VMworld USA 2011: all you need to know

latest update: August 30

An overview of top rated sessions and repeat sessions for September 1 (Thursday) here.

This posting will give a lot of information on VMware VMworld USA 2011. This is one of the worlds largest IT-conferences. VMworld  USA will be held in Las Vegas August 29th through September 1st at The Venetian and will also be held October 18th through 20th at The Bella Center in Copenhagen. The USA edition will welcome over 20.000 attendees.

This years theme is Own It. Your cloud.

VMworld has a lot to offer:

  • 175 Breakout sessions with a lot of technical information on all VMware solutions.
  • Group discussions. This is for a limited number of attendees. It is not a presentation where the presenter talks and the audience listens. There is a lot of interaction between the attendees. Experiences can be exchanged. These sessions are not recorded.
  • Solution Exchange. A large hall with booths of vendors showing their solutions and doing demos.
  • 20+ Hands on labs: here you can work with VMware software in a lab environment and get to know the products. Very cool.
  • Partner sessions. Information exclusively for VMware partners with info on selling the solutions. 
  • Party: on Wednesday evening a big party will be held, most likely with a famous band or artist. Foreigner was the band in 2009.
  • Networking. Lots of other people with knowledge and experience on VMware solutions will attend VMworld. There are a lot of parties which are an excellent opportunity to meet other people and do networking. Make sure to bring your business cards.

If you are in doubt whether to go or not, see this posting titled
Top 10 Reasons to Attend VMworld


  • Be sure to visit the hands-on-labs. There might be a possibility that somewhere in the future the labs can be done anywhere anytime but for now VMworld will be the only place to play with all the VMware solutions in a lab!
  • Do not try to schedule the whole day with breakout sessions. These are recorded so you can watch them later
  • Do networking. Lots of great people are at VMworld willing to exchange ideas, knowledge etc
  • Be sure the visit the Solution Exchange. Some great solutions can be seen. Also very good for swag (give-aways like t-shirts, iPad, storage etc)
  • Group discussions are a great way to meer other customers of VMware and share experiences. Limited number of seats!
  • Duncan Epping has a great post with good tips on VMworld 2011 USA. Read it here.

Convince your boss
You already know how important VMworld 2011 is for your organization. Covering every aspect of virtualization and cloud computing, this once-a-year-event will provide essential opportunities for hands-on instruction, product evaluation, networking and brainstorming. The business impact of your VMworld participation, including increased simplicity, agility and cost efficiency, makes this one of the best IT investments your company will make all year.

Continue here and download a letter for your boss

Registration for VMworld USA and Europe can be done at VMworld.com
EMC gives discount. Details see here.

Also Symantec gives discount. Register via this link

VMworld Expo only pass
Were you wanting to attend VMworld, but couldn’t get the budget for a full conference rate approved; don’t worry as VMware  launched the Expo Only pass for the Las Vegas event. This pass provides you access to the Solutions Exchange, attend General Sessions and network with thousands of peers during the 4-day event.
Read more here

VMworld 2010
The sessions of last year are now viewable for everyone, not just for the attendees of VMworld 2010.

VMworld USA 2011 Program Guide
At registration you will recieve a printed book called the Program Guide. This has all the information of VMworld like a map of The Venetian, the agenda, the sessions, the sponsors, the solution Exchange etc etc. Very handy to read before starting VMworld.
download the PDF version here.

Watch VMworld streaming video
During VMworld lots of video content will be streamed. Keep an eye on this channel. For an overview of VMworld 2011 schedule for theCUBE live streaming video see this link.

Also see this page with an overview of all the Live Broadcasts from VMworld

VMworld 2011 app for iPad en iPhone

The official VMworld 2011 mobile app is a show program, breakout session schedule builder and Solutions Exchange guide for attendees of the VMworld conference. With the Mobile App, you can:

-View sessions by day and track
-Schedule Breakout Sessions
-View Hands-on Labs
-Browse exhibitor listings by name
-Find your way around the expo
-Create a personal agenda containing the Breakout Sessions you pre-registered for
-Follow the event’s Twitter stream

Carry the entire VMworld event in the palm of your hand, with the freshest information possible!
Download here.

