Wrap-up, 2016-style

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The day (and night) passed without so much as a hiccup, and VMworld 2016 US has come and gone…

We’d again like to thank our generous sponsors, without whom these events couldn’t occur.

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Of course, without attendance and community interest, the sponsors wouldn’t have any reason to help out; so without further ado, photos documenting Opening Acts and VMunderground attendees can be found here.

Before You Go, Viva Las Vegas Edition

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Viva, Las Vegas…

At this time next week, all the pre-show chaos for VMworld 2016 US will be over, and many (most?) of us will be sitting and listening to the opening keynote.

We’re excited to present the third instance of Opening Acts and the 10th Anniversary of VMunderground! A little “who, what, why, when & how” will help make the most of your pre-event plans with us.

Although we have all events being held in the New York-New York Hotel & Casino, it’s a large place and we’re using two different spaces within…

Main Venue

New York-New York Hotel & Casino
3790 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109

The venue is approximately 1 mile (or 1.5 Km) north of the main VMworld campus at Mandalay Bay; depending on your starting point within the resort, the true distance will of course vary. MGM (the owners of the Mandalay Bay and other properties in Las Vegas) has a free tram you can board at the Mandalay resort in order to get north to the Excalibur; the Excalibur, in turn, is across Tropicana Avenue from New York-New York. It might not be the fastest way to get there—based on tram scheduling—but it does create the shortest walk without relying on a paid transportation.

UPDATE: The tram service runs every few minutes during the day; it’s posted service hours end at 12:30am, so if you like to stay out late, plan accordingly. There are actually two different tram runs on the Mandalay campus, one which runs between the three hotels (Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay) without easy access to The Strip, and another “Express” that runs between the far-north Strip station and Mandalay Bay.

You want to use the Express for the shortest walk to NYNY, even if you’re at Luxor: Board the tram at Luxor and head to Mandalay, then board the Express back to the Strip. See the image below and it should make more sense…

TRAM_SERVICE

Opening Acts & #vBrisket

Liberty Loft (link to the property map) is the official name of the meeting room for Opening Acts and #vBrisket. Access is located near the Shake Shack and Gonzales Y Gonzales; you can reach it quickly from The Strip at the north end of the property, as well as through the interior via any other available property entrance. We will have signs posted and the activity will be published on the video displays throughout the venue.

Opening Acts is free to all attendees; although there is registration, that’s for internal planning and tracking, so even if you haven’t registered, you are welcome to come. If we end up with SRO, but that’d just be gravy.

Speaking of gravy… #vBrisket is not a free event; only those attendees wearing the appropriate wrist band will be allowed to participate. If you purchased a ticket—they’re currently sold out—you will be able to exchange it for the proper wrist band during or prior to Opening Acts. Physical tickets will only be required if you are unable to provide an electronic ticket, so make sure you can get to your e-ticket on your smartphone before you come over.

Panel sessions start at 11am, and we run through 4pm; don’t worry if you can’t arrive at the very beginning. You are free to come and go as it suits you.

We will have light snacks for Opening Acts, but if you’re not doing vBrisket, they will not constitute a meal. There are a bunch of places both inside the casino as well as in the area to grab a real lunch.

VMunderground

Nine Fine Irishmen will be the site of this year’s tenth anniversary bash. Not coincidentally, we were there the last time VMworld was in Las Vegas and it was our fifth anniversary (also held on Sunday, August 28th!!!). Like Opening Acts, there will be signs to assist you in finding the entrance to the venue; although the pub has outdoor access, we don’t plan to use it for party access: you’ll need to come inside to gain entry.

Doors open at 7pm; there’s no “VIP” access prior to that time.

As with previous years, this is an adults-only event. Although non-alcoholic beverages (smoothie bar!) will be served, US and state laws require attendees to be 21 years old and be able to prove it using a government-issue photo ID. Driver’s license and passport are the most common forms of ID; your VMworld badge and/or party ticket/wristband will not be sufficient.

That’s not to say, however,  that you should leave your badge at home… On the contrary, having your badge helps fellow attendees see your name…and if you’re anything like me, getting a reminder of the name that goes with the face is always appreciated!

An important departure from previous years: This year the party is restricted to only those who have a wrist band. No public access—with or without a VMworld badge—is going to be permitted. As in previous years, your best bet to get a free wrist band is to hit up the sponsors; if you know you’re a sponsor guest, you will coordinate getting your wristband directly with the sponsor, not with the VMunderground organizers. As of this writing, there are still general access tickets available for purchase, but the number is few and when they’re gone…they’re gone. If you’d skipped purchasing a ticket and figured you’d “just show up” at the last half, you will be disappointed.

