Take Five With Tom Fenton

5 Must-See VMworld 2015 Sessions

Tom has a particular interest in software-defined storage topics at this year's show.

VMworld 2015 will be held this year in San Francisco from Aug. 30 - Sept. 3, and in Barcelona from Oct. 12 - 15. VMware expects to have more than 20,000 attendees; there will be more than 400 sessions presented, and a multitude of vendors will be displaying their wares. If you've been to VMworld before, you know the benefit of attending the show. If you have yet to attend, I highly recommend that you go.

Below are my five must-see VMworld sessions. These sessions focus on core virtualization and software-defined storage, one of the topics I find most interesting today.

1. INF4535: 5 Functions of Software-Defined Availability
Duncan Epping is a VMware employee and the maintainer of the well-regarded Yellow-Bricks Web site. He'll be presenting multiple sessions at VMworld, but as he's considered the guru on vSphere High Availability, I'd recommend checking this session. During it, he'll discuss availability in the datacenter, as well as touch on Site Recovery Manager (SRM), Storage DRS and vSphere HA. Duncan does not fear getting deep into the trenches, so it should be a fascinating session.   

2. STO6228: Monitoring and Troubleshooting VSAN
Cormac Hogan, another VMware employee and co-author (along with Duncan Epping) of "Essential Virtual SAN (VSAN): Administrator's Guide to VMware Virtual SAN," will have two sessions at VMworld this year. One (STO4572) is on doing a proof-of-concept for VSAN, which I'm sure will be fantastic, but I'm recommending the other one. Cormac spent many years in customer support, and I'm sure he'll pull out some interesting troubleshooting tips for VSAN at this presentation. If you've never had a chance to attended one of Cormac's sessions, I highly encourage you to do so and see why he is a perennial favorite at VMworld.

3. STO5522: Virtual Volumes Technical Panel
David Glynn is a Technical Solutions Engineer with the Enterprise Storage Group at Dell. David has a deep understand of Dell's implementation of Virtual Volumes (VVols), so feel free and try and stump him with technical questions. David will be on stage with four other experts to answer any and all VVols questions

4. STO5888: Top 10 Things You MUST Know before Implementing Virtual Volumes (VVols)
Eric Siebert, the keeper of the vSphere-land blog, has presented at numerous VMworlds. He's is a Solutions Manager at HP, and as such is an expert on HP's implementation of VVols;  he's also been tracking the greater VVols community. If you're thinking of bringing VVols into your datacenter, Eric's session will save you much grief and get you started on the right foot with your deployment.

5. STO4949: Extreme Performance Series: Virtual SAN Performance Deep-Dive
I'm taking a flyer on my last choice, as I'm not familiar with Lenin Singaravelu, Senior Staff Engineer at  VMware, or Sankaran Sivathanu, Staff Engineer at VMware, but their session sounds interesting. It looks like they'll be talking about VSAN performance in general, and go into some of the enhancements, such as all-flash VSAN arrays and Virsto snapshots that were introduced in VSAN 6.0.

VMworld, of course, is about much more than software-defined storage and compute virtualization. There will be some great sessions on network virtualization, and-user computing, cloud computing and any and all things virtual.

About the Author

Tom Fenton works in VMware's Education department as a Senior Course Developer. He has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 20 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 10 years focused on virtualization and storage. Before re-joining VMware, Tom was a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, were he headed their Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on Twitter @vDoppler.

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