Virtualization Pro

Aug 12 2009   2:41PM GMT

Scheduling VMworld sessions

Eric Siebert Eric Siebert Profile: Eric Siebert

VMware’s VMworld session schedule builder went live last week so you can now start picking your sessions and planning your schedule for VMworld. This can be quite a challenge as the schedule builder will not allow schedule conflicts so consequently putting together your agenda each day is like putting together a puzzle with way too many pieces.

Three days is not a lot of time; out of the 200+ sessions you will be lucky to squeeze in five each day. Therefore you must carefully choose your sessions so you attend the ones that will be most beneficial to you.

When putting together my schedule I often had to make agonizing choices as I had a great many of conflicts and had to choose only one from the multiple sessions that I wanted to see at a particular time slot. Very few of the sessions repeat which makes this even more challenging and means I will have to wait until the sessions are recorded and published online to see the ones I missed at the event.

This year, VMware no longer has an access list that requirs users to check in at the door to each session, which resulted in long lines and wait times to get into the sessions last year. You should still register for sessions using the session builder as this information is critical to properly sizing the rooms or increasing the size of them if too many people register for a session. The schedule builder is a nice way to plan out each conference day and you can add your own personal meetings to it as well.

In addition to scheduling sessions you can also schedule the instructor led labs, however you are limited to two because seating is limited. The labs tend to fill up quickly but there is a waiting list that you can sign-up for in case people don’t show up for their reserved time slot. There are also self-paced labs that you can attend just by showing up, but you may have to wait in line for others to finish.

With so many great sessions to choose from I thought I would share some of the ones that I was most interested in and reasons why I think you should attend them.

  • BC2961 VMware Fault Tolerance Architecture and Performance - Fault Tolerance is a new vSphere feature and if you plan on using it you should make sure you know how to implement it properly.
  • TA1523 The Path to vSphere Unleashed – If you plan on upgrading from VI3 to VI4 this session will help you plan your upgrade to make sure you do it correctly.
  • TA1541 Cool little things marketing did not tell you about vSphere 4.0 – vSphere has lots of new major features but there are many smaller features that were not publicized that will be of great benefit to VMware administrators.
  • TA2231 Securing Virtual Environments - Before and After VMsafe – Not much has been publicized on the VMsafe APIs so this session should help shed some light on how VMsafe works and how vendors are using it.
  • TA2384 Deploying Cisco Nexus 1000V in a VMware vSphere Environment – The Cisco Nexus 1000V is not your standard vSwitch and if you are going to use it you should know the differences and how to properly configure it.
  • TA2400 Hypervisor Competitive Differences: What the Vendors Aren’t Telling You – Even if you’re a VMware customer its good to know the competitors. This session by Chris Wolf from the Burton Group provides an independent viewpoint on the differences between the available hypervisors.
  • TA2467 Best Practices to Increase Availability and Throughput for the Future of VMware – The very knowledgeable Chad Sakac from EMC covers best practices for designing storage for use with vSphere including iSCSI, FC, NFS and FCoE.
  • TA2544 A Comprehensive Look at the Security and Compliance of vSphere 4 – This session covers new security features in vSphere as well as the new vShield Zone product and how to secure your environment to meet compliance requirements.
  • TA2627 Understanding “Host” and “Guest” Memory Usage and Other Memory Management Concepts - Memory in VMware can be confusing and is often not understood properly. This session by Kit Colbert well help you understand all the unique memory concepts that virtualization uses.
  • TA3438 Top 10 Performance Features of VMware vSphere 4 - This session by VMware’s Chief Performance Architect covers the many performance improvements that were made in vSphere.
  • TA3461 Tech Preview: IO DRS – Providing Performance Isolation to VMs in Shared Storage Environments - This session will preview a new upcoming feature that will enable DRS to also take into account storage I/O when balancing VMs across hosts and storage devices.
  • TA4242 Securing the Virtual Data Center in enterprises and clouds – The fact that Christofer Hoff is presenting should be enough to get you to attend this session as he is always entertaining.
  • TA4341 Virtual Network Performance – This session provides a deep dive into understanding network performance in virtual environments.
  • VM4380 Tech Preview: vCenter Server – This session will provide a preview of some of the future technologies that are being developed for vCenter Server.

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