Why Can't We Just Talk to Each Other?

timesTimes they are A-changin', Bob Dylan's song from 1963 was written at the time to make a change. 

On Friday I caught wind of a story which I think should actually be an eye opener for us all.

The story I am talking about is the one about Adria Richards and her tweet at Pycon.

Amanda Blum posted a long but good post Adria Richards, PyCon, and How We All Lost with her take on the whole thing.

To make a long story short. Adria heard a sexist remark while at a conference from to guys sitting behind her. She snapped a photo and posted it to Twitter. And all hell broke loose.

One of the men was fired, her company was attacked and she was fired.

Amanda Blum

Firstly I do have my own opinion about how society has evolved over the years and how morals have continuously deteriorated generation by generation. But that is not what I want to talk about. Who was wrong here? Well both sides were.

Who was more wrong - doesn't matter.

Amy Lewis wrote a post a while back - Don’t Call Me, Maybe? (Go ahead and read it, I will wait) about how people are using social media more and more, instead of actually interacting with each other - and by interaction - I mean talking with someone on the phone or even better, face to face.

People do not talk any more. And it is a shame.

Technology has enabled us to do a great number of things, an unbelievable amount of things.

In my post Where Does it All Come From? I touched on how things have evolved in the way use technology. I have the option to reach out with my keyboard and contact someone on the other side of the world and get an answer almost instantaneously. Once upon a time we had to send a letter - wait for 3 weeks for it to arrive, and wait for another 3 weeks until we received a reply. Technology is a wonderful thing.

But it has its downsides as well.

  • How many of you are using your phone/iPad and looking at Facebook / Twitter while you are sitting on the couch, watching television?
  • Or talking to your spouse/family/parents?
  • Or your children?
  • Or your boss?
  • Or your workers?
  • Or while you are in a meeting?

I know I do it, I think we all do. The reasons are obvious, we all know them and have been written and discussed so many times, over and over again.

I cannot count the number of times I have seen someone tweet something such as


There are hundreds and thousands of examples like the ones above (I do not follow either of the above people on Twitter, there tweets came up randomly), I am actually sure that each and every one of us has probably posted something like this.

The question I would like to ask is why we are willing to put something like that up on Twitter for the whole world to see..

But people are never willing to say something like that, out loud, to a person's face!!

It took me a while to learn this and of course I learned it the hard way, but the best way to talk about something you dislike, is to voice your opinions, make sure you will be heard.

The lack of proper communication is one of the biggest problems (I think) we have as a society today. People are afraid to say what they think - OUT LOUD, they are willing to post it on Twitter, or Facebook, because they feel "protected", "safe", "secure" behind a technological medium which will shield them. But not everything has to be public, shared with the world. The things I see people post sometimes on public forums really makes you wonder…

Going back to the incident at Pycon, if she had turned around and told the guy to shut up and stop making those offensive remarks, then:

  1. They both probably would have retained their jobs.
  2. The whole thing would not have blown up out of all proportion.
  3. The guy might think twice before making such remarks again.
  4. We would all be one small step closer to making the world a better place.

Sometimes that "protected/shielded" place is not really that safe as you think - and could possibly cause a lot more damage than good.

It not by chance that almost everyone you ask says that the best part of going to a conference like VMworld, is the fact that you meet the people you are in contact with on a regular basis, and you can get to know them - in person. The personal contact is what makes the difference, and builds those long lasting relationships.

Perhaps it is the culture I come from, but we are not afraid to voice our opinions, not afraid to say what we have on our mind (and that can sometimes be seen as being rude, uncivilized or coarse), I know it is not like all over the world, and I feel that is a shame.

Perhaps this is a utopian wish, and I know that it is not suitable for all cultures and all situations, but I do hope that if we do communicate more (and not through Twitter/IM/Facebook etc.), voice our thoughts - directly - to the person that needs to hear them, then we will be able to understand and respect each other much more.

As was said in the post above we all lost, and we will continue to lose unless something changes.

