Posts Tagged ‘emc’

Free Training on EMC Hybrid Cloud with VMware Fundamentals! #EMCElect

October 23rd, 2014

So I noticed this recently, OMG FREE TRAINING! You know how much I love sharing free stuff with ya’ll so I figure, why not do it with this as well!

EMC Hybrid Cloud with VMware Fundamentals

This training (which may not be the only one… I’ll try to get a consolidated list and share that in another post) but this training is free, available, and BOOM! Right there at your disposal.  I did notice some things though, which I’ll share here with my experience of acquiring it.

Where do I get it?

Firstly, you can gain access to it easily by visiting this blog post; New! EMC Hybrid Cloud with VMware Fundamentals e-Learning 

That webpage provides you with pretty much all the details on the training, and even where to click to “Register now

Why can’t I Register for it?!

I’m not saying this will DEFINITELY affect you but let’s just say, I tried to do it from Chrome on this PC and it kept kicking back various errors, I’ve seen errors of this sort before and having worked at EMC in the past and dealt with Saba I figured… “Let’s try this with Internet Explorer” and I’ll tell you. That worked.  Immediately even! I went through and setup a brand new account, nothing special required, and then POOF! I registered and was SET!

EMC Hybrid Cloud with VMware Fundamentals

BOOM!

Get out there and edumacate yourselves! <3

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Posted in Education, emc, Free, Technology, Virtualization, vmware | Comments (7)

The OMG ridiculous single point of awesome for attending VMworld 2014 San Francisco!!!

July 10th, 2014

VMworld 2014 - Break Through, No Limits, other random marketing taglines!

Hey there, I’m sure you found this because you’re looking for an awesome guide to make your first or millionth VMworld an awesome experience.  Well you’ve come to the right place, and if that doesn’t work out for you look at the bottom and find the tips/tricks and more from past years to help you prepare!  Only the most essential information will be repeated, everything else I definitely encourage you to refer to past posts which cover the details!

45 DAYS UNTIL VMWORLD!!!

That’s right, we are only 45 days away, which for some of you is eons away, and others of you is essentially around the corner. So let’s start with some of the most basics when it comes to attending VMworld…

Attending for free?!?!

Every now and then some individuals or organizations get together and offer a Free Pass to VMworld! I’m not tracking too many of those at this time, but I am tracking one…

The awesome rockstars at Infinio makers of a NFS accelerator like no other are offering a Free Attendee Pass to VMworld, including passes to the VMUnderground Party! Awesome, right? Registration for this ends 21st JUL 2014 so be sure to get signed up stat!

Win a Free Pass to VMworld 2014 from Infinio!

Register now and you’ll be entered to win:

  • One full-conference pass to VMworld 2014 in San Francisco
    (the conference pass includes access to the VMworld party and Hall Crawl events)
  • Access to the VMunderground party
  • Cool Infinio swag
  • Other great stuff!

Cool stuff right?! As other free pass / free ride options appear I’ll be sure to update this post to reflect them!

Our good friends at Simplivity are having a giveaway too! VMworld pass and Travel Stipend, awesome right?!

Sign up to win a Free Pass to VMworld with Simplivity!

Contest details:

  • Limited to one entry per person.
  • One winner is randomly selected each week (7/18/14 and 7/25/14).
  • Each prize is valued at $3995.
  • Each prize consists of one (1) VMworld 2014 pass (to either US or Barcelona) and one (1) travel stipend of $2000
  • Limited to United States and Canada (excluding Québec)

See here for the full Contest Rules and be sure to register here!

FINALLY! vDestination.com’s Free Trip to VMworld by Greg Stuart / @vDestination ! ! !

Check out details here, and the contest runs until August 1st SO ACT NOW!!!!

 http://vdestination.com/2014/07/28/go-to-vmworld-2014-for-free/

 

Registration and Discounts

If you are paying full price to attend VMworld … Well, there are ways you may NOT have to pay the highest fee(s) available!

VMworld Pricing!

Be sure to take advantage of things like VMUG Advantage, VCP and Alumni discount, and if your Vendor has a special discount code (Like EMC, NetApp, Dell, etc) definitely find out and roll with it!   Whatever it takes to get you there, paid for, and enjoying the show!

Also you can use your PSO Credits to purchase your registration for the event so that’s positive for you PSO Organizations on there! If you’re attending the TAM Day (If you are a VMware TAM Services customer) check out the “Registering for TAM Day” link for more information on how to handle that during registration!

And if you happen to be stuck in the position of, “My employer won’t send me because they don’t value education” you may want to check this helpful guide to help CONVINCE your employer. :)

Packing for the big event!

Must Have Items to Pack and Consider:

  • Comfortable Shoes:   I cannot stress this enough (I feel like I’ve said it before, and I have, and I’ll say it again, Oh and again.) BRING COMFORTABLE SHOES!.  Whether you’re sticking ENTIRELY to the show floor or you walk outside anywhere (a lot of the events are OFF-Site at times) you’ll find yourself walking.   Not only walking streets, but hills and environments the likes of which Cable Cars were designed for! So bring your comfortable shoes; You can thank me later!
  • Bring Business Cards: I know who you are, I met you, you’re the guy who has a QR code! You’re all SCAN MY QR CODE TO GUARANTEE WE’LL NEVER TALK EVVVEEEEEEEERRRRRR!!!! It’s true, it’s serious. People don’t exchange QR codes and remember each other.  You don’t enter that random contest to win an iPad or a Nexus 7 by giving them your QR code in a bowl.   You exchange Business Cards. Deal with it. Oh and PACK SOME BUSINESS CARDS!
  • Laptop:   If you don’t need your laptop because you’re not going to be working while at the show, leave it at home.   If you bring your laptop because you need to work (like me) and you want to accomplish anything of relevance, LEAVE IT IN YOUR ROOM.  The last thing you need to do is worry about where your laptop is, especially because once you bring it, you will NEVER take it out of it’s case when you hit the show floor, less than 3% of people do. (Exceptions: Blogger, Analyst and other folks who specifically are demoing and using the laptop at set intervals) Save yourself grief though and leave it in the Hotel room, or leave it at home.
  • Clothing:    If you’re a suit guy, bring suits.  If you’re a T-shirt and Jeans guy, bring that.   This is a conference like any conference so you’ll likely end up with random T-Shirts, random this and that’s.  (Oh if you’re job hunting here… Dress above your station, Seriously, no SERIOUSLY DO IT. ;))    Pack appropriately don’t over-pack, per se, but be sure to pack adequately.   If you can survive with Carry-On only (My Preferred way to live) you will WIN!   If you find yourself needing to buy things once you hit the ground it’s not a major problem, but consider San Francisco’s Sales Tax is 9.5%….
  • Cell Phone:   I added this at the last minute.   If you find your ATT Phone doesn’t work to save your life for Data. I heartily welcome to you San Francisco.   … Mobile will be a challenge in every case, if it’s improved you are a lucky beast! If it doesn’t work, just operate on that expectation!

