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August, 2016

AHEAD Colleagues at VMworld!


Yeah, this is a little last minute but I wanted to get it out there anyway. This year I decided not to attend VMworld. I’m busy getting settled in to my position at AHEAD and just felt like I could use a year away. But….we have some great people there leading sessions and bringing people together.

Here is a quick list of things to check out.


Ask the Experts: Practical Tips and Tricks to Help You Succeed in EUC

Date: Monday, August 29
Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Place: Breakers D, Level 2, Mandalay Bay Convention Center
Track: End-User Computing

Sean Massey (Technical Architect at AHEAD) will join Rob Beekmans (PQR B.V.), Earl Gay (RoundTower Technologies), and Jason Langer (GCSIT Solutions) for this EUC-focused panel discussion moderated by Matt Heldstab (Virtualization Architect at MnSCU).

Boost your End-User Computing knowledge by attending this power panel leveraging decades of experience. Eight experts will be on hand to give you their latest tips and tricks and to answer your questions about EUC deployments. Bring your notepads and your toughest questions! EUC Champions is an Expert Program designed with the help of several EUC experts in the community to provide a platform for the EUC expert community and VMware EUC product groups to exchange ideas and plans.

Jason’s Comment: There are some really great people on this panel. Sean Massey from AHEAD is fantastic. Earl Gay and I worked together at Varrow and are still good friends and he is always insightful. Plus Jason Langer is another good friend and a great addition to the panel. The other two guys I don’t know but if they are on with these three they can’t be too bad. If anyone can answer your questions about proper EUC deployments it’s them. These guys aren’t marketing or hype focused. They’ve done it. They work with people all the time to really get things done. So please ask them some tough questions.

Say Yes to vRA and vRO in a Real-World Hybrid Cloud

Date: Monday, August 29
Time: 5:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Place: South Pacific D, Level 1, Mandalay Bay Convention Center
Track: Software-Defined Data Center

Sub Track: Cloud Infrastructure

Nick Colyer (Practice Manager of Cloud Management and Automation at AHEAD) will be joining Adam Cavaliere (Principal System Engineer at Tintri) for a technical, customer-focused breakout session detailing a real-world application of automation and orchestration in the enterprise.

Automation? Easier said than done-but they’ll take you through it. This session takes a real-world approach to demonstrate how to design and implement automation catalogs step by step with vRealize Automation (vRA) and vRealize Ochestrator (vRO). Utilizing Tintri automation workflows, they’ll uncover the power of self-service when application owners are empowered to manage storage-related tasks such as snapshotting, cloning and replication. Plus, from a real customer example, learn how quality of service (QoS) and replication policies can be automated in a hybrid cloud environment to enable granular disaster recovery capabilities. DevOps and QA teams can benefit from the self-service portals to automate data synchronization and data governance.

Jason’s Comment: When I grow up I want to be Nick Colyer…and not just for the accent. Even if you aren’t a Tintri shop but are interested in automation and orchestration stop by. What you learn here will absolutely carry over.

Creating Automated Self-Service Data Protection with Rubrik and vRealize Automation

Date: Tuesday, August 30

Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Place: Islander H, Level 1, Mandalay Bay Convention Center

Track: Software-Defined Data Center

Sub Track: Cloud Management

Eric Shanks (Senior Solutions Architect at AHEAD) will be joining Chris Wahl (Technical Evangelist at Rubrik) for a technically advanced, enterprise-level breakout session detailing how to work with vRealize Automation and Orchestrator.

Many organizations have enjoyed the benefits from building a Software-Defined Data Center with VMware’s vRealize Automation solution. It offers an end-to-end cloud management stack for virtualized workloads that want to take advantage of on-premises and cloud infrastructure. Data protection, however, has long since lagged behind due to its legacy architecture and lack of a robust, RESTful API. In this session, join Eric Shanks, Senior Solutions Architect at AHEAD, and Chris Wahl, Technical Evangelist at Rubrik, as they dive deep into how you can expose policy-driven data protection through PowerShell, vRealize Orchestrator, and vRealize Automation. We’ll show you how to make REST calls through simple and powerful workflows and on-demand scripts. Experience a series of technical demos that showcase how to seamlessly integrate backups, change management, and incident management solutions with your lifecycle management processes.

