Announcement

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/.

Planning your VMworld 2016 trip

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If you haven’t noticed, VMware has opened the registration for VMworld 2016 US; they’ve also opened the public session voting for breakout sessions. That means it’s also time to figure out your travel plans if you’re headed to Sin City…

The #vBrownBag and VMunderground teams were given a big challenge when VMware announced the change in venues from San Francisco to Las Vegas for 2016: we had a great, nearby location at the Metreon for our 8th and 9th VMunderground Party, plus two awesome years of increasing attendance and community interest and support for OpeningActs.

So: what to do, what to do…

I hope everyone is as excited as I am that we can officially announce that OpeningActs and VMunderground are GO for 2016. We had to make some adjustments to our previous model of using the same space for both the panel sessions and the party, while still staying in close proximity to the VMworld venue (ie, south end of the strip, near the airport), but we feel pretty happy with what we’ve got planned.

And yes, we’re a community of communities, so some additional shenanigans are in the works with other event teams (more details as we get closer!).

While exact schedules for VMworld are still under wraps—the Schedule Builder won’t go online until mid-July—we can confirm that our activities will occur on Sunday, August 28th. OpeningActs will run in the early afternoon (first panel should start around 11am) and the party will be later in the evening.

As usual, we’re going to be stingy with the final details until we get closer to the end of August, but we wanted to get these critical bits out to the world so that prospective attendees have the opportunity to plan accordingly.

I’m not quite ready to count down the days…

…oh hell. It’s [click here] days away.

The UNticketing…

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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.

Translation:

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!!!