It’s been a hectic and exhausting week at my first VMworld. I’ve been to tech conferences (such as NetApp Insight), but never to anything of the sheer size and scale of this one. It’s not a storage conference, but you better believe storage was on the forefront of the conversation as the virtualization message starts to shift to converged, hyper-converged, flash and cloud.
My primary role at VMworld for NetApp was to man the NetApp booth and offer my knowledge and expertise regarding NetApp technology. I had some very good discussions with customers regarding their challenges and how they could potentially solve them. In the Meet the Engineer sessions I had, I made sure to emphasize that those customers should be doing an open and honest evaluation of their options for two reasons:
- Doing your homework is always a good thing.
- I was confident that once they did the research, they’d see that NetApp offered the most value.
While I was there, I managed to snap some photos of the booth and what we were doing.
For more photos, check out the Google Album.
I also was here to meet new people, both at NetApp and in the tech community. I got to know a ton of really smart people and interacted with folks that I previously only knew on social media.
Some highlights (and blatant name dropping):
- I was able to witness some live vBrownBag sessions.
- I saw that Joe Onisick is a pretty smart dude with no filter (and zero f**ks to give).
- I met Lauren Friedman of Cisco Champions and did an Engineers Unplugged (here’s hoping it doesn’t suck).
- Met with Dave Morera, member of the NetApp A-Team and top-notch blogger.
- FINALLY met Val Bercovici and Lee Caswell (and managed to stay employed).
- I co-mingled with our “enemies.” It’s hard to be mad at class guys like Emad Younis, Jon Frappier and IT Muscle.
- I witnessed a riveting argument between Vaughn Stewart and Dan Isaacs over block sizes and math.
- Ate some bacon (and more bacon) at vBacon and talked with a NetApp customer (in a random chance meeting) about the ever changing storage landscape.
- Recorded on the TechONTAP podcast.
So my first VMworld is in the books and now I get to give my aching feet a break. Bring on the next one!