Please feel free to leave your comments and thoughts in below.


vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.1 Beta

The VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.1 Public Beta is now open. Actually it was already open on March 11th, but it seems it has not yet been publicly announced.


Download Link || Release Notes

What is VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.1

VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager is a component that enables support for heterogeneous hypervisors in VMware vCenter Server. It provides the following benefits to your virtual environment:

  • An integrated platform for managing VMware and third-party hypervisors from a single interface.
  • A hypervisor choice for the different business units in your organization to accommodate their specific needs.
  • No single hypervisor vendor lock-in.

When you add a third-party host to vCenter Server, all virtual machines that exist on the host are discovered automatically, and are added to the third-party hosts inventory.

The previous Beta (version 1.0) was released in November 2012.

So what's new in this release?

The VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.1 is a minor release which introduces the following new capabilities:

  • Migration of virtual machines from Hyper-V to ESX or ESXi hosts.
  • Support for the latest Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor (as well as earlier Hyper-V versions).
  • Increased scalability with regards to an increased number of supported third-party hosts to 50 (from 20 in vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.0).
  • Ability to provide custom certificates for the vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager server from the installer wizard.
  • Multiple objects selection in the UI of the vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager plug-in and a number of other usability improvements.
  • vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager server and client-side bug fixes.

It also add support for Hyper-V Server 2012


vCloud Hybrid vs. AWS - The Battle Begins

Yesterday was a busy day, lots of announcements I would like to put down my thoughts on the fact the VMware will now get into the Public Cloud market in direct competition with Amazon.

We saw this coming - it started with the vCloud Service that VMware announced about 6 months ago - an open Beta - that actually was not free. In my blog post vCloud Service - I Asked Myself - Why? I explained why I think they started the service.

The Public Cloud market was too big for VMware to pass up. Every second, the sound of pennies/dollars dropping into Amazon's pockets - is a big temptation. I guess that VMware are looking to grow, looking for new sources of income - and there are two major areas were this can come from.vCloud vs. AWS

The first is from the mobile market. VMware have already got a very big foot in the door with their Horizon Suite of products, again they are most probably the market leader in this emerging market. I guess that there main market and that is the hypervisor will continue to bring in business - but will not be their main source of income - as it has been for several years.

The second is the Public Cloud. VMware have been there pretty much since the beginning - you could even say the leader in the market - but not really. There is really only one real Public Cloud company - and that is Amazon. Azure also have their Public Cloud - HP, Rackspace as well. But the most feature rich, the most innovative, the most advanced is AWS - without a doubt.

VMware's strategy was to enable their partners to compete and build their own Public Clouds, but as I said in the post above - it was not on par with what AWS has to offer. Really not the same.

So what does this mean for the End User?

  1. Choice. People now have more of a choice where they can spin up a workload - Amazon will no longer be the only significant player in the market. This could start a price war between the two companies - actually already has - AWS has been gradually reducing their prices over the past few months. And if not a price war - then it will be a feature war - take their announcement about VPC for everyone for example.
  2. Having the same infrastructure in house and the ability to expand to the cloud with the click of a button - without having to go through a lengthy process of signing contract with a provider is a huge plus for the Enterprise. This is a huge win for VMware. IT will find it a bit more difficult to swallow - if Shadow IT was becoming a problem - this opens the floodgates - wide, wide open. It will be even easier to bypass IT resources and control.
  3. On top the ease of purchase - the fact of having the same infrastructure within my organization and outside is something that Amazon never had - and was always to their disadvantage. I think that is where VMware is going to emphasize their added value. AWS does not have a private cloud solution - they never have, VMware do.
    So either Amazon will continue to stress that a Private Cloud is not needed - everything and anything can run on AWS and to ensure that is true they will continue to innovate and try and make that a fact. The other option - Amazon will start to provide a private cloud solution as well. I do not think that this option is likely one - but the only way I see this happening is if they buy a technology that will do this for them.

What does it mean for VMware?

