Today was the day of packing up. Early check-out from the hotel.
I headed over to the Labs early to get a lab done. The labs were already busy at 08:10. The Wyse thin-client on each and every station was what connected you to the labs and from there further into the cloud to the remote datacenter
The lab I completed was LAB18: VMware vCloud Director - Networking. This was the 3rd in the series of Cloud related related Labs. I think I have said this before. The hardest part of understanding vCD is going to be the Network. I think the rest of the concept is really easy - especially if you have used Lab Manager before. The different kinds of networks and segmentation of these networks is much more complicated than the VIAdmin has been used till until now - dealing with the vSwitch and the dvSwitch. It seems that In addition to having to administer the Hardware, the virtualization layer, the Operating Systems, and as of late Storage is becoming a more integral part of a VIAdmins day to day job, we will now also start to design/manage the network in our cloud environment - or at least have to understand how it works, before selling it to your customers, or implementing in our own Environment. The lab had some quirks and did not run smoothly. And at one time, I had Duncan Epping and two other proctors (I apologize I did not get your names) around me trying to to solve the issue, which they did, which allowed me to complete the lab.
I finally got Duncan to autograph both of his books(one day they will be worth millions $$$$ on EBay)
After the Lab I moved over to the Blogger Lounge where at one time, where there was such a concentration of talent, knowledge and good moods - It was great. Scott Lowe was kind enough to give me a Spousetivities shirt to take back for the missus. On a whole, besides one or two sessions, I think the largest benefit I gained from this conference was interacting with people. But more on that in an upcoming blog post.
I wanted to go back into do another lab, but the lines - man the lines!! 20 minute wait just to get in!
I came back to the lounge and had a great discussion with John Arrasjid, about politics, about cloud, about religion, about home labs, about the VCDX process. It was great.
I was on my way to a VDI performance assessment session on the other side on the Center, I bumped into Scott Herold, and I went past the session (TA8133 Best Practices to Increase Availability and Throughput for VMware) with Vaughn Stewart and Chad Sakacc. I decided to sit in this one instead. The room was packed! Completely!! I have never seen either of them present before (besides hearing recordings). Both of them are amazing presenters, really - they both know their stuff, have a great amount of knowledge. A great mix of detail, technology and entertainment.
It was a really good session on storage performance best practices. Nothing that I have not heard or seen on their joint blog posts, but hey - you gotta go and see the "Frenemies" in action.
After the session, I went up to say hi to both of them, and had a lengthy discussion with Vaughn about NetApp, storage, vision and what is to come. It was a great discussion.
I am constantly amazed how accessible the top people in the industry are. I mean if I were to compare it to the CTO of my current employer or other companies for that matter, I am not sure how many of them are available for speaking to the end user. You obviously have to take and make the time to allow this to happen, and I am not only talking about the two gentlemen above, This is something I constantly noticed over the last few days, at all levels, I spoke to VP's CTO's and Principal Architects.
And really who am I? An Admin. So my hat off you all. You are what makes this industry exciting, enjoyable and a better place for us all.
Ok enough philosophy.
I went to sit in one more lab. vCenter configuration Manager - This is a whopper of a product - but I must admit, the amount of clients that will actually get to implement it are not large. The product has a great amount of functionality which assures your Environment is compliant to a baseline that you have defined. It can also revert changes back to the compliant profile if a change has been made. Not only for Windows machines, but also Unix, Linux and ESX hosts as well. Which means you can define a profile for a host/vm. If someone (an ambitious power user who has the correct rights) decides to bump up the amount of RAM on the VM for better performance - but is not allowed to - then if the item goes out of the compliant profile, you can be alerted, and if you would like you could revert that change back automatically. I have note really looked at the requirements for the product regarding resources, or cost, but it should be something to keep you eye out for.
One last walk around the Solutions exchange - one more t-shirt from Splunk. I finally got to see a real live UCS - and I must say that I am impressed, the simplicity of the product makes it all worthwhile. now just to convince upper management.
A round of goodbyes to all the people I have met that I previously only knew by their Twitter handle and I started my journey back home.
And that was day 4 - the last day of VMworld Europe.
One more blog post to come to summarize my experience.
And no - I - did - not - win - an - IPAD!