In the morning I had a little chat with my publisher, McGraw-Hill. Nothing explosive to report except to say that we have chosen to lift the VMware View chapter out of the new book. Primarily, because I know a new version is on its way – and so I want to aviod it being “dated” before the book is even published. Secondly, both VMware and my tech editor both wondered about the placement of the chapter. Finally, it will help with page length – I need some wriggle room when the time comes for a 2nd Edition. Anyway, all is not lost. I will maintain the chapter, updating it when the next release of View comes out (4.0???) and release it as a free PDF probably around the release date of the vSphere book.
I then hung about the solutions exchange, and more specifically the communities lounge – where I bumped into a couple of folks. The upshot being the idea of User Group/Summit roadshow for Spring of 2010. I’ve been to the North Carolina User Summit twice now, and will be there next year also. But this time around the idea is link a couple of events together to make the journey more worthwhile. My hope it to tie this roadshow into a general promotion for the vSphere4 book – with luck I will be able to get my publisher to cover the costs of the events – especially if VMware buy copies of the book as “giveaways” to attendees.
I also had a chat with some vExperts about the idea of sharing lab hardware. I’ve got quite a good lab environment, and there maybe a possibility that I will get the Cisco UCS kit into my labs. Of course I would love to have HP Blades in there as well – but space/cost make having every single OEM and storage vendor in a couple of 42U racks – as stretch too far. The idea is to a number of the more public vExperts/ Partners/ ReSellers to host this kit, and give other vExperts remote access via Citrix XenDesktop or View Desktop. Anyway, for the moment its a bit of pipe dream. But the idea is give folks access to hardware which would be normally be cost/space prohibitive…
By the late afternoon it was time to head down to Room 121 (not 101!) to do a co-speaker session with Vaughn Stewart of NetApp. The topic was about how storage faciliaties DR/BC. Generally, it was an overview of the various DR/BC technologies – and attempt to map their advantages/disadvantages. Vaughn was the host, and chipped in a long the way with various opinons and questions. I hope we were useful to the group. Generally, it seems clear to me that people need a blend of solutions – as there is no killer application here. But folks have got to appreicate the sometime contradictory requirements of one technology when used with inconjunction with others.
Directly after that event we were in the same room for the formal vExperts meeting – there was some 50-100 of use. We were presented with certificates and fancy vExperts pen. Steve Herrod of VMware was there too, unfortunately there wasn’t a formal presentation and photographer there – so there aren’t “grip & grin” photos of me with Steve Herrod. We were able to fire a couple of questions at the CTO, and of course I wasn’t backwards in coming forwards with questions and opinons!
Firstly, he made it clear that VMware has NO intention of offering its own in-house vCloud Express service. VMware is about creating products that allow partners to deliver the cloud – and guess the announcements the day before of a dizzing array of cloud providers using vSphere4 makes that plain. Steve also said that VMware are looking to decouple the vSphere4 client from .NET to allow for a client that runs on many platforms – (Ed, erm you mean Linux?). He poo-poo’d the idea of giving away VMotion and other features for “free” to more aggressively compete with Microsoft – but pointed to the existenance of various “essentials” packages and VMware GO – as signs that VMware are offering value for money for the SMBs. Finally, he acknowledged that more work has to be done with various VMware Virtual Appliances (vMA, MM, VDR) to standardise on a single GOS for these systems – to allow for better maintenance, patch management and updates. After Steve Herrod left we given presentations by Steve Kaplin and Jason Boche. Whilst Steve Kaplin was very enteraining on the subject of evangelism, I’m not sure if I would 100% agree with his ethos. He suggest that being able to “use” other people to further your own career was a good thing – and that evangelism was about promoting oneself as much as the subject of evangelism. I know I’m no shrinking violet when it comes to self-promotion – but I had hoped my own evangelism was less self-serving. My pal Jason Boche was much more self-affacing, and such went up in already my high estimation. Jason is new blogging and twittering after being urged to contribute beyond his already active VMTN forum contributions by John Troyer. In his own laid back and laconic style, Jason explained how he’d accrued about 3 binds of useful/practical virtualization knowledge over the last 5 years. Basically, the basis of his blog is to convert that into electonic form we can all access. A man after my own heart – anyway, if you’ve not visited Jasons blog it’s here:
On the subject of vExperts. I think its perhaps a good time to make clear what the programme is about because in away the title is perhaps a bit misleading. vExperts is not a technical programme – although it quite frequently has members who are hands on like me. There are some vExperts who have contributed to the VMware Community in other ways such as running user groups. So in away is more a community recognition programme.
In the evening I hung out with Mornay Van De Valt and his Lab Masters. But that as they say is another blog post. Probably directly after this…