110256 VM11 Email Header EMEA released

Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to visit VMworld Europe in Copenhagen. I visited many great session as well as the keynote by Dr. Steve Herrod. I made the choice to focus most of my on vCloud Director, Site Recovery Manager and Horizon. The sessions were all worth visiting but a couple of them were much more …. They were absolutely great. In my opinion the next three sessions are the three best of VMworld 2011 Copenhagen:

  • GD32 vSphere and vCloud Director with Massimo Re Ferre (Group Discussion):
    In this session Massimo Re Ferre hosted a group discussion about the best practices on vSphere and vCloud Director.

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  • GD38 Horizon with Andrew Johnson (Group Discussion):
    In this session Andrew Johnson hosted a group discussion about the best practices and strategies on Horizon.
  • VSP1682 VMware vSphere Clustering (Q&A)
    In this session Frank Denneman and Duncan Epping answered questions about VMware vSphere™ clustering. As an audience member, you had the chance to validate your own environment and design decisions with subject matter experts on VMware High Availability, VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and VMware Storage DRS. Potential topics included misunderstandings around admission control policies, the impact of limits and reservations on your environment, the benefits of using resource pools, anti-affinity rules gotchas, VMware Distributed Power Management and anything regarding Storage DRS. This is your chance to ask what you’ve always wanted to know.

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GD stands for Group Discussion and these were (as VSP1682 also was) interactive sessions. And that’s what in my opinion the strength of these sessions was. Giving the audience the possibility to determine the course of the session took these sessions to the next level. For me this is how I would like to attend all sessions, but then again that might also become boring.

The Group Discussions started with a couple of multiple choice questions, just to get the discussion started. I really liked these discussions as you don’t get the opinion of an individual, but instead it takes a peek in some real life situations and questions that emerge from the audiences infrastructures. By the discussing, the session subject is

Another great session for the same reason was the VSP1682 session. Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman would answer every question by the audience, and again there were some great questions (some of which were rewarded by a vSphere 5 Clustering book)

These interactive sessions between the audience and the speaker(s), made me sit at the tip of my chair. In a normal session (9 out of 10 times) comes a time that the speaker can’t entertain the whole audience and then boredom strikes. I think this will be much less in an interactive session when you have the opportunity to change the discussion. It’s then your choice to make the best of it.
So let’s dive a bit deeper in to the sessions and the things discussed there:

  • GD32 vSphere and vCloud Director with Massimo Re Ferre:

The Group Discussion started with a couple of question by Massimo which were focused on the infrastructure in use at the attendees. Questions about if we were a providing a private cloud, using a public cloud or used a Hybrid Cloud got the discussion going about all aspects needed to provide and use cloud services. Most of the attendees agreed on the many new features that were introduced in vCloud are a great step in the right direction, and it makes it possible to create a new breed of clouds.
One of the longest discussions was on the defects in VMware’s vCloud Director 1.5. Although a lot of these have a way to be solved the overall outcome was that the vCloud product is still maturing. Although some companies can work perfect around these issues (no vMotion private to public, no storage DRS and more) the majority of them will wait implementing a Hybrid cloud until these things are solved. There was also a great discussion on vCloud connector and how it fits into the VMware vCloud stack.

  • GD38 Horizon with Andrew Johnson:

Again this discussion started with some multiple choice questions to get things started. Some questions were based on SAAS, PAAS and IAAS and how these are (not) implemented in our organizations. Andrew mentioned that in the US most companies have a policy to look at the SAAS option as a first method for implementing a new application. This really got the discussion started, mainly on the different approaches to horizon between the EMEA and the US. Where the US looks at SAAS applications first and only to other possibilities second, EMEA looks to be more interested in Private/Hybrid Cloud solutions mainly because of the law and legacy based issues.

  • VSP1682 VMware vSphere Clustering Q&A:

The party started with Chris Colotti telling the attendees this would be a very quick session if no Questions were asked. This session was all about the attendees questions. This turned out to be no problem at all. The first couple of questions were based on HA clustering and the new technology used in vSphere 5. Some of these questions were related on a situation in one of the attendee’s environment, which made it a very interesting Q&A.
After HA Duncan moved the discussion towards the Storage DRS functions within vSphere 5 and it was Frank’s turn to answer the questions. The answers were high level and gave some further inside on how and why to choose certain settings within a (S)DRS cluster. Another topic which was discussed was DPM. After Frank asked how many people used DPM, some best practices were given to audience.

Some great sessions which I’ll be visiting next year in Barcelona, without doubt 😉

Thanks Massimo Re Ferre, Andrew Johnson, Duncan Epping, Frank Denneman, Chris Colotti and David Hill for these excellent sessions.
I talked about this with John Troyer and he then asked me if I also attended any one on one session with one of the experts, to dive even deeper into the subject. I told him I wasn’t aware these sessions existed, and I would have planned one (or more) if I had known about these. So for next year these will be most definitely on my list, and they should be on your shortlist too 😉