Opening Acts is BACK!

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Opening Acts is returning for its second year at VMworld US 2015.  You can find us at the Metreon’s City View (the same place as last year) starting at 1pm on Sunday afternoon, August 30th.

A collaborative venture produced by your friends at #vBrownBag and VMunderground, Opening Acts will host a total of 6 panels with as many smart, funny, and snarky panelists & moderators as we can convince to come out and argue about technology.

Each panel will last an hour, and will run side by side, two at a time. The community voted for their top 3 panels, and here are the results:
1pm: Infrastructure, hyper-convergence, containers & more vs. Storage of all kinds
2pm: Automation & orchestration vs. Networking of all kinds
3pm: Careers, podcasting, smart people saying funny things vs. Data protection of all kinds

We’re still putting the list of panelists & moderators together, but we promise you’ll get your money’s worth. (Well, since it’s free you’ll get what you get and you won’t throw a fit.)

Stay tuned.

READY FOR #UN

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We’re at it again: the #VMunderground and #vBrownBag teams are at it again, preparing for the first, best community-driven events of VMworld!

We have our first sponsor announced and are getting ready to seek your input on the topics for the second year of Opening Acts panel sessions.

Let this serve as your “SAVE THE DATE” notice: OpeningActs and the VMunderground party will be held on Sunday, August 30, 2015. OpeningActs will run from 1pm to 4pm; VMunderground runs from 8pm to 11pm. We’ll be at the same venue as 2014—City View at the Metreon—which is just a stone’s throw from the Moscone conference site.

Keep your eye on this site, as well as the @vmunderground twitter feed for more information…

Getting ready for VMworld 2015 US!!!

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That’s right! VMware recently opened registration for VMworld 2015 US in San Francisco, and the VMunderground team is gearing up for another great year.

Based on the success of 2014’s inaugural OpeningActs collaboration with our friends over at #vBrownBag, we’ve started planning that event as well.

There isn’t a whole lot we can share yet, but the most important details—WHEN and WHERE—are known:

OpeningActs, the panel sessions, will run during the early afternoon of Sunday, August 30 at the Metreon City View. Yes, this is the same time and venue as last year!

VMunderground, the independent social event, will run after the Welcome Expo on Sunday, August 30, also at City View.

While some things will be the same as last year, we’re also working to improve; feedback we received from attendees and sponsors will shape those changes, and we’ll be reaching out to everyone—again, like last year—in order to make sure we build panel sessions for OpeningActs that will inform, entertain and delight.

Obligatory “Before You Go” Message, 2014 Edition

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Well folks, VMworld 2014 US is upon us. The tweets and –god forfend– private Facebook message groups are awash with anticipation for the week.

There have been a number of questions sent to the VMunderground, #vBrownBag and Opening Acts teams; we’ll try and address them in this post…


 

Q: Looks like Opening Acts is full. Is there any room?

A: Who knows? We won’t turn anyone away as long as we have room. While we have a huge space (we’re using the same venue for both Opening Acts and VMunderground), a significant portion is will be “off-limits” during Opening Acts to allow for the prep & setup for VMunderground. We set the registration limit at 200 to manage the seating, but the spaces we set aside might hold as much as 2x that number. Additionally, there’s bound to be turnover–a bunch of folks might need to high-tail it over to v0dgeball–so don’t be afraid to come for a 2pm or 3pm session even if we’re packed at 1pm.

 

Q: I missed round X for tickets to VMunderground. How do I get in?

A: As of this writing, there are still nearly 100 tickets available. Hop on over to vmunderground.eventbrite.com and grab one. Keep in mind: if you have a conference badge, tickets are NOT required for entry! Tickets get you first access to the party when the doors open at 8pm, and are required for anyone without a conference badge (this is a VMworld community event, not a San Francisco community event).

 

Q: I have a ticket/wristband. Do I need to bring my conference badge?

A: Please do! This is a social event, and conference badges do a good job of helping people connect faces and names. Include your Twitter handle on your badge! Lots of people in the community are known by their Twitter handles rather than their IRL names; if your handle isn’t printed on your badge, find someone with a Sharpie or label maker and add it!

 

Q: Dude. That’s an insane amount of restrictions. What’s up with that?

A: In past years, limited space has made it…challenging…to keep an even, fair opportunity for everyone in the community to get access to the party. Every restriction listed is based on somebody in the community trying to take advantage of the then-stated-rules to get more that what we–the VMunderground team–consider to be a “fair share” of the tickets. Yes, it sucks to have so many rules, but there are some of those among us who consider themselves…”first among equals.” Let’s just leave it at that.

 

Q: I’m in like Flynn for the party. I love the sponsors and I already have a wristband (awesome, too, btw. I’m going to wear mine all week!). Do I need to bring anything else to the party?