VMworld is being used by lots of vendors to announce new solutions. VMware announced vSphere 5, SRM 5, vShield 5 and vCloud Director 1.5 at July 12. Expected is that those products will have it’s GA (general available) just before or around VMworld 2011.
Besides this news, lots of more exciting news is the be expected. EMC might announce the release of Project Lightning, server basedPCIe  flash storage which could be a new tier of storage (tier 0, -1?). Also maybe View 5 will be announced or released?

Schedule sessions after registration!!

New this year, attendees must pre-register for sessions. Without pre-registration, you will not be given access to any breakout sessions.
View a full listing of sessions, organize your days, and register for the sessions you want to attend. Most sessions will be repeated at least once and we will be adding additional sessions based on popularity, so if it is full, check back.

Reserve at least one hour to fill in the schedule. There are lots of sessions to choose from. Also some sessions you are interested in will have a conflict. Also the schedule of sessions might change. You will be notified by email if this occurs.

If you are not able to be at a session you want to attend, no problem. So of the most popular sessions will be repeated. This will be announced on the screen in the Venetian. Also a couple of weeks after VMworld all sessions will be viewable on vmworld.com for all who attended.

The scheduler builder at VMworld needs some improvements. Maish Saidel-Keesing created an Excel sheet with an overview of all sessions,Easy to filter on time, Speaker, Track, Session Type etc. Download it here

Social Media Guide
Tony Dunn created this great document with an overview of all the social media in use at VMworld. Twitter, video streaming, Facebook, foursquare it is all there.

webcast: EMC VMworld Live Preview
On July 28 Chad Sakac (EMC) and Bogomil Balkansky (VMware) gave a preview of the latest technology integrations, essential sessions, hands-on lab experience, product demos, must-have giveaways, and fabulous parties!

The webcast has been recorded and can be seen here. Very much recommended.

The presentation can be downloaded in PDF here

Recommended sessions by Duncan Epping of VMware

VMworld Alumni Program
Have you attended two previous VMworld conferences? If so, you are a VMworld alumnus, and VMware wants to recognize and thank you. Come by the Alumni Lounge located on Level 1, across from Casanova 501 at The Venetian, to receive your Alumni gift, hang out, get online, have a snack, or simply rest. 

VMworld 2011 Program Overview

 Click on the image for a large overview 





Recommended sessions by Chad Sakac of EMC

VSP1425: Ask the vExpert vbloggers
VSP1956: The ESXi Quiz Show
VSP1926: Getting started in vSphere design
BCO2479: Understanding vsphere Streched Clusters, Diaster Recovery and planned workload mobility
CAP2471: A customer scenario for next-generation data management with vfabric
BCA192: design, deploy and optimize Sharepoint 2010 on vSphere
CIM2343: Building a real life high performance financial services cloud: NYSE technologies

The sessions below are so called killer ‘secret sessions’. The content might not always reveal the cool stuff that is being presented of demo-ed
VSP3205 Technology overview: vstorage APIs for Vm and Application Granular Data Management. Chad mentions: prepare to have your face melted and Colossal train wreck probability during demo. This session will give a preview of some of the new technologies in the long distance/future to come.
VSP1682 vSphere Clustering Q+A
VSP1700 vSphere 5.0 storage features
vsp1823 Storage DRS
GD10 Site Recovery Manager. This is a group discussion. There is a lot of interaction between the presenter and the attendees. you can interact with other customers.
VSP3116 vSphere 5.0 resource management deep dive
CIM2916 what’s new in VMware vCloud Director
GD32 vSphere and vCloud Director

Solution Exchange
A large hall with lots of booths, noice and give-aways! Make sure to visit and look arond. Some tips:
Zerto at Booth #973. They are going to release a cool hypervisor based replication solution
Sanbolic at booth 346. They have a great solution for clustered filesystem. If you are thinking about using Hyper-V, consider Melio FS
Veeam: great software like Veeam Backup & Replication. Unique feature of instant VM recovery. Must see demo!
VMware: all the solutions on demo, see also the hands-on-labs

Vendor sessions
For an overview of Dell sessions during VMworld see this link
Overview of NetApp Featured Demos and Solutions at VMworld 2011
overview of HP sessions

For information on NetApp booth see this link

Live blogging
I will be attending VMworld USA and do my best to blog about what I learn. Check this site for updates and follow me on Twitter. @marcelvandenber


EMC has a kind of competition on Twitter during VMworld with all kind of tasks and challenges. Prizes are available! Read more about it here.

