Greetings from the Silicon Valley representative/delegate to Virtualization Field Day 2 by Gestalt IT. In about 9 hours we’ll be on a bus/limo to the first presentations of #VFD2 (watch our updates throughout the rest of the week on Twitter!).
Let’s Get It Started In Here
We had our opening ceremonies/hometown gift exchange/thorough discussion of kangaroo scrotums (hope there wasn’t an embargo on those) and great dinner at Zeytoun across the road from our home base at the Doubletree. I won’t write much about the meal (although I will probably Yelp it later). It was fun getting to know and chat with the other eleven delegates and our fearless leader Matt Simmons (@standaloneSA). We’re missing Steve Foskett, but he had family priorities that meant it was right for him to miss his first of 14 TFD events.
I have to admit it’s weird being the only one from Silicon Valley here. It’s easy to live in the Valley and feel like technology only exists here, or only thrives here. But we’ve got folks who make their living and livelihood at virtualization from across the country, across the pond, and somewhere that has a famous opera house on the other side of the world. So it can give a sense of proportion, although I am happy to have Fry’s, Central Computer, Action Surplus, Weird Stuff, and Halted within a couple miles of home, and most of the big names in technology nearby as well.
Welcome To The Hotel (in) California
I’m back in my room, and I think many of the delegates took the opportunity to get wound down for bed in their respective rooms across the hotel (we’re not the only geeks in the house — Ethernet Summit is winding down tomorrow it seems — but we’re not wearing name tags). I have to make some comments on the hotel experience, having spent some time in hotels in Las Vegas, Seattle, and Los Angeles in the last six months.
The in-room coffee is, in fact, the best I’ve found yet. W Seattle and Hard Rock Hotel did not have in-room coffee, and LAX Marriott has weird disposable-brew-basket coffee that, while it tastes good, is really enough for one cup but they only give you one unless you ask. Doubletree is putting out a two-bay Wolfgang Puck branded pod-based coffeemaker that uses Senseo-style pods (Puck’s line is provided though, individually wrapped). There are two cups, two sleeves, two lids, and enough coffee and treatments for 2-4 cups. It’s probably not as good as I would have made with my Clever Dripper and some fresh-ground coffee, as I went for on my LA trip last weekend, but it’s pretty good, convenient, and drinkable even after Starbucks closes.
Also, the service is excellent so far. I called their “careline” to get help with the wifi, figuring out how to get my free service provided as part of the reservation. It was explained promptly and courteously, and I even had time to add my Hilton number to the reservation before I got overly annoyed with the phone itself. 🙂 The people are great, greet you by name, and provide all the information you need (and a warm chocolate cookie at check-in too).
I have to say the room and the experience almost rise to the level of a Disney deluxe resort at WDW. Cell/wifi is better here than at Wilderness Lodge, but it’s much closer in experience quality than any of the other hotels I’ve been in over the last few months. (When I last stayed at Wilderness Lodge, I was not a cast member, so I didn’t get special rates or treatment… my last visit to WDW was as a cast member but at a moderate resort.)
I’ve already discovered a thing or two I’ve forgotten, and while I could drive home to pick up a few things, it wouldn’t be in the spirit of the event, so I’ll just rush to the lobby store in the morning… and be grateful I had a spare mini/micro USB adapter still packed from the weekend to charge my phone up.
Tomorrow we’re off to see Symantec in the morning (did they really say we’re leaving the hotel at 7:30am? AIEEE), and then Zerto and Xangati will come see us in the afternoon. I’ve worked with Symantec in the enterprise antivirus/endpoint protection arena as a customer before, and have long used their Norton end user security products at home. Never got around to deploying their backup solutions (one of my two certifications ever was Legato Networker about a decade ago).
Zerto is new to me, other than an amusing Twitter exchange last week… I met Xangati at Tech Field Day 5 over a year ago now as a fly-on-the-wall sort of guest, and am looking forward to seeing where they’ve come with their offerings.
As you’ll see me mention a few times this week… the presenters/sponsors for VFD2 are providing for my lodging, meals, and entertainment over the next 48 hours, and may also provide gifts or promotional items. We definitely appreciate their support for this event. However, as Tech Field Day delegates, we’re not beholden to the presenters as far as content and perspective (or even reporting/blogging at all) by virtue of their generous support of the event. If something is interesting, noteworthy, yawnworthy, or downright unfathomable, you’ll hear it from me because it’s what I think, not because the provider of said something supported the event. If it’s just bleh, you may not hear about it at all, but hopefully that won’t happen. Same goes for the other delegates as well; we’re here as independent thought leaders, not cheerleaders (I’ll be the first to say I shouldn’t be wearing a skirt anyway).
More tomorrow… watch Twitter for live treatment of the presentations, and check back on rsts11 for more detailed coverage as time permits and interest warrants.