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Jasonnash
09
May, 2014

VMworld 2014 Voting: Varrow Sessions

Well, it’s that time of year again.  Voting for the VMworld 2014 sessions is now open.  Unfortunately VMware still doesn’t tell us what impact the voting has on the final session list for the conference but it’s still part of the process.  This year Varrow is a part of 7 sessions that were submitted.

Last year was my 4th straight year presenting at VMworld and I said many times that I was done for now and would be taking a break.  Please try to forget I said that as you see my name on several sessions listed below.  Without a doubt I blame others for convincing me to do them….mainly Chris Wahl.  Chris is a Senior Solutions Architect at a good VAR that’s a great friend of Varrow up in Chicago, called AHEAD.  Chris and I have known each other for a few years and have been in a number of training and briefings together lately.  You’ll see that we have submitted several joint sessions.

We also have a couple of new people submitting sessions this year and I absolutely love that.  If you like what they have to say please show them support.

Here are the sessions.  You can vote here and we’d greatly appreciate your support.  You can vote here.  Once logged in you can display the filter options and easily find these by searching for varrow in the keyword.

Title:  2745 – vSphere Distributed Switch: Technical Deep Dive

Presenters:

  • Jason Nash, CTO at Varrow
  • Chris Wahl, Senior Solutions Architect at AHEAD

Abstract:

VMware’s latest 5.5 version of the vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) provides unparalleled networking features, control mechanisms, and new ways to construct a LAN topology. In this year’s version of one of the highest rated VMworld sessions, you’ll get front row seats to a live lab deep dive on the VDS in a variety of real world use cases. Learn how to migrate your existing standard vSwitch environment to the VDS. Gain new knowledge on extended features such as Network IO Control (NIOC), Network Resource Pools, Link Aggregation with LACP, Port Mirroring, Load Based Teaming (LBT), Quality of Service (QoS) marking, Access Control Lists (ACL). Discover a variety of recommendations for design and troubleshooting connectivity and performance issues.

Thoughts:  This session has been very popular over the last couple of years.  Recently Chris Wahl co-write and released a book titled Networking for VMware Administrators.  We thought it would be fun to co-present this session and what I’d like is for a variant of this session to continue.

Title:  2746 – Flash and the Software Defined Data Center: What? Where? And How?

Presenters:

  • Jason Nash, CTO at Varrow
  • Chris Wahl, Senior Solutions Architect at AHEAD

Abstract:

Flash is quickly disrupting the storage landscape but where and how should you implement it? Should you add it to an existing storage array? Go with an all-flash, hybrid, or node-based storage system? Put local flash in servers for caching? Or some combination of the three? The answer greatly depends on what workloads you’re trying to accelerate and how.

This session will guide you through accelerating application performance through the usage of flash in the best methods. Attention will be given to leveraging current infrastructure investments as well as new offerings and getting the most for your money. Best practices, design considerations, and impacts to other areas of the data center will be discussed in detail.

Thoughts:  In the virtualization or storage industry you are constantly hearing about flash.  All flash arrays…  Flash cache…  Server-side acceleration…  It can be confusing and that’s without even going in to the other things you need to consider when deploying it like data services and replication impact.  Chris and I thought it would make sense to have a session that went over the options, when to use each one, and what you need to think about when deploying them.

Title:  2747 – VMware NSX: Software Defined Networking in the Real World

Presenters:

  • Jason Nash, CTO at Varrow
  • Chris Wahl, Senior Solutions Architect at AHEAD

Abstract:

Software Defined Networking (SDN) offers a great deal of flexibility and agility for many organizations but often network and virtualization administrators are unclear on how it is actually implemented and leveraged. This session will take attendees through the real world use cases for SDN and what they need to know before VMware NSX is implemented in their environment. The different functions of VMware NSX will be shown. Attendees will gain a firm understanding of how to utilize the components such as distributed firewall, distributed routing, load balancers, edge services, and 3rd party security integration. Also covered in detail are the technical requirements and steps to implement the SDN framework in to the physical networking and virtualization environment along with best practices and deployment recommendations.

Thoughts:  Regular readers of my blog may know that I was invited to join a program that takes your through NSX training and eventually an advanced certification (discussed here).  Chris Wahl is also in the program and we thought it would be a good idea to do a session on NSX and the real world.  Go beyond the marketing and PowerPoints to really talk about how you design, deploy, and manage an NSX environment from people that don’t buy in to the hype.