Getting there

Getting to VMworld will likely involve you taking an airplane unless you live in the Nor-Cal area, and even then you’ll want to stay locally; Believe me – The details covered under Transportation speak to it rather well the reasoning, justification and even a little ROI/TCO on why staying within 3 miles of Moscone is so important.    For those of you who still have yet to book your transportation and as the day quickly comes upon us I advise you to check out ITASoftware’s Matrix as a means to find the ‘cheapest’ air fare and go from there.  It’s a great tool which will help you search and see what the cheapest is; and it does update as tickets disappear and only more expensive fares are left.   I’ve also interestingly been using Orbitz to book flights in the recent past on my returns home from Afghanistan, it is interesting but helps split the difference of some airline costs!  Oh, and if you can carpool from the Airport, doooo it!

Staying there

If you read my blog post in March of this year encouraging you to BOOK YOUR HOTELS NOW, then you should be taken care of! But for those of you who didn’t book your hotel at that time (I didn’t… but I wanted you to get ahead of it! ;)) Here are some alternatives which can help take the sting out of the $400 a night hotels which are currently available (Alright, seriously, Yea, the cheap-ass hotels are coming in at >$400 due to the fact that San Francisco is a hotel wasteland.)   VMworld’s own website goes on to claim that Hotels are priced between $219 to $389 a day but that is both delusional and really only applies if you booked your hotel at the dawn of time. :)  There are ‘discounts to be had’ but also be wary of WHERE the hotels are in relation to the convention center because that burden of a commute can drain you pretty quickly.   If you’re new to the game, you should check out Airbnb which is basically a service where people rent out their apartments, houses, rooms in their homes, etc.   There are a lot of options, as an example I booked 7 days at a really nice studio all to myself for ~$1300; Which to say the least is not bad considering $400 a night hotels are ridiculous.   So if the opportunity presents itself, find a nice place to stay with a reasonable price – that’s a far better alternative to staying at the Marriott SFO at over an hours travel away!

Eating there

The events of VMworld should be feeding you at most every opportunity, whether breakfast, lunch, or some partner sponsored dinner-type event.   This isn’t like the days gone past where food was high quality and flowing at every opportunity.   So keep your wits about you and take the opportunities for food as they come along.   There are a lot of food opportunities all about which you can also take advantage of, which won’t require you to break the bank.

Getting to the Convention Center and Events daily

This differs a little bit from the “Getting there” above, as this is focused on how you will actually be getting around.   If you’re within a mile of the convention center it is fair to say you will be WALKING. There is a theoretical (but unpublished) bus schedule which will commute from some hotels to the convention center, but by the time you wait for a bus to arrive and deliver you to Moscone in the very walkable city of San Francisco, you could have walked there.   If you find yourself considerably farther out taking some form of public transportation isn’t the worst, though from a ROI perspective taking a Taxi and just GETTING there is probably the best use of your time and money.  Then when it comes to attending the events which will occur either on-site or off-site use your better judgement. Walk in groups (will go into more details on that later) especially it’s a good way to meet and greet with others you may not know (yet). If you use twitter (Of course you use twitter!) start chatting and getting to know OTHER attendees you’ve never met in person so you can walk with them!   If you do find yourself staying a little farther outside the norm take this analysis into consideration.

  • Taking BART:   A lot of you say “Yea, I’m gonna take BART and I’ll be all good”   Don’t get me wrong. BART is a great idea.  If you have time to burn, I highly encourage it.    Whoa, Whoa, hold on a minute, are you openly bashing public transportation?   Yea, kind of, but not exactly.    Allow me to explain :)
    • If you are within 1 Mile of Moscone staying at the JW Marriott, Renaissance, Marriott Marquis, Serrano, Inter-Continental and so forth?  WALK. ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER.    Yea, You should be walking, it’s not a difficult task.   If you have a lot of stuff to carry, or there’s a bunch of you staying a mile away and you’re lazy (What?! Lazy people in IT? WHERE?!) Then hop in a cab, it’s semi-efficient.   But otherwise, WALK.    But wait, what about hotels farther away?!
    • If you like a lot of very sad folks are staying at the SFO Marriott (~15 miles away) Get a car and car-pool, it’ll be cheaper.    Consider the following calculation.    Taking BART from the SFO Marriott only costs $5 One-Way! However it entails a 60 minute one-way trip, including walking 1.5 Miles all-in.    If I’m in San Francisco on my own dime and I have time to burn this is a great idea.   However, I like you are here for a fixed amount of time, and the burden taking public transportation losing a minimum of 2hrs a day in transport with walking 3 miles a day guaranteed is no way to spend your extremely valuable time.
  • Renting a Car:  WTF? WHO RENTS A CAR IN SAN FRANCISCO!??! No one.  Unless you’re staying at the SFO Marriott, and I suggest ONE of you rents for every 4-5 people you have in a group or party. (Or find some friends! :))  FYI, the time/distance by car is ~30 minutes.   Which means you lose an hour of your day traveling, but at least it is on YOUR terms.   There is no “Last car of the day” and Parking in/around Moscone seems fairly reasonable
  • Taking a Taxi (~1-2M):   If you’re within ~1-2 miles of Moscone, sure, take a taxi if it’s fitting… Sometimes we all have deadlines we need to support, I respect and understand that!
  • Taking a Taxi (~15M):    If you’re staying at the SFO Marriott for example and you take a Taxi, That is a $45 one way trip.  If you have that kind of money to burn, I have a bridge to sell you (and potentially some licensing… HAH!) But seriously, That CAN work out if you load that car up with 4-5 of you and group together, but do not do it solo.

