Tagged: VMworld

VMworld USA 2015 – My session choices

As part of my VMworld 2015 USA series, I’m putting down the sessions that I’ve signed up for since the Schedule Builder was released. I was on it as soon as possible on July 21st UK time and it was amazing to some sessions filling up so fast, limiting availability. The early bird catches the worm…

I’m mostly focusing on:

– Automation (for beginners): I’ve got a lot of work coming up with vRA so I’m trying to learn as much as possible.
– End User Computing & VDI: My place of work is fairly heavily involved with VSAN and View so good to know what’s new and how to improve.


As I have been awarded a VMworld Blogger pass, I am also attending some of the “Ask the Expert” sessions as they will be a great source of information. Beyond that, there are a few cheeky sessions that are just going to itch a technical scratch using the power of a vRockstar or two 🙂

The Sessions:

1) ELW-SDC-1621 – vRealize Automation 101 Workshop – I’ve picked this session as it will really help me get my head around some reading I’ve been doing around vRA recently. As I said above, I really need to get to grips with it. What better way than to use the experts who know it inside out?

2) ELW-HBD-1684 – Disaster Recovery to the Cloud Workshop – The concept of DR into the cloud interests me and might be something I look at in the future. I’ve not covered the Cloud a great deal so again, where better to take a look than in this workshop?

3) EUC6444-GD – App Volumes with Andrew Johnson – The concept of AppVolumes is great. My employer has a large software portfolio and has difficulty with VDI and software so I’m interested to hear how everyone is doing it.

4) EUC6443-GD – Horizon 6 with Ray Heffer – Ray Heffer, double VCDX. Knows his Horizon VDI. Enough said.

5) ELW-HBD-1681 – vCloud Air Workshop – Being a cloud novice, I’m planning on trying to get to grips with it a little more. I love the ideas of workshops, I find I learn most from seeing and doing it myself.

6) INF4528 – vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) Best Practices & Tips/Tricks – I’m a big fan of the vCSA and think it has come on leaps and bounds recently. This session hosted by William Lam is going to be sold out imminently, I’m glad I got in there early!

7) INF5251 – Resource Management Using Storage IO Control and Storage DRS – Getting a tighter reign on resource is always difficult. I’m looking forward to this session to see what has been improved by way of managing resource using some of the classic features within VMware.

8) INF4535 – 5 Functions of Software Defined Availability – I’m keen to improve my Automation and Availability knowledge. This session by Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman has got to be a sure fire winner.

9) STO5787 – Architecting Site Recovery Manager To Meet Your Recovery Goals – I’ve done a fair bit of work on SRM recently on the implementation side. I’d like to know more about design and architecture as I am certainly going to be more involved in these areas in my career in future. Two great presenters in this area are giving the run down.

10) INF5106 – Content Library – Automation is one thing, but how do I control it from sprawling like many other things? Hopefully this session will tell all!

11) STO6228 – Monitoring and Troubleshooting Virtual SAN, Current and Future – As a fairly big VSAN user we are looking to upgrade to VSAN 2 on VMware 6 very soon. I’ve seen Cormac Hogan speak before, his passion really shows and I’m sure that paired with Christian Dickmann this session will be awesome.

12) CNA5520 – Run your Stateless and Stateful Apps in Containers on VMware infrastructure – Being extremely weak in this area, I’m keen to experience actual demos of what is possible with containers. This session is ran by two heavy weight EMC guys who know their stuff. I’m hoping they can break it down so that I actually learn something.

13) SDDC5027 – VCDX Unwrapped – Everything You Wanted to Know About VCDX – A guy can dream can’t he? Yeah, I’m no way near VCDX level but I would like to be one day. This session will show me what a mountain looks like and how to get to base camp, let alone start the climb!

14) SDDC4593 – Ask the Expert vBloggers – Hoping to catch the vRockstars at their own game and perhaps blog back here what they have to say for themselves. Should be an interesting session with some good old fashioned Q&A!

15) SDDC4595 – Ask the Expert Industry Titans – This is going to be the closest thing to a crystal ball and reading the future that we’ll get to experience. A hot session I’m sure! Looking forward to seeing what is said and reporting back my findings.

16) STO6327-SPO – The vExpert Storage Game Show – Life doesn’t all have to be serious deep dive technical sessions. This one is on Wednesday afternoon before the party and will be a nice chilled out session and a bit of competition for all the storage geeks out there! I have a feeling it will be a bit like University Challenge – If I can answer a few correctly, I’ll be happy!

17) INF4945 – vCenter Server 6 High Availability – A session that doesn’t really need much explanation really! What’s new, how can I use it!

18) EUC6112 – Next Generation Desktop Architecture Overview – Again, I’m quite keen on the EUC market and I’m eager to see what improvements there are in the way of DaaS in the modern SDDC!

19) NET4976 – vSphere Distributed Switch 6.0 – Technical Deep Dive – I love a good VDS. Don’t you? I’m fairly sure Chris Wahl and Jason Nash will treat us to a belter of a deep dive.

