vmworld-2016VMworld 2016 US is well on it’s way. For those of you who have missed the live stream of the keynote, here’s the recording (about 1 hour 20 minutes). One of the key topics is Cross-Cloud Services. Moving your workloads around in different clouds to enable your customers/users/clients to access their apps and data quickly and as resilient as possible. Other hot topics include VSAN and NSX. If you have not already looked at the technology and products, VMworld is the place to do so and to speak with people who have already gone through the move to software defined storage and networking.

17 October if you are a VMware partner or TAM customer and 18 October for all others, VMworld 2016 Europe is kicking off in Barcelona. And as it is with every year in Barca, you should prepare properly. VMworld is a wonderful conference. We expect to see 10.000 attendees this year, which probably makes this the largest IT conference in Europe. If you are flying in, check out our preparation tips at Do’s and Dont’s at VMworld. These tips have served us well over the years of attending conferences and specifically VMworld.

A lot of sessions from the US will also be hosted there next to some EU specific sessions. I went through the Content Catalog on the VMworld site and picked a few sessions I think you should attend. I tried to touch on all the topics that can be of interest to you, ranging from storage and networking up to the end user computing workspace.

Do keep in mind though that some sessions will fill up quite quickly. Here it’s a case of “the early bird catches the worm”. The sooner you register, the better the chance is the session is not full yet.

So let’s go;


Session NET9384 titled NSX Multicloud

Want to know how NSX can connect your public clouds together? Want to move your workloads from Amazon to Azure and back? Check out this session, hosted by Guido Appenzeller (CTSO for VMware).

Session description: As network virtualization transforms networking into a software industry, it gives rise to new technologies and use cases, accelerating innovation throughout the business. But how will network virtualization be the bridge between data center and cloud networking? Join this session to see how extending the operational model of compute virtualization to the network can achieve greater flexibility. You will see how network virtualization provides a pathway for securing your on-prem applications, your containerized applications, and your workloads in public cloud providers like Amazon.


Session SEC7836 titled Introduction to Security with VMware NSX

If you have not looked at NSX before, this is a great introduction into what NSX can do for you. Check out this session hosted by Joshua Soto (Sr Product Marketing Manager, VMware).

Session description: VMware NSX is the network and security virtualization platform for the Software-Defined Data Center. In this session we will discuss the need for network virtualization and the problems that NSX solves, provide an overview of the key use-cases, and introduce you to the rich NSX partner ecosystem. This is a high-level session to prime you on NSX and point you to further sessions that dive deeper.


Session MGT8762 titled How to Set Up a Multicloud IT Portal to Deploy, Manage, and Control Applications on Private and Public Clouds such as AWS and Azure

This session goes into the technology demonstrated in the keynote linked above. It’s hosted by Gopinath Anantharaman (Director, IT – Application Development, VMware), Michael Boeckx (VF Corporation), Jaideep Malkani (Director, Cloud Management Platform, VMware) and David Matthews (Solution Architect, Sky).

Session description: Streamline and automate onboarding processes for users and apps on to public clouds. Allow your developers to set up and use cloud resources themselves. Set up automated governance and policy so users operate can within their defined limits and use appropriate policies. Provide insight into system health and capacity so you can ensure SLA’s are met and predict future needs.


Session MGT7718 titled The KISS of vRealize Operations!

When moving to the next phase of IT, being in control of your IT stack is crucial. vRealize Operations can help you get in control. Check out this tech session hosted by Hicham Mourad (Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware) and Chima Njaka (Group Product Line Manager, vRealize Operations / vRealize Log Insight, VMware)  to see what is possible.

Session description: How can you troubleshoot across the multiple domains, applications, and infrastructure layers? It’s not easy without the right tools, but with VMware vRealize Operations you can do it. Some feel that vRealize Operations can sometimes be overly “expert friendly” and overwhelming. We will dispel that myth and help you recognize the power and simplicity of vRealize Operations through demonstrations. A technical session with very few slides, this is a must for anyone in a VI admin or “firefighting” role.


Workshop session ELW-1721-USE-1 titled vRealize Automation 7 Basics Workshop

Do you still think Automation will put you out of a job? Think differently; Automation frees up your time so you can attend to the important things like innovation. Don’t know where to start? This workshop, hosted by Martin Banda (Senior Cloud Specialist, VMware), Jarrett Blandin (Senior Systems Engineer, VMware), Gavin Lees (Senior Technical Account Manager, VMware), Adam Osterholt (Staff Systems Engineer, VMware) and Chris Vallee (Healthcare Solutions Architect, VMware) will give you a jumpstart.