  1. A chunk of the market. which means more $$$. As soon as the service will be launched - VMware will have customers.
  2. VMware will now be the ones playing catch up with Amazon. VMware was always the market leader, but now in the Public cloud space - they are going to have to start to catch up, both on market share and on functionality - they are now in second place and will have prove themselves.
  3. Stepping on their partners toes. This is a big one. They will be going into direct competition with their partners that are already providing a Public cloud to their customers, on vCloud. It remains to be seen how this will fan out. I think that VMware might be burning some bridges here - but I guess the carrot is a lot bigger than the stick.
  4. Cloud outages are something that happen. the bigger you get the more complex that environment will become. AWS suffers at least 2-4 times a year from a major outage. Public outcry arises immediately there after. If VMware are to become part of that market - they had better be ready to deal with the outcry - because it will also be aimed at them, when it happens. Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised and we will see a service that is robust and better than AWS. Time will tell.
  5. A huge initial expense - VMware will have to acquire a large amount of equipment to support this initiative - it will actually be interesting which way they go and who the vendors will be. Multiple locations across the globe, we will soon start to see new VMware datacenters popping up around the world.
  6. Supporting services - I do not think that current tools and technology that VMware sell to their customers will scale to such dimensions. vCOPS cannot deal with hundred of thousands of VM's.
    vCloud will probably have issues as well. They will need to either improve their products - or use someone else's solution, which in turn then leads me to think what that will be - and how long it take until VMware acquires that technology.
  7. Going to a consumer model - they will have to deal with a whole new customer base. The Joe Shmoe's that want to spin up a VM on the cloud - and get charged for the 20 cents they used. Not the same as selling vCloud Suite licenses to the Enterprise market. Amazon is historically much more geared towards the end consumer. This is something VMware will need to learn. And one more thing - as soon as they do go to such a model, only time will tell what other services they will start to sell - the first thing that comes to mind is the mobile market and Horizon. Again time will tell.
  8. Differentiating themselves in the market - Someone will have to explain to all those AWS customers - why they should jump ship to VMware - I am not sure that will be easy.

The move has been brewing for a long time within VMware, I remember speaking about this possibility on several occasions over the past year with a number of people in the community and the industry on when VMware would go to a Public Cloud of their own. There were opinions heated discussions, some agreed, some did not.

Yesterday it happened.

To summarize (as I see it).

VMware tried to get vCloud out there, the world was not ready for it, and was certainly not willing to accept a per-VM model - far too expensive. VMware acknowledged that, with the move to the vCloud suite - which brought back the well-known and accepted per-CPU licensing.

The public offering of vCloud started to grow, but not enough, not fast enough. Amazon was growing bigger and better, other clouds were starting to pop up - HP cloud, Rackspace, and they were not based on vCloud. Yes there was adoption of several SP's that were growing nicely with vCloud but still it was not it.

VMware has made a strategic decision to go head on with AWS (and yes they are the real only competitor that I assume they are targeting) - something that at the moment I cannot foresee how this will play out.
I do think this will be a rough year for the new VMware Hybrid Cloud. They will be taking flak from all sides. They will get kickback (and I assume it will be verbal) from all their Service Provider partners that just got a huge kick in the teeth with announcement.

I am adding to my calendar a reminder to review the subject in 3 months.


VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 Beta

First and foremost I would like to express my public gratitude and thanks to legendary Ulli Hankeln,
the Master of Converter and VMDK/VMFS disk dissection/recovery for sticking with this and bugging VMware to make the proper changes to thisConverter Standalone 5.1 Beta product.

After being in a private Beta for a while - it is now open to the public

From the Release Notes

What's New

The VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 Beta includes the following new functionality:

  • Support for virtual machine hardware version 9
  • Guest operating system support for Microsoft Windows 8 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Guest operating system support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Support for virtual and physical machine sources with GUID Partition Table (GPT) disks
  • Support for virtual and physical machine sources with Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
  • Support for EXT4 file system


Converter Standalone 5.1 Beta is known to have the following issues:

  • You cannot upgrade an existing installation of Converter Standalone to Converter Standalone 5.1 Beta. Before you install Converter Standalone 5.1 Beta, uninstall any earlier versions of Converter Standalone and delete any remaining Converter Standalone server database files from your system.
  • You cannot convert physical SLES 9 sources, if the root directory is located on an LVM disk. You need to convert the LVM disk to a basic disk.
  • Virtual machines cloned from RHEL6 and SLES 11 sources have no network connectivity. After the conversion is complete, you need to reconfigure the network settings on the destination virtual machine manually.
  • Virtual machines cloned from SLES 11 SP1 sources boot in console mode. After the conversion is complete, you need to recreate the xorg.conf file.

