and having attended other similar events such as NetApp Insight, Cisco Live and HPe TSS & Ambassador events, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that none of them has been as good, well organised, well attended or useful to me as an attendee as VMworld, period….! If you are a VMWare customer or a partner, I’d highly encourage you to attend somehow. (use the link here)

Chan

Lead Solutions Architect & Hybrid Cloud Practice Lead

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