Take Five With Tom Fenton

Don't Miss These VMworld 2013 Sessions

With 358 sessions, time is money. Here are five sessions where your time will be well spent.

TAKE 1
1. Directions in VMware EUC & the Multi-Device, Virtual Workspace (EUC4544)

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and related end-user computing capabilities are most definitely not dead. In fact, I think the technologies are finally starting to support practical and cost-effective implementations for every size business. VMware Horizon and Mirage likely have some hot things going, and it's always interesting to see how PCoIP has evolved.

TAKE 2
Designing Your Next-Generation Datacenter for Network Virtualization (NET5184)

Can you spell VXLAN? If you come away from VMworld 2013 with a good understanding of software-defined networking (SDN) and network virtualization, you could be the geek hero of your IT shop. I'd plan on finding a couple of the networking sessions on NSX and the vSphere Distributed Switch to get a solid perspective of what the problem and opportunity is in this space.

TAKE 3
VMware Customer Journey -- Where Are We with ITaaS and Ops Transformation in the Cloud Era? (OPT5656)

By this time, everyone thinks they have a good idea of what a cloud is -- but how are you doing at implementing one? This is a customer survey results presentation, and sure to be full of insight into how your peers are doing with IT as a Service (ITaaS) in reality. What? You don't have a hybrid cloud yet? Then you might look into How to Build a Hybrid Cloud in Less than a Day (PHC4750).

The big problem with VMworld -- and this year's event in August is going to be huge -- isn't finding something interesting to dig into, or learning something you've always wanted to find out more about, or discovering something new on the exhibitor floor. Those are givens. The real problem is getting completely overwhelmed, and then finding out when you get home that you didn't check out some of the things that might be more relevant to your job than updating your wardrobe with a dozen new T-shirts, or covering your desk with dozens of logo-laden gizmos.

To get you started, here are five sessions you might want to check out based on what I've been seeing going on at VMware this year.

TAKE 4
Virtual SAN (STO5391)I'm likely to be found lurking around many of the storage track presentations this year, trying to straighten out what software-defined storage really means. I'm sure there will be a dozen stories across a dozen presentations. If you aren't an analyst, you may want to instead focus on things like vSAN.

TAKE 5
Big Data Panel on Virtualizing Hadoop (VAPP5626)

Remember when virtualization was just for lab, dev and test machines? Then it matured into a full, mission-critical business application platform and a way to power ITaaS. Now it's evolving to support scale-out computing applications like Hadoop in the enterprise. You'll want to know how that's possible, and why vSphere is aiming to be the only datacenter platform you'll need for any kind of app.

I can hardly stop at five suggestions. Personally, I'd also plan on sampling a number of vCenter-related topics on performance and vCloud Automation Center (former Dynamic Ops). Tips and Tricks with vCenter Log Insight (VCM4528) looks interesting if you haven't gone whole hog into Splunk yet.

Let me know what sessions you're looking forward to attending this year!

About the Author

Mike Matchett is a senior analyst and consultant with IT analyst firm Taneja Group.


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