August 01, 2016

25 Top Session Picks for Upcoming VMworld 2016 to Consider

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VMworld 2016 is only weeks away.  In case you've signed up to attend but fell asleep somewhere along the way, please know that this year's VMworld Content Catalog is (and has been since July 19th) available!  So, if you haven't already done so, go get your schedulin' on.  

I've gone through the entire content catalog (a few times for different reasons) and selected a number of sessions that bubbled up to the top for me -- self-identifying them as what looks like highly relevant and educational sessions (in no particular order or ranking system).  These sessions cut across various aspects of the overarching world we live in -- virtualization, cloud, containers, DevOps, HCI, storage, NSX, etc.

Obviously, this list is pretty long and one person wouldn't be able to necessarily attend all of these as we talked about in the VMworld 2016 Survival Guide.  However, if you're on the fence and still looking around, you might want to consider a few of these sessions.  Take a look and see if any of these fit the bill for your schedule.

Enjoy the show! 

Software-Defined Data Center

  • INF8036 – Enforcing a vSphere Cluster Design with PowerCLI Automation – Duncan Epping (VMware) and Chris Wahl (Rubrik). Good topic and you have the opportunity to learn from two industry experts.
  • SDDC9462-SPO - The Edge is Still Bleeding: A face-melting technical smorgasbord of all things Converged, Hyper-Converged, Cloud Native & Software Defined.  Are you kidding me? The title alone is worth signing up, but you get to hear from industry expert Chad Sakac who will provide tons of live demos and sneak peeks into SDS and cloud native solutions.
  • INF8172 - vSphere Client Roadmap: Host Client, HTML5 Client, and Web Client.  This session will bring out the Q&A I'm sure!  What VMware admin isn't asking questions about the direction of the client?  LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!
  • INF8255 - Evolving the vSphere API for the Modern Era.  Two more industry experts worth following, William Lam and Alan Renouf dig in to give you tips and tricks around the vSphere API.  Beyond that, get ready for more futures!  See a technical preview of where things are headed.

Cloud Infrastructure

  • INF7516 – Ask the Experts – Titans of Tech.  Who doesn't love Ask the Experts?  And these are good experts to ask... Kit Colbert (VMware), Chad Sakac (VCE/EMC) and Rick Scherer (EMC).  Bring your questions!
  • INF8108 – Extreme Performance Series: vCenter Performance Deep Dive.  The best presentation I ever gave at VMworld was on performance.  That was a lifetime ago!  But these guys from VMware promise a deep dive into what you need to know to get high performance out of your environment and help with scale.
  • INF8430 - vSphere 6.x Host Resource Deep Dive.  I really enjoy hearing from Frank Denneman, and he is going to go into a deep dive here, so go get your geek on.  This talk goes into details of physical host resource components, such as CPU (NUMA), memory configuration, and next-gen storage components. It also zooms in on how virtual networking and storage services influence virtual machine configuration and physical host design.

Networking and Security

  • NET7514 - PowerNSX and PyNSXv: Using PowerShell and Python for Automation and Management of VMware NSX for vSphere.  Find out how to query, manage, manipulate and automate your VMware NSX for vSphere platforms.
  • NET7907 - Advanced Network Services with NSX.  Time to dig in a little deeper here, and learn more about automating some of the services involved.  
  • NET9177 – A Real World Deployment of VMware NSX in the DMZ.  I like hearing about real world deployments over conjecture and marketing slides.
  • NET8193R - The Architectural Future of Network Virtualization.  Hear from Bruce Davie CTO of Networking at VMware.  A technical deep dive as to what's under the hood, and a look at what's next for network virtualization.
  • NET8680 - Advanced NSX Troubleshooting: Tips & Tricks for Experienced Users.  I'm a sucker for troubleshooting sessions and tips and tricks.  Six troubleshooting tips for critical areas of your NSX environment including host preparation, bootbank and boot process, ESXi Agency Manager (EAM), system events and logs, Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) and controller pool.