Jason’s Comment: Shanks and Wahl. What else do you need? Both really great guys that do a wonderful job relating information in a session. I’ve known both of them for years before I came to AHEAD and this session will show you that yes, YES YOU CAN, actually automate and integrate backups.


This is a get together that we are putting together so people can discuss automation, orchestration, and devops.  Be warned this isn’t a hosted event so bring your wallet, but I think the time will be well worth it given the people that will attend.

Date: Wednesday, August 31

Time: 7:00 – 9:00 a.m.

Place: Hash House A Go Go (at the LINQ Hotel) 
3535 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

You can register here.

Join Us for #vBrownBag TechTalks

The vBrownBag talks are a great program and some of our guys have volunteered to put a few together. Sean is doing two!

Automating Horizon: A Quick Primer (with Sean Massey)

Date: Monday, August 29

Time: 12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Place: VMvillage

Learn how to simplify the management of your VDI environment by learning the different tools that are available for automating VMware Horizon.

#CloudLife: What It Means and How to Build It (with Nick Colyer, AHEAD & Amy Manley, University of Chicago Medicine)

Date: Monday, August 29

Time: 1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Place: VMvillage

You’ll learn the skillets needed for building a cloud in your organization. Using UCMC as an example, they’ll discuss the basics of using vRO workflows for automation

Jason’s Comment: Nick and Amy together for one discussion is a great team. Stop by and ask your real questions about how UCMC is utilizing vRO and automation and what they’ve found and learned. Great resources here.

Keeping It “In Context” (with Sean Massey, AHEAD)

Date: Tuesday, August 30

Time: 12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Place: VMvillage

Find out how to reduce the number of desktop pools and group policy objects you need by using the context-aware settings of VMware’s User Environment Manager software.

Container This (with Tim Carr, AHEAD)

Date: Wednesday, August 31

Time: 3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Place: VMvillage

Tim Carr will discuss the fundamentals of using containers.

Jason’s Comment: Very descriptive, Tim. And I have Google Fiber (for now) and you don’t.

Come to the Opening Acts Panel Sessions

Opening Acts are panel-based discussions that happen prior to VMworld that give VMUG community members the ability to meet and greet with one another and warm up their brains before the days of learning to come. This is a joint production put on by VMunderground and vBrownBag. Best of all, attendance is totally free, but you’ll need to pick up your tickets ahead of time here.

Date: Sunday, August 28
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Place: Liberty Loft (at the New York, New York Hotel and Casino)

Careers (11:00 a.m.)

Sean Massey (AHEAD) will join Tom Hollingsworth, John Arrasjid, Mike Letschin, Jeramiah Dooley, and Gina Minks (moderator) in a panel discussion focused on careers in technology.

Where do I take my career from here? How do I prepare for the next step? What, exactly, do I want to do? In this panel, they’ll discuss these topics as well as how to act professionally on social media even when you’re in competition with other folks in technology, tips on how to cope with imposter syndrome, and how to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

Jason’s Comment: Another great group of people. Interested in where to go next in your career? Want to stay out of trouble on social media? Or at least…serious trouble? Stop by they can help.

New Age/Next Generation IT (12:00 p.m.)

Tim Carr (Senior Solutions Architect at AHEAD) will join David Klee, Guru Chahal, Josh Coen, Matt Brender, and Jody Tyrus (moderator) in a panel discussion focused on new age technologies.

Technology is changing. “Virtualize all the things!” was the refrain from past years, but emerging technologies and solutions such as containers and their orchestration, network virtualization, and cloud-native applications are quickly altering how we approach IT. In this panel, they’ll discuss these topics and explore ideas on what’s next.

Jason’s Comment: Again, another group of people. I’ve known most of them for a long time. This should be an interesting discussion from people that really get where we are going. Should be very informative.

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