My First 330 Days

Image credit: Jay Cuthrell

My First 330 Days ( 2011 )

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“Our goal is to become an internal service provider” – VMworld visitor to the VCE booth

[there are few areas more visible than VMworld 2011 taking place in Las Vegas. More on that later…

Travel Updates

The travel these past 30 days was much less intense for me. I attribute this to the alignment changes within teams to help keep folks from heading West to go East. That is a very welcome change.

Working from RTP means being able to use WebEx and TelePresence vs. the wear and tear of travel. I’d specifically like to thank the other vArchitects (you know who you are!) that covered meetings local to their geo and helped keep folks like me from living out of hotels, rental cars, and airplanes. Truly. THANK YOU!

In fact, if you follow my Plancast you’ll note I only took two trips in this span of time which included VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas. Not too shabby considering my prior nomadic ways! Of course, this week I’ll be heading out on the road again for customer visits… always a good reason! :)

[VMworld 2011: Bigger Than Ever

Of course what most folks want to know about when I get back from a trip like VMworld is… VMworld. Frankly, this might be boring to you if you are expecting what session I enjoyed the most of what lab I found to be totally amazing. But read on….

Why? Well, I spent most of my time with customers that have Vblocks and companies that want Vblocks. :)

I did booth duty and the VCE booth for VMworld 2011 was nothing short of a powerhouse offering. Demos. Demos. Demos. Demos. The stories around FastPath and AlwaysOn were not only popular but timely. When the visitor to your booth describes your solution as what they want it doesn’t get any better than that.

[We’re going to need a bigger boat booth…

I also did customer advisory meetings in addition to one on one breakouts during VMworld. This gave me a chance to really listen closely to what is working, what could be better, and get feedback on where things are going. Being able to sit down and hear Vblock stories is always treat.

When I wasn’t in the quiet and calm of the customer meetings away from the show floor, the traffic on the VCE booth was, in a word, INSANE. I know that VMware as a whole was larger this year but still… amazing numbers.

I decided to look back at my blog post for VMworld 2010 and see how things were holding up there. What a great time that was. I’m looking forward to VMworld 2012 being in San Francisco again. Amazing location. You can actually go outside. ;-)

In terms of contrasts from VMworld 2010 to VMworld 2011 what you can see is that last year I was clearly experiencing VMworld vs. being the experience. It’s an interesting change in perspective to say the least. Both are rewarding and I’m fortunate to have seen it from both.

In the company of rock stars

Before VMworld started I was able to participate in and avoid serious bodily injury while raising money for a good cause playing v0dgeball. Good times indeed.

In between and after my customer meetings at VMworld I was fortunate enough to be included on some of the lighter fare and events with fellow bloggers and luminaries of the cloud and virtualization world – many of them are the prolific ones you’ve probably got loaded in your RSS reader. These are truly the giants.


One such event found me sitting in for a quick update from Brian Gracely, Nicholas Weaver, and Steve Kaplan on all things VMworld 2011 US for the Cisco Daily Blogger Techminute.

Brian immediately sets the tone in this one ;-) I can’t wait to see what Nick pulls out of his hat next. Also, Steve really hits it on the head when he says “elevate the discussions and be more strategic”. That’s something I think we could all do more of in this space.

Brian Gracely (Cisco, Cloud Evangelist) leads a discussion with Jay Cuthrell, Principal Lead vArchitect at VCE; Steve Kaplan, VP Virtualization Practice at INX; Nick Weaver, Sr.vSpecialist at EMC

Next up, I was invited to stand in (thanks @edsai and @jdooley_clt ! ) for a VMware Professional Brownbag with @cody_bunch, @DemitasseNZ, @gminks, and @storageio to discuss kittens and the Internets! We also managed to work in several airplane references. Heh!

BTW – the visualization company is Real-Status and HyperGlance Plug-in for vCenter was being discussed – if you remember XMol from back in the day of SGI workstations this will probably give you serious deja vu… cool stuff!

[Wait! You forgot the Vblock pr0n!

No, I didn’t ;-)

This time I got to see another of the road unit Vblock 300 FX in operation.

On a side note… but an important one… the VCE team of field engineers and marketing folks that stands the VCE booth, demos, and Vblock for shows is truly amazing. They really go above and beyond.

Having run trade show booths in the past I’m humbled by their attention to detail, their tenacity, and their constant iterative approach to improving the customer experience of visitors to the booth.