You can download the product here

Now if only they would bring back the cold clone CD (wishful thinking..)

Ravello Systems - and A Bit of Deja Vu

A while back Duncan Epping wrote a wonderful post VMotion, the story and confessions about how people remembered the when they witnessed vMotion for the first time and asked people to add their experiences. I of course remember mine vividly - and also remember that when I first saw vMotion I knew that this would change the way we used computers in the future.

A few weeks ago - I got that feeling again - but this time not with vMotion but rather with a product that IRavello Systems saw for the first time from Ravello Systems.

Some background about the company and its founders

"Ravello was founded in 2011 with the sole purpose of changing the way companies, large and small consume the public cloud. Ravello is brought to you by the team that introduced the KVM hypervisor (now the standard virtualization technology in Linux)

Rami Tamir (Co-Founder, CEO) – was VP of engineering at Red Hat. He joined Red Hat through the acquisition of Qumranet where he was the co-founder and president.

Benny Schnaider (Co-Founder, President and Chairman of the Board) was VP of business development for Red Hat. He joined Red Hat through the acquisition of Qumranet where he was co-founder and CEO.

Navin R. Thadani (SVP, Products) – ran the virtualization (KVM/ RHEV) business line for Red Hat. He joined Red Hat through the acquisition of Qumranet in 2008 which he led as the VP of products.

Ravello Systems is the first company to tackle the problem head-on from an infrastructure perspective. It’s very much like what VMware did back in the early 2000s to the enterprise data center.”

“The leadership team behind Ravello has a track record of developing innovative technologies in the virtualization infrastructure space and backing it up with solid execution,” said Adam Fisher, partner, Bessemer Venture Partners. “Their previous virtualization initiative, KVM has been a tremendous success in the market with record breaking virtualization performance and scalability. This time around, HVX is another ground-breaking technology and if any team can deliver, it’s these guys.”

Enough marketing babble…

I will try and explain to the best of my knowledge how I understand their technology. Ravello have developed what they name a Cloud Application Hypervisor. This hypervisor can be deployed on any cloud provider (at the moment - AWS, HP Cloud and Rackspace are the supported providers, but vCloud environments are expected to be added soon). They name their hypervisor HVX.

So how does it work (at a 10,000 ft. view). You, the user, upload a workload to the Ravello environment, and decide from there where you want to deploy it, it could be on Amazon, Rackspace or another provider. You might ask why is this such a special thing - I mean there are other companies out there that are providing a similar service - for example Cloudify - which allows you to upload an application to virtually (pun intentional)any cloud. Well the difference here is it is not an application you are moving around here - it is a complete VM. You then deploy this VM to a Cloud provider, regardless of what platform they are using underneath.

Think about it for a second. I have a VM running a complex application, in my datacenter, on my VMware environment. Installed with my standard builds, all the correct patches configurations everything I am used to doing in house. I now want to move that workload from my environment to the Cloud. VMware have vCloud Connector which will allow me to move a VM from my vCloud environment to a supported vCloud environment with very little (if any) change needed to perform this migration. That is actually quite amazing if you ask me - but the limitation is - it needs to stay within the VMware platform.

Now you need to do the same - but this time to an Openstack or AWS cloud? How would you go about getting that done? Not as simple… The VMware drivers are not exactly the same and those running on XEN(AWS) or KVM (Rackspace) so how?

Ravello have the technology that allows you to do this.

