Well, before I begin I should explain that I shouldn’t have been the compare for this open QA-Panel comprising Adam Carter (HP/Lefthand), Eric Schot (DELL), Chad Sakac (EMC) and Vaughn Stewart (NetApp). The session was originally proposed this year by Tom Howarth. Sadly, for reasons beyond his control, Tom was unable to attend. At some short notice (aka the week before VMworld) I was approached by the event organized and asked if I would step into the breach.
It was some irony that I said yes. Because I think in the previous year (or was it the year before) that I proposed a very similar panel with practically the same cast of contenders. Back then I was writing the first SRM 1.0 book, and I had a email thread going between the guys about storage and SRM, which took a tangent into VDI as well. Sadly, that proposal didn’t get VMware’s backing – and I think its testament to Tom’s persistence and the new voting process introduced this year that it finally did happen. So it was quite bizarre to be chairing a panel I once proposed myself but got turned down – I wish hadn’t come about this way – as it was Tom’s gig after all. Anyway, here’s hoping that vendor politics and in fighting doesn’t stop a rematch in Copenhagen.
Well, with such a crew of erm, strong personalities – and relatively short period of time – it was down to me and Cody Bunch to figure out how to keep the show moving, and stop any particular contender hogging the limelight. We came up with the idea of running it like a boxing match (Super Heavyweights. Geddit?). With each contender getting 2mins to answer a question before the next contender got their “bout”. This worked quite well. With often the speakers taking less than 2mins – it helps focus the mind when you have time limit – with both Chad and Vaughn going down to the wire on their allotted time!
The only down side of the approach is that it tended to discourage back-chat. I’m think if we ever did this again. We do in it a more presidential head-to-head style where after 2mins, each contender would get 1min to rebut any previous statement…
Anyway, the whole thing kicked off with Europe’s “Final Countdown” (That was meant to be Eye of the Tiger sound man!)… me introducing the guys by the boxing name and their weight. Simon Seagrave took unoffical video footage, and my pals from TechTarget also recorded the audio! I tried to find myself a black and white striped referees shirt, and even the folks at FootLocker wouldn’t let me buy the shirt off their backs! We stopped short getting boxing gloves and satin robes for the contenders…
If you want to watch the video you can find it here
If you looking for just the audio you can find it here