Title:  2769 – VMware Cloud Automation Service Delivery Using Cisco UCS Director

Presenters:

  • Kevin Tuffner, Storage Architect at Varrow
  • AJ Kuftic, Senior Enterprise Engineer at Varrow

Abstract:

Responding to IT service delivery challenges is on the mind of every technical engineer and manager. Companies are asking their IT departments to deliver applications and IT services faster and more efficiently. If IT departments cannot respond to these organizational demands, businesses are looking outside the organization to deliver IT services faster. This session will provide in-depth presentation and live demonstration of vSphere automation with Cisco UCS Director (UCSD). UCSD provides unified management and automation for converged infrastructures through a single panel of glass. This allows both the physical and virtual side of the datacenter to be automated. UCSD allows IT departments to deliver IT services faster, control costs, and improve IT operational efficiency.

Thoughts: Kevin and AJ are two REALLY great UCS and VMware engineers at Varrow and have joined up to discuss delivering vSphere-based automation on top of Cisco UCS Director.  This is a popular topic with Varrow and Varrow customers and these guys will do a great job.

Title:  1174 – Ask the Expert VCDXs

Presenters:

  • Jason Nash, CTO at Varrow
  • Matt Cowger, Global Architect at EMC
  • Chris Wahl, Senior Technical Architect at AHEAD
  • Josh Coen, Systems Design Engineer at L-3 Stratis
  • Rick Scherer, Principal SE at EMC

Abstract:

Back for its 7th year at VMworld, Ask the Experts is back with an awesome panel of VMware Certified Design Experts. In this session there are no PowerPoints, no sales pitches, and no rules! Experts in the industry are here to answer YOUR questions while having some fun in the process. Bring your topic, anything from Software-Defined Data Center, to End-User Computing to 3rd Platform Applications… Storage, Networking, Security. No question is off limits.

Thoughts:  This is always a popular session at VMworld and really fun.  The group continues to be strong and we’re not afraid of the hard questions..so ask.

Title:  1192 – Ask the Experts : Design Advice for Small and Midsize Business

Presenters:

  • Brian Atkinson, Senior Enterprise Engineer at Varrow
  • Harley Stagner, Senior Technical Marketing Architect at VMware
  • Sean Crookston, Competitive Marketing Engineer at VMware
  • Jason Gaudreau, Senior Technical Account Manager at VMware
  • Mike Laverick, Senior Elvis Impersonator at VMware

Abstract:

Join several industry experts to talk about the considerations that come into play for small and midsize organizations. IT administrators at small and midsize businesses wear many hats, which requires a breadth and depth of knowledge of not just the technology, but the business as well. In this interactive design workshop, we’ll go through some of the most common challenges we see customers facing when moving towards the next generation of virtualization. Considerations will be made including management, backups, storage, & networking.

Thoughts:  Our own Brian Atkinson joins a really solid lineup for this panel.  My opinion is that a lot of panels and sessions at VMworld are targeted at the big guys and we need more content for the small and mid-sized customers.  This should be a great opportunity for people to ask questions and get real world answers that don’t just apply to the Fortune 100 with a big budget.

Title:  1736 – Designing Next Generation Software-Defined Data Centers: A Panel with VMware Certified Design Experts

Presenters:

  • Jason Nash, CTO at Varrow
  • Matt Cowger, Global Architect at EMC
  • Josh Odgers, Sr. Solutions and Performance Engineer at Nutanix
  • Jonathan Kohler, Senior Data Center Engineer at OneNeck IT Solutions
  • Scott Lowe, Engineering Architect at EMC

Abstract:

Successfully designing a next generation Software-Defined Data Center demands attention to details not present in “traditional” Data Center Virtualization. VMware Certified Design Experts Scott Lowe, Jason Nash, Matt Cowger, Josh Odgers, and Jonathan Kohler will lead a panel discussion on the design and architecture required to successfully implement and operate a Next Generation SDDC. The panel will answer your questions on topics such as storage, networking, security, compute, consumption, orchestration, automation, and much more.

Thoughts:  Yes, another panel but I really like panels.  They are dynamic, people can ask what they really want to know…and I don’t have to prepare a slide deck.  This is a new session for this year and, again, includes a solid lineup of participants.  This panel is focused a bit more on design and architecture of SDDC environments.  Tough questions I’m sure…

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