The Top 5 MUSTs for VMworld 2014

  1. Bring and WEAR Comfortable Shoes
    1. To quote a good friend who once was working a tech conference show floor when a marketing head came over to him and said, “I’m sorry, you need to change your shoes”, this to a highly technical mind who is going to be standing on the show floor talking to customers for >10hrs a day.  His cordial response was, “I’m here to help revolutionize our customers datacenters, I’m not here to fracking sell shoes”.  Alright, maybe I slightly censored things a bit… But you get the point; and if not, I’ll hit it home!   Hey, you’re a customer, a partner, someone who is spending their hard earned money to BE there and learn about awesome and excellent technologies and network and meet with other people.  This isn’t Milan or the Club (in the club, club, club…) Be comfortable, be yourself and well, be comfortable… You’re going to be doing a lot of walking and standing, and it’s going to hurt!
  2. Carry only what you need in your wallet and on your person
    1. Remember that time your wallet got stolen in San Francisco and it ruined your whole week? Yea, it didn’t happen and it won’t.  The same can be said for your Android, iPad, Laptop, Bag, or some other ridiculous thing.   Hey, I get it… You’re going to be taking notes while you’re there, so you need your laptop… Wait, sorry I can’t say that with a straight face…, I mean… ;)  Just be responsible and reasonable.  There are a lot of good people here at the conference (I’ve found the owners of a number of Blackberries, iPhones, missing Laptops, you name it) but on the same token I’ve also met a lot of sad people who turned their head for a second and were without their precious (my precious…)  Please don’t let that be you.
  3. Contact your vendor / Sales / SE and let them know you’ll BE at VMworld!
    1. Did you know that your SEs not only want to meet, greet and see you at VMworld… they also want and need justification to get sent there themselves?  Imagine how grateful they’d be to you for giving their management justification to send THEM!  I’m sure their expense wallets will open like a waterfall for just kind of awesomeness! Oh, and of course they’ll want to talk to you about their tech or whatever.   But seriously, Vendors throw parties and it’s nice for them to know when their customers will be there so they can invite you, or get you in front of their Execs and Leadership for your feedback and all that jazz.   It’s a great opportunity to forge those partnerships even stronger, so take advantage of it!
  4. Bring Business Cards
    1. I say this every year and I’ll continue to say it.  Smaller vendors will have contests which ask for business cards, oh and people like to exchange business cards! Every now and then someone will say BUT I HAS A QR CODE. Yea, no one wants your stupid QR code.   There, I said it. Your QR code is stupid. Get a damn business card and exchange your information, I mean what’s the alternative? #5?
  5. Get an account on Twitter (now) and start following the who, what, where of goings on leading up to and AT VMworld!
    1. Yea. Get yourself a twitter account, it’s not difficult, and there’s a client for every mobile device.   Interesting fact, the live-tweet coverage of the Keynotes quite frankly usually blows away the ACTUAL Keynote. :)   We also use Twitter as a means of keeping everyone abreast of what is going on at the Conference, Where the Parties are, who is attending various parties, and after parties as well!   If you’re not on Twitter, the only one missing out is you.   Some hashtags to follow before/during VMworld are
      1. #VMworld – Various event notes and VERY Spammy during the show, but good data
      2. #vExpert – The vExpert Community is a strong one and they tend to be in the know!
      3. #CXIDinner – I do nightly dinners, get togethers, networking, all that jazz at various locations AFTER all the parties are over
      4. #CXIParty – … I still haven’t decided if I’ll throw a party again, but if I do… you’ll be able to get details about it here!

Don’t be an idiot!

This gets its own section because this DOES come up at every conference. It’s sad that it does, but it sadly DOES. So to quote from last year.

  • Seriously. Don’t be a misogynist or an otherwise stupid idiot, in public or private
    • I know it’s a conference, and you are outside of your element, but that doesn’t grant you the right to be a douche bag, a drunken idiot, or a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen.   @drjmetz summed it up pretty nicely in his Technical Conferences and (In)Appropriate Behavior  So, please don’t be that guy (or girl)

