Tag Archives: vmworld

Cohesity 3.0 – One platform for all your secondary storage!

logo-cohesity-darkAfter just over half a year of making their 1.0 product generally available Cohesity, a company based out of Santa Clara have announced version 3.0 of their flagship secondary storage products DataProtect and DataPlatform.  I had the chance to take a 1:1 briefing with Cohesity to check out what’s new and find out just what they define secondary storage as and thought I’d try and share my thoughts around the new features and overall solution from Cohesity here…

What is secondary storage?

Before we get too in-depth around the features and benefits of the Cohesity platforms its nice to stop and take a look at just what secondary storage is.  Quite simply, Cohesity sees secondary storage as any storage hosting data that isn’t “mission critical”, and surprisingly they are also discovering that this non “mission critical” data takes up the majority of an organizations overall capacity.  As show below we can see that data such as backups, test/dev, file shares, etc.…  These all fit into the secondary storage profile – data that is rarely used, fragmented and complex to manage, data that Cohesity defines as “Dark Data”


All of this “Dark Data” can become a bit of a challenge to manage and maintain – We end up with numerous backups that we don’t touch, we have many appliances and servers within our datacenter performing various functions such as deduplication, compression, analytics, etc.  All of these moving pieces within our datacenter each come with their own cost, their own hardware footprint, and for the most part have no way of interfacing with each other, nor do they have the ability to scale all together.  This is where Cohesity makes it’s play – simplifying secondary storage within your datacenter

Cohesity – All your secondary storage – One Hyperconverged platform

Cohesity moves into the datacenter and aims to eliminate all of those secondary storage silos.  They do this by consolidating your backups, file shares, test/dev copies, etc. and moving them all on to a Cohesity appliance.  To get the data there, Cohesity first leverages their DataProtect platform.  DataProtect provides the means of backup, using seamless integration into your vSphere environment Cohesity starts performing the role of your backup infrastructure.  Utilizing user create polices based on SLA requirements, Cohesity begins on loading your backup data, adhering to specified RPOs, retention policies etc.  From there DataProtect also adds the ability to offload to cloud for archival purposes. Think in terms of offloading certain restore points or aged backup files to Amazon, Azure, or Google.   Once the data resides on a Cohesity appliance a number of benefits are presented to their customers; think analytics, being able to get a Google-like search throughout all of your secondary data, looking for pre-defined templates such as social security numbers or credit card numbers.  DataPlatform also provides the ability to leverage copy data management to quickly spark up exact, isolated copies of our production environment directly on the Cohesity appliance.  This allows for things such as patch management testing, application testing, or development environments to be deployed in a matter of minutes utilizing flash-accelerated technologies on the appliance itself.


Integrating all of these services into one common platform for sure has its benefits – lowering TCO for one, not having to pony up for support and licensing for 4 different platforms is the first thing that comes to mind.  But beyond that it provides savings in terms of OpEx as well – no more do we have to learn how to operate and configure different pieces of software within our environment dealing with our secondary storage.  No more do we have to spend the time copying data between solutions in order to perform various functions and analytics on it.  We can just use one appliance to do it all, scaling as we need by adding nodes into the cluster, and in turn, receiving more compute, memory, and storage capacity, thus increasing performance of the secondary storage environment overall.

So what’s new in 3.0?

As I mentioned before this is Cohesity’s third release in just over half a year.   We saw 1.0 GA in October of 2015, 2.0 not long after that added replication, cloning and SMB support in February of this year, and now we have 3.0 hitting the shelves with the following improvements and features…

