5 things I will be looking forward to at VMworld

This year will mark my 4th (yes only 4) trip to VMworld. With San Francisco replacing Vegas I will return to Barcelona for what should be my ‘home’ VMworld since I live in the Netherlands. This post might look a bit like last year’s 5 vCommunity tips but hey, I love the community!

  1. vFootball

    Last year I took part in the first vSoccer at VMworld US and it looks like we might be organizing a vFootball in Barcelona as well, football being the correct name for the sport obviously. On Tuesday night after the vExpert party we went to an indoor sports center where we had 2 fields that we could use for approximately two hours. We had loads of fun in there despite one injured player (he headbutted a wall and had a nasty cut in his eyebrow) my fitness level was definitely not on par but I have started preparations for this year back in January.

  2. Presenting at the vBrownbag stage.

    Just like previous years I submitted a session for vBrownbag stage it will be about a couple of VMware flings for Horizon View. I thought I also submitted for a [Code] sessions but it seems like that was official sessions so I have no idea yet about the status of that. If you think you can fill a 10-12 minute (a bit less is acceptable as well) with something even a bit related I advise you to sign up over here).

  3. Hackathon

    I have no idea yet if I will be forming my own team. If I don’t I will definitely be joining another one in having a night of great fun. It doesn’t matter if you have coding experience, just join a team when signups are opened and I can guarantee that you will learn something new.

  4. Meeting up with old and making new friends.

    One of the best things about the vCommunity is having contact with each other over the interwebz. It even gets better when you can meet in real life for the first or the gazillionth time. I don’t care if it’s in a session, while waking up with a coffee or at a party with beer in hand I always have fun talking to people. The subject doesn’t really matter, it’s all about connecting with people.

  5. learning new things

    While I take it easy with my session schedule I always look to learn new things. This could be either in the Hands-on Labs, Instructor led labs, Solutions Exchange, vBrownbag, {Code}, regular session or someone from point 4. Knowledge gaining for me doesn’t need to be tech per se. Learning how people engage customers or projects is very interesting to me.

My #VMworld presentations @vbrownbag and @vmwarecode

Time flies when you’re having fun and it’s already been over two weeks since I came back from VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas. I just thought of the fact that I promised some people to post my presentations. While they kept looping on the provided mac’s they don’t do that on a windows system, or at least for me.

This is the link to the vBrownbag Presentation

and the video

This is the link to the VMware {Code} presentation

And the video

 

VMworld US 2018 report day 4 – Design Studio

Day 4 of VMworld was a quiet day as usual, first there is the TED Style keynote where people with remarkable project can show us what they do. This year it was about autonomous drones & robotics, the most successful course ever on Yale: happiness  and the way how our brain works by a Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience. As always these where great sessions and while they aren’t always related to our day to day work they’re often still very useful.

After this I only had two sessions left, both at the Design studio. Since these where under NDA I can’t tell any more then that they where on VSAN & NSX. In the afternoon I only went out to get some souvenirs and some food and retired to my room for Pizza & football 🙂

step count: 12552

VMworld US 2018 report day 3 – Techconfessions

Goooodmorning Vegas, Day 3 was awesome even though a lot of it was under NDA so I can’t talk about it. After breakfast things started with a PowerCLI deeper dive hosted by the godfathers of PowerCLI Luc Dekens and Kyle Ruddy. During this session I learned several new things including the fact that how I handle the Horizon View API’s isn’t too bad. We even managed to put some heckling in so it wasn’t too bad for an 8 AM session.

After this it was time to head over to the vmtn area since I had to present my own vBrownbag session about the new cmdlets in the vmware.hv.helper module. Again I had the issues with the gif’s that kept looping but I managed to use all the available time and even got a question in.

Since Katie Holms managed to talk me into having my Techconfession taken by her and I have to say it was pretty weird laying on the couch when the vRex walked by. The show will take some time before it will be posted but once I have the link I will definitely broadcast it.

After my Techconfession it was almost time for the EUC Champions sessions and since these are under NDA I can’t really talk about them. We ended them with a great dinner at Stripsteak though where they even managed to sing Happy Birthday for me. Even while I was really really tired Anthony Hook and I decided to head over to the big VMworld Fest and where just in time to see the Royal Machines starting their set. I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about them but I really liked their show and it only became better after Fred Durst & DMC showed up.

Step Count for the day was 16757.

VMworld US 2018 report day 2 – vSoccer

Okay Day 2 is gone as well, due to the extra security I have been watching the keynote from the bloggers area. For me it didn’t add a whole lot and while I totally appreciate the Malala story I didn’t see the connection with the conference or tech at all.

After the keynote it was time for my second appearance on the vExpert Daily by Mike Letschin together with Shane Wiliford and Richard Kenyan (and not Sean Massey as the title suggests) we had some fun out there even though we aren’t the biggest party people of all. In the afternoon it was time for my first presentation of this VMworld at the VMware{Code} stage. Sadly Powerpoint on the mac keeps looping all gif’s while they don’t do that on a windows system. Despite that I think it went pretty good and I hope that I soon will be able to give a link to the session.

