Virtualization Pro

Sep 11 2008   3:50PM GMT

What to do at VMworld

Eric Siebert Eric Siebert Profile: Eric Siebert

VMworld is one week away and if you’re attending there will be no shortage of things to keep you busy while you’re there. With over 200 sessions, labs, breakout sessions, 200+ vendors, parties, thousands of users and much more to cram into four days, one can quickly be overwhelmed by all there is to see and do. When I first went through the online session builder I identified at least 50 sessions that interested me and I wanted to attend. When I tried to schedule them, however, I found that I could only go to about 15 of them due to scheduling conflicts and time constraints.

The sessions are only one part of the show and are geared towards teaching attendees about VMware features, technology, best practices, methodologies and more. However there is much more to VMworld then the sessions:

Networking with other users – With thousands of users attending the show it is a great opportunity to meet other users and discuss your experiences and also learn from other user’s experiences. In talking with other users you can find out how they overcame specific challenges and what strategies worked best for them. This is probably one of the most valuable parts of the show and is information that you typically won’t find in a book.

Talking to vendors – There will be 200+ vendors at VMworld showing off their products and services. If you are in the market for solutions for your environment this is a great opportunity to see all the products available. Typically you have to go out to each vendor’s website, download evaluations, call their sales team to schedule a demo, etc. At VMworld you have all the vendors under one roof for you to see their products live and get answers to any questions you have.

Talk to VMware engineers – There will be dozens of VMware engineers at the show that will be available to talk with the attendees. These are the guys that help develop the product and are subject matter experts in specific areas. Some will be giving some of the session presentations and most of them will be available in one of the seven networking lounges that will be setup for each track. If you have a specific technical question that you haven’t been able to find an answer on then these are the guys to ask.

When attending VMworld expect to get out of it what you put in to it. There is plenty of opportunity to take away a huge amount of knowledge if you take advantage of everything there is to offer there. So go there with an open mind, have fun and try and absorb all you can. If you don’t have time for all the sessions that you wanted to see don’t worry, they’ll all be posted (audio and slides) shortly after VMworld ends for attendees to review at their leisure. Also be sure and check out the VMworld community calendar for a list of the conference agenda, gathering and parties.

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