  • Physical Windows/Linux Support – perhaps the biggest feature within 3.0 is the ability to now protect our physical Windows and Linux servers with DataProtect.  The same policy based engine can now process those physical servers we have in our environment and allow us to leverage all of the analytics and search capabilities on the data that we have always had.
  • VMware SQL/Exchange/SharePoint Support – As we all know in the world of IT it’s really the application that matters.  3.0 provides the ability to perform application aware backups on our virtualized SQL, Exchange, and SharePoint servers in order to ensure we are getting consistent and reliable backups, which can be restored to any point-in-time, or restoration of individual application objects as well.  3.0 also adds the ability to provide source-side deduplication for these application-aware backups, meaning only unique blocks of data are transferred into the Cohesity platform during a database backup.
  • Search and recovery from Cloud – 3.0 also brings us the ability to perform search capabilities on our data that has been archived to cloud, but more importantly, perform granular object level recovery on that cloud archived data as well.  Meaning the cost of moving data out of the cloud should decrease as we are just moving the data we need.
  • Performance Enhancements – Utilizing a technology based upon parallel ingest, Cohesity can now spread the load of ingesting individual VMs across all the nodes within its’ cluster – resulting in not only a capacity increase when you scale, but also a performance increase.  Also, they have done much work around their file access services, basically doubling the amount of IOPs and throughput.

And to top it all off, Best of VMworld


A huge congrats to Cohesity on the announcement revolving around 3.0 but an even huger congrats goes out for the “Best of VMworld 2016” within the Data Protection Category!  If you want to learn more I definitely recommend checking out Cohesity’s  site here, or, if you happen to be at VMworld you have a couple more days to drop in and say Hi at booth #827!

What does VMTurbo, Starwind, Unitrends and the Habs have in common? Friday shorts that’s what!

And another installment of Friday Shorts – a spot for me to share some awesomeness I’ve found on the interwebs, upcoming events and info from some awesome blog sponsors, and just random thoughts around events and news that might not quite fit within the niche of this blog – basically a mashup of my brain!

First up – free passes to VMworld

VMTurboLogoSmVMworld is sneaking up faster than you think!  Have you got your conference pass yet?  If not why not help ease the pain on your company by letting VMTurbo pick up the conference pass for you?  Along with ensuring performance and maximizing efficiency in your data center the folks at VMTurbo are doing their best put a full VMworld US conference pass in the hands of three people – you can sign up here and the drawings for the three passes take place on May 29th, June 19th, and July 10th!  Good luck!

More freebies from Unitrends

unitrendsSo VMTurbo has you covered for the conference pass how’s about getting a little money to help cover the travel costs from Unitrends (trust me you will need it – the prices of hotels are crazy this year in San Fran).  Just this week Unitrends released Unitrends Free – a completely free, full featured backup solution for up to 1TB of data – I reviewed it here if you missed it!  Anyways, asides from putting a completely free backup product into your lab or data center Unitrends has a gig going right now where you can win a $1500 Visa Giftcard, just for downloading and registering FREE software.  You have till the end of June on this one so best get signed up!

Upcoming Starwind webinar

starwind_softwareStarwind Software, a long time mwpreston.net sponsor and creator of Starwind Virtual SAN have a webinar coming up on May 20 titled Snapshots vs Replication – chosing the right data protection strategy, presented by Chris Evans. If your interested I definitely recommend checking it out as making the choice between snapshots and replication and/or both are key in developing a fool proof data protection strategy!  Also, if you haven’t checked out Starwind Virtual SAN I would take a look at it as well.  I’ve used their free version in the lab numerous times for different projects!

EMC virtual VNX

EMC-LogoConference season is among us and with that comes a slew of releases and announcements.  One that caught my attention coming out of EMCworld was the release of a community edition of the VNXe software.  Shipped as an OVA you can simply load it into your environment and get the functionality and software stack of a VNXe, but without the dedicated storage hardware and controllers.  I love messing around with all different types of storage and VSA’s in the lab so I’ll for sure be looking at this a little closer!

