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VMworld 2016Every year at VMworld there is a tremendous bilateral knowledge exchange between VMware experts and VMware users. At VMworld 2016, the knowledge exchange is no different but the technology and topics are.

As more and more companies continued to push up the utilization of their virtual infrastructure and are looking for ways to make it more efficient, cloud management and automation has a hot topic.

Those cloud management topics include performance, capacity, troubleshooting, automation, orchestration, and hybrid cloud. For some shops, these topics apply primarily to their vSphere infrastructure, today. However, for many companies cloud management now includes not just vSphere but everything that makes your datacenter infrastructure possible – storage, compute, networking, applications, databases, and public clouds.

With all that in mind, I’ve come up with my list of “must see” VMworld 2016 sessions from the content catalog. If you’re going to VMworld, make sure that you add these to your scheduler builder from the content catalog. If you can’t make VMworld, no worries, the sessions are usually recorded and available after the show.

With hundreds of great sessions, I don’t like to say that “these are the best” sessions as 1) I haven’t seen the session yet 2) there are 184 sessions with the keyword “vrealize” and 79 with “vrealize operations” 3) some might get the idea that other sessions aren’t as good as these. So instead, I’ll say… Here are the cloud management sessions that *I* want to attend and that look really good to me. I think you’ll find some cool sessions here!

(sorted in chronological order)

The KISS of vRealize Operations! [MGT7718]

Hicham (he-sham) Mourad, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware
Chima Njaka, Group Product Line Manager, vRealize Operations / vRealize Log Insight, VMware
How can you troubleshoot across the multiple domains, applications, and infrastructure layers? It’s not easy without the right tools, but with VMware vRealize Operations you can do it. Some feel that vRealize Operations can sometimes be overly “expert friendly” and overwhelming. We will dispel that myth and help you recognize the power and simplicity of vRealize Operations through demonstrations. A technical session with very few slides, this is a must for anyone in a VI admin or “firefighting” role.

Monday, Aug 29, 3:30 p.m — Look for the recording!

vSphere DRS and vRealize Operations: Better Together [INF7825]

Brian Graf, Senior Product Manager – Distributed Resource Management, VMware
Chima Njaka, Group Product Line Manager, vRealize Operations / vRealize Log Insight, VMware
Like a campfire and marshmallows, certain things just go better together. Consider VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler and vRealize Operations. Independently, they both bring their own value to the data center. Combined, however, they unlock new immediate and future synergies. Recently, the two products have been more tightly integrated to provide better workload placement and load balancing within and across clusters, all while providing easier administration. The integration also unveils a brand new predictive capability in Tech Preview that significantly benefits your virtual machine performance and load balancing. So come to this session and learn how vSphere DRS and vRealize Operations are working better together for your workload management, even while you camp!

Tuesday, Aug 30, 11:00 a.m

Intelligent IT Operations Management from Infra to Apps, On-Premises and in The Cloud [MGT7713]

Taruna Gandhi, Group Manager, Cloud Management Product Marketing, VMware
Hicham (he-sham) Mourad, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware
Today, lines of business are putting increasing demands on IT to deliver more in less time, and legacy data center operations cannot meet those demands. What IT needs is a comprehensive solution that provides operational efficiency, performance, and availability, as well unified visibility for the entire environment, both on-premises and in the cloud. VMware vRealize Suite is that solution. It provides performance and availability management for infrastructure and applications, capacity planning and optimization, comprehensive topology analysis, log data analysis, and cost transparency. Join this session to see how vRealize Suite can empower you to manage infrastructure and applications across any cloud to users on any device.

Tuesday, Aug 30, 11:00 a.m.

360-Degree Troubleshooting [MGT7629R]

Karl Fultz, Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
Paul Green, Sr IT Architecture Analyst, UnitedHealth Group
How can you troubleshoot issues quickly to get the root of problems in your environment? By leveraging the power of VMware vRealize Operations and VMware vRealize Log Insight together. We will cover how to achieve the best level of integration between the solutions, and then show you how to dig into the data and get to the root of a problem. This session is a must for anyone in a VI admin or firefighting role. Expect a technical deep dive with very few slides.

