VMworld is a pretty challenging event to develop — although everybody’s excited to be there, experience levels vary from "boss sent me here to find out about virtualization" to "been using ESX Server since its first beta." We send a large number of our R&D staff to these events, though, precisely so you can dive deep when you need to. Scott Lowe has decided he’ll focus just on the deep technical for next near: VMworld 2006 Day 3 and Wrap-Up.
It actually turns out that many of the sessions to which I had looked forward turned out not to provide as much “technical meat” as I had hoped they would. That’s not to say that they weren’t helpful, since I was still able to glean some useful ideas and helpful tips here and there. For example, while the command-line session I attended on Day 1 didn’t unveil any major information I didn’t already know, I was able to pick up a couple of useful tricks (like Tab-Tab to show all possible commands that match what you’ve typed—of course, this is a shell feature not a VMware feature). Likewise, in the NetApp session I mentioned earlier, their discussion of the use of tiered storage (classified as gold, silver, and bronze) and the construction of service levels and service management around those classifications was a pretty good idea. Even so, I had really hoped that the sessions would be much more technical in nature than they were.
Next year (assuming I get the opportunity to attend), I’ll probably focus almost exclusively on the “internals in-depth” sessions. The networking internals session I attended was very informative and very technical and helped deepen my understanding of how VMware’s networking infrastructure actually works. For me, at least, having a deeper understanding of how it works means that it is easier for me to find new ways of utilizing the functionality or integrating the functionality into a customer’s existing infrastructure.
(And congrats on the VCP, Scott!)