VMworld 2013 wrap up

Another year has gone by along with the 10th annual VMworld. This years VMworld was held in San Francisco. I believe the event will be held in the same location for the foreseeable future.
It was great to meet up with so many other experts in the virtualization space. I had a chance to meet up with guys like the vTexan Tommy Trogden from EMC, Chad Sakac from EMC and David Robertson from SimpliVity. It was also nice to finally meet Scott Lowe and let him know how much I appreciate the books he has written.
The new version of vSphere 5.5 saw some great improvements. I’m still on the fence with the whole NSX appliance. It has some impressive capabilities, but it doesn’t quite fit for the company I am with at the moment. I’m a little shy with buying into 1.0 products anyway. I attended the deep dive on vCenter and noticed some welcome changes to SSO (no more DB). I was hoping that the vsan would be GA, but it is just a beta program for now.
The solutions exchange:
Had the chance to meet up with the guys from Zerto. They had a great booth with very knowledgeable guys. I hate going up to some booths that have 90% booth babes and they have to get a tech who is overwhelmed. At the Zerto booth everyone was able to answer questions. Wednesday was a fun day wearing my Zerto shark print shirt “your not going to need a bigger boat”. I heard they were a buzz with my tweet “I don’t always fail over. But when I do, I use Zerto. Stay protected my friends”. Be sure to check out the new 3.0 release of the product. I believe it has something for everyone in the DR space.
SimpliVity had a great product. I thought the replication and dedup technology they are using is awesome. The technology is called Omnistack. I’m looking forward to seeing more from these guys.
GigaMon has a great virtualization network visibility product. We just bought into the 2.0 release of the product. I had a chance to meet up with some of the really smart guys who work on the product day to day.
Nutanix has a great product going, really something I have not seen from other vendors. It was 4 VMware hosts in 1 with a replication technology across hosts in a small form factor. Really great option for those who don’t need to invest in a SAN. Manny Carral did a great job of explaining it all. I also have to say thanks for providing the vExpert personalized glass!
I have worked with Fusion IO in the past using the PCI based cards. I’m not sure why I missed the IO turbine product. Derek Clark did a great job walking me through the product. This is something I am looking forward to testing in my Cisco UCS environment.
I also had to check out the guys at Violin Memory. They have an impressive all flash array. I had a chance to talk to existing customers at the Violin Memory party on Tuesday and they all had great things to say about the product. It is always nice to get honest opinions from customers.

The general sessions:
I attended several sessions this year. Okay, maybe 3 a day. It’s just so hard to stay away from the solutions exchange. Each session I attended had great speakers. No one was boarding and it did not feel like it was a heavy marketing campaign. I loved the VDI smack down session, but I was hoping there would be panelist from each product (View and XEN). It was Ruben Spruijt¬†who specializes in VDI deployments and he did a great job walking thru the differences in each product.
The “ask the vExperts” session was awesome. It’s good to see the front line guys get asked questions by the community and give feedback on what they see in the field. After that session I picture Duncan as a mad scientist in a VMware lab somewhere cooking up new stuff.

The labs:
The guys did a great job on the labs this year. I find that every year they find some way to improve on top of a great platform. The lab menu in the VMware program did not seem very well structured, but when you sit down at the lab console the menu was great. I found everything organized in a manageable order. I loved that they had hot spot areas you could sit down at and work on some of the labs. This was a great option for those who did not want to wait in line. I had an inside tip that the labs would be available after VMworld in a beta formate. I wonder if will conflict with the VMware Connect training offering.

The VMworld party:
This was the first year that VMware held the grand party at the AT&T park. The event just got so big that they had to find a new venue. Going into the stadium was a nightmare. Everyone on twitter complained that the event sucked. People waiting in lines for 30 minutes for a hot dog (I did that too). After the crowds disbursed around the stadium it was not so bad. I think by the end of the night everyone enjoyed the event. I really enjoyed Train. I especially loved the cover songs they did.
I couldn’t win any of those carnival games. I saw guys with bags of stuffed animals. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t have all that stuff to take back with me on the plane.

I wonder what the breaking point will be for VMware to decide on having VMworld twice a year on separate coasts? It would be something nice to see. Overall I enjoyed my 5th VMworld and I am hoping to return next year.

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