Tuesday, Aug 30, 1:00 p.m

Group Discussion: Troubleshooting with vRealize Operations with Ronit Halachmi-Bekel [MGT10762-GD]

Ronit Halachmi Bekel, Product Line Manager, VMware
Join this group discussion to hear and share tips and tricks for troubleshooting day today problems. In this discussion we will talk about common problems VI admin has to deal with on a daily basis and how to troubleshoot them using vRealize Operations.
Some common problems are: How to diagnose and troubleshoot a ‘VM is slow’ complain; Performance problems such as cluster overloaded or VM undersized; Failures such as host availability, connectivity issues or hardware failures.; Out of Capacity problems, such as datastore is full. Hear which challenges other experts were having and what they have done in order to become the hero of their organization. Share from your experience with others to mentor them on how they can improve their skills.

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2:00 p.m.

A Storage Story: Capacity Management and Performance Planning for Storage Systems in vRealize Operations [INF8122]

Bill Erdman, Senior Product Line Manager, VMware
Craig Lee, Chief Systems Architect, Blue Medora Inc.
Do you want to know if your LUN is the reason your virtual machines are underperforming? How about understanding the effect of the thin provisioned volumes under your datastores? How do you figure out how many storage shelves to purchase to service a new workload? The VMware vRealize Operations Management Pack for Storage Devices and third-party management packs such as Blue Medora’s management packs for NetApp and Nimble Storage extend VMware vRealize Operations to show all aspects of your storage infrastructure. There are many chapters in the storage story. LUN, volume, datastores, and underlying hardware aspects all affect performance. We will show you how to trace storage performance issues from the virtual machine down to the disk. Capacity planning is also critical as you grow your infrastructure to meet business demands. We will also show you how to predict future storage needs while accounting for underlying storage hardware and virtual machine hosted workloads.

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2:00 p.m

vRealize Operations Capacity Explained [MGT7924]

Dan Curr, Sr. Staff Specialist – Platforms Engineering Group, M&T Bank
Hicham (he-sham) Mourad, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware

Wednesday, Aug 31, 1:00 p.m

Managing ERP Apps and Databases with vRealize Operations and Blue Medora Management Packs [VIRT8217]

Cameron Jones, Product Manager, Blue Medora
Vas Mitra, SAP Solutions Architect, VMware
Virtualized ERP implementations like SAP, and virtualized databases supporting mission-critical applications, are substantive in the data center across multiple industry verticals. Monitoring and managing these implementations are critical to avoid capacity constraints (leading to downtime) and maintaining performance SLAs. This session will show how this can be achieved with VMware vRealize Operations and application management packs from Blue Medora, VMware’s official partner. The management packs address various applications and databases (e.g. SAP, HANA; Oracle, SQL Server).

Tuesday, Aug 30, 5:00 p.m

NSX Operations with vRealize Suite [MGT8486]

Bill Erdman, Senior Product Line Manager, VMware
jeff godfrey, Staff Architect, VMware
NSX adoption – skyrocketing off the charts! Join us to learn more about the new best of breed VMware tools for operationalizing NSX – vRealize Network Insight (formerly Arkin) and vRealize Log Insight. Correlate logical network overlays with physical device underlays. Built-in micro-segmentation planning at multiple hierarchical levels. Security auditing. Troubleshooting and alerting. Availability and performance management. Charts. Graphs. Topology Diagrams. Dashboards. Enough log analytics to make a network engineer salivate. Tightly integrated with NSX, vRealize Network Insight and vRealize Log Insight are Must-Haves for your Network, Security, and VI Ops teams.

Tuesday, Aug 30, 5:00 p.m

Understanding the Value of vRealize Network Insight [MGT9457]

Sean O’Dell, Staff Systems Engineer, VMware
Shane van Bentum, Senior Operation Manager, VMware
As you know, VMware had recently acquired Arkin for its top-notch NSX management tools. Join this session to learn how vRealize Operations, together with vRealize Network Management (formerly Arkin) can help you run your virtual networks better. Hear it from Arkin subject matter experts first hand. See real-live demo.
– Microsegmentation and security
– Comprehensive netflow assessment and analysis to model security groups and firewall rules
– Make micro-segmentation easier to deploy with recommendations
– Continuously monitor and audit compliance postures over time
– 360 visibility and correlation across virtual and physical networks
– Virtual and physical network topology mapping
– Performance Optimization across Overlay and Underlay
– NSX Management & operations
– Ensure NSX Health and Performance
– Initiative UI with natural language search for troubleshooting
– Best practice compliance checking

Wednesday, Aug 31, 8:30 a.m

vRealize Operations with Management Packs: Monitor Heterogeneous Hybrid Clouds Workshop [ELW-1701-USE-4]

Danny Farber, Staff System Engineer, VMware
Kelly Montgomery, Sr. Systems Engineer, VMware
In this Expert-led Workshop, we will introduce an example of using open and extensible 3rd party vRealize Operations management packs, Blue Medora, to demonstrate comprehensive visibility in a single console across physical, virtual, and public cloud environments. Learn how vRealize Operations reduces complexity and increases team efficiency with a “manager of managers” for heterogeneous datacenter components including physical systems and other hypervisors. The Self-Paced version of this lab, SPL-1701-USE-3, is available anytime the Hands-on Labs are open.

