Last year I went to vForum in Sydney (October 2013). This is the premier virtualisation event in the ANZ region.
Lost in TranslationI called the hotel the day before to confirm the reservation of a room with 2 singles. They informed me all they had was a room with 1 queen bed. This wasn't going to work, as I was sharing a room with a mate to keep costs down. On the way to the airport, my travel agent looked into it, and called me back explaining the hotel had simply run out of rooms with 2 singles, so I had to make do with a queen bed. I was dumbstruck. "Isn't that the whole point of a reservation?" I asked. Flashbacks to Seinfeld and the 'car reservation' ran through my mind.
The agent explained they had the reservation, but then if on the day the hotel gives out all the 2 single rooms before I get there, then it's bad luck. To add to it, the agent said because I only had my name on the reservation, the hotel would have seen that and given priority to people with 2 names on the booking. The story I was hearing sounded absurd. I asked to speak with the team leader / manager hoping to speak to someone that made sense. The manager echoed the agent's exact words. Was I living on bizarro world? Nothing was making sense. The agent couldn't (wouldn't?) do anything for. I cut my loses and moved my focus to the hotel.
The hotel made more of an effort, and even though they said they were booked out, they managed to find a room, with 2 beds. It cost a little bit more, but it met the requirements.
The plane spent two hours on the tarmac before taking off, and a bit more time circling Sydney airport, so I was running late for the best event kick off party.
VMdownUnderground (The before party)Due to delays getting to Sydney, I missed most of VMdownUnderground. But when I arrived, wow, the place was packed. The new venue this year was at Cohibar, upstairs from the Watershed, and a stones throw from the vForum venue (Sydney Conference & Exhibition Centre).
It's great to catch up with old friends, and meet some new ones.
Big thanks to the sponsors, NetApp, Veeam & VMUG. It's great these organisations support community initiatives like this. And the biggest thanks to Al for organising it.
vForumRegistrations were up from last year, around 6500 people this year. Did you know VMware have R&D offices in Melbourne & Sydney? I didn't. I spoke with some of the guys and girls from the Sydney R&D office, and a lot of them work on vCAC and the catalogue.
The VMUG booth was busy. There's still a lot of people that don't know about their local VMUG.
TechTalksAlastair Cooke ran 10 minute TechTalks with our local APAC vRockstars. A great way to grab nuggets of information or even put yourself out there and present one.
Simon Sharwood – Extracting technical knowledge from PR
Josh Odgers – View Composer for Array Integration (VCAI) & Nutanix
Vaughn Stewart - Solving IO Issues with Flash… A-Ah!
Arron Stebbing – Enterprise vs Commodity for Cloud
Chris Jones – Living in Harmony with vCenter Orchestrator
Craig Waters – Building a VMUG
Wrap UpThis is the best virtualisation event in the APAC region.
For anyone not living in Sydney, it's costs a little more as you need accommodation. If your workplace is OK with it, great. But for others most of the rooms are the same price regardless if they have 1 or 2 people in there, so reach out to fellow virtualisation enthusiasts in the community / VMUG, and share a room. For those that have their employer covering the costs, keep in mind the less fortunate that don't have a supportive workplace, and perhaps offer to share the room.
If you are in contact with your VMware account manager in the lead up to vForum, ask if they have any 'All Access Passes' they can throw your way.
Hope to see you all there in 2014.