First Impressions

31 08 2010

Wow. This place is cool. So fun! Everyone is talking about techy stuff.

I met up with a fellow Compellent customer last night to see what they’re doing with their environment. It’s always nice to meet up with people that you have met before and catch up, especially since there are thousands of people here and sometimes you can feel lost in the crowd.

This morning I walked into the huge conference center with tons of people (Well, there’s 3 conference buildings, which each have tons of rooms). There’s digital signage everywhere, which I love. Bean bags line the wall in several areas where techies are on their laptops, smart phones, and iPads. Some people are working in their free time, others are networking. Me? Free time = None. However, in the midst of walking to sessions or talking with others before or at the end of sessions I’ve had some good conversations with fellow IT people.

The virtual world is a weird one. I “met” a friend on twitter who messaged me and we were able to meet up today. It’s always one of those weird moments because you don’t know what the other person looks like (the tiny twitter icon is hard to judge what a person looks like most of the time), so you’re scanning a room looking for someone who looks like they’re looking for you.

There’s a bloggers area where people are chatting, writing, and recording videos. It’s a pretty neat environment. Everything looks sharp. All of VMworld’s marketing is great. They even have M & M’s that have stamped on them. That’s cool.

Today I tried to learn more about cloud computing, the change over to ESXi and new features of 4.1, and about VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).

Did you know that ESX 4.1 is the last version of ESX? There won’t be a service console anymore. You’ll have to use ESXi, which sounds like it will work just great. The bummer part is that we’ll have to move over to that new version. No rush- there’s 7 years of support, but if you want updates, you’ll need to move sooner.

In 4.1 you can have up to 1000 hosts in a virtual center, which seems like so many VMs! Our team has about 115 virtual servers and 85 physical machines. We’ll never reach that limit of 1000 but it’s good to know that it scales!
I was excited to hear about the DRS host affinity, which is new in 4.1. It allows you to create certain restrictions on your VMs. So, say you never want your SQL server to move hosts (like we do). You can create a rule so that it stays on the same host. Or you could create a preferential rule that says “If at all possible, don’t move it, but if you must, then do it”.

I heard something about VAAI (vStorage API for Array Integration), which allows the host to use less CPU when doing storage-related tasks. See here for more details. I need to learn more about it. It sounds interesting.

Learned about how the vMA (Virtual Management Assistant) can help you run scripts on all your vms. Essentially it sounds like a CLI that runs so you can talk to all the VMs. Since there isn’t an esxtop in ESXi (and that’s what everyone will be moving to soon) this tool will be useful to monitor performance.

I interviewed some people on how they would define cloud computing and how they’re using it. Hopefully will get those videos up later. Also was able to hang out in the Compellent booth and talk to potential customers, sharing why it’s great for my team and Biola. Hopefully I’ll be able to answer the questions that people throw at me about our set up ๐Ÿ™‚ It was quite tiring doing that though, as I’m not a sales person. I’m an introvert, which is why I do IT; leave me in a cube by myself all day, and I’m pretty good. But it’s still fun to get out and do those types of things.
Side note- All the booth’s had women outside them talking to people. They call them “booth babes”. Some booth’s have girls dressed really scantily. It’s pretty ridiculous. Thankfully Compellent’s not that type of vendor!

Something interesting: I was asked how I got into social media. It really threw me off guard, because I don’t feel like I’m “into” social media. It’s just something normal. I’m in my 20s. Who doesn’t use twitter and facebook to communicate? Especially young IT people! It seems weird to me that I have a few friends who have taken jobs as Social Media Reps for companies. It just seems like a weird thing to do for a job! It’s not something we’re “into”. It’s just a part of normal life! It’s the way we communicate. Kinda interesting though how different of a culture it is when you’re 10-20 years younger than someone.
But sure, I can blog, tweet, facebook, etc. It’s sorta second nature. Do other of you younger people feel that way? Maybe I have cultivated it more than others, but maybe it’s just a generational thing.

Pics are from the conference and my cable car ride last night! Yes, I did hang off the edge of the train! So fun. Really, I haven’t thought something was that fun in awhile. I’m easy to please, I guess ๐Ÿ™‚




One response

20 01 2011
2010 in review « Amanda's Adventures

[…] The busiest day of the year was August 31st with 298 views. The most popular post that day was First Impressions . […]

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