Au reviour les habitants

priceAnd last but not least, and certainly the saddest news of the week is the second round exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs for my beloved habs!  Honestly the bleu, blanc, et rouge had a great season, picking up 110 points and finishing 2nd overall in the eastern conference.  Their goalie, Carey Price had a career year – picking up nominations for both the Hart (League MVP) and Vezina (Best Goalie), and more than likely will take both these trophies home this summer.  That said expectations around hockey in Montreal are high and a second round exit overshadows all the success that they had!  Anyways we know Carey probably doesn’t care about those two trophies and is now out of the running for the only one he wanted.  All that said the Habs have a great core, and they are young – so hopefully we see improvements for years to come – they will need to pick up another top 6 forward though if they want to go anywhere in the post season!  At the end, they are now on the links and hopefully that means a little more time for me to work on this blog 🙂  Au revoir! Ole!

mwpreston at #VMworld

With less than a week until the big show and only three days before I hop into the big tin can to get there I thought a post in regards to my “planned” VMworld experience is in order!  I say planned since VMworld is always a crazy experience and things can change quickly with so much to do and learn. That said I do know of a few items in my calendar that are set in stone!

Opening Acts

This is a great idea for a conference primer that is taking place this year!  The VMunderground team, along with the vBrownbag crew have set the stage for some great knowledge dropping fun Sunday before VMworld.  I’m happy to say that I will be taking a spot on the last panel of the day, dealing with Architecture and Infrastructure.  Needless to say I’m excited to be taking part but what I’m most excited about is the other rockstars I’ll be sitting next to – Melissa Palmer (@vmiss), Phoummaia Schmitt (@exchangegoddess), Maish Saidel-Keesing (@maishsk) and John Arrasjid (@vcdx001) and moderated by Matt Liebowitz (@mattliebowitz).  Umm, yeah, you read that right – the FIRST VCDX!  I’ll certainly be sitting on the shoulders of giants during this one and hopefully have a little to contribute, but am mostly looking forwarded to learning from the best!.  Opening acts kicks off at 1PM at City View at Metreon with our panel starting at 3pm.

Book Signing

Yeah, so not only do I get to partake in a panel session with some of the brightest virtualization minds in the world, I get to also sit down and sign books for a half an hour – Each and every VMworld experience seems to be topping the previous ever since I’ve been attending.  Anyways, I’ll be at the VMworld bookstore from 1:00PM to 1:30PM on Tuesday if you want to have  your copy of Troubleshooting vSphere Storage signed.  Honestly, this is a first for me so I have no idea what to write in a book and Google hasn’t been much of a help with this one!  Either way, if you want the book signed, any other book signed Smile, or just want to chat come on by and I’ll be there!

Other Stuff

booksHey, I’ll also have a dozen or so copies of Troubleshooting vSphere Storage to give away so if you are looking for one come and find me – I may have one on me at the time and if I do it’s yours!  Where might you find me?  Well, you can bet your a$$ that I will be at VMunderground on Sunday!  Monday, probably the VMUG leader reception and vFlipcup.  Tuesday, VMUG leader lunch, the vExpert reception, CTO party, Veeam – ugh!  Exhausted just thinking about all of this!  Wednesday I will be sure to hit up the VMware Canada reception eh!  Then move on to of course, the VMworld party!!!  Also you can find me in the hang space and blogger tables periodically throughout the conference.


On another note, I have a ton of these mwpreston dot net stickers to hand out as well (Don’t worry, I’ll cut them) – I’ll probably just scatter them throughout the place but if you can’t find one and really really want one for some odd reason, just ask!   It’s my crazy shameless self promotion plug of a way of saying thank you to all of you for making this blog what it is today!

Anyways, there’s lots to do and lots to pack so I’ll leave it at this!  Can’t wait to see everyone again – the community really makes the VMworld experience for me – if not for community, it’d just be another conference!

