VMworld 2014

It’s a popular thing to do at this time of year so I thought I’d grab your attention for a few minutes and tell you why I’m super excited for VMworld this year.

This year will be my sixth VMworld US conference. Every year I get a different perspective. Obviously the technologies and products change and evolve, and as the conference matures and grows, it broadens its scope. It’s easy to say things like “the talks just aren’t as technical as they used to be”, but I think that misses the real value of such a conference. For me the conference’s greatest reward has always been about the opportunity to meet and chat with my peers. The chance to discuss upcoming cool technologies, the design challenges we’re facing, what solutions we’re putting together, how the products and wider markets are changing, growing, diverging and consolidating. As ever I’m looking forward to talking to as many people as possible.


This year Scott Lowe and I will be back with a vSphere Design focused session. We’re looking at how the new software-defined approaches will impact, and can improve your vSphere design. As ever, Scott and I will do our best to get the discussion flowing in the room. This is always a fun session and I’m really looking forward to being there, talking about the design process and how things like SDN and SDS technologies are changing the landscape.

VMworld 2014 session details

There are still some seats left, so add it to you session builder line-up, come over, and join us. I was pretty humbled that Duncan Epping put this session on his must see list: http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2014/07/25/must-attend-vmworld-sessions-2014/. Thank Duncan!


I’m also looking forward to Andy Warfield’s session (Coho’s CTO) which is a panel with luminaries from Tintri, Pure, Tegile and DataGravity. I know most of the guys on the panel, and it’ll be great to watch them discuss where the storage industry is at, and where it’s going. Submit your questions beforehand, head along and see who’s crystal ball provides the most clarity.

Andy Warfield's session






Solution Exchange hall

Another thing I’m excited about this year is the experience working in the solutions exchange “on booth duty”. This will be my first year at VMworld that I’ll be attending while working for a vendor. One of the great privileges of my job as a Technical Product Manager are the chances I get to chat to users about their infrastructure needs. There isn’t a single place on the planet that’s as densely-packed with as many fellow nerds, that I can chat to about the cool stuff we do at Coho. VMworld to me has always been about geeking out over awesomesauce technology. The difference this year is that I’m expected, nay employed, to gas with others who share the same passions about smoking-hot tech as me.

Seriously, don't go to this booth. Instead, come to ours - 835!
Seriously, don’t go to this booth. Instead, come to ours – 835

Come over to the Coho Data booth 835 and tell them Forbes sent you. Chances are I’ll be there and I can show you some of the new stuff we’ll be revealing at the show.

BTW, if you’re a vExpert, sign up for some extra goodies here: http://info.cohodata.com/VMworld-2014_vExperts.html

New Coho Stuff

Which leads me on to the next thing I’m excited about at the show. Andy Warfield has already alluded to a few areas that Coho will be showcasing. We’ll be presenting some sweet previews of things like our OpenStack support and our vCenter Plugin that we’re in the process of building at Coho.

I think the really interesting bits are the early signs of where we’re taking Coho Data in the future. We already have a fascinating story around our ability to scale-out both performance and capacity, but as we look at some new hardware options in the booth you start to understand how different our offering is to other products in the vSphere market place. We’ll be able to scale performance and capacity independently from each other. We’re looking at providing all-flash storage devices that use our granular auto-tiering where SAS flash is the lower performance tier! Outrageous. Imagine being able to add 4U capacity behemoths chocked full of SATA disks totalling close to ½ PB of raw disk. All managed as one device. Like Lego bricks, you add the bits you need to fit your own environment. And when your needs change, you add only the bricks required. That’s part of the vision.

Fast, flexible, forever
No, not the American movie franchise about illegal street car racing. Coho Data’s storage.

The second bit to this is something were calling Cascade. Having a tremendously flexible storage system is cool-an’-all, but we know how complex it can be to figure out what storage is really needed. Particularly when you’re trying to predict a capacity management strategy for the next 5 years. Capacity itself is usually the easy bit, but understanding your performance needs is like milking unicorn tears. Unless you’re the bravest of technical architects, you’ll add in a fudge factor of muchos dolares. Cascade aims to figure this out for you. No need to wait until your users are hammering the service desk, complaining that their mega_corp_mission_critical_app is loading like molasses again, or their VDI desktop is now taking longer to boot up than it takes them to grab the first cup of morning joe – “who idea was it to replace my computer with this virtual thing?”. Yep, we’ve all heard it before. Cascade understands your actual workload and shows you what type of bricks you need to add. It can tell how much better your life would have been last week during that monthly billing cycle run that fell over just as you were about to tuck into that delicious double-double animal-style, if you were to add another shelf of this or that. That’s where we’re going and you’ll see previews of the hardware and the software at VMworld.

Don't let poor storage planning ruin that double double moment
Don’t let poor storage planning ruin that double double moment

Come say hi

When I’m not in the booth, I expect I’ll be flying around trying to meet as many folk as possible. There’s a reasonable chance I’ll be in the Hang Space by the bloggers table and the vBrownBag setup cranking out a blog post or catching up on twitter. Get in touch if you want to meet up.

When the conference doors are closed, I still hope to be soaking up as much as possible and talking technology whenever I can. Here’s my plan at the moment:

Saturday night

Community kickoff at Johnny Foley’s: http://twtup.com/6878fiv3e9fjrqz



Hopefully I’ll be at the vBrownBags/VMunderground opening events in the afternoon: http://blog.vmunderground.com/2014/08/05/opening-acts-2014-panelists-moderators/

Then it’s v0dgeball Charity Tournament where I’ll gallantly display my distinct lack of hand-eye coordination for the Coho team.

Last, but certainly not least, in the evening I’ll be hanging out at the VMunderground event (still tickets available!):


Monday night

I’m planning to start off socializing with my brethren from Tegile and SolidFire at their respective Monday night events (looks like I was too slow to grab a Nutanix ticket). I might compete with these guys during the day, but this is one big community where I know several friends that work for these companies. Fortunately VMworld is one of those special occasions where we can leave our nametags at the door and be respectful of each other.

Then off to the main event for the evening, the vFlipCup tournament and tweetup – should be fun.


Tuesday night

It’s always a crazy busy evening on the Tuesday. First, the vExpert/VCDX party to meet some community rockstars.
Then on to VMware’s Office of the CTO party in the vaults of the Old Mint Building. This event was hosted here last year and what an amazing place for a soiree. If you get invited you want to make sure you go.
After that I’ll pop over to meet my Veeam buddies (a new venue this year), and finally to the vBacon session down at the Ferry Building for some hard-earned bacon refreshment.


Wednesday night

I dunno. Is there a party on Wednesday night? 😉



Although I won’t be there I want to give a shout out to Crystal Lowe’s Spouseivities event. If your spouse, significant other, or buddy that’s dossing in your conference hotel room while you’re geeking it up during the day, is in town; then maybe they’d like to hang out with other hangers-on. It looks like another great line-up:

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