DevOps

  • INF8396 – Winter Is Coming.  Are You Dev/Ops Ready?  Instant Clone Is!  Join Nakul Jamadagni of VMware for what should prove high value talking about Instant Clone of VMs and even Chef/Puppet integrations.
  • MGT8766 – How IT Can Enable DevOps and Development Teams to Rapidly Deliver and Iterate Robust Applications in a Multicloud Environment including VMware, AWS, Azure and Softlayer.  An expert panel to help explain how to ensure that developers are first-class citizens in the cloud.

Containers

  • CNA7522 - Containers for the vSphere Admin.  Hear live from a former vSphere admin, who will explain containers and the surrounding technologies in easy-to-understand terms as well as how you can leverage VMware to embrace these new offerings.  Containers, Docker, and Kubernetes.
  • CTO7964 - Cloud Native Buzzwords (Demystified) for Dummies.  Industry expert Massimo Re Ferre' will focus on high-level industry trends and lay down the groundwork around the notion of containers, cloud native apps, DevOps, and in general what's going on in the industry right now.
  • CNA8986 – Running Docker on Your Existing Infrastructure with vSphere Integrated Containers.  Docker is hot right now.  This looks like a good introduction on how the technology works.  They also discuss how vSphere Integrated Containers is different from running containers without the tight integration with vSphere.
  • HBC8563 - VMs and Containers: Extending Docker to vCloud Air.  Here we get a look at combining Docker, VMware, vCloud Air, PhotonOS.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure and Storage

  • STO7875 - A Day in the Life of a VSAN I/O. I've always enjoyed learning from Duncan Epping.  How does network based RAID-1 or RAID-5 work? Where does checksumming occur? When and how are blocks deduplicated or compressed? What about caching, are there different layers? Find out.
  • STO7755 - Storage for Virtual Environments – What’s new and What’s next for vSphere Storage. Hopefully the title doesn't disappoint.  I always like futures.
  • STO9054 - VVol and Storage Policy-Based Management ? Is It Everything They Said It Would Be?  A real world use case of VVol in a vSphere and Horizon View deployment – from understanding the impact it would have on their specific environment, rolling it out, assessing performance, using it with their flash storage array, applying Quality of Service (QoS) to VMs, and the overall advantages and benefits they see with VVol deploying with their storage array.
  • STO8619 - Transitioning to VVols: Partner Panel.  I'm still a bit of a noob on VVols.  Should be an interesting panel discussion.

End User Computing

  • EUC7998 - The Latest in High-Performance Desktops and Applications with Horizon 7, Blast Extreme Protocol, and NVIDIA GRID vGPU.  I'm still into EUC, so this could prove interesting depending on how far or deep this goes.  It's all about performance and the protocol for the end user.
  • EUC8203 - Beyond the Marketing: Horizon Instant Clones Deep Dive.  Instant clones is hot!  Let's hope it goes beyond the marketing and really lives up to the deep dive title.  This could be a lot of fun and very interesting.

Futures

  • CTO9406 - Hot Topics in VMware Research.  This technical session promises you will hear from VMware’s Chief Research Officer and members of his team about some of the exciting projects they are working on.  If you like futures, this might be one worth adding to your schedule as this is the team in the know.
David Marshall

David Marshall has been involved in the technology industry for over 19 years, and he's been working with virtualization software since 1999. He was able to become an industry expert in virtualization by becoming a pioneer in that field - one of the few people in the industry allowed to work with Alpha stage server virtualization software from industry leaders: VMware (ESX Server), Connectix and Microsoft (Virtual Server).

Through the years, he has invented, marketed and helped launch a number of successful virtualization software companies and products. David holds a BS degree in Finance, an Information Technology Certification, and a number of vendor certifications from Microsoft, CompTia and others. He's also co-authored two published books: "VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center" and "Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" and acted as technical editor for two popular Virtualization "For Dummies" books. With his remaining spare time, David founded and operates one of the oldest independent virtualization news blogs, VMblog.com. And co-founded CloudCow.com, a publication dedicated to Cloud Computing. Starting in 2009 and continuing all the way to 2016, David has been honored with the vExpert distinction by VMware for his virtualization evangelism.

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