VMworld 2016 Preview: Recommended Sessions

Here are my top five recommended sessions, if there are any stragglers still looking to round out their VMworld schedule. These are sessions that I’m most looking forward to, in no particular order.

Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive [STO7645]

Pete Flecha and Patrick Dirks dig into VVOLS. I’ve had my eye on Virtual Volumes for a few years, since I attended a session at VMworld 2014. Now that VVOLS has had time to mature and forces have aligned where I work, I’m hoping to put VVOLS into practice sooner than later. I’m looking for this session to bring me up to speed on what the current generation of Virtual Volumes is up to as well as polish up my current understanding.

A Day in the Life of a VSAN I/O [STO7875]

Continuing in the vein of the technical deep dive, this session’s brought to you by Duncan Epping and John Nicholson and follows an “I/O” through the VSAN solution. Expect to get right into the low-level VSAN details.

The concept of this sessions sound like it’ll be interesting. Right this way my little I/O… BLAM! de-duped! SPLAT! compressed! Muwahaha! Ahem. Uh, at least that how I hope the sessions goes. With Batman ’66 style Bat-Fight captions and all.

Enforcing a vSphere Cluster Design with PowerCLI Automation [INF8036]

Chris Wahl and Duncan Epping take us through the journey of defining our vSphere Clusters via PowerShell declarative configuration files. Learn to use PowerCLI to bend your clusters to your will. Auditing, tracking and enforcing consistent settings as you go. Basically by the time the sessions ends, you should be a wizard.

An Architect’s Guide to Designing Risk: The VCDX Methodology [INF9048]

As an architect myself, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include an architecture session. Daemon Behr presents a deep dive into how risk affects infrastructure design. Following VCDX methodology to identify criticality, probability and likelihood of success or failure of a particular design. If these sorts of things keep you up at night, this session’s for you.

vSphere Encryption Deep Dive: Technology Preview [INF8856]

Not a lot of information about this feature yet, but the security nerd in me is curious. Mike Foley and Salil Suri introduce us to this Technology Preview as we get a glimpse at encryption for virtual disks and vMotion. Encrypt all the things!

Bonus Sessions: Opening Acts

For the past couple years the fine folks at #VMunderground have put on Opening Acts, a series of panel discussions. The volunteer panelists will cover a variety of topics of interest to the virtualization community: career advice, DevOps, automation, storage, networking, etc. Hosted free, thanks to sponsor support, you can catch these sessions on the Saturday preceeding VMworld. Don’t forget to register. For a few dollars you can also have a delicious lunch served up by the vBrisket crew.


Hopefully this list provides you with some options to consider, if you have any room left on your VMworld dance card. Regardless, there are plenty of quality sessions as well as other venues and activities to occupy your time at VMworld 2016. While I’ll strive to hit these sessions (sometimes “stuff” just happens at VMworld) if you attend them as well and spot me, stop and say hi!

Dee Abson

Dee Abson is a technical architect from Alberta, Canada. He's been working in the field of technology for over 20 years and specializes in server and virtualization infrastructure. Working with VMware products since ESX 2, he holds several VMware certifications. He is a 9x VMware vExpert. You can find him on Twitter and Mastodon.

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