Monday was kind of a lazy day for many as it is geared towards partners who get exclusive briefings from VMware on strategies, technologies and road-maps. I can now navigate around the Venetian hotel with some confidence as I have started to figure out how everything is laid out. There are also many labs that attendees can sign up for on Monday, which provide hands-on experience in a variety of areas (i.e. performance, security) and are a great way for users to learn while actually using the product.
The Welcome Reception in the Solutions Expo opened at 5:30 for all attendees to meet with the two hundred-plus vendors who are at VMworld to show off their products and services. My first stop was the VMTN community lounge where I finally met John Troyer from VMware in person. John manages the Planet V12n and Planet VMware blog aggregator sites which are central feeds for all the great virtualization websites. I also had the chance to meet many of my fellow blogger and community members like Andrew Kutz, Bob Plankers, Richard Brambley, Eric Sloof and Rick Vanover.
I took a few laps around the Solutions Expo taking in the many vendors. My main objective for the night was to find and meet in person some of the many people I deal with electronically, like the folks from TechTarget. Tomorrow (Tuesday) I’ll be spending a lot of time in the Solutions Expo as I am one of the judges for TechTarget’s Best of VMworld awards. I stopped by to visit the folks from Hyper9 to see how their product was evolving since the last time I met them about 6 weeks ago. They’ve added some impressive features to the product like the ability to do a visual comparison of a virtual machine over a period of time. This technique is similar to how a text comparison application like Beyond Compare takes two files and lists all the differences between them. They are scheduled to release a public Beta of the product soon and are still on track to release it before the end of the year.
After the Welcome Reception is was off to the v-Bar (an appropriate name) in the Venetian for an informal VMTN communities party to socialize with some of the many users that frequent the VMTN forums. I spoke with John Troyer about the 3.5 Upgrade 2 SNAFU with the time-bomb code. He mentioned that VMware was making big changes to ensure that it would not happen again, including not using time-bomb code in future Beta releases. I also talked with Eric (who works with John in the communities and is very involved with the VMworld.com website). I asked about the availability of the recorded sessions from VMworld, and Eric responded that they would hopefully be released to attendees a week or two after the show ends. He also said they were still looking to sell subscriptions to the recorded sessions to non-attendees that would grant access to both the VMworld USA and VMworld Europe sessions. He wasn’t sure what the plan was to release the sessions for free to the general public. They may repeat what they did last year by releasing them at the rate of a dozen or so a month.
Tomorrow promises to be a busy day, walking the Solutions Expo, judging products for the Best of VMworld awards. I’m judging the Security category and am looking forward to checking some of the great security products that have been nominated. Also the general session keynote from Paul Maritz is tomorrow morning, which should be interesting.