VMWorld 2011February 25, 2012
VMworld 2011 was held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Over 25,000 attendees this year.
It was held in Las Vegas, but the sites and attractions didn’t take away from the event. Despite all the distractions that Las Vegas can provide, there was too much going on at VMworld to get caught up in the city.
My favorite part of VMworld was the Hands on Labs.
After signing up for the specific lab you wanted, you were ushered to your assigned desk. There were dual screen workstations setup at every desk and very straight forward instructions on how to complete the labs. These labs would get very in depth and would show you why and what was happening behind the scenes when you would perform your operations. I especially enjoyed the Netapp lab.
My second favorite part was the solutions exchange. This was a group of companies that provide various solutions for IT shops.
There were storage companies like EMC and Netapp. There were compute companies like Intel, AMD, HP, Cisco and Dell. OS Vendors like Redhat and Microsoft and tons of others.
The Solutions Exchange proved to be very useful to me personally. Since the majority of my experience comes from working with equipment specific to my company, it’s hard to get out and find new solutions. Most of the time, new solutions come from consultants who have seen countless different scenarios. The solutions exchange gave me the opportunity to see products like Fusion-io’s storage cards, a flexpod, a vblock, several different types of thin clients and backup products like Veeam. The solutions Exchange would be enough to get me to go back to VMworld every year.
VMware did sessions almost all day every day that you could go to and learn just about anything you wanted to. There were sessions on SRM, vCloud Directors, View, HA, DRS, compliance, PowerCLI and the list goes on and on. These sessions ended up being useful, but sitting in them all day got to be a little monotonous. My suggestion would be to pick out the specific sessions you wanted to see and spend the rest of your time in the awesome hands on labs.