Friday Shorts – Free #VMworld passes, #VeeamON, Session Builder, #VirtualDesignMaster and more

Dad!  What are you doing?  It’s Shark Week!.’  –  Dale Doback (John C Reilly) in response to his father shutting off the tv – Step Brothers

Get to VMworld – for free!!!!

vmworld-nolimitsIn case you haven’t heard there are a couple of vendors that currently running contests that could result in YOU getting a free conference pass to VMworld!  So if you haven’t signed up for any of them I suggest that you do!  VMworld is a great time and very informative – it’s pure bliss for the likes of myself!  So, who’s dishing out the passes.  Well, just as they did last year Infinio is giving away a full conference pass, along with a coveted golden ticket to the VMunderground party!  Simplivity has a couple of passes to give away – plus a hefty travel stipend to boot!  VMturbo – a great sponsor of this blog has already drawn for a couple free passes so if you missed the boat there, don’t miss this one!

Register for you session now!

Keeping on the VMworld theme did you know that Session Builder has opened up this week?  If you didn’t you do now.   So, if you have a spare hour or two I would suggest you get over there and start to shape your VMworld experience.  You’ll have over 300 rich technical sessions to chose from and it’s not an easy choice.  I will be posting some of my favorites as soon as I get time to go through it but I suggest you don’t wait for me and go ahead and schedule yours as sometimes the most popular ones fill up fast – and you don’t want to stand in the standby line!!!!

Do you have what it takes to become a virtual design master?

vdmlogoIf so you are a little late but there is always 2015!!!  The second installment of Virtual Design Master has kicked off in fine form and the contestants have been handed their first challenge.  From what I can tell there looks to be 11 participants this year which is completely awesome!  Expect to see some great designs coming from this group!  Angelo and Eric have really kicked up the prize lot this year too with a ton of awesome prizes donated by a slew of great sponsors!  Be sure to catch up by watching the first episode as well as any subsequent episodes here.

Vote for your VeeamON Sessions!

veeamlogoHopefully by now we all know that Veeam is heading to Vegas to host their first ever user/partner conference dubbed VeeamON.  Veeam has received a ton of session requests from both internal and external and unfortunately can’t fit all that Veeam goodness into 4 days – so, they are asking you to take a quick survey to pick ‘la creme de la creme’ and help them get the absolute best of the best in terms of session content!  If you plan on attending VeeamON in October I suggest filling this out.  I also suggest taking me with you as I am not registered and very envious of you!   I’m sure it will be a great time!

Need some books – check out #vBrownBag

vbrownbagAside from dropping simply awesome knowledge on the community on almost every night of the week the #vBrownBag can also hook you up in terms of a little bit of summer reading.  Currently they are hosting the Summer Book-apolooza contest on their site.  They have a ton of great books to give away so if you need something to read on your flight to VMworld, chilling on the beach with your family, or some just all-around great bedtime stories for your kids get on over to professionalvmware.com and fill out the form!

VMworld is just around the corner – Call for papers is open!

CaptureFunny how time sneaks up on you sometimes.  Just as my feet are in the final stages of healing up from VMworld 2013 I realize that VWworld 2014 is only 5 months away!  Here's hoping I can make it out again this year.  

On the fence about attending, looking for finances or approvals – How's about presenting?!?! – For starters, it gets you a ticket to the conference, so you can take that off your list.  Also, I think it gets you a night of hotel expenses.  Most of all, it gets you the chance to stand up in front of your peers and share what you know in hopes of making everyones job easier.

So how do you go about presenting – well, luckily for you the "Call For Papers" has just opened up today!  Head over to VMworld.com and put together a small abstract outlining what you would like to talk about!  Be sure to make it appealing too.  Don't just throw it out there like this blog post – these will be judged and voted on and only the best ones will be accepted.  I for one have presented during a couple of panel discussions at VMworld, but never all by my lonesome.  Maybe this year will be that year!

Hope to see you there!

Is October the month of certification? – The price is right!

vcaIt's pretty well known that the fact you need to attend that week long training course in order to even qualify to become a VMware Certified Professional was a big pain point among the virtualization community.  In fact, the VCP, which what used to be VMware's entry level certification could end up costing IT pros looking to get certified well over $1500 by the time it was all said and done.  Although I always though that the training was a great way to help hold the certification in high regard I understand how it could also discourage a lot of smart people from taking the exam, people who's companies don't have the training budget or don't have the will to send them on the course.