Knowing that it would become a long day for me I decided to go back to my hotel for a few until Brian Madden’s EUC community geek event would start.

Brian’s event was a late idea so it wasn’t on the official schedule and the amount of people who showed up was also a bit meh but they will allow for more reservations next year to compensate for the no-shows. The evening itself was a bit like the briforum events with short presentations by Sean Massey, Mark Brookfield, Johan van Amersfoort, Mark Plettenberg and Jack Madden. There was beer (and lots of it!), Pizza & snacks so the best combination of things imho.

After Brian’s event it was a quick Uber (although the first one already had some other people in it?) to the Pinball Hall of Fame for the vExpert party. Over there they had a shopping cart full of cups with quarters so we could play and outside at the back one of the best BBQ caterers in Las Vegas was taking care of the food. I didn’t see him myself but Pat Gelsinger also showed up and was his own cool self as far as I heard. Inside I managed to grab some stuffed animals that I was ordered to bring home by the Commander in Chief aka my daughter.

Later in the evening we had a date at the Longevity Sportcenter where we rented a couple of fields to play soccer. This was lots of fun and while I didn’t play the full two hours several people did, how they managed to survive that after 2-3 days of the convention I don’t know.

Step count for this day was 12905 excluding vSoccer since I took my Garmin off for that & and the walk from Mandalay to Excalibur was after midnight so counts for Wednesday..

VMworld US 2018 report day 1 – Hackathon

Today was the official first day for VMworld US 2018. For me it started with the keynote from the press seats in the keynote arena. This was a first time for me since previous years I had decided on viewing it from the community areas. With VMware being almost old enough to grab a beer with it’s 20 years it was all about looking back at the past but also looking forward to the future. The message that I really agree on is that everything has to do with the community. A video of Mercy Ships was shown with their hospital ships that run on VMware products.

New announcements (and yes I might have missed some)

  • Platinum License leven (vSphere + App Defence)
  • vSphere 6.7 U1
  • vSAN EBS with bulk live migration
  • Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for On-Prem
  • Project DImension
  • Pulse 2.0
  • Acquirement of Cloudhealth
  • Coud Automation formerly known as Project Tango
  • Dell Provisioning for Workspace One
  • ESXi on arm64 for edge solutions

After this I went on the exhibition floor for a bit to wander around and look at new products. The floor was mostly about Cloud & monitoring this year where for me Uila and EG Innovations. Rather quickly the vmtn area became THE place to be again for vExperts and everyone in the community.

After lunch I went to the first of my two regular breakouts I visited this week: EUC Champions panel with Brian Madden as moderator. This was a fun panel where we even managed to heckle them from the first row.

Later in the afternoon it was time for the EUC Keynote where some of the newly announced things included Industry baselines for WIndows 10 Modern Management and a demo was shown for Horizon Cloud management.

The day ended with the VMworld hackathon. This kicked of with a short Kyle Ruddy Hecklethon where he introduced the audience into what can be done with PowerCLI.

The Hackathon itself wasn’t that successful for our team since I wasted most of the times with laptop issues. We had applied 1 fix though for the vmware.hv.helper and started work on vDocumentation for Horizon view. It was lots of fun though and that was the most important part for me.

I ended up with a step count of 16.240 for the day.

 

 

VMworld US 2018 report day 0 – T-Rex with a beer

So before things really start on Monday there’s always day 0 for VMworld. The VM village opens up and, in the evening,, there is the welcome reception at the Solution Exchange. For me things started after a rough night without a lot of sleep by registering and getting the badge. Things really looked like they were messed up and there where awful queues with people waiting for their badges. Luckily something went wrong with mine and I was helped by the staff at the assisted check-in pretty fast.

https://twitter.com/AngeloLuciani/status/1033751920005931013

After spending some time in the VM village with some awesome people it was time to head out for my first real thing: an expert led workshop on pulse & IOT. This was really interesting, and I even managed to put in some feedback that was appreciated.

In the afternoon I visited the EUC Inside track event at Top Golf (please stop me from walking that way again) before heading out to the Solution Exchange for a small vExpert gift scavenger hunt. I closed out the evening at the VCDX Wolfpack part at the Cosmopolitan.

Day 0 ended with just over 26000 steps registered.

Sign up for the @VMworld VMware Design studio sessions

Intro

You might have already seen them around on your local VMUG but this year at VMworld the VMware Design studio can also be found in the schedule builder. Last year it was a case of knowing people who knew the right person with the sign up sheet but once you where in it was a blast. I have heard from multiple persons that it was one of the highlights of their VMworld experience. I had already done a couple of sessions remotely using zoom with these folks but it was an even better experience in person.

What is the VMware Design Studio?

