Month: August 2015
Before You Go, 2015 Edition
Here we go: the home stretch before VMworld 2015 US opens in San Francisco, CA— and that means it’s also the kick-off for Opening Acts II and VMunderground. In the short few days before, we thought we’d pass along a few items of note…
Where we’ll be
City View at the Metreon
135 Fourth Street, San Francisco
You can enter from either the Fourth Street or Yerba Buena Park entrances. Take the elevators or escalators up to the top floor.
We have three sets of two, hour-long sessions running simultaneously and starting at 1pm; doors open at 12:30pm.
You are welcome to move between spaces, but please be mindful of those around you. We’ll be recording and (hopefully) streaming the content, so disturbing those around you will also have…lasting repercussions…
Panel sessions will expect give-and-take from the attendees. Plan to participate.
This is an adults-only party. We will be serving alcohol, and whether you plan to consume or not, it’s the law of the land that attendees have aged 21 years. You will need to provide proof of your age with a government-issued photo ID; driver’s license or passport are acceptable examples.
Wear your name tag! It’s a great way to reconnect with friends old and new.
Doors open at 8pm. Those holding VIP passes will be admitted at 7:30pm, but if we reach capacity after the doors open, your pass won’t guarantee admittance. Fire Marshall’s rules won’t be bent, period.
Don’t forget our sponsors! Not only will they be present during the events, but they’ll be around all week at the conference. Let them know how much you enjoyed the events of the day: the more positive feedback they receive, the more likely they’ll be willing to continue supporting us.
See you on Sunday!!!
Opening Acts 2015 — Panelists and Moderators
With just over a week to go, the members of our panel sessions are being finalized; here’s who we’ve got on board…
- Storage (SDS & traditional) (1pm)
- Renée Lawrence, HDS (@reneehlawrence) moderator
Jase McCarty, VMware (@jasemccarty)
Gabriel Chapman, SolidFire (@bacon_is_king)
Stephen Foskett, Tech Field Day (@sfoskett)
Phoummala Schmitt, Blogger & cohost of Current Status podcast (@exchangegoddess)
Matt Cowger, EMC (@mcowger)
Calvin Zito, HP (@calvinzito)
- Infrastructure (1pm)
- Keith Norbie, SolidFire (@keithnorbie) moderator
J Metz, Cisco (@drjmetz)
Leah Schoeb, Intel (@vleahschoeb)
James Bowling, General Datatech (@vsential)
Eric Wright, VMturbo (@discoposse)
Stu Miniman, Wikibon (@stu)
Rick Scherer, EMC (@rick_scherer)
- Networking (SDN & traditional) (2pm)
- Lauren Malhoit, Cisco (@malhoit) moderator
Tom Hollingsworth, Tech Field Day (@networkingnerd)
Lisa Caywood, Brocade (@realLisaC)
Ryan Hughes, Presidio (@angryjesters)
Scott Lowe, VMware (@scott_lowe)
Josh Coen, Sirius (@joshcoen)
- Automation (2pm)
- Tim Jabaut, BB&T (@vmcutlip) moderator
Al Renouf, VMware (@alanrenouf)
Josh Atwell, SolidFire (@josh_atwell)
Luc Dekens, Eurocontrol (@lucd22)
Jon Hildebrand, LightEdge Solutions (@snoopj123)
Smiti Sharma, EMC (@smiti_sharma)
- Careers (3pm)
- Damian Karlson, EMC (@sixfootdad) moderator
John Troyer, TechReckoning (@jtroyer)
Kat Troyer, Jigsaw Staffing Solutions (@dailykat)
Emad Younis, Tintri (@emad_younis)
Lauren Cooney, Cisco (@lcooney)
Keith Neighbors, Neighbors & Associates (@datastoragejobs)
Dom Delfino, VMware (@domdelfino)
- Data Protection (3pm)
- Jim Millard, OneNeck IT Solutions (@millardjk) moderator
Chris Wahl, Rubrik (@chriswahl)
Gina Minks, Spanning (@gminks)
GS Khalsa, VMware (@gurusimran)
Tim Antonowicz, #vDB (@timantz)
Nick Howell, Cohesity (@datacenterdude)
Shannon Snowden, Zerto (@shannonsnowden)
The Bettering of VMunderground
Every year, we try to put together something new to improve the VMunderground experience. In the past, it’s mostly been based around increasing the number of people we can accommodate, which has required ticketing and venue changes over the years. Last year, we feel we found the proper venue to enable us to bring in the right number of people, with room to still grow. To that end, we were able to eliminate the need for tickets this year.
Last year, we worked with the vBrownBag crew to add an educational component to what we provide. Already having a large venue we simply added additional hours to the venue rental and were able to introduce Opening Acts. This proved to be such a huge success that I ended the event realizing that we couldn’t NOT bring Opening Acts back. Fortunately, the level of success didn’t necessitate too much improvement, so you’ll see some minor tweaks, but they’ll be minor.
A common criticism of the traditional conference circuit is the overemphasis on alcohol consumption. While most of the VMunderground crew are perfectly happy to network over a variety of alcoholic beverages, by no means is that a requirement for any of us. I have great conversations all week at VMworld over coffee, soda and even water, so I am by no means pushing off the fun conversations for when the beer flows. To provide better options to those who prefer (or simply cannot) partake in the “adult beverages” we have added a full smoothie bar to the menu at VMunderground.
This year, we also wanted to improve the ability for community events at both VMworld conferences to obtain sponsors, so we gathered with the teams that put on vBrownBag TechTalks, Spousetivities and vRockStar to put together a series of packages to make it easy for vendors to sponsor multiple of these events in one shot. The feedback (and signup rate) have been very positive. I’m proud to announce the following sponsors have chosen to take advantage of these packages and will be the first to take advantage of this opportunity:
We’d like to give special thanks to these companies for truly getting and appreciating our little community. VMworld simply would not be the same without companies like these. Give them (and all our sponsors) a special thank you before VMworld, then stop into their booths during the show to let them scan your badge and give your appreciation in person!
After years of intense development, we’d like to announce that we’ve fully automated the WUPaaS. You now have access to an on-demand community networking event in a frictionless manner.
From its lowly origins in 2007, the VMunderground party has grown from a handful of like-minded members of the community to one of the largest community events of the week. In the course of our growth, we struggled to find venues that had the right capacity and location for the crush of attendees while staying fiscally responsible to our generous sponsor cadre. Ticketing was used as a means to provide some control, and each year, while trying to be as fair as possible, we still received negative feedback again and again…
We learned in 2014 that we finally found our perfect venue: it was close, it had plenty of room, it was “in budget.”
So in 2015, we’re going to try something old, going back to our roots…
Ticketing will not be required. The doors open to everyone at 8pm. As long as we stay below the Fire Marshall’s limit for the venue—and venue security handles that, not us—you will be admitted; we’re planning on over 1000 people, and we’ll serve food and drink as long as supplies last. When the last beer or cheesecake lollipop is gone, it’s gone…
VIP guests will still require a “backstage pass” to be admitted at 7:30. These passes are available from our sponsors; if you’re not interested in queuing up at 8pm, reach out to them to get special access.
You will still need to prove that you are 21 years old and are part of the VMworld community: Bring government-issue photo ID (e.g., driver’s license or passport) for proof of age. And seriously: it’s a VMworld social event. Wear your badge; it helps put names & faces back together after 1 or more years for many of us.
If you’re from San Francisco or surrounding “local” cities, you must have a VMworld badge so we know you’re not simply crashing the party…
See you on the 30th!!!