Category Archives: VMworld

5 Traits that make someone a badass systems engineer

And once again my humble disclaimer

This post is in NO WAY insinuating I am a great engineer. I believe that no matter how much you know or think you know, there is always room for improvement and development. That being said these are some things I believe makes a system engineer truly a bad ass.


Knowledge is power

This is a no brainer…. well not really

Knowledge is power. The more you know the more you can help and explore the areas of technology. A great system engineer can learn from their failure (See above) and learn from others. Getting knowledge from different perspectives is invaluable. People do things different ways, doesn’t mean they’re wrong, but having 3 or 4 different perspectives for one task can really open your eyes on the underlying technology, and maybe even make you question your own perspective.

Learn! Learn from home labs! Learn from books! Learn from other people! Learn from VbrownBag! Learn from anywhere and everywhere! Always ask why!

  • Learn different perspectives.
  • Learn all the time.
  • Ask why.

We have a problem

Who would have thought technology would have consistent problems? Troubleshooting is why we all have jobs. and lets face it, we all love it. Finding the right solution and presenting it to the tech is a great feeling. But not everyone knows how to properly troubleshoot and dissect a situation.

Google is your friend, your friends are your friends, and KB articles are your friends, and the support line is your life boat on the titanic. I have a hard time putting down the problem and passing it off to VMware or EMC support, it kills a little bit of my pride. But it is a must when troubleshooting has hit a wall.

A great engineer knows the resources they can use to find an answer pretty quickly. They know how to look through logs and run esxtop.

  • Knowing the resources and exploiting them
  • Knowing the Tech
  • Knowing when to call support and when to keep chugging away

Owning the failure

Failures suck, they make you feel like a novice, and sometimes if they are really big failures sometimes they make you feel like you picked the wrong field. No one in history has experienced a failure, and not felt something.

But the trick is to take the failures like an uppercut, blame yourself for not blocking the punch and learn how to dodge.

Failure is where we learn in the tech field, it’s better than any classroom or any book. Living through the pain and the mental anguish really brings you down to earth.

So how do we learn from a failure?

  • Figured out what failed.
  • Do a solid and honest post-mortem
  • Look for advice
  • Find the solution

Honesty and Confidence

We have all been on those calls with someone from a vendor or MSP and they think so highly of themselves they blow smoke the whole time.  There is nothing more brutal and spine shivering when they get called out and don’t talk for the rest of the meeting.

But on the other hand, having a engineer on the call that knows the answer with pinpoint accuracy and tells the truth when he/she knows or doesn’t know a particular question is pure beauty.

Honesty might not be the easiest option in the middle of a meeting or issue but it is vital.

Confidence shows, you know when someone is a good engineer by there mixture of confidence and honest.

  • Knowing your skill level (Like really knowing your skill level)
  • It is OK not to know something, regardless of the outcome
  • Be confident about your ability

10 reason to go to VMworld

1. Networking – This is a huge one every year close to 10,000 VMware geeks gather in one place for a 4-day extravaganza! They opportunity for networking is the best it will ever be, walking around talking to random people can be a little daunting but the best way to network is to sit at a random table during lunch. Everyone will welcome you and you just potentially made 8 new friends. If you only had one mission at VMworld I think this should be it. But there is a close second a VERY VERY close second.

2. Breakout session – These bad boys are the bread and butter of VMworld. If you are an introvert and hate talking to people but love technical content. This is where you will spend most of your days. The breakout sessions are sorted in a way from novice skill level to expert. If you want the most up to date information on the current technology of VMware and beyond the breakouts are the thing for you. Depending on the skill level selected you will get instructors that most of the time helped create the product the session is based on, and can tell you first-hand how it runs because they designed it. A lot of these breakout sessions are based on community speakers also. So, if you are looking for some career advice, or maybe just feeling a little stuck in your growth as a professional this is the place to be.

3. Hands on Labs – if the above is not an interest to you then the HOL section will surely do the trick. These bad boys are also available online. But at the HOL Section of VMworld they will have all the labs available and if needed they will have someone walk through them with you. I always love the HOL from VMware and an added bonus is they are nearly identical to some of the advanced professional level tests.