The people from the design studio are specialist in creating  interfaces and they make sure that when they are involved in creating a gui that the User Experience is the best available. Now they aren’t evolved in all the VMware gui’s yet (Yes I am looking at you Horizon admin console) but they have touched most of the recent ones as far as I know.

The sessions

Before starting you need to sign an NDA so make sure your employer allows you to, once you get past that it’s time to introduce yourself to your host(s) and get started. How the sessions go depend on how far the studio already is with the interface itself. I have seen ones that where nothing more than a few drawings, maybe some static images, or even some program that lets you click in certain places or even an almost completely working interface. You are asked to constantly speak out on how you expect things to work or what you think you should or would be doing next getting a task done.

No feedback that you give is wrong, in these sessions, some might not be used but things can’t improve without as much feedback as possible. During the sessions I did remotely I even had the current version of the same GUI in front of me so I could correct some pull down menu’s because they where in a different order in the test version and that totally annoyed me so yes please let you’re OCD kick in!

Yes I want, how do I book the sessions?

Please go to VMworld.com and select under session type Design studio workshop.

Will there also be sessions at VMworld EU?

This is not 100% sure yet but there’s a good chance that the sessions will also be happening in Barcelona, just like last year!

So in short:

What’s (in) my backpack for @VMworld US 2018

I did a similar post for Nutanix .Next in Nice last year and there won’t be a lot of differences with that one. There will be some differences though since I need some world plugs for my european equipment plus I changed employers so I have a new laptop with new stickers (please help me to stay away from paper stickers, those are hell to remove). With less then two weeks to go for the event I don’t think a lot will change after this post. There’s a good chance that I will take a pass on the official VMworld backpack since I have enough of them now + there’s now the option to choose a charity over it.

First my bag, while I normally sport the 2016 Cohesity vExpert Timbuk2 backpack or a more recently received Nutanix Wenger backpack for daily use I decided to go with the XD Design Bobby backpack that I received the day that I started with my current employer AnylinQ. These have a great surface for customizing them with stickers as you can see below.

For the tech in it some things have changed, the laptop has been replaced by a newer generation so now I have the HP Probook 440 G5 + a Microsoft designer mouse has been added to replace the Xiaomi mouse. For the rest it’s still the Sony MDR-ZX770BN headset, an older Xiaomi 10k battery pack, Roundcube Rewirable  USB Travel adapter and the good old (hey, it’s over a year old now!) Samsung A5 2017 phone. All loose stuff will again by packed into the same Bubm DIS-L case.

 

 

The art of planning your VMworld sessions

The content catalog for VMworld has opened last week and I already know I marked way to many sessions as favorite for my own good. That’s why I decided on writing a couple of tips to the art of planning your conference. This might help you when the schedule builder opens on July 19th.

Levels

For each session there is a level listed with 100 for beginners, 200 for advanced and 300 for deep dives. My experience is that you might want to take the 200 and 300 levels with a grain of salt sometimes. I have seen deep dives that didn’t get any further than a high level overview but also had advanced sessions that went deeper than deep. Please look at the names of the presenters and check if you can find any old sessions for them to see if they managed to deliver the level the promised back then.

Yes this is my own session, I promise I will dive as deep as possible into those api’s

Workshops

First of all if you want to do any workshops its a case of being lightning fast when they are published to get a spot. Last year most of the workshops were reserved within hours of the schedule builder. Also keep in mind that the expert led hands on labs are mostly nothing different then the regular HOL’s but that there’s someone explaining some extra stuff. Some are unique though like the vCloud Foundation workshop last year where they had real VCF clusters for the students to play with. This is not something that easily done for the regular hol’s.

Regular workshops though will contain live exercises led by an expert that can more or less customize the workshop depending on the audience in the room.

Allow for time between sessions

This has been said before but if you have back to back sessions that are on complete different corners of the conference you will probably not make it. This is something you might only see when you get close to the conference  since rooms will be assigned rather late due to lots of people scheduling them. Thus make sure your schedule will still work when you arrive at the conference itself and when you have a feeling where all rooms are located.

Plan to visit the show floor

If you plan on only visiting the show floor briefly between I can guarantee you that you will be skipping the next session. I always plan a couple of 2-3 hour gaps for the show floor. Don’t expect a lot during the Welcome reception and/or the hall crawl, things will be packed then up to the point that it’s getting really hard to move around. Some of the sessions in the schedule builder are actually on the show floor so don’t get distracted too much when heading out for those.

Don’t plan too many sessions each day

You know that after lunch feeling you have at work or even worse when attending a course? This will probably be worse during VMworld since you will be overloaded with information during the day and parties at night. Personally I kept it to a maximum of four sessions each day or less.

Export your schedule to your personal agenda

While there will be an app released shortly before VMworld it might be handy to track all your appointments and sessions inside your own agenda. This way you can make sure that you have no overlapping between sessions and other activities. In previous years there was always an export function that made this easy.

My Schedule for VMworld EU 2017, or at least one of the versions.