Session description: This introductory Expert-led Workshop demonstrates the features of vRealize Automation and is a great place to start to begin learning about the powerful capabilities and features of the solution. The Self-Paced version of this lab, SPL-1721-USE-1, is available anytime the Hands-on Labs are open


Session STO7875 titled A day in the life of a VSAN I/O

Have you looked at VMware VSAN yet? It can be the solution for all your storage aches in a virtual world. Check out this tech session by VSAN evangelist Duncan Epping (Chief Technologist, VMware) and John Nicholson (Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware). Be prepared for a tech deepdive.

Session description: In this session Duncan and John will discuss what a typical day looks like in the life of an I/O (on a VSAN based solution). How does network based RAID-1 or RAID-5 work? Where does checksumming occur? When and how are blocks deduplicated or compressed? What about caching, are there different layers? Can I control where blocks are stored? And how does all of this influence availability and performance of my I/O?


Session STO7534 titled Virtual SAN – Day 2 Operations

You know how it works: A new solution gets implemented and then what? How do you properly manage the solution? How do you cope with those “the day after”-issues? This session, hosted by VSAN expert Cormac Hogan (Senior Staff Engineer, VMware) and Paudie ORiordan (Staff Engineer, VMware) will go into exactly that.

Session description: So you have deployed your new Virtual SAN and deployed your VMs. Now what? In this session, we will cover VSAN Day 2 Operations, and cover how to manage, monitor, troubleshoot and remediate common tasks and issues associated with hyper-converged infrastructure. You will be also introduced to a variety of tooling that can help with day 2 operations, including those that are built into VSAN, and those that can be added on. The session will be led by Cormac and Paudie, both of whom work in Customer[0] in the storage and availability business unit at VMware. These guys are the first customers for S&A products such as VSAN, and provide direct feedback to engineering on product usability and behaviour. They have a unique insight into how the products is used in customer environments, and will share with you various break/fix scenarios as well as demos on how to troubleshoot and fix issues that you may encounter in production.


Session CNA8986 titled Running Docker on Your Existing Infrastructure with vSphere Integrated Containers

Cloud Native Apps, the next thing coming at us. Every vendor is announcing support for container solutions like Docker or introducing compatible technologies. But how do you run those containers? What does that even mean, running containers? Isn’t running containers on a VMware environment the wrong way to go? This session, hosted by my Dutch colleague Martijn Baecke (Solutions Architect – Cloud Native Apps Specialist, VMware) and Robbie Jerrom (Lead Solution Architect – Cloud Native Apps, VMware) will answer all your questions and more.

Session description: Docker has taken the IT world by storm and is now one of the most popular tools with which to deploy applications. Over the last three years it has gained a lot of momentum with developers. They use Docker to build and deploy applications. But what works fine in a developer environment needs to be taken into production at some point. That is when IT operations take over and need to figure out how to run Docker containers within the infrastructure. The question then becomes: How do you run Docker containers on your existing VMware vSphere infrastructure? That is where vSphere Integrated Containers comes into play. In this session we will walk you through the architecture of how to run Docker on vSphere with vSphere Integrated Containers. We will give you an introduction on how the technology works and how vSphere Integrated Containers is different from running containers without the tight integration with vSphere. We will show you that vSphere Integrated Containers is the ideal way to host Docker containers on vSphere and that it does not change anything for the people who consume Docker containers, but gives IT operations the tools that it already knows to manage the vSphere environment. We will also demo how vSphere Integrated Containers works and share with you the best practices that we have gained in the field over the last year at enterprise customers. With this shared knowledge and expertise, hopefully you will be able to design and implement vSphere Integrated Containers in your environment.


Session EUC8670R titled Your Digital Workspace: How to Plan, How to Start

End user computing is not new to VMworld but it has a few very specific challenges. Where do you begin to design and plan for a modern workspace that makes everybody happy? Check out this session hosted by expert Brian Gammage (Chief Market Technologist, End-User Computing, VMware) to learn how.

Session description: Organizations everywhere are focused on workplace transformation and what this means for the technologies they deploy and use for work. Many are looking to build plans or strategies, but struggling to connect their business and functional goals with the increasingly diverse set of technology options available to them. Others have plans for a digital workspace, but do not know how or where to start implementing them. We describe how VMware can help you overcome these challenges and get your workplace transformation projects back on track. Whether you are just beginning the journey or looking to your next steps in business mobility, BYO, or desktop modernization, our unique approaches to building and implementing plans will help.


Wrapping up

This is a selection of interesting sessions across the board that should help you in any IT decisions you will face in the next 12 months. Anything to add? Let me know in the comments!

After all those sessions, do take the time to check out the Solutions Exchange, take a Hands-on Lab (HOL) and network and relax in the community hangspace. The full VMworld experience isn’t complete without a visit to all of them.