4. vBrownBag – vBrownBag sets up at every technology convention it seems like. But that by no means is a bad thing. If you haven’t heard of vBrownBag then I would look it up. It is a community driven project that is focused on technology, not just from VMware but a smorgasbord of companies. They will let anyone talk about any technology related subject (i.e. Certifications, Technology, Career, design) they are a pinnacle of the VMware community and you will get to see them in action the whole week.

5. Technology – Some people may be wondering why this isn’t higher on the list. I mean VMworld at its core is a technology conference, right? We’ll all the technology keynotes and announcement will be readily available across the world almost instantly. BUT that doesn’t mean it isn’t cool as hell when you hear the CEO of VMware announce something in the moment.  And Most of the time there is an exclusive VMworld HOL or some sort of session that goes more in-depth about the product being announced. But even if we step back from the VMware products for a Second. There is A LOT of vendors at VMworld, some are big like EMC NETAPP and HP. But a vast majority of them are small vendors most still in ABC funding period. This is where the innovation is coming from, that is the future of technology in my opinion. So, going to VMworld to hear the keynote is great. But the real win is seeing the small vendors and vetting out the future technology we will be seeing.

6. Keynotes –  The keynotes are great you get the announcement the moment it leaves the speakers mouth. And that is pretty cool. Being a newbie blogger I love getting that first tweet out about the new product someone announces or the awesome catchphrase someone used in a slide.

7. IT’S VEGAS BABY! – Going to VMworld is not an ordinary week. You will be talking, screaming, laughing and depending on how much you drink potentially crying. The whole climate of Vegas is just different. From the moment, you touch down at McCarran you see the big Historical “Welcome to Vegas” sign and from that point on where ever you came from will forgotten until the flight back. The lights are bright, the people are rude and the slots are noisy in Vegas. So, getting a chance to see a city that truly never sleeps is an awesome experience.

8. Discounts – This point might seem strange. Why travel to Vegas for discounts on VMware course material? Well that is because the course discounts and certification discounts are notable. There are discounts on VMware training, VMware certifications, Books, Potential Vendors products and much more. All vary in size. If I recall last year there was 50% off Exams and 20% off all books in the VMware store. Also, that isn’t even going into the savings from vendors if you meet with them and have a meaningful conversation. How much can you potentially save on that SolarWinds license if you have a 30-minute conversation with the engineer who made it?

9. The Parties –  Out of all the tech conferences I have been to VMworld has the best parties by far. And it’s not just VMworld ran also. There is a lot of vendor and community parties available the whole week. The best vendor party by far and one that must be attended is the Veeam party. It is off the hook. About 1000 people good music awesome food and a river of alcoholic beverages. If you are a VMUG member there is a VMUG party also It is smaller but still awesome. There are people from all over the VMUG nation attending and usually have some special guests show up also. The big shabang is the VMworld Party. Last year it was at Las Vegas speedway and they had Fallout Boy headlining which was OK but the place was cool. In the vender of the speed way they had 2 DJ’s and people were allowed to go on the track in some underpowered track cars.

10. Tax Deduction – If your employer wont front the cost of going to Vmworld that is OK because it is all tax-deductible. So you may get a portion of that expense back. Just make sure you save your receipts! Obviously, I am not a tax professional so check with them. But in Massachusetts it is a tax deduction.

 

Last chance to get the Early bird discount for Vmworld Ends Monday 6/12/17 Register below!

 

https://reg.rainfocus.com/flow/vmware/vmworldeu17/reg/account?src=so_590b8a703e237&cid=70134000001K7Xj

 

See you there!

Vmworld 2016

Keynote and new products


I was interested to see if they would make any major announcements about private cloud offerings, maybe something like  a major VSAN upgrade. But maybe that is too small for a major conference keynote but I don’t think so!

One major announcement at VMworld was Cross-Cloud platform VCloud. I thought this was awesome announcement managing all your cloud environments through VCloud will give VMware customers the ability to not only have a familiar platform for their cloud services but also not feel tied down to a single cloud service or having to manage multiple cloud services all from different locations. I truly believe a hybrid solution of private and public cloud will be the future for IT and business. It just makes sense. have the tier 1 apps private and have dev and lower tiered apps running public.