Also, if you have a GA ticket, you won’t have to wait until the party to get your wristband: we will be exchanging them during Opening Acts; if you purchased both vBrisket and VMunderground tickets, let us know so we can get you both wristbands at the same time. Like vBrisket, physical tickets will only be required if you can’t produce your e-ticket.

See you on Sunday!

Opening Acts 2016 Panel Lineups

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We’re pleased to announce the Opening Acts 2016 panel lineups!

Location: Liberty Loft meeting space at NYNY casino, Sunday August 28th. You can find a map to the Loft here. Ticket details are available here.

Note: Opening Acts is completely free, but we’d like folks to reserve a spot so we can monitor the space’s available capacity.

Careers (11am)

I imagine that we’ve all asked ourselves, “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, we’ll discuss these topics as well as acting 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.

 

New Age / Next Generation IT (12pm)

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 we’ll discuss these topics, and explore ideas on what’s next.

 

vBrisket Lunch (1pm)

Great BBQ’d food and casual technology conversations with peers.

 

Storage & Hyper-converged (2pm)

Storage is and will continue to be a hot topic. The market is crowded with storage startups and incumbents, and it’s easy to get lost in the noise. This panel will explore the pros & cons of various storage technologies (traditional, hybrid, all-flash) and hyper-convergence.

 

Automation/Orchestration/DevOps (3pm)

Managing an IT environment at scale can be challenging. We’re all human and make mistakes that often lead to not being able to meet the demanding needs of technology consumers. We’ll explore various methods of automating IT configuration management, new ways for IT to interact and cooperate with software development, and adopting new concepts such as infrastructure as code.

#VMunderground, #OpeningActs, and #vBrisket Ticket Release

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Eventbrite is all setup.  The schedule is set.  Here’s what you need to know.

We’ve combined the ticketing process for VMunderground, Opening Acts, and the vBrisket lunch at Opening Acts into a single process.  Tickets for all events will be available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-events-at-vmworld-2016-us-tickets-26600043446.  (If you want the vBrisket VMworld Bus Tour, you want to head over here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vbrisket-vmworld-bus-tour-tickets-25211421039)

Go ahead and head on over to our Eventbrite now to review the FAQs.

Here’s the big part, everyone has been waiting for: Tickets will become available at 2:00 pm PDT/2100 UTC on 28-July 2016.  No time is ideal for all parties, so we tried to pick the best time for the majority of timezones.  Put it on your calendar.  Setup an alert on your phone.  Tell the family (work or personal) you have an important commitment at that time.

As a reminder:

  • VMunderground will be charging $25.
  • vBrisket (lunch at Opening Acts) will be $5.
  • Opening Acts will remain completely free, but we still want get a count ahead of time, so please pick up a reservation even if you’re just planning on Opening Acts.

All are limited due to budget and venue restrictions, so be ready at release time!

UPDATE: The first big rush is past, and there are still tickets left as of 1800h PDT. If you don’t have a ticket, it’s worth the click to see what’s available…

Introducing #VMunderground Community Supporter

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For many years we’ve heard from VARs and smaller vendors who are interested in supporting VMunderground.  For a variety of reasons, we’ve not been able to make that happen.  But this year is different…

We’re happy to announce a limited time offer to become a VMunderground Community Supporter.

It’s a lower cost option, but will provide you a few tickets and recognition on our sponsorship signage and tweets.

If you’re a VAR or small business and want an official/unofficial presence at VMworld (even if you don’t have a booth), you now have a great option.  We even made it easy for everyone, just fill out the form and swipe your credit card over here: https://squareup.com/store/vmunderground.  But time is short, so get there quickly if you want to join us in Vegas!

VMunderground, 2016 Edition

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At long last, here’s the details for VMworld 2016’s Warm-up Party as a Service. (TL;DR, see the bolded items, but I think you’ll want to read the rest anyways).

WHAT: A pre-VMworld US party

WHY: To get old and new friends together to kick-off the week in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere to set the week off right

Now, before we get into it, we want to preface our announcement with a little bit of background. Finding sponsors this year was hard. With US presidential elections, Brexit, a massive vendor acquisition/merger, and a cooling off of the VC and IPO markets, vendors don’t seem to have a lot of money to spend. That has affected our plans. Some of you will not be happy, but this is better than nothing. Hopefully you’ll agree. If not, remember that we’re just a bunch of introverted nerds wanting to get together to support the community.