Security and Safety

  • Only carry what you need
      • This is a general ‘pick-pocket’ city rule. If you have a wallet with ‘x’ number of credit cards, pick the ones you need MOST and leave the rest somewhere safe [At home, or in the hotel/safe] To re-enforce that, let me give you an example of things you NEED and things you DONT need
        • NEED: Credit Card, Cash, ID [Passport, State ID or License, not ALL three with you though] Insurance Card, BUSINESS CARDS
        • DON’T NEED: Library Card, Membership card to some arbitrarily local thing which doesn’t apply here, blah blah blah
      • Now I want you to seriously think about it. If you lost your wallet how many of these items would it HURT to lose and how many would be ANNOYING to lose. Losing ID sucks as does losing credit cards and cash, but losing the wallet normally makes that happen. The other misc don’t need items is just insult to injury in annoyance. Ride thin and keep only what you need on you.
  • Write your name in something you own
      • Once upon a time [a few years ago] I got a phone call from the Las Vegas airport asking if I had lost my Notebook there. Having not been to Vegas in some time, I did not. They had found a notebook which had MY business card in it! I knew there was an internal VMware meeting going on that week and I knew who I had given my card to, so I took down the information and tracked down who the notebook belonged to. If his name was WRITTEN in the notebook or similarly on whatever item it was, they could have contacted him directly. The point is… take ownership of what belongs to you and you have a vested interest in :)
  • Travel in a group or at least don’t travel alone
      • Taking a step further beyond pick-pocketing, there are other matters to be concerned about.   Sure you should be fine if you are out at 8PM after an event, or even 10PM but the later it gets, the crazier it gets (e.g. Homeless Man Gets Sleeping Bag Stolen During SF SoMa Plunger Attack)   I sincerely care for all of you attending, whether I know you or not and want you to be prepared.   I’ve followed the ‘crazy’ that occurs on the streets in/around Moscone and SF downtown for years; do your best not to travel alone or put yourself into otherwise potentially compromising situations, it’s not worth the headache and heartache.   Though what you do get is stories like….
      • Last time VMworld was in San Francisco, It was around 11PM as I was walking back from having dinner with @Beaker and there in the Yerba Buena Gardens fountain was a man sloshing around knee deep in the water picking up change.    For those of you who follow my Photo Journeys of the world on Instagram and shared on Tumblr note I never took this photo.   Because let’s just say… Some crazy is best left observed and not documented with photos; the end result is me being alive to tell you this very story!
      • Be careful, any time of day or night.   But don’t be afraid to enjoy the beautiful city! 

    Some final notes, comments

  • For a number of years now EMC has been hosting an annual Dodgeball Charity Tournament #v0dgeball, raising all proceeds for the Wounded Warrior project.  Some of you may realize I’ve spent the past two years running the Infrastructure for the War Effort in Afghanistan and I’ve personally seen the impact that the Pre and Post results of this foundation is.   So if you’re looking for some fun with some technical champions who are also taking a stand for something that matters to them be sure to attend this event!

  • Book Signing!

  • Ever wanted to have the technical book(s) you love signed by their authors? Well guess what, most if not all of them will likely be attending, and may even be at pre-scheduled book signings (That may depend upon the publisher/etc so stay tuned for details on that!)  Having partaken in these in the past there are even opportunities for the publisher to give copies of the book away for free! (Including to have the books signed there) so take advantage of these opportunities on the show floor, we authors love it as well! <3

  • This is the ultimate in networking events where a lot of us don’t get the opportunity to see each other, perhaps but once a year depending.   Take that opportunity to meet those people you’ve talked with but never met, or meet those people you’ve always wanted to meet. It will be a whirlwind experience of non-stop action for the entire week the show is active but this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences for some people so it’s best to make this experience one to remember.   If you find yourself waking up in the morning, attending a keynote, going to a session or two, eating in the chow hall by yourself and going to your hotel following the final session of the day; You’re doing it wrong.  Especially if that is the case re-read this post and read the past articles below to make sure this experience is one which will change your life for the better.

  • Oh and don’t forget to check out  the VMworld 2014 Gatherings, Tweetups, Parties and Activities page for various event details!

    Past articles with Tips and Tricks for attending VMworld!

     

    I hope you have a safe and joyous VMworld, Let me know if this helps, if you want to post any additional comments, tips, suggestions, Car-pooling, all that.

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    Posted in Education, Evangelist, Infinio, Twitter, vExpert, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld | Comments (2)

    The Ultimate Guide to attending #VMworld 2013 – AND ON A BUDGET!

    June 4th, 2013

    Alright, let me get it out of the way – This isn’t the first time I’ve written about VMworld and how to prepare for it, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last!  Feel free to check out the Appendix section at the bottom of this post and you’ll see all of the previous postings on the subject.  And I do encourage you to read those entries as this will take bits and pieces from them but they still stand on their own as an excellent source whether this is your first VMworld or your 10th.      And with that said…

    Happy 10th VMworld Anniversary!

    This is the 10th Anniversary for VMworld and with that, I want to make sure you’re getting the BEST and MOST out of this experience, so I’ll break things down into a few key areas.   Areas such as Packing, Transportation, Networking, Security and Safety are covered in DEPTH in last years Definitive Guide.

    This year I’ll be covering a few other areas which are often overlooked and some may perceive as CONTROVERSIAL! Ooh… Imagine that! ;)

    BUDGET! BUDGET! BUDGET!!!

    Have you ever been to San Francisco? It’s like New York, with out all the… oh hell, it’s fricking San Francisco, a city with like 4 hotels and 25,000 people attending a conference the same weekend as the America’s Cup, which is a kind way of saying “If it wasn’t already ridiculously expensive, it just got even MORE SO”   So, hopefully some of the following tips will help you save a little money and make this trip affordable or even, possible.

    Getting there

    Getting to VMworld will likely involve you taking an airplane unless you live in the Nor-Cal area, and even then you’ll want to stay locally; Believe me – The details covered under Transportation speak to it rather well the reasoning, justification and even a little ROI/TCO on why staying within 3 miles of Moscone is so important.    For those of you who still have yet to book your transportation and as the day quickly comes upon us I advise you to check out ITASoftware’s Matrix as a means to find the ‘cheapest’ air fare and go from there.  It’s a great tool which will help you search and see what the cheapest is; and it does update as tickets disappear and only more expensive fares are left.   Oh, and if you can carpool from the Airport, doooo it!

    Staying there

    If you read my blog post in January of this year encouraging you to BOOK YOUR HOTELS NOW, then you should be taken care of! But for those of you who didn’t book your hotel at that time (I didn’t… but I wanted you to get ahead of it! ;)) Here are some alternatives which can help take the sting out of the $400 a night hotels which are currently available (Alright, seriously, Yea, the cheap-ass hotels are coming in at >$400 due to the America’s Cup, VMworld and the fact that San Francisco is a hotel wasteland.)   If you’re new to the game, you should check out Airbnb which is basically a service where people rent out their apartments, houses, rooms in their homes, etc.   There are a lot of options, as an example I booked 7 days at a really nice studio all to myself for $1001; Which to say the least is not bad considering $400 a night hotels are ridiculous.   So if the opportunity presents itself, find a nice place to stay with a reasonable price – that’s a far better alternative to staying at the Marriott SFO at over an hours travel away!

