Well, I’ve actually been here since Saturday afternoon. So its hard to say when my first day was. I have friend who lives in Palo Alto. He’s a fellow Brit who’s been out here since 2001. I think I’ve been across to see Geoff about 5-6 times since he’s been here, the last time being VMworld 2007. We had a few beers at the BBC in Menlo and then something to eat, and then I crashed out. On Sunday we drove into city and went for a walk by the bay near the Golden Gate Bridge, and then over the bridge to check out the Point Bonita Lighthouse on Sausalito.
Anyway, come 4-5pm Geoff drove me back into the city, and dropped me off at the Marriot downtown – I had an hour or so to shit, shower and shave (it’s a North-Eastern expression!) before heading out to the Thirsty Bear for the VMworld Underground Party cum Extravaganza. It was a good event, within seconds I said hi to nearly all the top bloggers and PR people I know thru various VMworld. It was a good idea/starting point getting us all together in one little venue. I was drinking sensibily (ish) and made my move to head back to the hotel for reasonable hour – ready for the VMware Certified Instructor event the next day.
Anyway, when I got to the hotel I decide I was feeling peckish (as you do). So I stopped by the bar to have a snack. Where I’m afraid I order a rather large gin & tonic. Whilst pondering the menu this guy, said “hi Mike”. And from then on I had the most interesting chat I’d had all day (apart from long talk with Geoff about life, work, midlife crisis and the property values of the Bay Area). It turned out I bumped into long standing community member, Datto. Of course for years we exchange helpful hints, advice and knowledge on the forums – but I’d never met the guy. He’s a really interesting fellow. Checking in and out of various IT job whilst in between indulging his real passion (you know feed the soul kinda stuff) for long-distance hiking across the US. Now, let me explain what’s meant by long distance hiking. We talking about 1,000 of miles, often with days with out water or food. You can only set out on these trips if you think the weather-window looks big enough that you won’t die in the process. The nearest I could compare it too – would be like those guys who walk to one of the poles and back. So it was really nice to catch up with someone from the Old Skool. From the early days of virtualization and VMware before everyone jumped on the gravy train (no offense).
So our conversation went back and forwards – from the whole work/life balance – to nitty gritty virtualization discussions. Datto works for a top 100 fortune company – the kind that people like me have never heard about. I won’t drop their name, because frankly I’ve forgotten. And it probably wouldn’t be appropriate to do so anyway. I asked Datto if he’d experience much pressure from the top bods on HyperV and price – and so on. It’s a bit odd because for his company % portion of budget spent on VMware is very small compared to everything else – like 6%. That’s not to say they aren’t a big user, it’s just proportionally it makes up a small part of a very large budget – from what I could gather. So for him its not such a big deal. Of course, no-one seems happy about the Enterprise+ situation. No suprises there. There is pressure in the business to “justify” the spend on VMware. But so long as you prepared to take on the argument, and put your case forward clearly it can be argument that’s relatively easy to win. It’s just that no-one particular likes having to justify everything little darn thing they do – they’d rather just get on and do it.
Anyway, it was about 1am by then – and it was time to hit the hay. I knew I would have to be up by 7.30. Start registering by 8am, to have good chance of grabbing breakfast before starting the VCI day at 9am….