Quick thoughts on the SVVMUG Conference
I survived the Silicon Valley VMUG (VMware User Group) conference event on Wednesday. It was an interesting mix of educational and informative presentations, and vendor exposure and conversations. I have some thoughts to write on later… including a grand unifying theory of tech conferences (that will require a bit of graphic work)… but I thought I should put a note out there to thank the organizers for making an excellent event for the 500+ of us who registered, most of whom seem to have shown up (as I did).
I also thought I’d mention the VMUG Advantage membership option, which I only learned about the day before. You can get a free VMUG membership, and associate with your local VMUG if one exists, at http://www.vmug.com. This will likely qualify you for any local events like this week’s Silicon Valley conference, and give you access to the local VMUG community.
If you’re looking at using classroom training or certification testing from VMware, going to VMworld, or purchasing a license for Workstation 8 or Fusion 4, look into VMUG Advantage. For $200 a year (or less with a discount code), you get access to a wide range of eLearning courses, 20% off on classroom instruction, 20% off one certification exam a year, $100 off VMworld registration, and a 30% discount on one of the desktop virtualization products per year.
(I believe you can choose Workstation or Fusion, and not both, for this discount… however, if you’re on VMware’s marketing mailing list, you will probably see a 15-30% discount on Workstation every few month, and I’ve seen 20-40% discounts on Fusion in the same mailings.)
By the way, I attended this event as a free member of the local VMUG, and while I received free lunch and coffee/soda, these considerations did not impact my opinions of the sponsors.
Oh look, Storage Field Day
I’m also pleased to report that I’ve been invited to be a delegate to the first Storage Field Day later this month in Silicon Valley. Looking forward to seeing Robin Harris and The Other Scott Lowe again, and meeting more independent thinkers on storage for the first time. There will be a couple of familiar names on the other side of the blogger “dragon’s den” tables as well, including PureStorage and Coraid, and some folks I haven’t been all that formally introduced to, such as Nimbus Data and Tintri (the latter I actually met Wednesday at the VMUG).
Early in my career I did a fair bit of storage work, and much as going to work for Nortel pushed me into networking, going to work for 3PAR pushed me even further into storage technology. I’ve done a range of implementations since then, from what was more SPOD than JBOD (i.e. “steaming pile”, or at least overstacked pile), to conventional Engenio and EMC and 3PAR, so it will be particularly intriguing to come up to speed on what’s closer to the bleeding edge, or at least the warm and shiny edge… and have a feel for what’s coming in advance.
I expect that my “deep generalist” nature is a benefit that I bring to the Tech Field Day events. There are a lot of people there who are waders-deep in the specific topic, and I may learn as much from the other delegates as I do from the presenters and sponsors, but by being ankles deep in almost everything (except sales… whew…) I can offer a valuable perspective and maybe ask a question that wouldn’t be obvious to someone who lived the specific flavor of technology 24/7. Like why there’s a Rick Roll easter egg in the new vSphere Client.
So I’m looking forward to the Storage Field Day experience on April 26-27, and the “bonus” Solid State Storage Symposium on April 25. You can probably still get a ticket to SSSS if you’re gong to be near San Jose, California on April 25, and you should be able to see most of the presentations all three days via online streaming at techfieldday.com. You can also keep an eye on realtime conversations on Twitter on the hashtags #SFD1 and #techfieldday.
 As with all Tech Field Day events, the sponsors and presenters will be providing for my lodging, meals, and entertainment during the event. They may also provide gifts or promotional items. We definitely appreciate their support for these events. 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) . You’ll hear what each of us thinks, from our own perspectives, if we think it’s worth writing or talking about.