Marcus Smith writes about his VMworld experience on his blog. Read the posting titled VMworld – The Most Valuable Experience of my IT Career.

VMworld Community Video
This year an important part of the VMworld Opening General Session will be a video representing the VMworld community. VMware would like for you to be part of this, so they are asking you to take a few minutes to shoot a very brief video of yourself saying four key phrases on your digital device of choice. More info here

If you are not from the USA do not forget to fill in an ESTA form (sort of visa).

Things to do in Las Vegas
VMware didn’t choose Las Vegas for nothing. This is the city that never sleeps. Lots to do and to explore. Think about Grand Canyon, exciting rides, hotels with shows, casinos, almost free dinner, etc.  Las Vegas Magazine has an overview of restaurants, activities, etc. Digital edition here.

Some recommended things to do

Fremont Street Experience A great visual show projected on the roof of a shopping mall. MUST see! See this video.
Grand Canyon Skywalk
Stratosphere Tower + rides
Hotel New York New York Roller Coaster

General session
The general session/key note will be on Monday afternoon 3:30 p-05:00p. The general session is where everyone attending VMworld will come together. On Monday Paul Maritz, CEO of VMware will do his presentation. Paul will tell about the history of VMware and its solutions and will highlight the vision and cloud especially. Maybe some sponsors will join the stage to tell about their solutions.

The keynote on Tuesday morning will be done by Steve Herrord, CTO of VMware. We will for sure demo some interesting cool features.  This keynote has a more technical focus. Be sure not to miss this one!

Exclusively for vExperts there will be a meeting on Sunday discussing the program and meetup with other vExperts. See the vExpert forum at VMware Communities.
There will be special facilities for bloggers. Bloggers will have seating in the front rowes during keynotes.There will also be a bloggers lounge with seats, tables and power outlets. Not sure yet how to become a blogger pass.

taken from http://www.vmworld.com/blogs/vmworld/2011/08/03/twitter-and-blog-contributors-at-vmworld-2011-las-vegas

VMworld 2011 (Las Vegas) is fast approaching and VMworld tweets and blog postings are building momentum. To help collaboration and exposure for these social media efforts at the conference, we have created wiki documents on VMworld.com for Twitter and Blogger contributor lists.

VMworld attendees and non-attendees who will be contributing tweets or blog postings for can add themselves to these lists.  These lists are available for the community to view and share or to use for meet-ups and attendance checks at the conference.  We will also use this list of contributors to enable feeds of VMworld content on VMworld.com and at the conference.

Twitter Contributors: http://vmware.com/go/vmworld-twitter

Bloggers: http://vmware.com/go/vmworld-bloggers

WiFI will not be available in the sessions rooms. For liveblogging of the keynotes on Monday and Tuesday blogger tables with WiFi for press will be available. There will be a community lounge with tables for bloggers and wired internet.

Party and social activities:

TweetUps. For an overview of TweetUp meeting see this link.

Sunday august 28: SOLD OUT VMundergroud Warm Up party. 7pm-10pm  Free. Tickets were sold out  within 4 minutes!. Information here.

Sunday August 28 0700PM-10:00PM vOdgeball
vOdgeball is some sort of self invented ball game between several vendors at VMworld. A competition will be held on Sunday. Registration here Follow hashtag #vodgeball

Monday August 29
VMworld Red Rock Canyon Bike Ride & Fun Run
at  05:00AM-08:00AM
Join fellow VMworld attendee cyclists and runners/walkers on Monday morning and experience the beauty of the Las Vegas desert and towering cliffs of Red Rock Canyon. Info and registration here

Monday August 29 : Welcome Reception 5pm-7.30pm
Monday August 29: #cxiparty after Welcome Reception-> free , location Cosmopolitan Hotel(west tower)  Las Vegas Registration here Starts 08:30 PM, ends at 04:30AM. Expected are over 800 attendees. Attended by the top industry experts in virtualization, cloud and applications.

