VMworld Hands-On Labs, Follow-Up

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In case you hadn’t heard, VMworld became “VMwait” today as I, along with quite a few other strong-willed geeks, waited well over seven (yes, that’s SEVEN) hours before being seated for our first Hands-On Lab (HoL). Despite the hardships sustained by all, including the folks in green shirts running the labs, we all came through it alive and stronger for it.  To make it up to us, they decided to stay open until 10pm at which time no new folks could enter but those of us that were there could finish what we started. Proudly, I managed to get three labs in (at least most of them) before heading back to my hotel for the night (sorry v0dgeball and VMunderground, I couldn’t make it…maybe next year). Unfortunately, I heard some labs were still having problems even once they got the environment up and running. But luckily for me, I had fairly minimal issues and was able to learn lots!

I want to give a HUGE shout-out to Mr. Irish Spring who did an outstanding job listening to our feedback today and made sure we were supplied with refreshments when we got hungry and kept us informed.

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Also many thanks to Ms. Jennifer Galvin who spent some time chatting with some of us, listening to our (mostly justifiable) grumbling about the experiences of the day.

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In all fairness to VMware, I understand that some of the back-side tech being used this year is different than last year (indeed, some of it isn’t even being announced until Monday morning’s keynote). They took a risk and ended up having some problems. It’s certainly happened to me. I’m betting it has (or will) happen to you.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for everyone involved with the labs.

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VMworld Hands-On Labs, First Look

My Sunday here at VMworld began with a good breakfast at a local bakery. I then headed to Moscone West shortly before the Hands-On Labs (HoL) were scheduled to open at 11am and was greeted with this scene:

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I was able to navigate through the Traditional HoL crowd to the slightly shorter Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) line, indicated by this nice guy:

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After the doors opened, I followed the line inside to the BYOD Check-In Desk. While in line, some very helpful green-shirted VMware folks explained how to prepare our machines for the HoL. After handing over my conference badge to the folks at the table, they entered me into the system and I proceeded to the BYOD Configuration Desk across the room:

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I’d decided to take someone else’s advice and use my iPad to login to the http://vmwarecloud.com site from the HOL wifi (only available inside the HoL area). That way I can access the lab guide instructions on my tablet and then I could use my MacBook Pro to connect to the lab environment with the View Client. The waiting continued in the “Holding Tank” where I hung out with about 100 other folks waiting for my name to proceed up to the top of this screen:

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While waiting, they had a small seating area set up where the folks that wrote the labs were presenting whiteboard sessions:

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Once my name reached the top of the screen I headed to the Seating Desk where I obtained my password and access code to login to the HoL site.

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With this single-use code in hand I was guided to the BYOD HoL seating area where I set up to do my first lab! Based on what I’ve heard from previous VMworlds, I think it’ll all be worth the wait.

See you on Twitter!

VMworld 2012, Day 1

I’ll admit it. I’m a newbie to VMworld. Yes, this is my first time.  But I’ve been to a few Cisco Live conferences (about 10 I think) so I’ve been eager to experience VMworld! 

I arrived at the San Francisco airport (SFO) this afternoon after a pleasant day of flying from St. Louis, and caught a cab to my hotel. FYI, it was about $50 and 25 minutes to the Westin at 3rd and Market.  After checking into the hotel, I walked a couple blocks to Moscone South to check into the conference.

Self Check-In had numerous Dell laptops prompting to enter first and last names. It then found me in the system and re-prompted for my first name (I assume in case I wanted to use a nickname). I hit submit and it told me which line number to stand in to pick up my badge and lanyard.

SECURITY NOTE: I’m concerned that they didn’t ask to see my ID when they gave me my badge. This has been standard procedure at Cisco Live for years and I hope they just slipped up with it being the first day.

[Follow-up: I heard back from several folks on the VMworld Help group in the SocialCast conference community site. They ARE supposed to ask for ID and VMworld staff will address this with registration folks.]

With badge in hand (or rather, around my neck), I found out I had to head to Moscone West for Materials Pickup. (Side note: I’m looking forward to getting lots of walking in this week!)

Entering Moscone West you get this scene. Note that Self Check-in is available in Moscone South AND West locations.

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I decided to check out the wireless so connected to the “VMworld 2012” SSID on my iPhone. I tried browsing somewhere as a test, and a splash page popped up with a vendor advertisement (yawn) with a countdown timer (“5 seconds until launch”). However, the first time I tried it showed me this weird login screen:

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I walked over to the Technical Support desk near the Southeast entrance and asked about it. They indicated that it acted weird like that and I should try it again. When I did, voila, I got connected and it immediately directed me to the VMworld Mobile website (which I had already logged into earlier in the day).

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Having completed my mission for the day, I headed back to the hotel to do the “Backpack Unboxing” and take some photos, shared for you below.  I’m very excited to be here and grateful for the beautiful weather (it was about 67F when I arrived this afternoon).

Hit me up on Twitter (@swackhap) with your comments or questions, or leave a note below.


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