    Eating there

    The events of VMworld should be feeding you at most every opportunity, whether breakfast, lunch, or some partner sponsored dinner-type event.   This isn’t like the days gone past where food was high quality and flowing at every opportunity.   So keep your wits about you and take the opportunities for food as they come along.   There are a lot of food opportunities all about which you can also take advantage of, which won’t require you to break the bank.

    Attending there

    Okay, maybe you haven’t gotten your ticket yet – If it’s still before June 10th, you can get the $1695 Early Bird Discount! Either way, be sure to take advantage of things like VMUG Advantage, VCP and Alumni discount, and if your Vendor has a special discount code (Like EMC, NetApp, Dell, etc) definitely find out and roll with it!   Whatever it takes to get you there, paid for, and enjoying the show!

    Bringing your Spouse?!

    I almost forgot to add this, since I’m sure you can tell this CLEARLY wasn’t written in a serial fashion with me jumping around and editing!

    Crystal Lowe, supporter of the Virtualization Community, Past sponsor of #CXIParty and all around awesome person runs this thing called Spousetivities which provides activities for spouses attending the conference to get together, network, do non-conference things, things to do so you’re not holed up in a hotel the whole time!   This is her 5th year of offering these kinds of activities, and this year is bound to be as epic as every year!  Definitely check it out!

    The Top 5 MUSTs for VMworld 2013

    1. Bring and WEAR Comfortable Shoes
      1. To quote a good friend who once was working a tech conference show floor when a marketing head came over to him and said, “I’m sorry, you need to change your shoes”, this to a highly technical mind who is going to be standing on the show floor talking to customers for >10hrs a day.  His cordial response was, “I’m here to help revolutionize our customers datacenters, I’m not here to fracking sell shoes”.  Alright, maybe I slightly censored things a bit… But you get the point; and if not, I’ll hit it home!   Hey, you’re a customer, a partner, someone who is spending their hard earned money to BE there and learn about awesome and excellent technologies and network and meet with other people.  This isn’t Milan or the Club (in the club, club, club…) Be comfortable, be yourself and well, be comfortable… You’re going to be doing a lot of walking and standing, and it’s going to hurt!
    2. Carry only what you need in your wallet and on your person
      1. Remember that time your wallet got stolen in San Francisco and it ruined your whole week? Yea, it didn’t happen and it won’t.  The same can be said for your Android, iPad, Laptop, Bag, or some other ridiculous thing.   Hey, I get it… You’re going to be taking notes while you’re there, so you need your laptop… Wait, sorry I can’t say that with a straight face…, I mean… ;)  Just be responsible and reasonable.  There are a lot of good people here at the conference (I’ve found the owners of a number of Blackberries, iPhones, missing Laptops, you name it) but on the same token I’ve also met a lot of sad people who turned their head for a second and were without their precious (my precious…)  Please don’t let that be you.
    3. Contact your vendor / Sales / SE and let them know you’ll BE at VMworld!
      1. Did you know that your SEs not only want to meet, greet and see you at VMworld… they also want and need justification to get sent there themselves?  Imagine how grateful they’d be to you for giving their management justification to send THEM!  I’m sure their expense wallets will open like a waterfall for just kind of awesomeness! Oh, and of course they’ll want to talk to you about their tech or whatever.   But seriously, Vendors throw parties and it’s nice for them to know when their customers will be there so they can invite you, or get you in front of their Execs and Leadership for your feedback and all that jazz.   It’s a great opportunity to forge those partnerships even stronger, so take advantage of it!
    4. Bring Business Cards
      1. I say this every year and I’ll continue to say it.  Smaller vendors will have contests which ask for business cards, oh and people like to exchange business cards! Every now and then someone will say BUT I HAS A QR CODE. Yea, no one wants your stupid QR code.   There, I said it. Your QR code is stupid. Get a damn business card and exchange your information, I mean what’s the alternative? #5?
    5. Get an account on Twitter (now) and start following the who, what, where of goings on leading up to and AT VMworld!
      1. Yea. Get yourself a twitter account, it’s not difficult, and there’s a client for every mobile device.   Interesting fact, the live-tweet coverage of the Keynotes quite frankly usually blows away the ACTUAL Keynote. :)   We also use Twitter as a means of keeping everyone abreast of what is going on at the Conference, Where the Parties are, who is attending various parties, and after parties as well!   If you’re not on Twitter, the only one missing out is you.   Some hashtags to follow before/during VMworld are
        1. #VMworld – Various event notes and VERY Spammy during the show, but good data
        2. #vExpert – The vExpert Community is a strong one and they tend to be in the know!
        3. #CXIDinner – I do nightly dinners, get togethers, networking, all that jazz at various locations AFTER all the parties are over
        4. #CXIParty – … I still haven’t decided if I’ll throw a party again, but if I do… you’ll be able to get details about it here!

    Things NOT to do at VMworld 2013

    Here comes some focus which I’ll catch a lot of flak for, but I think it’s important to be honest with you and unveil the secrets of decades of conferences.