That said, VMware has listened and once again responded (Remember vRAM – sorry).  During VMworld, amongst all of the software defined storage, network virtualization, rainbows, clouds, and Hyper-V custard announcements VMware's Education and Certification team slipped in their own little announcement centered around the new VCA (Virtual Certified Associate) certification track.  

What is VCA?

VCA is essentially the little brother of the VCP.  The VCA requires no required training, simply recommending that you take the free foundation classes online that correspond with the respective VCA track.  Also, just like the VCP has branched out into Data Center Virtualization, End User Computing (Workforce mobility) and Cloud; so has the VCA.  Now I wrote my VCA-DCV yesterday and passed.  It was certainly not as up to par technical wise as the VCP is, but it's not really supposed to be.  As far as I can see it's really there to satisfy those who want to get some sort of certification with VMware but want to do it affordably and without the training requirement.  The exam comes in with a price tag of $120.00 and is currently 50% off.

So what about October and why is the price right?

Oh yah, before you go and spend the what is now $60.00 on your VCA, stop, look at that voucher/promo code box and type 'VCA13ICS' into the text box.  Why?  Well that will take the initial 50% off and then give you another 100% off of the balance!  Yes, that makes your exam FREE!   Yes, Free as in beer!  So no reason not to try it.  As far as I know this will last all through the month of October so I guess the year of VDI will have to wait!  Anyways get over to mylearn.vmware.com and sign up!  Good Luck!   And who can really say or think about the price is right without thinking of the epic Happy Gilmour fight!  Bob must be habs fan!

Adam Sandler Happy Gilmore movie image

Once again – register and write you VCA for free during October by using the promo code VCA13ICS

Get your @InfinioSystems Free #VMworld Conference Pass – Only 2 days left!!!

vmw-web-vmworld13-KB-banner-160x160VMworld 2013 in San Francisco is only 33 days away and you only have 2 more days to enter Infinio's contest to get a chance to win a free full conference pass.  Honestly, this couldn't be easier!  Enter your name and check a few boxes and you are in!  VMworld is epic and a great time packed full of a ton of information and great conversation so if it is simply the cost of the pass that is holding you back, make sure you enter!

Wait!  Who is Infinio?

infinio_logoIf you find yourself scratching your head and wondering who Infinio is don't worry – They just came out of stealth at Tech Field Day 9 unveiling their Infiniio Accelerator.  This product is in its basics a server side cache that pools the hosts RAM and uses it to accelerate NFS workloads in your vSphere environment.  You can have a look at some of the blog posts that came out of that day at the bottom of this post.  I know there is some pretty big anticipation on my part to see this product in action once it is released!

Chris Wahl – Infinio Aims To Accelerate Your VMware NAS Workloads

Duncan Epping – Startup Intro – Infinio

Alastair Cooke – Infinio, cache in your ESXi server for your NFS datastores

​By know if you have read the posts above you probably aren't even thinking about VMworld anymore – you are probably all consumed with the awesomeness that is Infinio.  I know I am!  Sign up to for their beta here to be one of the first to see it once it is released!

Friday Shorts – #C2OS, Goodbye Reader, Free #VMworld passes and more…

Surely you can't be serious.  I am serious…Don't call me Shirley. – Ted Striker(Robery Hays) and  Rumack(Leslie Nielsen) from Airplane – Classic!!!!


vbrownbagGuess what!?!  The #vBrownBag crew, specifically Cody Bunch are doing something wicked awesome!  SHOCKER!  They do this week in and week out and I certainly recommend checking it out.  Well it seems now we have a spin off off of the spin off sack lunches that have been dealing with OpenStack, this one called Couch to OpenStack!  If you have any interest in OpenStack at all I would certainly check these out – I'll be attending live when I can but hey, if you can't make it they record the whole thing.  Episode 1 is available here – Get IT!

