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Over the past week we’ve seen a series of blog posts by our colleagues:

Now it’s our turn! Emad and I have put together a Top 10 list of vCenter Server sessions. These sessions contain a variety of content and hopefully have something for everyone.

Disclaimer: some of these are our own sessions but there are plenty in this list that are not. Let’s take a look (in no particular order)!

Adam’s & Emad’s Top 10 vCenter Server Sessions

INF9083 Ask the vCenter Server Experts Panel

I think this session is going to be EPIC! I’m privileged enough to be able to moderate this group of experts and take your questions live! This panel consists of some brilliant minds and I’m excited to let you put them on the spot. Dilpreet Bindra is a Sr. Director R&D responsible for much of the vCenter Server engineering effort. He’s a passionate guy and I’m sure he’ll have amazing things to say about the current and future state of vCenter Server. Also part of the panel is friend and colleague Ryan Johnson who is a Sr. Technical Marketing Architect who is responsible for our VMware Validated Designs of which vCenter Server is a key part. Also working with the VVDs is Blair Fritz who is now a Staff SDDC Integration Architect. Blair was formerly the Global Technical Lead for vCenter Server within our Global Support Services organization and has contributed an unfathomable amount of vCenter Knowledge to the VMware collective over his years. Last, but certainly not least, is my compadre Emad Younis who works alongside me as a Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer. Emad brings a wealth of experience as a former customer along with his years as a vExpert and vBrownBag host. Emad also blogs on his personal blog located here. I encourage everyone to join us and give us those hard-hitting vCenter Server questions!

INF9128 Day 2 Operations: A vCenter Administrator’s Diary

Deploying vCenter Server is one thing but what about all of the activities that come once it’s ready for production? In this session Emad and Blair will walk you through some of the tasks and show you the tools to use when managing vCenter Server. This session will be focused on the vCenter Server Appliance and you might even get some Tech Previews for features we’re working on for future releases.

INF9044 Journey to the vCenter Server Appliance: A Migration Story

Speaking of the vCenter Server Appliance, we hear from customers everyday who have successfully migrated away from the Windows Installable version of vCenter Server. We also hear from even more customers who have questions and want to better understand the process, pitfalls, and best practices. In this session Emad teams up with a customer who will share their story in an effort to help other customers better plan and execute their migrations.

INF8260 Automated Deployment and Configuration of the vCenter Server Appliance

This session has already gotten quite a bit of press from the blogosphere but this is going to be an awesome session that is near and dear to our hearts. Alan and William do not need introductions but I’ll go ahead for the sake of completeness. Alan Renouf is a Product Line Manager responsible for many of the APIs, CLIs, and SDKs of vSphere (and some others). William Lam is a Sr. SDDC Integration Architect who has, over the years, produced some of the best content with regards to deploying and managing the vCenter Server Appliance. This session is going to be amazing and show us how to take advantage of the new deployment and configuration capabilities in the vCenter Server Appliance. Also look for some nuggets for what might be coming in a future release.

INF8108 Extreme Performance Series: vCenter Performance Deep Dive

When I think vCenter Server performance I only think of one person nowadays. You might not have heard of him but Ravi Soundararajan is a Principal Engineer at VMware and is the goto person for performance and scale questions. For this session Ravi teams up with Priya Sethuraman who she, as a Director of Performance Engineering, works closely with Ravi to make sure our customers are getting the most out of vSphere. Attend this session to learn about some of the ways we’re pushing the limits of vSphere and how that benefits you.

INF8631 VMware Certificate Management for Mere Mortals

Ryan Johnson and I are back again with our Certificate Management session from last year. If you’re interested to see last year’s session and materials head to Ryan’s blog. For 2016 we’ve honed the material and will focus on a Hybrid approach that satisfy’s customers’ Security teams as well as minimized certificate management with the VMCA for the Operations teams. We’ll also talk not only about vSphere but how this fits into the VMware Validated Design.

INF8683 Understanding the Role SNMP Agents Play in a vSphere Stack

SNMP might sound like a boring subject but this session will be amazing. Michael McFadden, Staff Engineer with VMware, is responsible for writing much of the SNMP stack within our products. He’s *the* SNMP guy. Michael is going to talk about how SNMP can be used to enhance how you monitor vCenter Server as well as other pieces of the infrastructure. After this session you should have a much better understanding of how we use SNMP in our products and how you can take advantage of it.