HVXSo how does it work? When you deploy a VM to a cloud, any cloud, Ravello will deploy a VM that contains an additional layer, a nested hypervisor, that will allow you to run a virtual machine on top of that VM. We have been doing nested virtualization for a while already - vSphere does that very very well. The whole concept of vInception, the VMworld HOL have been using it for years. But here is where the "secret sauce" comes in.

You can deploy a VMware VM on AWS or Openstack and I suppose the plan is to do it on anything. And of of course - vice-versa. HVX will allow you to do that. Please feel free to read about how it works.

I had one briefing with Gal Moav and Navin R. Thadani a few weeks ago where I got a demo of the product.

They have very nice interface where you can upload the virtual images to the Ravello system, and from there deploy them onto the cloud of your choice. Then you can create an application blueprint with a simple interface allowing the connections in between and out of the VM's.

Does it work? Oh YES! very well.

I did some testing with a basic VMware Linux VM - and uploaded it to Amazon. VM powered on - and I felt the urge to confirm - yes it was the same one. VMware tools installed and active in the VM. So there was no streaming of the data portions of the VM - the whole VM was uploaded - as is, encapsulated in their HVX and working. Paravirtualized SCSI drivers and VMXNET3 NIC (if my memory serves me correctly).

One of the interesting use cases that I was presented with - was the economical aspect. Ravello have the ability to identify the VM's needs, and deploy on the most cost effective destination - be it Amazon, Openstack or others in the future. I find that to be a huge advantage for the enterprise. If you are no longer dependent on the cloud infrastructure, you can pick and choose according to a number of considerations, be it cost, location, technology etc… There are several other use cases that they present on their site. Think about how you might use this as well to maximize the use of the Cloud instances you have already. Running multiple VM's the same AWS instance - can save a lot of money.

I plan to get some more information about how exactly the product works and if possible - will be able to post a follow up.

So why Déjà vu? In March 2011 I wrote this post The Datacenter - in a Few Years From Now - where I described the hypervisor for hypervisors.

Hypervisor for hypervisors

Ravello is the first (and only) company that I know of that can do this.

The directions in which this could be taken are more or less endless. And that is what makes me excited about this technology.

Let me give you three examples.

  1. Developers create VM's in their local environment, this could even be on a local laptop, vagrant or what ever they want. Once the application / environment is ready to be moved up the chain to QA / Test / Production - the VM can be imported to the cloud of your choice - whilst maximizing your savings. Minimum or next to no changes needed
  2. Take the other direction - you have an application in the cloud - which is suffering a problem in order to debug - you can either do it in the cloud - but not always is that feasible - so you want to bring it in house - with this kind of technology this will be possible.
  3. Risk management. I do not want to have everything on vCloud or AWS or Openstack - I would like to have my application run in multiple clouds. Up until now that was very difficult to do - I could not deploy the same application the same way to different cloud providers. With this kind of technology this will be possible.

Not all of the features / ideas I have mentioned above are available today - but they will be - and I do not see it being too far away.

The product is not perfect, and has some improvements that can be made over the next few months or years. Performance will improve, support for more Cloud Platforms will be added including in-house cloud environments as well.

There are other companies that have solutions which manage multiple clouds like Rightscale or Enstratius but I think they all do it with software solutions similar to the concept I described here - Orchestration Will Rule Them All #BRC2K11

One last thing. I tried to push the system to a bit of an extreme - and tried to upload a vESXi VM to AWS - but the system did not like it that much …. Perhaps one day we will be able to run ESXi on an AWS instance.

Ravello have a YouTube channel where you can go through their tutorials.

I am excited about the product, and see a real business need for such a technology.

I will keep my eye out on Ravello.

Disclaimer: I received access to Ravello Systems public beta - but it is open to anyone. I was given a briefing on the technology from two of the staff members. I blogging about this because I feel that the technology will make a difference to the way we will consume resources in the cloud, a disturbance in the force if you would like - but one for the better.


And the Winner is…. You!

So you are all the winners, for participating, for voicing your opinions and making your vote count!

Today Eric Siebert posted the results for the top 2013 VMware and Virtualization Blogs.

