VMworld 2014 Roundup: Day 5

You know what they say, better late than never! At the end of my VMworld 2016 US posts, I pledged to catch up on some earlier VMworld posts that I missed. Towards the end of VMworld lies the inevitable fatigue and bone weariness that makes victims out of straggling blog posts. Well, No Post Left Behind (plus #vDM30in30 – it counts! right?)!

Without further adieu, here is my Thursday summary for VMworld 2014 (yes, you read that right). I sure hope I can read my handwriting…

General Session

The VMware Foundation was able to raise $250,000 dollars for charity through Destination Giveback. Through the activities at VMworld, $248,460 was raised and VMware topped it up for an even $250k. Not bad.

Jane McGonigal, Chief Creative Officer of SuperBetter Labs was the first presenter of the session, known for her focus on games and gamification. She emphasized that playing is part of a healthy lifestyle, saying that “the opposite of play isn’t work – it’s depression”. Gamers exercise their brain, which leads to more brain power. More brain power means more resilience, better memory and problem solving. This to me suggests that employers should pay attention to games and gamification as it can lead to a more productive and creative workforce.

Following Ms. McGonical was James Patten, Founder and Principal of Patten Studio. Mr. Patten talked about interfaces, tangible interfaces in particular. He was advocating for interactive physical interfaces that tie into digital solutions. James suggested that by introducing physical objects, such as robots, into the digital interface that users are provided with a new perspective. This perspective gives them the ability to understand and manipulate digital information. Tactile feedback of physical objects also helps express complex issues, such as encountering mathematical inconsistencies within a data point set. This reminded me of Minority Report, as far as data manipulation, albeit with more of a physical element (and not CGI…).

Last up with Sean Gourley, Co-Founder and CTO of Quid. Sean spoke about data analysis and artificial intelligence. Mr. Gourley highlighted the efforts of computer chess players, specifically a Freestyle Chess tournament organized by Kasparov. Teams were predominantly made up of pure code, the computer acting on its own with no human help, or a combination of computer with humans. The computer plus human teams were nicknamed the Centaurs. The Centaur teams squared off against each other at the end. Three of the four final teams were made up of Russian grand masters with military grade computers, and the fourth team was made up of two amateur players running multiple AIs on consumer grade hardware. The amateur team would pick and chose which AI was right for a given scenario as the game progressed. They ultimately won.

As computers are improving, humans are still winning and improving themselves, maintaining a delta. The defining difference between computers and humans could be intuition. That’s what many consider the definition of expertise, the ability to rely on intuition to be successful. A study found that the “pattern matching” part of the brain lit up twice as much in experts than in amateurs when an image of a chess board was flashed in front of them for one second. The same type of reaction was observed with asked what the “best” move was when the image of a preset chess board was flashed in front of the participants for a few seconds.

Quid, Mr. Gourley’s company, is attempting to build an artificial intelligence that mimics those part so the brain that showed up in the studies. They expect to use this AI to augment human decision-making.

VAPP1340 – Virtualize Active Directory, the Right Way!

The only breakout session I attended on the last day of the conference was presented by Deji Akomolafe and Matt Liebowitz. It was a comprehensive set of recommendations and considerations for virtualizing Active Directory domain services. I’d likely do their sound and considered advice a disservice by trying to translate my two-year old notes, so I’d suggest reading their slide deck.

One of the stand out points was about the “gotchas” related to GUIDs and USNs that help determine the state of the directory. With earlier versions of Active Directory you had to be mindful about what operations were and were not going to impact AD. With newer, read 2012 and greater, versions of Active Directory you largely don’t have to worry about those issues any longer.

It was also appreciated that both the DNS and NTP services were called out, as they are critical to a properly functioning Active Directory. Carefully consider, design and execute these services in the context of a virtualized AD as well as potentially virtualized DNS and NTP services. And lastly, friends don’t let friends hot clone domain controllers!

The (Final 2014) Wrap Up

Amazingly this post finally caps off my VMworld 2014 coverage. Besides recording this for posterity, hopefully someone finds it interesting. I’ll not hold my breath about someone finding this helpful, though. Coming soon, I’ll be capping off the outstanding VMworld 2015 coverage as well. That poor Day 5 coverage does suffer so. Watch this space.

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 was awarded VMware vExpert for 2014-2019. You can find him on Twitter.

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1 Response

  1. @xinity_bot says:

    VMworld 2014 Roundup: Day 5 https://t.co/vPCmLK22j1 #General #vDM30in30

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