    • Do not do any VMware Labs, or at best do a minimum amount of labs
      • WTF MAN? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? BUT IN LABS LABS LABS!!!  FROM 2012 YOU SAID TO DO LABS!?!?!!!
      • Yea, I said it. Don’t do labs. Thanks to Project Nee the VMware Hands On Labs are virtualized and in “Teh Clouds”, so don’t waste your time standing in line, or trying out a lab.   I mean sure if you want to see something after having just attended a session which you want to see live and in person, go spend the time to get to know it, But the days of spending your whole week in the lab are so totally over.   There are so many better areas to focus your attention.   Disclaimer; If a VENDOR has a set of ‘labs’ in their booth, AND you can win prizes like iPads or some crap, by all means go check out THEIR Labs.   Now I know the Lab Proctors will get all hate on me for telling you not to lab, but I can’t lie to you and tell you to avoid the cloud and project nee and more!   Your time is FAR too valuable for that.
    • Do not eat lunch onsite at #VMworld and at the Moscone Center
      • Okay now, you’re really starting to seriously piss me off! IT’S FREE FOOD, AND IT’S RIGHT THERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE EVENT!
      • Alright, a little disclaimer on that. It’s okay if you EAT there so long as you’re eating with people you don’t know or at least engaging in conversations which are advancing your purpose for being at the show.   It’s cute and all to eat with your friends and talk about the latest Lolcats or the trite marketecture session you attended with no real technical merit… But taking a step away, meeting up with a group of people you don’t know and eating and exploring the wonder that is San Francisco.  Well, it’s worth it.   I’ll be honest, this won’t be my first nor last VMworld, and I’m currently in the warzone in Afghanistan with some of the quite possibly worst food in the world.  And even with all that, I still would rather not eat the VMworld ‘lunch’ food. ;)
    • Do not spend a lot of time with your co-workers / colleagues
      • Awesome, now this is something I can get behind! Wait… Why not?!
      • Your colleagues are great, I’m sure they’re the best folks in the world, now it’s time to pawn them off on someone else and get to know someone else and network.  Get outside of your comfort zone, otherwise this won’t be a conference, it’ll be a fricking bake sale.  Yea, I totally get that the analogy doesn’t work, which is even further reason to ditch your workmates!   Get out there, meet someone new, head to lunch with them! SEE WHAT i DID THERE?! ;)  But seriously, if you’re shy, or afraid or whatever, Find me, and I’ll introduce you to some new friends, it’s what I do.   Any other of my fellow friends will do the same.   So get out there, and network.
    • If at all possible, do NOT pay for anything
      • Sweet! That’s another one I can get behind! So what does it mean?!?!
      • There are a lot of vendors here. Know your vendors you do a lot of business with, they have expense accounts.  I’ve been the vendor a number of times, they’ll buy you drinks, they’ll buy you dinner, they’ll do even crazier than that.   But let me stress.  Don’t be a dick about it. You know that douche bag who is all WELL MY VENDOR MUST TAKE CARE OF ME. Yea, You, Guy, No. Get away. But the rest of you, know that pretty much all food/drinks during all reasonable hours should be taken care of by someone else.   When it comes to chilling with some new found friends to not expect one of them to pick up the tab, if they do that is just so much more awesome.
    • Seriously. Don’t be a misogynist or an otherwise stupid idiot, in public or private
      • I know it’s a conference, and you are outside of your element, but that doesn’t grant you the right to be a douche bag, a drunken idiot, or a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen.   @drjmetz summed it up pretty nicely in his Technical Conferences and (In)Appropriate Behavior  So, please don’t be that guy (or girl)
    • And last but not least… Don’t be afraid to do something you normally wouldn’t do.  Whether it’s talking to that famous celebrity (virtual celeb?!), check out that vendor you’ve always had your eye on, attend a session which isn’t EXACTLY in your role to see what it’s like outside of that, or even to put on a cat ears – This is pretty much no holds barred! Enjoy yourself, but do it responsibly, this is San Francisco after all…

    Summary

    I know what you’re thinking, “Wow, this is one of the shortest VMworld Guides I’ve read yet!” Damn skippy it is! I don’t see a whole lot of sense in copying/pasting what the previous posts in the appendix below cover.  I said it there and it still applies, so definitely check it out.   This conference is all about you and it is all FOR you, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.   VMware, it’s Technology, the Community, this whole Industry wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you, the Admins, the Practitioners, the Customer, all of you; the Partners and Vendors know this even if they sometimes may not let on that they do.   Get what you want and need out of this conference, and respectively… get value out of this which will benefit you and your organization.    If you disagree with any of the points made, let me know! I love your comments and you only make this content stronger and better.    Walk away from this experience better for it, and bettering the encounters you have with everyone else you meet.  No one will argue that merit as a matter of point!

    Enjoy the show and I’ll see you there for my first time back in the US after over 200 days in Afghanistan! Follow my continued updates on Twitter @cxi leading up to, and during the show!  And don’t hesitate to come up and say hi! :)

    Appendix

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    Posted in Education, emc, Free, NetApp, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld | Comments (0)

    Taking a Tech Sabbatical – Oh what the future may hold in my Career Transition

    September 21st, 2012

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    Hey Guys! Friends, fellows, colleagues and peers, hearty analysts, random readers, dear twitter and facebook friends.. All of you!

     

    A crazy year of shifts, changes and updates!

    This has been a raucous year of adventures, updates, new technology, new transitions and directions in the industry; so many different ways in which things have gone and so many different paths in which things possibly could go.    We’ve seen shifts and changes in the way we manage our Clouds, build our clouds, LICENSE our clouds.   The terminology we use to define our Infrastructure and the underlying component has taken a new rhetoric towards Software Defined Data Centers.   You name it, there has been *much* going on, much indeed.

    My emphasis this past year

    My Emphasis for the last 12 months has been solely focused on the business of Virtualization, on the increased automation and driving high levels of consistency, availability, deliverability and sell-ability of Clouds, Infrastructures as a Service, IT as a Service, and general purpose Transformation; and let me tell you that was an AMAZING and extremely successful journey.    What has occurred in this time was the creation from the ground up of an entire suite of services around Cloud, IaaS and ITaaS Delivery working with an absolutely *amazing* team.   The creation of a whitepaper on the principles behind IaaS Best Practices which hits at the core the very message which we’ve all been struggling with for a decade.    The building, bridging together, and leading of my personal team of over 250 Virtualization Professionals around the world, not just peers and colleagues within the business here at EMC, but the building of a community who can lean on each other, work with each other, and most importantly grow each other.    And particular emphasis to my own senior manager and leadership team comprised of Ed Lynam, Bob Martin, Steve Nassif and Michael Gong;  These rockstars in particular helped to keep my message and vision on target with the business at large, allowing me to continue to apply that vision so resonant throughout the industry; I wouldn’t change them for the world!    Three particular rockstars I have had the pleasure to work with closely and grow individually with; Damian Karlson, Brian Ragazzi and Brian Graf – Total rockstars in their own right and if you don’t know them, you should take the time to GET to know them, you won’t be sorry!