I asked you Not to vote for me but it seems that did not work.

The full results and podcast can be found here.

In short.

  • I was ranked at No. 41 in the total count
  • 7th in the Scripting blog category
  • 8th in the Independent blogger category.

I would like to thank you again all for you support!

Some of my own analysis on the results.

  • There is only one independent in the top 10 - Eric Sloof
  • Only eight of the top 25 do not work for a vendor. (EMC, VMware, HP, Dell, VCE, NetApp)
  • 7 out of the top 10 bloggers work for VMware, 1 for EMC and one for HP.
  • There are 4 new bloggers in the top 25.
  • There is 1 new blogger in the top 10.
  • The biggest drop in the list was from 18 to 229 (211 spots)
  • The biggest climb in the list was from 149 to 38 (111 spots)
  • The vBrownbag crew is doing an amazing job - and people appreciate it.
  • The favorite storage blogger - does not even work for a storage vendor, he works for VMware.
  • The top scripting blogger's preferred scripting language is not PowerCLI - it is Perl.

Congratulations to all the other bloggers on their achievements this year. It is a great list.

Thank you Eric Siebert for a job well done!!

You can follow all the bloggers on Twitter in the following updated lists:

Top 25 VMware/Virtualization Bloggers

Top 50 VMware/Virtualization Bloggers

Top Independent Bloggers

Favorite Scripting Bloggers

Favorite Storage Bloggers


VMware Cloud Cred Program

At VMworld 2012, at the vExpert briefing - we were introduced to an upcoming social idea that VMware were working on - Cloud Cred.

Today I received an email from the VMUG organization (screenshot below)


Currently the site is not yet available (according to the mail above - it will be on March 11th) - as you can see from the screenshot below.


So what is Cloud Cred - I will leave this to VMware to explain..

An Overview and Demo is also available here.

If I remember correctly the whole idea was not received very well at the briefing.

Making the whole thing into a "game" where you are receiving points, and can get "stuff" for getting the highest scores and even "win" the grand prize of a trip for 2 to VMworld Barcelona - seems to diminish a good amount of what all the VMware evangelists, bloggers, vExperts do. We are not doing it for the points or trinkets, but because we believe in what we do.

I think the commoditization of the blogging and evangelizing - will only reduce its value. Time will tell.

What do you think?

PS. Thanks to Jake Robinson who pointed out that VMware just also launched their Cloud Credits program, which is not the same as the above. Cloud Credits and Cloud Credibility close but not the same.


VMworld CFP Voting - Needs to be More Transparent

It is around that time of the year again, when VMware puts out the announcement that the Call for Papers for VMworld 2013 and will be open, and then people will start to submit their sessions to get their hour of glory at the biggest virtualization show of the year.

VMworld will be in San Francisco between August 26-29, 2013 in the Moscone Center.

Last year there were 1222 separate sessions up for voting - yes I counted them. VMware started with public voting for VMworld sessions 3 years ago with VMworld 2010

Before that there was only a committee that decided which speakers would have the honor of presenting a session at VMworld.

This post actually is the continuation of a dinner conversation I had with Mike Laverick, Edward Haletky, Gabrie van Zanten, Harold Simon and Larry Orloff and Michael Webster on the last day of VMworld 2012 in San Francisco.

Here are my thoughts. VMware has the right to decide what content it would like toYes, no, voting have in its flagship conference, it only happens once a year and of course the show is not only there for the benefit of the attendees. There are sponsorships, partners that need to be taken care of - and I am sure there are a huge number of things I am not mentioning that have to be taken into account as well when deciding on content.

In the end there is a finite amount of sessions that can be offered. There are all sorts of considerations that will come into account, whether a session will take place (at least this is the way I would do it):

  1. Partner commitment - I assume that VMware guarantee a number of sessions to its main partners, that would be a courtesy.
  2. Sponsorship commitment - again I would assume that would part of the agreement with the bigger sponsors.
  3. New technologies - VMware will definitely want sessions out there for the new announcements and features that will be coming out during that period.
  4. Hot speakers - there are several speakers who are very good, they present almost every year, and their sessions are packed.
  5. VMware employees - Yes there is a decent chance that they are the SME's on their topic (I mean they are the ones who design the product)
  6. Hot topics - a topic that is likely to get high attendance because that is what people are looking to learn more about.