Monday August 29: Acronis Party with Carl Lewis . 8pm to 10pm at Aquaknox Restaurant at the Venetian Hotel

An overview of parties and social activities compiled by Tim Oudin here.

Tuesday August 30 evening: Partner events (Dell, Veeam, EMC)
The EMC party will be held at the Surrender Night Club @ The Wynn. There is an open bar, passed appetizers, entertainment and awards will be given to EMC customers. To attend this event contact the EMC sales department.

The Veeam Party is at 8:00 PM and invite only. You need to be a partner or customer to be able to attend the party. Also when you posted 10 or more postings on the Veeam community forum you are eligible for entry. Send Anton Gostev @gostev a PM to be added to the guest list.

CTO party : 5:30PM-7:00PM. Steve Herrod invites vExperts and seletive guests for a party prior to the VMworld Party. Details can be found in the vExpert Community forum.

VMworld Party 7pm-10pm. The band will be The Killers. Famous for their hit Human.

Girlfriend/wive & other activities

If you bring your girlfriend or wive with you to Las Vegas she is going to be entertained as well. Lots of activities for spouses. Register here. Spousetivities started in 2008 and had 25 participants. It grew to 75 in 2009, 150 in 2010 and expected this year are 300! Activities are ‘get to know breakfast, walking tours of the Las Vegas Strip, Grand Canyon tour, Lake Mead tour, Hoover Dam tour, cooking clases, spa treatments.

Hands on labs
One of the highlights of VMworld are the hands-on-labs. The number of  self paced labs grow each year. This year 31 labs are available for all kinds of VMware solutions.New this year are scenario based labs. Each scenario involves a fictive company like an enterprise, hosting company. There will also be partner labs available of EMC, Cisco and others. New this years also is that certain labs are available in Japanse and German language.

New this year is that hans-on-labs will be available on Sunday already. Last year 44 hours of labs were available, this year 50! Expectesd target for this year is 225000 virtual machines to be deployed (last year 145k).

Hands-on Labs will be available on-demand (no need to register first) and can be taken at any time throughout the event. You can add Lab time to your personal schedule, but will need to visit the Labs at VMworld to sign-up.
Lab Hours:

Sunday 2:00pm – 8:00pm
Monday 8:00am – 3:00pm
Tuesday 10:00am – 10:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday 8:00am – 4:00pm
As far as I know this year at VMworld there will be no possibility to do an exam  like VCP4 or VCP5.
There will also be no VCDX defense panel at VMworld.
Prepare for VMware Certifications and SAVE
Prepare for VMware Advanced Certifications and the newly released VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 5 (VCP5) while at VMworld! Certification Quickstarts are being held on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Sands, Level 1, Room 404. There is also a Certification Lounge in the Sands, Level 1, Room 305, where you will receive 50% off select exam registration fees. We will also provide free training materials and great give-aways. Visit us in the VMware booth #621 for more information. 
EMC Booth
One of the largerst booths in the Solutions Exchange hall will be that of EMC. Here you can see the EMC storage solutions like VNX, Avamar, VNXe etc etc. Also demos. There are also 19 self paced vLabs available to try all kinds of cool stuff. There are giveaways like Apple TV, t-shirts, tote bags and an Iomega PX4!
Recommended sessions
Thomas MacKay created an overview of recommended breakout sessions.

More tips!
Severall people also wrote down their tips in blogpostings. An overview here:
VMworld Tips, Tricks and Prize winning #vmworld  by Christopher Kusek
Tips for VMworld US 2011 & Las Vegas by Bob Plankers
VMworld Virgin Tips by vExperts by   Bilal Hashmi

How to take less business cards to a conference…and still make good contacts

VMworld 2012
If you cannot make it in 2011, the dates and location for VMworld 2012 are already known. The event will be in the Moscone Center in San Francisco during the last week of August

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