Like Aaron Delp I’m going to try and keep a running account of the show and it’s goings on, however I’m not as dedicated as he is, and these will tend to come out the morning after, instead of the night of. Let’s just say I’m not sure my typing skills are up to the task after a long night in Vegas… :-)
Ah, Vegas; my old friend. I never thought I’d say this, but I honestly wish VMworld had been back at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. After five trips to Vegas this year, I’m pretty much over it, and would gladly trade the craziness for some time down on the water. That being said, if you have to be in Vegas, the Venetian/Palazzo is definitely not a bad place to be!
Despite Hurricane Irene (or as my brother has nicknamed her, Hurrican't Irene) causing some travel issue on the east coast, Charlotte was far enough inland that we didn’t see more than a passing shower. Good thought go out to everyone who was affected, especially Kevin Kelling and his family after some flooding issues in New Jersey. I hope everyone made it through safely. After being on the road all of last week, I spent the weekend at home with the family and flew out Sunday afternoon. It was a lucky coincidence that I had most of the Varrow team on the plane with me! It’s always good to hang out with Dan Weiss, Jason Nash and Joe Kelly, and even though Dan sometimes “forgets” to take his laptop out of his bag and gets strip-searched by the TSA, the flight was fairly unremarkable.
Once we landed, the race began! After checking in, I immediately headed to Chad Sakac’s 4-hour power meeting with the entire vSpecialist team. Holy smokes what a group. We got to hear from a bunch of different functional groups on where they are going technology-wise, and the VCE executives got to talk about how things are going on our side of the house. In the spirit of work hard, play hard, there were two fantastic presentations, one by Chad to the “vOscar” winners highlighting the vSpecialists who went above and beyond in the last year. I’m lucky enough to get to work with the vSpecialists a lot, but to see guy like Chris Horn, Tee Glasgow, Simon Seagrave, Nick Weaver, Anton Zhbankov and Rich Swakla get recognized for their efforts really makes you respect that organization. Tee’s video montage of the Enablement team and some of the craziness they’ve gone through this year to make events like EMC World and VMworld happen gave me goose bumps.
The highlight of the meeting came at the end where Chad turned on the fire hose and gave us 60 straight minutes of VMworld content prep including an overview of the keynotes, the micro and macro roadmap and a bunch of great interlock information. That man is a machine, and it’s awesome to watch him in full “event” mode. Looking at what’s coming this week, all I can do is tell you to buckle up. There are at least 4 different announcements that floored me with the scope of the implications they will have on the industry and how we do what we do. Yes, seriously. Just watch.
From Chad’s meeting we got on the bus and headed straight to the v0dgeball tournament. VCE had a team (I’ll spare you the details on how we did…) and everyone was there to support a great charity (The Wounded Warrior Project). The fun level was high, as was the pain level afterwards. I’m pretty sure Wade O’Harrow blew a hamstring, Chris Hoff from Juniper took a ball to the eyeball and was having some issues, and that was just the injuries I saw! We are old geeks, what can I say? I gave more than I got in the hitting with balls department, but I’m not going to audition for a team anytime soon!
Back to the hotel, and then to dinner. Kenny Coleman and his (long suffering) wife Lauren, along with Rob Marković from VCE invited me over to I Heart Burgers at the Palazzo where we had a great time. Kenny ordered too much beer, Rob asked the waiter too many questions and Lauren begged for less “geek talk” but it was great to see everyone! After dinner, we wandered down to the casino and ran into Jonathan Donaldson, Eric Oberhofer and Chad Sakac playing craps. It’s nice to watch the high-rollers in action!
And with that, day 0 ended. Now it’s time to put the final touches on my theater presentation (vCloud on Vblock, come see it in Booth 1121, register and get my badge, finish up my blog posts for the week and track down John Troyer and introduce myself! Tonight is the vGeekfest party with the vSpecialists and then #CXIparty at the Cosmopolitan, so we’ll see how things go!