INF8225 The vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller Guide to the Galaxy

vCenter Server has certainly been around for a while but there are still some lesser known pieces of information about it. In this session Emad and I will discuss vCenter Server and the Platform Services Controller and go deep on tips, tricks, tools, architecture, and upgrades. We’ll also show some tech previews of features that VMware are working to bring to future releases of vSphere.

INF9944 What’s New with vCenter Server

This session, as you probably guessed, is less technical in nature and is valuable to those who just want to know what is new in vCenter Server 6.0 and what we’re working on for the next release. If you are just now looking at a vSphere 6.0 upgrade and it has been a while since you’ve looked at vSphere 6 this might be the perfect session for you. In this session you’ll hear from the vCenter Server Group Product Manager Madhup Gulati along with representatives from two VMware customers who will share their experiences from the ongoing beta of vSphere. They’ll also talk about what they are excited about and how those things impact their business and infrastructure.

INF8172 vSphere Client Roadmap: Host Client, HTML5 Client, and Web Client

Historically, the Web Client hasn’t been an exciting subject to talk about at VMworld. However, this year we get to talk about the HTML5 vSphere Client! Dennis Lu, Product Manager for vSphere Clients, teams up with Radostin Tsanev, Sr. R&D Manager, to discuss where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed with regards to how we interact and managed vCenter Server and ESXi. Get an inside look at the clients and their futures along with how we’re going to continue to work with customers to make the HTML5 clients the best they can be.

For several other sessions on vCenter Server that are just as good (I could only pick 10) head here.

Hands On Labs

Each year VMworld attendees get to experience the Hands On Labs in person. HOLs can be taken from the comfort of your own home but there is something energizing about joining hundreds of other attendees in the HOL space. Experts continuously make themselves available to answer questions and embark on impromptu whiteboard sessions. I definitely recommend carving some time out of your busy schedule to take a break from breakout sessions to hit the HOL.

This year the primary set of labs related to vCenter Server have the number HOL-SDC-1710 which is made up of the following 5 labs:

  • Virtualization 101: vSphere with Operations Management [SPL-1710-SDC-1]
  • Virtualization 101: vSphere with Operations Management Use Cases [SPL-1710-USE-2]
  • vSphere with Operations Management: Advanced Topics [SPL-1710-SDC-3]
  • vSphere with Operations Management: Advanced Use Cases [SPL-1710-USE-4]
  • vSphere Automation API and SDK: Tech Preview [SPL-1710-SDC-5]

In addition to being able to learn on your own while going through the above labs we also offer Expert Led Workshops. As you may be able to glean from the name, ELWs allow us to guide small groups of users through a particular lab. There are dedicated rooms where an expert in a particular lab will lead a discussion and then guide the users through the lab. This can be particularly useful if you have a group of users that have common interests and want to learn together rather than separately. So head over to schedule builder and get signed up for the Virtualization 101: vSphere with Operations Management Workshop [ELW-1710-SDC-1] before spots run out!

Meet the Experts

The Schedule Builder will be going live with all of the Meet the Experts sessions very soon. These are very small 1-on-1 type sessions (although you can bring a couple of friends) that follow your own agenda. You’ll get a 15-minute time slot so make sure to be prepared with what you want to accomplish in your session. The 15 minutes and the ability to schedule these sessions disappear very quickly. Keep an eye out for when the ability to schedule these important sessions goes live!

Giveaways: Yes Please!

Emad and I are also planning on having some posters on hand in our sessions to give away. Emad recently published the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 Reference Poster and I will have newly minted Platform Services Controller 6.0 Topology Decision Tree posters to accompany them. We think the posters go great together and hope we’ll have enough to last!

There are also some plans involving #migrate2vcsa. We will have some additional swag in the form of stickers and more for attendees so watch this hashtag on Twitter for information on where you can find us. Also follow us on Twitter (@eck79 and @Emad_Younis) to ensure you know where we’ll be, what we’ll be doing, and how to get more free stuff!

Safe travels everyone and we hope to see all of you in Las Vegas for some great vCenter Server Sessions!

About the Author

Adam Eckerle leads the vSphere Technical Marketing team in the Cloud Platform Business Unit at VMware. This team is responsible for vSphere launch, enablement, and ongoing content generation for the VMware field, Partners, and Customers. In addition, Adam’s team is also focused on preparing Customers and Partners for vSphere upgrades through workshops, VMUGs, and other events.