I’m late on getting this posted…I was hoping to do it a couple of weeks ago but I wanted to confirm everything before sounding the alarm. On March 17th at the Grandover Resort near Greensboro we are hosting a large event called Varrow Madness. This coincides with both St. Patrick’s Day and the start of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, which should be important to you if you live in North Carolina. The gist of it is that we’re going to have a really great technical event with a basketball theme and good beer (in the afternoon). What’s not to like?
So if you’re in Charlotte, Raleigh, Columbia SC, or somewhere that isn’t Greensboro why should you attend? Easy. We’re getting to have some really great speakers, breakout sessions, and labs. Let’s look at the agenda:
8:15 – 9:00 – Registration. Get there, get signed in.
9:15 – 9:25 – Welcome to Varrow Madness (so don’t worry if you’re a few minutes late to registration)
9:25 – 10:05 – Morning keynote by EMC’s Chad Sakac. I don’t have the abstract for Chad’s keynote yet, but to be honest I’m not sure it matters. Chad is a fantastic speaker, very enthusiastic, and will, I’m sure, hit on EMC’s new offerings but will also be very interesting for non-EMC customers as well.
1010 – 10:50 – First breakout sessions. Selections include EMC, Cisco, and the two desktop labs (more below).
11:00 – 11:40 – Second set of breakout sessions. Selections include VMware, SolarWinds, EMC, and the two desktop labs. Some really good sessions here. We should have the abstracts posted for them real soon. I’m hoping to get Chad on a panel to answer questions but we’ll see. SolarWinds should have a great session. If you aren’t familiar with what they have done in the storage, virtualization, virtual networking, and server space check them out. They aren’t just Orion network monitoring anymore. Really good stuff.
11:45 – 12:45 – Lunch and booth time. Eat and talk. The NCAA games also start and no one will be talking to you while you eat so relax, enjoy the games, and check out some of the booths.
12:55 – 1:40 – The after lunch keynote. This will be a mix of people including the two Varrow founders, Dan Weiss and Jeremiah Cook, as well as me. We have a special guest for this keynote as well so it’s going to be a good mix. If any of you have seen Nick Weaver’s really cool Kinect-controller vSphere environment he’ll be doing a live demo for us. Practical? Probably not. Very cool? Absolutely! If you haven’t seen the video check it out here. Nick is also the man behind the new “Uber editions” of the EMC Celerra VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance) and he also did a great “next generation networking” session at VMworld. If you want to really get in to vSphere networking grab Nick and me and we can cover about anything. We should do a panel too…hmmmm….
1:50 – 2:50 – Third set of breakout sessions. Selections include Cisco Cloud Discussion by Brian Gracely (should be GREAT..no pressure Brian), Citrix & AppSense, Backup & Recovery session, and the two desktop labs.
3:10 – 3:55 – Afternoon keynote by Cisco’s Clint Greenwood. Clint is a technologist at Cisco focused on data center architecture and cloud computing.
3:55 – 4:30 – Booth time, check the scores on the games, see how your brack is doing, socialize, relax…
4:35 – 500 – Throughout the day you’ll have the chance to get your “bracket” card filled out by visiting the sponsors and booths. At the end of the day we’ll be giving away tickets to the NCAA tournament. Varrow and sponsors will also be giving out other prizes. You must be present at this time to win!
5:00 – 6:30 – St. Patty’s Day Happy Hour! Beer! This is sponsored by Winthrop Resources, a great group of people we work with to provide financial backing and leasing to customers.
The purpose of this event is to be a good technically focused source of information and knowledge. We’re pushing our sponsors hard to not make these break out sessions and keynotes be just marketing fluff. I don’t want attendees to feel like they were “sold to” all day. That is NOT the purpose of this event. We want this to be an educational event where you learn, have the chance to ask questions, and see what is out there and what others are doing.
Along those lines we have a lot of labs running throughout the day. I mentioned the two desktop labs that run concurrent with the break out sessions. We’ll be providing both Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View labs. So if you are thinking about VDI it’s a great place to see one or both and have a chance to compare. We will also be hosting a number of EMC hands-on labs including things like VPLEX, Unisphere, VAAI, Unified Infrastructure Manager (UIM), and the awesome EMC storage plug-ins for vSphere. The EMC labs will be “walk up” type labs to a number of kiosk systems. Very nice.
We have a number of sponsors participating including:
- Isilon (now EMC)
- VCE (formerly Acadia)
- Winthrop ResourcesVaronis
I hope everyone can make it to this. Oh yeah, this isn’t a customer-only event. If you’re not a Varrow customer please come out and enjoy the event. We won’t harass you, I promise! But you will get the chance to meet pretty much everyone at Varrow. This is one way in which we’re trying to give back to the technical community. We hope you enjoy it!
You can register for the event here.