On to the plans….

This year, VMunderground will be held August 28th, 2016. For those not keeping score, that’s exactly 5 years after our last round in Las Vegas (August 28th, 2011). And this happens to be the 10th VMunderground. Needless to say, nostalgia weighed heavy on the group this year, so we decided to aim for sacred VMunderground…well…ground.

WHERE: Nine Fine Irishmen, in New York, New York Hotel & Casino

Now, those who attended the party 5 years ago may be saying: “I don’t remember Nine Fine Irishmen being as big as City View was last year.” If you said that, you’d be correct. While we did have great plans for making this venue work with the much bigger attendance numbers, circumstances (see the preface paragraph) led to the venue being the right size after all.

WHO: 550 of our Sponsors and VMworld compatriots

Of course, timing is everything, and this reduced buyout of the venue has left us in a bit of bind with a double whammy.

WHEN: August 28th, 7-10 p.m.

Yes. That is the same time as the Inaugural VMUG Member Party. We have been talking to VMUG for months now trying to coordinate as best we can, but this was unavoidable. We’re excited to see them launch their own event and wish them the best of luck with it. I’m sure we’ll both have enough attendees given the size of VMworld.

HOW: Tickets.  Yes…tickets.

Given the reduced size of the venue, paid tickets will be required to get in the door at the beginning of the party. We will be opening up an Eventbrite page to acquire tickets soon, so keep an eye/ear/Tweetstream open for more details very soon. We’re going to do a single process for Opening Acts, vBrisket, and VMunderground to make it as streamlined as possible. Be prepared:

  • VMunderground will be charging $25 (see preface paragraph).
  • vBrisket (lunch at Opening Acts) will have a $5 charge to their expenses.
  • Opening Acts will remain completely free if you can resist the BBQ smell, but we still want get a count ahead of time, so please pick up a reservation even if you’re just planning on Opening Acts. We won’t restrict Opening Acts to only registered attendees, though.

Not the plans were were hoping for, but think of it this way: where else are you going to get a full BBQ lunch sandwiched in-between 4 hours of learning from your peers AND 3 hours of food and drink with the VMworld “who’s who” for only $30?

See you in Las Vegas!!

Opening Acts 2016

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Plans are starting to come together, and we’re tired of sitting on some of this fun information, so here’s our first dump of official details.

As we revealed last week in our Planning Your VMworld 2016 Trip post, Opening Acts is on.  We’ve had two good years of success running two panel stages concurrently to provide 3 hours with 6 sessions.  One common complaint we’ve received: “Why do you make me choose between all these great panels?!”  So, given this request and venue limitations in Las Vegas, we decided to play with the formula a bit this year.

For 2016, we’re going to run 4 panel sessions sequentially:  Show up for the entire time and you’ll catch all the panely-goodness.  This meant moving Opening Acts forward by an hour to noon, which put us into lunchtime.  If there’s one thing we know will get conference-goers riled up, it’s food!  As fate would have it, about the time we made this decision another great community group (who we’ve wanted to find a way to work with anyways) approached us about sponsoring lunch during Opening Acts.

Please join me in welcoming vBrisket to the Opening Acts family!!

That’s right! Opening Acts now offers you technical knowledge AND BBQ!

So here’s the schedule for Opening Acts on Sunday, August 28, 2016:

  • 10:45am – The doors open
  • 11:00am – Panel Session 1
  • 12:00pm – Panel Session 2
  • 1:00pm – BBQ lunch by vBrisket
  • 2:00pm – Panel Session 3
  • 3:00pm – Panel Session 4
  • 4:00pm – Fin.

The panel sessions are still not defined yet.  You still have time (assuming you’re reading this before May 31, 2016) to help us decide on topics (and possibly offer yourself up as a panelist).  Just go fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1MtGcD3C4k2vGjvTPthgiyjONWrO1zx5gFrautroj6AA/viewform

Finally, if BBQ is your thing, the vBrisket team has an AWESOME opportunity available to both fill your mouth with meat (yeah, I know…) and help you get to Vegas right on time for Opening Acts. You should definitely check it out, especially if you live in Chicago, Kansas City, or Denver (or any points along that route).  See all the details here: http://www.vbrisket.com/vbrisket-bus-tour-to-vmworld-2016/.