No more Google Reader

googlereader1So depressed!  It's an interface I've used on a daily basis for quite some time now – and now, it's gone!  The fact that I knew it was coming didn't help!  Anyways, there goes my whole 'Sh!t I starred" section of my Friday Shorts now, since I'm not starring anything anymore.  I'll continue to throw interesting links I've read/found, just will have to come up with a new title 🙂  RIP Google Reader!

Free VMworld passes!

vmw-web-vmworld13-KB-banner-160x160Great contest going on at VMware with the Hands on Labs team.  The contest – simply take a picture of yourself taking a hands on lab – in the most unique setting you can think of – now that's an easy contest to enter.  All the details are here!  I can't wait to see some of these pictures.  And who knows, you may win!  VMworld is epic and was a game changer for me back in 2011 when I attended for the first time!

RTs, Flips, +1s, Favorites, whatever…

  • Kenneth Hui has an absolutely awesome blog series kicking of titled OpenStack compute for vSphere Admins.  In part 1 he goes over the basic architecture of OpenStack and makes notes on how it works and doesn't work and where the integration points are within vSphere!  This is a must read and I look forward to more coming from Kenneth's blog!
  • In the lighter side of things the man from the ghetto William Lam has a pretty cool post about VMware's Acronyms.  We all know there are a lot of them and William goes over how to pronounce them – even the ever so controversial vCAC 🙂
  • More contests – PHD Virtual has a nice little contest going on right now where you could win a 1 year license of their backup software, just for simply downloading the bits!  Get over there and check out what PHD Virtual has to offer!.

VMworld 2013 call for papers – Don’t be discouraged!

speakingThere have already been various posts from around the world announcing the opening of VMworld 2013 call for papers.  There has also been a number of posts with all of the tips and tricks on how to best submit your abstract in hopes of it being accepted.  This post isn’t really about either of those, it’s simply a little description of my experience with the call for papers.

Last year I submitted a session for VMworld in regards to vCenter Operations and how it’s not just applicable to large enterprises or cloud environments  how the SMB can certainly benefit from operations management as well.  Needless to say it didn’t get accepted…  Certainly I had hoped it would, I thought the information I had to share could be valuable to others and at the same time, help me with my speaking abilities 🙂  That being said I wasn’t that disappointed…  However, 2 weeks after it closed I got a message from one of the VMworld track organizers asking if I’d be interested in speaking on a customer panel in regards to vCOps.   Obviously I was thrilled and ended up speaking for the first time at VMworld!

So, be sure to get all your sessions submitted.  I know you all have a lot of valuable information to share and I want to hear it!  And even if you don’t get accepted during the first round of cuts, just remember, there’s always that chance…

vCommunity Trust – Helping to grow the infrastructure technologies community

Not sure if you have noticed but for the past few weeks there has been a new banner ad on the left side of this site.  This is my attempts to help increase awareness and provide people with a little more visibility into the vCommunity Trust organization   vCommunity Trust is a non profit organization whose main goal is to provide free training to the general public as well as financial assistance to to those who need to help them obtain technological certifications.

Now I’ve heard of vCommunity Trust before but didn’t know a lot about them but after meeting and getting to talk for a little bit with one of the founders, Paul Valentino (blog/twitter) at VMworld this year I thought I would try and help the cause where I could.  vCommunity Trust currently has a couple of programs in action right now outlined below, for more information or to determine eligibility for either program you can find more here.

The vCommunity Trust Certification and Training Program for vProfessionals

The vCommunity Trust Certification and Training Program’s goal is to provide at least four students per year from around the globe with the training requirements to pass the VCP exam and to provide the vouchers required to pay for both the training and the certification exam. As the program, volunteer support, and corporate sponsorship expands we would like to extend this program to include training and certification in additional areas including but not limited to Operating Systems, Security, Storage, and Networking related certifications. The goal is to make training for datacenter technologies available to those who would not normally have the opportunity and who truly desire a technical education.

