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A few notes on this year’s VMworld 2008 agenda that you may have overlooked if you’re an old hand. This will be my fourth VMworld, and there were a few things that surprised me:

  • The Welcome Reception is now on Monday night at the Solutions Exchange. Come by and say hi at the Communities Lounge.
  • As usual, there are two General Sessions, the Opening Keynote featuring Paul Maritz on Tuesday and the Futures Keynote featuring on Wednesday. In addition this year, there are two additional VMware Keynotes:
    • Q&A wth Paul Maritz, Wednesday 9:30am-10:00am
    • Automating Disaster Recovery with VMware Site Recovery Manager, Keynote, Thursday 9:00am-10:00am
  • This year there are Platinum Keynotes during the day from the sponsors. These are held in a very big space and I assume this is where they will spring their big news. The times do overlap with other sessions and labs, but be aware of them if there’s a company of special interest to you or if you find yourself at loose ends.
    • Cisco Keynote, Tuesday 11:00am-Noon
    • HP Keynote, Tuesday 11:00am-Noon
    • Intel Keynote, Tuesday 2:30pm-3:30pm
    • IBM Keynote, Wednesday 9:30am-10:30am
    • NetApp Keynote, Wednesday 9:30am-10:30am
    • EMC Keynote, Wednesday 11:00am-Noon
    • Dell/EqualLogic Keynote, Wednesday 11:00am-Noon
    • NEC Keynote, Wednesday 2:30pm-3:30pm
    • Symantec Keynote, 2:30pm-3:30pm
  • In spite of the previous item, the sponsors are not taking over the conference — those Platinum Keynotes were added on top of everything else and overlap with breakout sessions. We had over 875 submissions for sessions this year, and we’re very sorry that we only had didn’t have 875 slots — we came in somewhere over 300 sessions. This year’s Content Committee was the biggest and broadest ever: over 200 people, including customers, partners, analysts and VMware employees.
  • Both Microsoft & Citrix will indeed be there.
  • Everybody always wants the popular sessions repeated. This year, we’ll have repeat sessions offered at end of each day. You can check the
    electronic agendas throughout the venue for latest information
    on which sessions will repeat.
  • The conference has seven tracks. One thing new this year is the Virtualization 101 Track, a one day track on Tuesday, September 16 for those attendees new to virtualization.
  • Each track has a lounge to hang out in (couches, games) and will be hosting Birds of a Feather (BOFs) all day. Most of the last slot of each day and all day Thursday are reserved for ad hoc BOFs — if you want to talk about a topic, go ahead and create one.  We’ll post the schedule at the show. Each lounge will also have track pins for you to advertise your interests and find like-minded individuals.
  • Conference docents will be available to help guide you to where you need to go.
  • A Video Confessional booth will be available to capture your virtualization story. I think we had this last year, but this year’s is better.
  • If you don’t attend the show, you can still buy access to all the sessions afterwards at vmworld.com.

So you’re already overbooked and wondering how you’re going to fit it all in, but don’t overlook the additional keynotes and lounges and BOFs this year.