A lot of folks head back home on Thursday, so the train and bus were both pretty empty this morning. The hardy folks who do make it in generally make use of the bag drop today for all those suitcases full of accumulated swag.
I had 5 sessions planned for Thursday, so for me, this was a busy day session wise. Most of these were TAM sessions, so TCC was my first port of call for some welcome tea and croissants.
Then my first half of the day consisted of;
- vSphere .next
- Project BlueSky
- vRA 7 use cases
All of the above were good Sessions. I can’t say a lot about them, other than to say that there’s still plenty of stuff to come from vCenter in the next few versions. If you want to know what was discussed publicly, then you should go over to Julian Woods blog and read his extensive notes on the INF6393-GD – vCenter Server Group Discussion session there, since this was taking place at roughly the same time. Some of the concerns Julian raises are being addressed in some interesting ways, but it does seem like it is going to be some considerable time before we actually see the end result of all this. The other thing that I can say is that there is a definite improvement in vRA, in that it has an installer. That appears to work. No release date has been announced for this yet. You can read what there is on the VMware Blog about vRA in the meantime. No point giving session codes for these, they are not recorded.
You don’t even have to leave TAM Customer Central for lunch, which is rather convenient. I then had two breakout sessions scheduled in the afternoon.
SDDC5027 VCDX Unwrapped was first up, 4 VCDX certified guys with 5 VCDX qualifications between them assembled on stage to pass on some pearls of wisdom to those of us who one day plan to end our VMware certification journey with a VCDX (and hence start another journey from there). If you think you might one day defend a design for a VCDX then you should definitely watch this session if you can. The basics to take away are straightforward enough to lay out here though;
- Make sure you look for an existing VCDX to be a mentor, the VCDX directory lists everyone and conveniently tells you which ones are (or have been) members of the VCDX panel and are hence ineligible for mentoring you.
- Make sure you cover everything in the blueprint. If you can’t read and digest that, then you are not showing that you can follow a logical plan, I guess! That would not get you a pass in my book.
- You should not thrown unnecessary stuff in to your design in an attempt to impress the panel, they’ll crucify you for over-elaboration. Nor should you cut stuff out that was done by someone else, you should know enough about it to be able to pass judgement. (up to 3 people can defend the same joint design, as it happens).
- If you were under financial, political, other constraints then not only should your design cover those, but you should be prepared to say what you would have done differently were that constraint removed.
This certification is tough, but not a technical slog, so you should be well set if you approach things in a logical, ordered fashion, question every decision made in the design and so on.
I’ve seen a lot of talk this week about VMware Validated Designs so I wonder how that will change things. Those things will end up having a design, implementation guide, operations guide, somewhat like the VCDX blueprint mentions.
The final session I was signed up for was INF5482 Infrastructure as code - Ban snowflake deployments. Thursday 3-4 PM is the graveyard slot and I was torn between some Q&A in the Solutions Exchange and attending this session, so the Solutions Exhange and Hang Space won out.. I’ll want to watch this session though, it’s all Puppet, Docker, Photon etc. so should be good.
Thursday in the Solutions exchange is more laid back than the previous days, there is more time to have a chat in a more informal manner, which I like. I caught a few updates from the Zerto folks, ruminated on developments in the storage world with them, strolled over to Pernix Data (best pens in the world, they also do storage related software that some people like very much). I think that if the Dell/EMC deal takes a long time to work through, then there will be buyers who usually take storage from either of those merging vendors who will hang on to their existing storage rather than buy into something that might be canned quite quickly. That may mean they will want to accelerate the storage that they already have in place - a Pernix use case right there. Anyone doing the most software of software defined storage may do well in a few months of uncertainty.
I’d previously tried to win a VMUG USB fan and had failed, so finding some loose in the Hang Space was nice. Folks were now leaving in their droves, so it was time to admit that the party was over and head on to the airport.
Not too long a bus ride and then I was able to wrestle with the complimentary wi-fi in the airport lounge in an attempt to get some of these blog articles moving towards completion (clearly not enough time). A bite to eat with Chris Dearden, a chat on the plane with the guys from Solidfire and Arista and a train back to the office saw me get the car back on my drive at home at 2AM. Lovely. Ready for work the next day.
That’s it for another year, only 51 weeks to go ;-)