    Looking back 20 years

    Let’s consider the previous 20 years for a moment.    In the beginning where I spent 6 years of my time as a kernel hacker, security researcher, and consultant I looked ahead of me, around the industry and what interested me most and took on what became the first of many adventures.    Leaving behind Linux and security in its infancy I went into the wicked realm of Year 2000 Preparation, and Microsoft Application centricity, but it was also about this time in 1996 that I started playing with and getting into VMware Virtualization.    When I wasn’t advising startups in my spare time, I did what I did best which was act as a visionary… Look ahead 10, 20 years and figure out what the trends were, what the capabilities and skills which were going to be needed and leveraged soo sooo far in advance.    I began focusing my attention and efforts in developing in those areas, growing those businesses, and growing those communities.    It was only 6 years ago I switched from full-VAR play to join the world of Vendor life, and more particularly Storage Vendor life where I took on my Hybrid and adventurous role over at NetApp.    The years I spent there were amazing and wonderful, only to be further enchanted by the launch into the next stage of my adventures with my time spent at EMC.     And then changing from my Pre-Sales, Enterprise and business focused role from 2009-2011; to my role as a Global Leader, running a successful and adventurous business with some *amazing* and smart people in in the industry with emphasis on two areas I care very much for and about; Cloud and Virtualization.    

    Returning to my role as a Visionary

    However, the time has come to take a step back from this role, from this opportunity, and to take a step back from the entire industry as a whole. For several years now I’ve been looking ahead, in what I do best as a visionary to ensure that people are making the right investments in their futures, that the right areas of focus are getting the attention they need so when the next wave comes along (whether pushed by me, or pulled by me), that wave WILL hit and its success will hinge upon our ability as an industry and as a community to adopt and support it. But my vision has been clouded (no pun intended :)). Clouded by various fits and starts in the industry, changes in direction, in trends. We’ve had multiple changes in a very short period of time, but also really no sheer leaps of innovation, of direction of the future, primarily speculation by analysts and short-term visionaries.

    It is for that very reason I am entirely taking a step back.    Stepping out of and away from the business a moment, taking a step away from everything and looking at everything as a whole.   I need to get my visionary game back, so I can look ahead the 5, 10, 20 years and beyond and start to direct my focus and attention on what WILL be that next major change.    I heavily focus on the Macro and the Micro respectively and I’m taking several months off and away from pure-play business to clear my head and see what the future unveils.   Albeit, this won’t impact industry obligations I’ve already planned for, Presentations, Books, Live meetings, and so forth.   It is you the customers, the community, the industry which helps unveil that future through conversation and discussion, thus I’m not going to hole myself up to predict the future based upon my own crazy assumptions!

    Building a Phoenix on the ashes of industry; new directions

    So as I take this step back I am no longer bound by the constraints of a particular business, industry or emphasis area.   My subject matter expertise which many of you have grown quite familiar with are all on the table as I look ahead and look forward to where I want to invest my time, passion and employment.    Something you may not know about me is that I passionately *love* work.   Some people get stressed out by work, whereas I get stressed out by NOT working.    Some of you who have caught wind of my Sabbatical are already lining up interviews with your respective businesses and organizations and I respect and appreciate that.    Looking ahead past these next few months as I finalize my industry analysis I want to ensure that the next door is already open and waiting on what and where I’ll be investing my pure-play passion which you’re all QUITE familiar with.    I’ve always been one for very well defined and clear roadmaps, objectives and plans.     After spending years as an Individual Contributor, Researcher, Analyst, Consultant, Principal Architect, Engineer, Pre-Sales Sales Engineer, Advisor, Manager and and Global Leader of a prospering business my next direction is ready to be pursued.

    At this point in my career, growth and capabilities my future calls for me in a Senior Director or Vice President role within an organization whom will embrace the sheer impact I make and bring to a business.   I love and adore EMC and will be looking in tandem for an opportunity which will be fitting within our fine organization to stake my next claim of Global impact influencing the industry as a whole.    Thus this open declaration is free-game for all businesses, all industries, all focus areas and more.    My skills, leadership and evangelist thrive will shift, shake and cause that next ripple which will turn into a raucous wave to set this industry off in directions many cannot even begin to perceive yet.    But where I dedicate and focus that time and attention; Well, only time will tell.    …. And yes, those of you who have been waiting for me to be free, to jump all over me and recruit me; Yes I’ll take your calls. :)

    This industry is ready for an upset the likes of which we haven’t seen in a decade

    So you big tech incubators out there or you smaller startups who have that next generation game changer; I’ll be looking at you.   Not only for my future and how we’re going to change this industry and hard; but also how we’re going to create that next generation major impact of tidal proportions.   A lot of people like to look at technology in terms of environmental factors, comparing the next big thing to come as a ‘wave’, well, here’s what I’ll tell you.

    The next technology to make an impact will be another moon causing a tidal disruption

    Welcome to the big time boys and girls.    Welcome to the big time.   The question is; which side of that tide do you want me on? :)

    Those interested in being a part of the consideration process don’t hesitate to hit me up via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Phone, Txt, oh and Email! ;)

    Look forward to an update on where I call home post sabbatical at the kick off to the New Year – 2013.

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    When did Christopher get a new job as EMC Global Cloud and Virtualization Lead?!

    November 23rd, 2011

    You ever been there in a job interview where they might ask (the often contrived) “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”  While I have honestly answered “Celebrating the 5 year anniversary of you asking me this question – Mitch Hedberg” , that doesn’t mean I do not have a ‘serious’ plan; something often overlooked by many who feel stuck and caught in the roles they pursue unable to see beyond the day let alone 5 years or beyond.

