VMworld Day #2

1 09 2010

Note: this is long because there was so much good content today! Hope you still enjoy reading it.

What a great day it’s been today! Although the morning didn’t start off that well, as I didn’t end up making it over to VMworld with enough time to complete a lab before the main session, and then wasn’t able to get in to the PowerCLI session that I really wanted (Which would have made my goal of scripting a little easier!) the day definitely looked up from there.

The main session was great! The event was done very well. As the production director for my church, I really appreciate lights and sound that are done well. This was truly amazing. The screen was gigantic. They said that there are over 17,000 people at VMworld this year. No wonder you see people with VMworld name tags running all over the city. They ARE everywhere.

A room large enough for 17,000 people


Before the main session started

It was really neat to hear about what VMware is doing, and the new products that they are coming out with. They showed a great video in the beginning of the session talking about what a cloud is. It was really funny. They even threw some Inception-esque lines in — “The cloud is in your mind.” haha.
But really? What is the cloud? There’s the public cloud, like GoogleApps or other SaaS programs, and then there is the private cloud like using VMware inside your organization to host your VMs. They seemed to define it as a collective group of resources.

One thing that was really interesting to me in the keynote was the mention of how users now want things from businesses to work like the programs they use for personal use (Facebook, Google, Youtube, etc.). Users don’t want to have to submit a ticket to the IT department and wait for 3 days. They don’t care that you’re using a VM. In IT we like to point out that they’re using a cool new service. But they don’t want the platform. They just want their app to work. Essentially they want self service, where they can go in, click on the app or service they want to use, and be able to have access to it by entering information. Yes! This is so true. The business world can’t adapt that quickly to what users want, so it continues on with the slow movement while IT departments are working at a frenzied pace to adapt their whole system to what users want. We already have good fast moving infrastructure (ability to quickly create a new server/add RAM or other resources). The problem lies in the fact that we’re trying to use old apps. New apps need to be created to fully utilize the new architecture and infrastructure of cloud computing. Enter VMware. A lot of companies use it to reduce costs, or improve efficiency, but the next step of full utilization of VMware is flexibility and business agility. This is where the stuff gets good. They are putting out a product called vCloud Director. It pools virtual infrastructure resources in your existing datacenter and delivers them to users as a catalog-based service. I’d like to demo it out. It sounds pretty neat.
Also got to see some other product demonstrations that will be coming out in the future. My favorite one was the one coded “Project Verizon” (I think that’s what it was called…). It allows users to view their desktop from any device- iPad, Android phone, laptop, etc. It seemed like it will do a lot more than just normal VDI will. Interested in hearing more about it.
Although I liked the keynote session, apparently some others at Citrix and Microsoft had some comments about it. See these two blogs if you’re interested.

I wasn’t able to get in to the PowerCLI session, so I went and did a lab. Awesome set up they have. People have already done over 5,000 labs. Yikes. Over 40,000 vms have been created in labs. I think someone said there are over 800 VDI instances that are being used. I did the vSphere troubleshooting lab and it was very helpful. I must be slow though, because I had to ask them to give me more than the allotted time (1 hour) to finish it, as I almost ran out of time! Maybe I’m just thorough in reading instructions.

This photo doesn't do it justice, but the lab set up was amazing.

Heard a little more about VDI from a Gartner Analyst. Very good session comparing Citrix’s XenDesktop 4 and the new VMware View 4.5. He also compared Quest vWorkspace 7.1 and Microsoft VDI, but those both weren’t recommended for large enterprise usage.

Then, the event that I’ve been waiting to go to for 3 weeks now: Women of Purpose. So good. Ahh. They had a panel of 6 women who were either VPs, Directors, or CIOs in large companies. They seemed like great people. It was funny, one of the panelist said she was excited to see a lot of women show up for this event and knew others were happy to have a get-together as someone said in their blog that it was their goal was to find another woman sysadmin during the conference. That was me! So cool! A VP of IT read my blog. That’s fun. As a side note, thanks to all who read!
Many different topics were discussed on the panel from how to balance your time when you have a family and work as an exec in a company to mentoring and career paths. Most of these companies that the women were a part of were largely virtualized. One of the CIOs said her company was 100% virtualized. That’s so cool. What a great goal.

Women of Purpose Panel

Good quote from Melissa Armstrong: Listen most, question often, talk least. Good advice. There was a lot of wisdom that was given in the 2 hour session. Very worth my time. I’m hoping to get in contact with a few people I met and maybe one of the panelists to see if they would informally mentor me. There was so much useful information given. I had to leave right after and couldn’t stay for the reception because I was off to skype in to my Intro to MIS class.

Thankfully there were no technical issues skyping! I think it went well, at least it did on my end. It’s easier to teach looking at a computer screen than a class full of 40 college students! I’m looking forward to meeting my students next week for class though. It’s fun to be able to do things like that and use technology in a way that allows business/teaching to still carry on even though I’m 300 miles from home.

After class, the evening was filled with talking with current and prospective Compellent and CommVault customers. Great party held at Tres Agaves, a Mexican restaurant. The food was really good. It was great to talk to other users. Met some new friends and did some good networking. It was a chill environment to sit down, have dinner with people, or stand around just talking. Even though I was at a conference all day, I probably walked over 5 miles today! The restaurant was 1.5 miles away and I thought I’d just walk rather than pay for a cab. And then I walked back with a Compellent team member on the way back, which I originally hadn’t planned on doing, since I already had walked quite a bit before. It sure was nice to move though, especially after sitting all day.

Compellent Party

Down an Alleyway

Looking forward to another day tomorrow!

Leave me some comments and let me know what was your favorite part of the day! Thanks for reading.

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