Sunday at VMworld was hectic is a subtle way of putting it. I kicked off my journey by the traditional attendee registration – which is nowadays very quick because of the way things have been simplified. You get your pass and are on the way in under 5 minutes.
Right after securing my pass I headed over to the Hands on Lab area and after a brief wait – 10 minutes, headed over to sit down and learn. My rationale behind attending labs is that it’s easier to do hands-on at VMworld than trying that at work. There are always distractions and plenty of fires to put out while we work so it’s easy to not get distracted at VMworld.
Anyways, I took the VVOLs lab as my first one and after an hour or less felt a little underwhelmed 🙂 but it was a regular lab (not the advanced technical type) and I think it offers a good overview to many who are dabbling with VVOLs for the first time. To explain VVOLs – it is called Virtual Volumes and is a change to the LUN concepts that we all know of. The disks from multiple arrays can be presented as volumes (consider a datastore concept) to the ESXi host.
VVOL’s are about making storage VM centric and uses 3 objects Storage Provider (communication between Storage Array and Esxi using VASA), Protocol Endpoint (creates visibility to storage), and Storage Container (storage pool on array)
After this lab, I immediately took the HOL-SDC-1404 – Optimize vSphere Performance which was excellent in my opinion. I could not complete the full lab and left after an hour of taking it since I had to go for my VMUG booth duty.
As the leader for the Manitoba (MB) VMUG group I took my turns as usual to facilitate information sharing at the VMUG booth in the Solutions Pavilion. There are usually many new virtualization professionals who do not know about VMUG and it is the time to interact with them and make them understand the value of joining a group that is user driven and only supported by VMware in terms of making available – resources and information. There are free and frank conversations at VMUG and the VMUG advantage membership further enhances the learning experience through discounts etc.
After my booth shift, I navigated to the various Vendor & Sponsor booths trying to see who all were there and planned to meet them on Monday. I did see quite a few new names this year and it would be interesting to know what they offer in the virtualization, storage, or network space.
A trip to VMworld isn’t complete atleast for those involved with the social networking aspect – unless you have attended the highly popular ‘VMUnderground’ event. This year being an EMCElect I was fortunate to get invited and also received special access to get in early. So thanks to the EMCElect program – especially Sean & Mark. I was able to meet in advance some great industry professionals and my contacts whom I met last year at VMworld. As the night went on with some fabulous food and drinks the crowd swelled. This time around the event took place in a bigger place (Metreon) and thus was able to offer a better chance at talking and interaction.
I would like to mention a big thank you to VMUnderground for hosting the event and enabling the virtualization community to get together.