Take Five With Tom Fenton

5 Great Opportunities at VMworld 2016

Training, Q&A and book signings are some of the things you can do at virtualization's biggest show this year.

Vegas, baby -- Las Vegas. With VMworld 2016 coming up at the end of August in Las Vegas, I thought I'd share five things on my "must do" list this year.

  1. VMware Training. Get there a few days early and attend a VMware training event. This year, a few days before VMworld 2016 starts, VMware Education will be holding multiple training sessions on the full line of VMware products. These courses will be discounted 25 percent, and the exams are discounted 50. The discounts are great, but the best part is that VMware pulls in some of their brightest and most experienced instructors to lead these courses. A list of the discounted courses and exams can be found here.

  2. Keynote speeches. A lot of people blow off the VMworld opening keynote speech. This is a big mistake. Yes, the keynotes can sometimes stretch on a little long, but this is where VMware's leaders talk about the latest technology; and, more importantly, the direction of the company and its technology.

  3. Questions. After most sessions the presenters allow a few minutes for questions; don't be shy about queuing up and asking them. For the most part, the only thing most presenters like more than working with their technology is talking about their technology. Also, if you see a presenter wandering around the convention floor, feel free to talk to them. Remember, though, that they're very busy, so don't be offended if they have to cut you off short.

  4. Guinness bars. You ever wonder about who the Technical Support Engineers are at the end of the support line? Many of them will be manning the VMware Guinness bar, so why not stop by and say Hi, and running that niggling question that you have by them? Remember that they aren't equipped to do a full support call for you, but it is great for the Support Engineers to meet some of the faces they've dealt with over the years, and vice-versa.

  5. Get your book signed. It may be corny, but I love to get my books signed by the authors. This year, VMware press will be holding various book signings. Why not take advantage?

  6. Bonus Item! This one falls under the "shameless self-promotion" category. I submitted two sessions to present at VMworld 2016: "Choosing the Best VMware Virtual Volumes Solution for your Data Center," [8711]; and "Troubleshooting Horizon View Instant Clones," [8721]. If they sound interesting, please consider voting for them. Voting ends May 24. To vote, select the star in the upper right-hand corner of the session description. You'll need to log in to your VMworld account (free to create) to vote for them.

About the Author

Tom Fenton has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 30 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 20 years focusing on virtualization and storage. He currently works as a Technical Marketing Manager for ControlUp. He previously worked at VMware in Staff and Senior level positions. He has also worked as a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, where he headed the Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on X @vDoppler.


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