The vCommunity Trust Datacenter Training for Public Schools Program

Help us to help your community! The vCommunity Trust Datacenter Training for Public Schools Program is aimed at providing datacenter training labs to public schools around the globe whether it be onsite, remote or a combination of the two. All donations to support this program will be handled at a regional level through the support of local volunteers and businesses. Donors will have the option of choosing the region they would like to allocate their donated resources to. For the purposes of this program a region is defined as a State, Province, or the equivalent. The goal is to coordinate the delivery and storage of equipment donations for this program through volunteers from each regions local technical user group/s. This program depends upon support from local individuals and businesses in every part of the world and is their opportunity to help educate their own communities without requiring them to obtain IRS designation as a public charity – a savings of approximately one year in effort.

Aside from just the programs there is a ton of training, guides and slides available to the general public for free.  Again, you can find these over at the vCommunity Trust site.  I encourage everyone to visit the site and learn more about what they are offering.   And if you are looking for some assistants and you qualify for one of the programs get your name in and apply, you never know and they are currently looking for students.  If you think you can do more to help out via lesson wise, spend some time and put something together  they would love to have it.  And of course with any non profit organization donations are always welcome, this helps to keep great organizations such as these up and running and they are always appreciated.

Yet another VMworld wrap-up (I know, I’m really late to the party)

I know, VMworld is sooooo two weeks ago, the biggest announcement of vSphere 5.1 has already been delivered and is GA and the world is all basking in its new features and enhancements, the vCloud suites have been blogged to death, most of the sessions have even been made available on the VMworld Socialcast site, so why go and throw yet another VMworld post out there? Well, it was VMworld last year that gave me the final push to start this blog (see post here) and a lot of vGoodness has happened to me since then ( sponsors, certifications, vExpertiness) so I guess i just feel like i owe it to the VMworld gods to throw out my experience at the show.

Last year was my first VMworld and to tell you the truth i had no idea what to expect and after the first day lets just say i was a little overwhelmed, crazy tired and a whole lot excited. So this year i knew what to expect and thought i was more than enough prepared for the awesomeness the show could throw at me….well, not really, i was left with the same symptoms i had in 2011. I had no idea what was in store for me that week in San Francisco but by no means was I ready for what was to unfold. A few highlights of my week below…

I got to meet Pat Gelsinger and Steve Herrod at the CTO reception. How cool is that? You know, just chattin it up with CEO and CTO of the billion dollar company that produces the software that has been consuming every ounce of your free time.  Let me say, being a vExpert at VMworld is pretty awesome!

I had dinner with a bunch of rockstars. I had the chance to sit down and have a fabulous dinner with John Troyer, Martin Klaus, Ben Scheerer, David Davis, Eric Sloof, Tommy Trogden, and vCOps contest winner Joe Filippello.   Due to the massive amount of brainpower in that room you can imagine there were some great conversations – and the food was fabulous. Thanks Ben for the invite and the re-invite 🙂

My session (OPS-CIM1940). I had the opportunity to participate in a panel session (titled Real World stories of Operational Performance Troubleshooting, Capacity, and Configuration management with vCenter Operations Suite) with a few other attendees and present my stories and experiences with vcops to over 600 people. Never had I spoke in front of that many people before so i was a little nervous but overall i think the session went great and am thankfull for the opportunity

Last but not least is this group of guys (and girl). Honestly they truly make the conference what it is. Most i knew from Twitter already.  Some I met at VMworld 2011, and some I met for the first time this year.   These guys truly made the social part of the conference awesome!  Great group of guys and watch big things to come out of this group 🙂
There really isn’t much information in this post that anyone will benefit from in it and it probably comes off like a little bit of bragging (cuz it is :)).  Either way I guess one takeaway you can pull out of it is get yourself to a VMworld!   Aside from the massive amount of technical information you can bring back, the real value is the contacts you make.  Every subject matter expert is there and no question I had during the show went unanswered, so just get there!  See you in Barcelona!!! – actually I won’t but it just sounded like a good ending…. 🙂