This is a guest post by Larry Gonzalez. I helped Larry to get to VMworld thanks in part to the VMware Community team. Larry is from Costa Rica and this was his 2nd VMworld.
The Chain of Events
First of all, I really want to thank Greg Stuart from vDestination.com, with his help I was able to attend to VMworld 2012 at San Francisco, CA.
Arrived San Francisco at 6:15pm, we landed late because another plane got ahead of us on the way and the captain had to abort the landing, not sure what happened but for sure it was an Air Control problem. Got Super Shuttle to the hotel, took a while since I was almost on the last stop, but it was nice seeing the city around a bit and remember some places, since this was the city where I attended my first VMworld back in 2009. Finally, at the hotel I basically crashed, was too tired and fell asleep.
Had a good night of sleep, woke up rested, got Breakfast at Moulin (887 Geary st.,highly recommended) and head over for registration at Moscone West. Since I have been trying to exercise more, I walked from the hotel to Moscone, got lost a bit so I walked more!! Finally got to Moscone West for registration, it went really smooth and fast, best one I had.
Head over to Moscone South to the VMware Company store to get some stuff that I’ve wanted for a long time, it was better to go early, when they do have all the sizes and are on full stock of goodies. The Welcome Reception took place at Solutions Exchange from 4pm to 7pm, that was the opening of VMworld 2012, full of attendees, vendors, booths and badge scanning hunters. I met Greg there to say hi and then coordinate to go later to a dinner which I was invited by Symantec. The dinner took place at Roy’s (575 Mission st, amazing short ribs!!) with a great crew from Symantec, Greg Stuart, his wife, and the vDestination contest winner, Stacy Carter. Thank you Symantec!! It was a great dinner 🙂 This was officially the end of the first day at the VMworld 2012.
First Session of the day started with the General Session (GS01), where Paul Maritz hands over his position to Pat Gelsinger, the new CEO of VMware. One of the biggest highlights of this session was the change of licensing, which killed the vRAM licensing and returned to per processor based licensing, which was well received by all the audience. It also took place the VMUG Greenout, where all VMUG members show up wearing the Bright Green VMUG Greenout T-shirt, showing up how important this organization has become supporting VMware users, even Steve Herrod, CTO of VMware was wearing one, as proud VMUG Member. After that, I started my scheduled sessions, the best one from that day was Ask the Expert vBloggers, with the participation of: Rick Scherer, Chad Sakac, Frank Denneman, Duncan Epping, Scott Lowe. It was a great Q&A session, and we find out that Chad has basically a datacenter at home for his personal Labs (4 full racks if I remember well), I will ask to ask him if he is leasing time for tests!
Once again lots of sessions this day, starting with the General Session 2 (GS02), where the Horizon suite was presented, which will create a good impact for mobile devices once is released, good stuff coming up. The night on Tuesday was fully booked with parties all around, HP, Dell Wyse, Veeam, VMware Latam and a lot more all around. I have to give credit to Veeam and Dell Wyse for delivering very good a very good party each one. Lots of people moving between parties. This was a really busy day, lots of info, good networking, meeting new people, everything good! And great parties to wrap up the day.
To start the day, I had breakfast with a great VCDX/vExpert, Andrea Mauro from Italy, that was visiting the US VMworld this year and also with Kyle Murley from Proximal Data (he also knows Costa Rica and is married with a “Tica”), he speaks very good Spanish by the way.
The Hang Space this year was really nice, with screens showing up all the tweets and info and a nice Valet Charging Service for your phones and tablets. VMware TV and other recordings were happening here. Lot of things happening on Wednesday, Veeam was giving away a Home Lab (really good stuff!!) and everybody was required to be present and also wearing the Veeam t-shirt, lots of people showed up.
The night was high on expectations, since the VMworld Party band this year was Jon Bon Jovi and the Kings of Suburbia. Well what can I say, good food, good opening band but Jon Bon Jovi was basically playing cover songs and other stuff by the Kings of Suburbia, just a few songs sounded from the original Bon Jovi band, which left a lot of people disappointed, Greg and I included. We were expecting more of the good ones, like Living on a Prayer, but no luck. Well we were expecting more of Jon Bon Jovi, but it was not the full band, however they did deliver a good show.
Called also “Hangover Thursday” (the day after the VMworld Party) had good sessions, I started with a Design Discussion session with Scott Lowe and Forbes Guthrie, which was a very informative session, 1 hour was not enough for the level of information and great tips during this session. Another great session was about Cloud Infrastructure with Duncan Epping, Rawlinson Rivera, David Hill and others, they delivered very good content. I also got my Clustering Deep Dive book signed by Duncan (was not able to reach Frank Denneman for the other signature), very good book. For the last session of this VMworld 2012, I attended Storage Best Practices, which had as presenters Vaughn Stewart from NetApp and Chad Sakac from EMC, good to see them together and agreeing about storage best practices that applies to any other brands, not only the ones they represent. Very useful information, with some fun stuff in the way they presented, another session that will need more than 1 hour next VMworld due to the amount of information.
The End of My Adventure
That was the end of VMworld 2012 for me. It was great to be able to attend, the networking is priceless, meeting new people, new technologies and lots of info that you can apply to your work, all concentrated on this event, with lots of great sessions. At the end of my trip, I had breakfast on Friday with Greg and his wife, and then headed out to make some small purchases and get ready to pack bags to leave on Saturday early morning. Lots of attendees agreed that logistics were not that good this VMworld, food was not that good. There is a lot of feedback about logistics on the Socialcast forum, we all hope VMware will listen to the feedback and handle better logistics for next year VMworld. What makes this event so important is the incredible speakers, experts and technology, all reunited at VMworld, the quality of the information received on the sessions is a key for a lot of us that work on virtualization every day.