Now that I’ve had a few days to recover, I wanted to share my experience from my trip to VMworld 2013. After having such an amazing time last year, I decided that attending the 10th annual VMworld would be in my best interest, even if it meant “paying my own way”. It turns out this was a good call! Unlike last year, I had a better idea of what to expect during my time at the conference.
I arrived in San Francisco on Sunday, August 25th, just in time to participate in the v0dgeball fundraising event. (Thanks again to @CommsNinja (Amy Lewis) for letting me play for the Cloudbunnies #FearTheEars!). This was a good opportunity to help raise money for The Wounded Warrior Project playing dodgeball with a bunch of folks in the VMware community. It turns out that my dodgeball skills are as about as good as they were back in 3rd grade, not much improvement there 🙂 Thankfully, I made it through without injury and had a fun time in the tournament. Congrats to the EMC team on the victory!
I missed the VMworld Opening Ceremony, but fortunately after getting a bit lost I made it to the VMunderground party. Great event for networking and catching up with everyone in the community!
On Monday, I attended the 1st Keynote where VMware announced the release of vSphere 5.5 and vCloud Suite 5.5. VMware continued to talk about the path toward the Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) and the latest features included with 5.5. I won’t go into the details since there are several bloggers that did a great job posting live blogs of the keynotes. (Check out http://blog.scottlowe.org/ for example). I will say that many of the announcements made during this keynote were not a surprise. The rest of the day I spent attending sessions for the most part. I really enjoyed the “group discussion” on HA with Duncan Epping and Keith Farcas; it was nice to give feedback, hear from peers and learn about possible futures. Later that evening, I made my way to CXIParty. @CXI (Christopher Kusek) did a great job putting this together for the community.
On Tuesday, I was able to catch the last part of the 2nd Keynote with “Carl and Kit”. My favorite part of this general session was the vCAC demo, since I will be building out a Proof Of Concept environment for vCAC when I return to work. Like many other VMware customers, I am looking at how certain automation and management tools can bring an organization beyond basic virtualization and into a private cloud solution. Attended the “Ask the Expert vBloggers” session, which I enjoyed just as much as last year. Later that evening, I had a great time attending the Veeam and vBacon parties.
Most of my Wednesday was spent preparing for and taking the VCAP5-DCA exam. I’ll save that experience for a different post, but this may be the last time I mix cert exams with VMworld (a bit too much excitement all at one time).
Wednesday night was the VMworld 2013 party. VMware did an awesome job putting this party together! Imagine Dragons and Train performed at SF Giants stadium (AT&T park). They basically threw a carnival in the stadium, along with a huge concert, and then topped it all off with fireworks at the end. I was not too familiar with either of the bands before the party, but I became a fan of Imagine Dragons during their performance. Not sure how VMware is going to top this one!
I was able to work on some Hands on Labs on Thursday morning before I left for SFO to head back home. I did BYOD this year and would highly recommend going that route if you can. Though I haven’t looked into it yet, I’m assuming I’ll (hopefully) be able to do many of these labs eventually online via Project Nee.
Overall, it was an outstanding VMworld trip! Very grateful that I was able to catch up with friends I made last year and make new ones.