All in all the announcements were good but not really what I wanted to see.


The vendors

This was my first VMworld and also my first conference of this size. When I walked into the sponsor showroom it was kind of overwhelming at first. never really seen booths this big in size and very elaborate. It seemed like these vendors all brought their A game for VMworld, full-size demo’s, product reviews every hour on the hour. and awesome giveaways for attendees. It also seemed like every vendor had a magician,  which was awesome. most of the time they would do some cool tricks without even giving a product pitch. If I had to rank one vendor who went above and beyond this year it had to have been Veeam. their booth was awesome. Their Magician was amazing and their sales and tech staff were able to answer every question I had.

As for the technology that was front and center this year, One was converged infrastructure. VCE/EMC was Showing off top tier products at top tier prices, VXrail, VMax, and VBlock. Truly a great solution depending on the business you are running but also expensive. Hyper-Converged infrastructure was heavily present. With great companies like Simplivity, Nutanix, and VMwares VSAN. I was personally interested in learning these products just to expand my own knowledge of the technology and products.


The Parties!

The gatherings where awesome this year I met a lot of really smart and cool people. The Veeam party was off the hook, an awesome DJ, some wicked cool violinist, and cellist. Not to mention the full bar which is awesome. They had these awesome synchronized bracelets that were controlled by the DJ so the room was lighting up together it was a really cool to see! Whether or not you use Veeam as a product or not one thing is clear, THEY THROW AWESOME PARTIES!


Conclusion

VMworld was an awesome experience. The networking, the atmosphere, and the venue were a sight to see. Will I be going back next year? Most definitely I can’t wait. if you love technology and shooting the shit with people then VMWorld is an awesome experience and one that you should have..

 

Vmworld 2016 sessions top 10 and keynotes

So VMWorld was awesome! It was filled with great sessions great people and all around an awesome atmosphere. some of the top 10 sessions are listed here.

http://www.vmworld.com/en/sessions/top-10-us.html

A complete list of most sessions can be found below.

http://www.vmworld.com/en/sessions/2016.html

If you didn’t have a chance to make it to VMWorld this year don’t worry! The keynote sessions and the breakouts are available on VMWare YouTube page also!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeFlCmVOq6ysL5tbnypeSTJeCtsk7Rd1S

Day 0 VMworld

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So day 0 was pretty great I took a late flight from Boston to get here and landed around 12AM PST so I was tired. but the LIGHTS were awesome , Vegas is a lot to take in if you have never been here before, this is my first VMworld and my first time to Vegas. Day 0 was a pretty straightforward day registration was the only thing opened for the first couple of hours but the exhibitor halls opened around 5. Walking into the exhibitor hall as overwhelming there was a lot of vendors with some pretty elaborate booths.

After the exhibit closed I headed over to the VMUG party at the house of blues in Mandalay bay, the band that was playing was great playing a mix of old school feel good 80’s to more modern tunes. really a good mix of songs. Then all of the sudden Michael Dell comes out. and in my opinion is was a classy move. To me it showed that he was taking community into consideration and was willing to talk about the future of VMware and the community directly to the people looking for that kind of reassurance. Real classy Michael Dell.

VMWorld content builder and schedule

If you registered for VMWorld 2016 you might have gotten an email telling you about the content builder for the breakout sessions and workshops that are going to be available.

This is my first year at VMworld and I personally think it is an awesome idea. having enough time to go through the list of sessions and planning your days out weeks in advance is an awesome gift that VMware has given us! With enough time to carefully take a look at the available activities throughout the week there shouldn’t be anyone running mad around the Mandalay bay looking for breakout sessions.

But  don’t wait to long! If you do the sessions might fill up and you will be put on a waitlist for what seems like forever. This happened to me with a couple of sessions I was really looking forward to, I didn’t pull the trigger and now I might be left out in the cold.

Most of the session I scheduled are for some upcoming projects I am hoping to work on. But I also included a lot of sessions for just general knowledge of new VMware products that are coming down the pipe like container based OS and hadoop with VMware

 

Check out my schedule below, and let me know if we share any sessions!

Vmworld Schedule