Same as yesterday, the conference started with keynotes. The first one was by Carl Eschenbach, VMware Co-President of Customer Operations, followed by a motivational keynote by Bill Taylor, founding editor of Fast Company Magazine. As a technical professional, I always try my best to get more business insights and perspectives therefore I attend business related keynotes whenever possible.
Because there were about two hours before breakout sessions after the keynotes, I went downstairs for a hands-on lab. What I picked was “Auto Deploying Your Agile and Stateless Cloud Platform.” After getting my turn, I followed a lab staff to my seat where I entered my ID and started the lab. Like other labs I took before, two monitors were used, one for lab manuals and the other for real interaction. The lab manual is pretty well written with nice overview and good diagrams. The instructions are also straight-forward and easy to follow. I requested for help once because the PowerCLI command prompt took too long to come up so I tried for three times. Just before a lab staff came by, it worked. When I used up my time of one and half hours, I still had one small section unfinished but I had browsed the content while waiting in the middle. I wish I could have a bit longer time to finish the whole lab.
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I think while budgeting the time it’s assumed that you just follow the instructions quickly, no time to think through and digest the content. To solve this issue, I think VMware could open up the lab manuals before the conference. This may not be realistic, but worth trying.
After the lab, I headed to breakout sessions. I first tried “Troubleshooting View: Looking Under the Hood” and found it’s too many details for me. So I went onto another session “vCenter Operations and VMware View.” It talked about how to use vCenter Opertations to manage/monitor VMware View. Since I was late for the session, I didn’t get the chance to see the demo. But I will download the slides and follow up with the presenter later.
Next, I attended the session “Virtualizing Unified Communications Systems with vSphere and View.” During the introduction, the presenter offered a good overview about the CPU, IO latency before talking about performance results. Somehow I didn’t find much about View in the session. There may be an error in the title.
Because I was interested in Tier-1 applications, I attended the session “Design, Deploy, and Optimize Exchange 2010 on vSphere.” Because of my limited exposure there, I found it’s pretty interesting and learned quite a bit. The key take-away is how to approach the problem and what to watch for during the process. It does require both vSphere knowledge and application knowledge, and more importantly, how to apply them in the problem context.
There was another session afterwards “Advanced Tuning for Virtualizing Challenging Application.” I found it somehow overlapped with the session on unified communications system.
The last session I attended was “Introducing vCenter Protect SDK and APIs,” which was new to me. This is actually from Shavlik which VMware acquired a while back. With that in mind, you can guess it’s about patch management. It has many features like discovery, script generation, etc. It also comes with SaaS model with REST APIs, which is used by the VMware Go for SMB. After the whole session, I had no idea what the API/SDK is like, let alone how to use it. So I raised it up in the Q&A for more details, but was told that it’s upon request, and need NDA and approval. I think it misses the opportunities for developers to try it out. Hopefully the documentation and trial accounts are open in the future.
While waiting for the party, I dropped by the vExpert forum just to see a few friends there. Because I was with VMware, I could not be vExpert before. Now I am no longer with VMware. Hopefully I will make vExpert this year.
That is about it.