VMworld 2014 Wrap-Up

One of my favorite weeks of the year is almost complete. I’m at the airport heading home, looking forward to being back home with my family. VMworld was simply amazing this year. I have always enjoyed the experience, but the community brought the whole experience to another level.

I had some objectives to accomplish this year:

  1. Research SIEM tools
  2. DevOps integration
  3. OpenStack integration
  4. Get out of my predominantly introverted shell
  5. VCDX–do I really want to do it?

For the first item, there really wasn’t much represented as far as SIEM tools (or log correlation tools) as in the past. I was quite disappointed on this front since that category was reasonably well represented in the past when I wasn’t focused on it.

For #2, conflicts in the schedule, including having to go from Moscone to the Marriott for back-to-back schedules, limited my access to the DevOps related sessions. They are very high on my list of things to watch when they are released to the attendees. The #vBrownbag sessions are also high on the list of things to review–a phenomenal amount of practical information is shared in these 10-15 minute presentations.

I am really excited about the VMware Integration OpenStack (VIO) initiative. OpenStack is part of our strategy for a 2015 implementation. The vendor-agnostic APIs that can be leveraged to build and deploy applications will allow us first provide a more dynamic developer environment, and then progress into a platform for deploying applications in more flexible ways. I even anticipate some architectural changes on the networking side that would simplify the environment considerably as a result of NSX. I would really like to get into the Beta so that I can spend my time in deployment rather than fighting with the components individually.

With respect to my 4th objective, I am truly floored by how the vCommunity is open and accepting. I am involved with the VMware User Group for Western PA and that opened many doors for meeting people. I am a fairly introverted person in that I don’t approach people I don’t know. Once I know you, it can be hard to end a conversation if you get me on topics I enjoy. I started on Sunday morning with vBreakfast. I met Emad Younis (@Emad_Younis) and we had a great time talking while we ate at Mel’s Diner. I could probably fill a book with details of all the people I met. The whole experience culminated in the vRecognise crew (@JakeAPennington, @jdgreen@AlexanderJN@RuddyVCP@Emad_Younis@GreggRobertson5@jfrappier) being established on Wednesday evening before we went to the VMworld party–this is a silly parody of the vDB, but just some of the fun that happened as a result of sitting down with Emad for vBreakfast on Sunday morning.

Another community thing is the daily prayer time each morning by the waterfall in Yuerba Buena Gardens with Scott Lowe and a group of like minded individuals. We started the day off right by simply spending 15 minutes praying for the day’s activities, any challenges back home, and our feet–the amount of walking around San Francisco for the week is measured in miles per day, especially as they spread out the sessions to more venues. This prayer time started with a simple email to Scott, part of my decision to reach out to people I wanted to meet, and he ran with it. His reach brought it to about 15 people the first day.

VCDX… do I want to go that far with my certifications? This has been a personal struggle for me since it involves what is somewhat equivalent to a Master dissertation and defense in front of a panel. I have decided to take the challenge with a goal of defending my design for the VCDX-DCV next summer. I am completely and utterly amazed at the offers by existing VCDX holders to help with the process. I attended the VCDX Bootcamp put on by John Arrasjid, Chris McCain, Matt Vandenbeld, Mostafa Khalil, Ben Lin, and Nathan Raper. The message is fairly simple–they want to do everything that they can to help candidates, without lowering the bar in any way. There are currently somewhere around 160 VCDXes in the world–it is not easy to obtain that level, and I am looking forward to the challenge.

One of the interesting things I overheard about the VCDX program is that it seems to be more about who you know and if you aren’t in the clique, you won’t pass. The insight I obtained this past week is that perception couldn’t be farther from the truth. The reason is may seem that way is that the existing VCDX holders engage so well with people who are serious about going that far with their career and true relationships are built along the way.

I could go on and on about this past week… This is already longer than I wanted to so I’ll leave the rest for another post or two.

Thanks to all those I met and those who helped me meet even more people!

-David

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