    It is with no further adieu however, that I inform you I am currently *3* years into my 5 year plan, and I am ON TARGET and ON PATH!

    Disclaimer: While I am indeed 3 years into my 5 year plan, I am –4- months into my new role, yea this post was LONG waited ;)

    Introducing my new role: Global Cloud & Virtualization Lead, EMC Consulting

    Disclaimer: I just call it Global Virtualization Lead because Cloud is waaaaay over used! :)

    I know some of you might be saying the following:

    • Err, I thought you were already doing that.
    • DONT YOU WORK FOR CHAD?
    • I THOUGHT YOU WERE A vSPECIALIST
    • CAN YOU HELP ME WITH MY COMPUTER IT DOESN’T BOOT WHEN i BARK AT IT.

    Yea, or something to that effect. I get that; but the fact of the matter is, I have recently changed roles (August 1st to be exact) and I’ve been busy planning things like #CXIParty and working in the role to actually write this blog post.   I didn’t want you to feel left out and I wanted to share with you some details of what this means for me, you, a ninja named gerald; all of that!

    EMC has a Consulting Org?!?

    Yea,  can you believe it?  More than just a consulting org but one with a fairly extensive portfolio helping drive major transformation in businesses big and small around the world.    Wow that almost sounds like a pitch, but no. It’s not, but THIS IS! (giggle, no I’m just kidding ;))

    I am very fortunate to join this organization and to lead a team of some *extremely* sharp architects, engineers, consultants; VERY Smart people who get technology, business and strategy; All the sauce which makes really cool things possible!    Allow me to help break it down for you a little bit, because… I feel like I’m constantly re-figuring some things out at times so I continue to move in those directions of Yay… :)

    For the most part, EMC Consulting is broken up into a few key groupings.   

    • Application Infrastructure (Things like App Migrations from Notes->Exchange/Sharepoint, AD Consolidation, AppV/VDI
    • A2D2 (App/Dev on .Net, Portal Development on Sharepoint, vFabric, Java/J2EE, Windows Azure, App Testing, etc
    • CVDC (Cloud & Virtual Data Center is broken up in to several discrete components)
      • Consolidation (Datacenter Transformation, Strategy, Migration, Re-Architecture, Decommissioning)
      • Cloud and Virtualization [Hey, that’s me! :)] (Virtual Infrastructure Rapid Transformation, P2V Factories, Operational Readiness, Strategy, etc)
      • IT Service Management [ITSM] (IT Service Catalogs, Financial Modeling, ITaaS Transformation)
      • Network (Network Design and Consolidation)

    There are also other groups which I’m not including here (This is not intended to be a COMPREHENSIVE COMMERCIAL for EMC Consulting) but instead focused more so on my team and what *I* do. Yea, I’m vain like that.

    Interestingly though across my team within the CVDC we have a series of solutions and offerings which provide significant overlap.  Which means we work together on a *lot* of things, and let me tell you.   These are some total ROCKSTARS to work with.   Both within the Leadership and to the highest and lowest ranks of the organization.   Which if you know anything about me, rockstardom = yay!

    That being the case we’re working on a lot of cross-competency overlap items which are huge today and will also be even further transformational come 2012 (For those of you who are not so familiar with what they may be! :))  A popular item which we’ve spent a fair amount of time working is this little tool called Vblock, maybe you’ve heard of it.   But more than simply being a chunk of hardware, we take it to the Nth degree in scary cool proportions.    Think ‘massive chunk of metal which theoretically can transform your organization’ and add to it the whole depth and breadth of refined methodologies driven by experts in industry to Functionalize, Operationalize, Portalize and Deliver with a clear and conducive Go To Market strategy! (Though not Goat to Market!)

    This my dear friends is merely the TIP of the Iceberg, but it has been a ROCKSTAR Journey so far and that journey is going to continue WELL into 2012.

    Where has this role taken you so far?

    I know a number of you follow my Foursquare history among any other number of Services out there where you see WHAT I’m doing and WHERE I am.     Here is a basic sampling of some of the places I’ve been since I took on this new role.  I’ll also try to do this Chronologically. :)   This is also just part of the journey.   This will continue.  Oh and FYI.  With proper justification and good reason…  I could always visit you (if you’re a customer ;)) If there’s a User Group or something you’d like me to attend as well, so long as I can get a meeting in the area I could probably attend! :)

    • Hartford, Connecticut
    • Las Vegas (VMworld! :))
    • Detroit, Michigan
    • Memphis, Tennessee
    • Los Angeles, California
    • Franklin, Massachusetts
    • Bangalore, India (With Stopovers in Frankfurt, Germany; and Dubai – but only in the airport)
    • Singapore (With a return stop over for an hour in Japan)
    • Boston, Massachusetts
    • New York City, New York

    Where will the future take me? I already know I’ll be going to the following

    • Seattle (Well, Redmond) Washington
    • Vancouver, Canada
    • Kansas City (I’m not sure Kansas or Missouri ;))
    • And who knows where else for the rest of the year.

    So as you can probably tell … Yea, you’ll see a whole series on “Optimal Traveling tools” and further tips and tricks beyond my recent “Accelerate Intl Travel and Airport tips to avoid getting fondled by the TSA!” post I put out! :)

    What to expect from you in this new role

    I know that some of you are still waiting for my Career Blog Post, 2012 Predictions, Details on your Book coming out Dec 6th, EMC Consulting Exposed, and any other number of blog posts which you can clearly know and expect.  Yea, that’ll be coming.  As will also my break out to my trip to India where I introduce you to my India Team! And my local North America – where I introduce you to them too! :)

    And now, so I don’t have an excuse to PUT publishing this off any more. I’m going to run with it.  You can find out the rest later, Cats off to ya! :)

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    Posted in Careers, Christopher Kusek, Cloud, Ebooks, emc, Virtualization, vmware | Comments (1)

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