So what does that leave available?

  • Customer stories.
  • Interesting sessions
  • Stuff that has to be there

The number of sessions that are actually submitted is growing every single year. The reason behind is enough for a whole different blog post. If my memory does not betray me - there were ~3000 sessions submitted for VMworld 2012.

Back to the voting process. VMware announces that the voting is open, and the Wrath of Khan is unleashed.. Everything is fair game, Twitter, Facebook, blog posts - the works. Vote for session …
I voted for ………… 's session badabing, badaboom…

And then what - the voting is closed - votes are counted and then a few weeks later - the Session catalog is announced.

But isn't something missing?

Why does VMware even allow voting? One would assume - to see which sessions get the most number of votes - and allow those sessions to "get all the glory".

A voting system or electoral system is a method by which voters make a choice between options, often in an election or on a policy referendum.

A voting system enforces rules to ensure valid voting, and how votes are counted and aggregated to yield a final result.

Source Wikipedia

  • You are given a choice
  • You vote
  • The results are published - so you know who won.

And here we come down to what we spoke over dinner that evening. Voting is open for 1, 2 or maybe even three weeks. There is a lot of lobbying, people vote. And then the catalog is published.

But who received the most votes? Were the sessions that got into the catalog the ones that received the most votes? Did they get in for other reasons? If so what were they?

The mundane answer that most of those who submitted a paper receive, is not enough…
(and yes, this is the exact text from 2010, 2011, and 2012)

Dear Maish,

Thank you for your interest in speaking at VMworld 2010. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept your session proposal:
Session ID: MA6662
Session ID: MA6840
Session ID: V18364

We received a record number of submissions this year and were only able to accept ~20% of them to be presented at VMworld. Following is a list of the most common reasons why sessions were declined:

  • The submission was too basic, not enough information was provided in the abstract.
  • The session was too single vendor product focused and likely to have a commercial nature.
  • The submission topic did not fit within the selected track.
  • There were too many submissions with similar topics.

Dear Maish,

Thank you for your interest in speaking at VMworld 2011. We received a record number of submissions this year and were only able to accept ~15%.  Unfortunately, we are not able to accept your session proposal, but we greatly appreciate and value the time and effort you took to submit a session proposal, and we hope that you will participate in the VMworld 2012 Call for Papers.

Session ID: 1843

Here is a list of the most common reasons why sessions were declined:

  • The submission was too basic, not enough information was provided in the abstract.
  • The session was too single vendor product focused and likely to have a commercial nature.
  • The submission topic did not fit within the selected track.
  • There were too many submissions with similar topics.

Dear Maish,

Thank you for your interest in speaking at VMworld 2012. We received a record number of submissions this year and were only able to accept ~12%.  Unfortunately, we are not able to accept your session proposal, but we greatly appreciate and value the time and effort you took to submit and we hope you will participate in the VMworld 2013 Call for Papers.

Session ID: 1996

Here is a list of the most common reasons why sessions were declined:

  • There were too many submissions with similar topics.
  • The submission was too basic, not enough information was provided in the abstract.
  • The session was too single vendor product focused and likely to have a commercial nature.

A pattern? Anyone?

VMware have the right to accept or reject any of the submitted sessions according to VMware's best interests, it is their conference. I am completely fine with that.

But I feel (and I am 100% that I am not the only one) that the voting process is not really transparent enough at all. No one actually knows what sessions were accepted based on the voting, what sessions were accepted in spite of the voting and which sessions were accepted - even without the voting.

My public request to VMware for this year's Call for Papers…..

Voting has a beginning a middle and an end. At the moment - that last part - is not being transmitted back to those who participated in the process.

It should - it must - otherwise the voting process is nothing much more than lip service.

If you agree (or disagree) please leave your comment or thoughts below.