I had the opportunity to attend VMware PEX 2014. This is the second time I have attended and I really enjoy this conference. My primary reason for attending was my VCDX defense but I was also looking forward to learning a bit more about VSAN and NSX.
I arrived in San Francisco on Saturday, February 8, 2014 in the early afternoon. On Sunday I participated in mock defenses setup by Brad Christian. Nutanix sponsored the room and several current VCDX’s were there to mentor and evaluate our presentations. These mock defense were a tremendous help in preparing me for my defense. Thanks to Brad for organizing it and to Nutanix for providing the room.
On Monday I did not attend any PEX sessions or boot camps. I spent the morning reviewing my design and making some tweaks to my presentation based on the previous day’s mocks. My defense was a 2:00 PM and took the rest of the afternoon. At the end of the defense I was pretty much exhausted and I felt that I had done OK. A few days later I would find out I was successful and my VCDX number is 128. I am working on another post on my VCDX journey and experience that I will get posted this weekend.
Tuesday I attended sessions most of the day. The same on Wednesday, February 12 and Thursday, February 13. My focus was on the SDDC sessions including sessions on VMware NSX, VMware Orchestrator, vCOPs, and VSAN. I only visited the Solution Exchange for a short time on Wednesday. Enjoyed speaking with some of the folks from Nimble, Simplivity, Nexenta, and Zerto. Picked up a little swag from a few different folks. The Solution Exchange seemed much smaller than last year.
The vExpert/VCDX party on Tuesday night was good fun. Had a good time meeting a few folks that only know from there Twitter handles.
I ran into Harley Stagner with VMware Technical Marketing (I use to be a customer of his when we both worked at other companies) at the VMware Booth and he gave me a demo of the VMware offline demos. There are demos there on SRM, vCOPS, View, and a number of other VMware technologies (with more in the works) that can be run offline. The demos are interactive and include presenter notes. I think these will prove to be a very useful tool for technical demonstration/sales. Very cool stuff.
I also enjoyed meeting up with Matt, James, Tim, Mark, Derek, Jason, Michael, and GS (The links are to their twitter accounts. Follow them! They are all awesome!). Interact with these folks from time to time on Twitter and it is great to get the opportunity to hang out and chat in person. There were many others and sorry if I left you off the list. It was great meeting all of you and look forward to the next time.
Because of the weather back east my flight out on Thursday afternoon was canceled and the next available flight was Saturday morning. So Friday my wife Sandy and I played tourist. We took a ride on the Cable Car, looked at a big orange bridge (the fog was really cool), visited the Cable Car Museum and the San Francisco Aquarium, and had a great lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf. Not overly impressed with San Francisco but we had a good time just the same.
Hoping I get to make it to VMworld this year. If not, I look forward to PEX next year.