A: Yes. Please, please, PLEASE bring a photo ID from a legitimate government to prove your age if you want to be served alcohol. California–like most of the US–requires anyone being served alcohol to be aged 21 years or more. By default, you should be that age as a participant in VMworld, but as they don’t check and the legal working age in the US is 16… Just do us and yourself a favor and bring your ID.

 

Q: I know where the Metreon is, but can’t figure out where City View is. A little help, please?

A: CityView is on the fourth floor of the Metreon. It’ll be easiest to access if you enter the Metreon from the Yerba Buena Gardens entrance, as opposed to 4th street. Take the escalator or elevator to the top, and there you go.

 

Q: I’ve got my backpack with me; will it be safe, or do I need to keep lugging it around with me?

A: Although you’ll need to keep track of it yourself during Opening Acts, we will be providing a coat check/bag drop during VMunderground. However, we won’t be accepting liability for loss/damage whether using the coat check or not, so please use your judgement if you carry a laptop or other personal electronics. A backpack full of expo swag should be just fine…

 

Q: I live in the city/rented a car and plan to drive. Where is parking?

A: We have no special arrangements for parking. Most attendees will be from out-of-town, and we explicitly chose a location near Moscone to make it more “walkable” than last year. If you do decide to drive, please have a designated driver. We’re also working with Uber to provide some “getting home safe” discounts, so please consider a cab or other ride before choosing to drive; we’ll have more info on that at the party

Opening Acts 2014—Panelists & Moderators

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With just over a couple of weeks to go, the members of our panel sessions are being finalized; here’s who we’ve got on board…

Social Media/Careers (1pm)
John Troyer (@jtroyer) moderator
Amy Lewis (@commsninja)
James Bowling (@vsential)
Jeramiah Dooley (@jdooley_clt)
Phoummala Schmitt (@exchangegoddess)
Gina Minks (@gminks)
Storage (SDS & traditional) (1pm)
Trevor Potts (@cakeis_not_aliemoderator
Michael Webster (@vcdxnz001)
Matt Vogt (@mattvogt)
J Metz (@drjmetz)
Keith Norbie (@keithnorbie)
Matt Cowger (@mcowger)
Wade Holmes (@wholmes)
Networking (SDN & traditional) (2pm)
Chris Wahl (@chriswahlmoderator
Tom Hollingsworth (@networkingnerd)
Joe Onisick (@jonisick)
Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe)
Lisa Caywood (@realLisaC)
Ryan Hughes (@angryjesters)
Orchestration, Automation, & Optimization (2pm)
Lauren Malhoit (@malhoitmoderator
Emad Younis (@emad_younis)
Mike Foley (@mikefoley)
Al Renouf (@alanrenouf)
Josh Atwell (@josh_atwell)
Luc Dekens (@lucd22)
Cloud & General Virtualization (3pm)
Leah Schoeb (@vleahschoebmoderator
Stu Miniman (@stu)
Sean Clark (@vseanclark)
Stephen Foskett (@sfoskett)
Hugo Phan (@hugophan)
Aaron Delp (@aarondelp)
Architecture & Infrastructure (3pm)
Matt Liebowitz (@mattliebowitz) moderator
Melissa Palmer (@vmiss33)
Phoummala Schmitt (@exchangegoddess)
Maish Saidel-Keesing (@maishsk)
Mike Preston (@mwpreston)
John Arrasjid (@vcdx001)

Party Ticketing 101

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Here we are again: VMworld US 2014 is around the corner and as excited as everyone is for the conference, there’s this “little” party that everyone is wanting to attend in order to kick off the week just right.

Q: How do I get into The Party?
A: You’ll need a wrist band for entry (a second wristband may be required to be served alcohol).

Q: Okay, I’ll bite: How do I get a wrist band?
A: There are three ways to get a wrist band:

  1. Sponsor give-away
    Sponsors have wrist bands; show them some love, and they may show some back in the form of a VIP wrist band!
  2. Opening Acts participation
    We’ve posted it and talked about it: Attend Opening Acts and participate and you can earn a wrist band.
  3. Ticket exchange
    Buy a ticket (see below) and exchange it for a wrist band outside the door the night of the party.

Read the rest of this entry »

Opening Acts 2014 — Panel Agenda

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The afternoon’s agenda is set, the panel membership for the topics is being finalized, and moderators are being assigned.  With that, we’re ready to publicize the times and panels for our inaugural Opening Acts:

Time Panel A Panel B
1pm Social Media/Careers Storage (SDS & traditional)
2pm Networking (SDN & traditional) Orchestration, Automation, & Optimization
3pm Cloud & General Virtualization Architecture & Infrastructure