The one(s) that got away

Due to a schedule conflict I couldn’t go to a few sessions that looked great. Perhaps it is the chosen tracks I picked or maybe all the good sessions were booked for Wednesday?

I was surprised to see that even though I booked ON THE DAY of schedule builder release, ELW-SDC-1604 – vSphere Performance Optimization Workshop had been fully booked. Sadly there were no other sessions of this workshop being held, which was a bit of a dissapointment. I’m not complaining though as I’m really happy with my choices and that I managed to get on 95% of the sessions that I shortlisted.

My excitement is definitely growing, can’t wait now!

VMworld USA 2015 – Logistics and Travel Planing

As part of my VMworld blog series I’m going to write a bit about the travel and planning that I’m undertaking in order to make my trip a successful one. In my last post I discussed my previous VMworld Experience. This year I am traveling to San Fransisco for my first ever VMworld event outside of Europe, which is a fair bit of extra distance to cover (and some extra hoops to jump through).

I’m writing this post as a form of checklist of things that I’m having to cover off as a visitor from outside of the states. There are some prerequisites that need to be understood and adhered too before waltzing your way in to America.


Key Considerations

To me, there are some absolute fundamental points that are important to cover off whilst making the plans to travel to VMworld USA.

Passport: Fairly straightforward. Do I have a passport, is it at least 2 years from expiration?

VISA: All international travelers to the USA need to complete a VISA application. Make sure you get this sorted in advance of the trip in case any issues arise. Pay the small admin fee and print the confirmation and bring it with you! Part of the VMworld USA Registration Process enables you to request a VISA Invitation letter if you need one.

Greenback: Get currency sorted, convert your money into those Dollar Bills! (Or more realistic denominations of choice).


Register: Before you go ahead and do anything else, make sure you’ve actually registered, booked and paid for the conference!


Travel Plans

Here are my considerations towards travel. I like to know when, where and how I am getting to places!

Date & Time: Understanding the dates and times of key events! My plan is to leave the UK on Saturday 29th August and return on Sunday 6th September. This gives me a week in the USA to cover the conference and then prepare for heading back.

Get to Airport: To start my journey I need to get to London Heathrow Airport. I’ve decided to implement a solution which involves a third party vendor and a professional service to cater for the physical transport layer (I’ve booked a private hire taxi service). I’m also going to get a Taxi to and from my hotel when I arrive in SFO by hailing a cab on the day.

Flights: I consulted the VMworld Hotel and Travel Information. It seems that United, Delta and Lufthansa Airlines are on the list with an offer code. I opted out of these options in the end as I wanted to travel Saturday afternoon UK time due to personal commitments. I ended up booking with Virgin Atlantic as it wasn’t much difference in price and I have had good experiences with them in the past.

Accommodation: I’ve read a lot of people commenting on Twitter that the costs of Hotels in SFO central are expensive. On the flip side the airport hotels are cheaper but quite far out! Luckily, my work are paying for my visit and I’ve found a nice little hotel, with some great reviews, not far from Union Square called The Hotel California. This means I’m less than a 20 minute walk to the Moscone Center.

City Transport: I’ve signed up for a scheme called CityPASS. For a one off fee you get unlimited Tram (Cable Car) rides around SFO. Plus you also get deals on attractions around the city – which I am hoping to take advantage of in a few days downtime after the conference.

Know the Surroundings: I’m very much planning on having my phone with me and using City Mapper to map points of interest and get around. Luckily, my network provider in the UK lets me “feel at home” in the USA so I can use data roaming as though I’m back home in good old Blighty, at no extra cost!

Uber: If I am totally lost and have no clue what to do, I’m going to keep my hotel details on me and use Uber San Fransisco to get me home.

Something for the weekend?

For my trip, I’m not just going for the conference and then heading straight home. The massive difference in time zone is going to alter my perception of reality anyway, so I figured a few days after on the weekend would be good to acclimatise and also give me an opportunity to try and experience San Fransisco.

Alcatraz Island: When I last visited the city many years ago, I didn’t get to visit Alcatraz. Therefore I’ve booked with Alcatraz Cruises. The Night Tour is highly recommend but I’ve left it too late so have settled on the day tour.


Hopefully whilst I’m there I won’t have to save the city from any ex-military mercenaries, hell bent on holding the city to ransom!


Pier 39: I visited here before but it is a classic place to go. Fishermans Wharf has loads of entertainment and food, including Aquarium of the Bay. It isn’t far from the Golden Gate Bridge either, rounding off a whistle stop tour of all of the top things to see!

Rent a Motorcycle: Finally, one the things I’m planning on doing is renting a motorcycle. That way I can ride across the Golden Gate bridge and do a tour of the coastline. I’ve found a few places online that will let me rent a Harley Davidson Fat Boy for just $129 a day! For me, that is a full day’s entertainment!


My aim is to ride to visit some family friends in San Jose. Whilst I’m doing that, I might ride through Palo Alto and visit the VMware Office!

In my next post I’m going to run through the Content Catalog and the sessions that really stand out to me and the sessions that I’m booking when the Scheduler opens on July 21st!