Wednesday, Aug 31, 9:30 a.m

How VMware’s OneCloud Team Developed a Service-Oriented Architecture Managing 20 Cloud Instances Running 100,000 Virtual Machines [MGT8765]

SHAFIQUE HASSAN, Cloud Architect, VMWARE
Manu Prasanna, Sr. Product Manager, VMware
See how VMware’s IT team unifies multiple clouds to gain visibility into different environments, manage capacity and business risk, ensure resilience, and scale up to meet increasing demand.

Wednesday, Aug 31, 10:00 a.m

Save Time With Everything and Anything as a Service (XXXAAS) using vRealize Automation (vRA) [MGT8085]

Jerome Gudknecht, Infrastructure Cloud Engineer, Automation and Orchestration, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Eric Hardcastle, Principal Systems Engineer, SDE, VMware
vRealize Automation has long supported extensibility by adding to the Windows workflows that power it. In recent years it has added support for extensibility through vRO but this was always cumbersome and hard to extend without intimate knowledge of the process or a PSO engagement.

Wednesday, Aug 31, 11:30 a.m.

vRealize Operations Capacity Explained [MGT7924]

Dan Curr, Sr. Staff Specialist – Platforms Engineering Group, M&T Bank
Hicham (he-sham) Mourad, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware

Wednesday, Aug 31, 1:00 p.m

Virtual SAN Management – Time to Level Up Your Ops Game! [MGT7770]

Jeff Godfrey, Staff Architect, VMware
Rawlinson Rivera, Principal Architect Office of CTO – SABU, VMware
VMware Virtual SAN: You trust its proven ability to run your enterprise applications, top to bottom. You embraced it for your remote office/branch office environments and love its stretched cluster capabilities. And don’t get us started on the new dedupe, compression, and erasure coding features in Virtual SAN 6.2. What more could you ask for? How about taking Virtual SAN operations and management to the next level? Yes, the new Virtual SAN management tools built into VMware vCenter provide excellent preflight checks and ongoing insight into Virtual SAN health and performance. But perhaps you need more sophisticated enterprise-wide visibility into all of your Virtual SAN environments in one place. Do you need to see performance analytics over time as well as capacity trending and modeling for each of your Virtual SAN environments? Would you like to visualize your underlying physical network health and performance to see if it is impacting Virtual SAN latency? How about a correlated line of site from your virtual machines through the entire topology of your Virtual SAN components? VMware vRealize Operations Manager plus the Management Pack for Storage Devices (MPSD) is the level-up for your Virtual SAN ops game! We will provide live demonstrations of all of these management tools and compare use cases for each solution to help you determine what makes the most sense for your implementation and operational goals. You will walk away Virtual SAN smarter.

Thursday, Sep 01, 10:30 a.m

vSphere with Operations Management: Advanced Topics Workshop [ELW-1710-SDC-3]

Carl Olafson, Staff Technical Account Manager, VMware
Kevin Steil, Senior Technical Account Manager, Lead, VMware
In this Expert-led Workshop, you will see how vSphere with Operations Management adds new architecture options that can improve availability and manageability, while vRealize Operations and Log Insight provide enhanced diagnostic capability for both infrastructure and workloads. Also see how advancements in storage and networking capabilities leave the competition generations behind! The Self-Paced version of this lab, SPL-1710-SDC-3, is available anytime the Hands-on Labs are open.

Thursday, Sep 01, 1:30 p.m

David’s Take

vRealize Operations is an amazing platform from the perspective of its extensibility. The sessions above show how you can take it from simple performance/capacity management and use it for advanced troubleshooting, managing the SDDC, and the enterprise cloud. If I had to just pick one to attend, I’d want to see the session about using vRealize Operations to monitor VMware’s OneCloud, with over 100,000 virtual machines. The lessons that could be learned from that would surely be useful for managing / monitoring just about any enterprise infrastructure, no matter the size.

If you’re interested in DevOps, checkout this post – Top 10 Sessions on DevOps, Continuous Delivery and VMware vRealize Code Stream @ VMworld 2016