My Favourite VMworld 2020 Sessions

16. September 2020 Events, VMworld | Explore 0
My Favourite VMworld 2020 Sessions

With roughly two weeks to go, VMworld 2020 is just around the corner. The number of sessions available in the catalog is HUGE! If I just look at the number of sessions available with the general (free!) pass … wow! The schedule builder allows you to easily search and filter through the catalog. All sessions are nicely categorized in the five well-known VMware strategic themes:

  • Multi-Cloud
  • App Modernization
  • Intrinsic Security
  • Virtual Cloud Network
  • Digital Workspace

There is also a VMworld specific catagory called “Vision and innovation”. Sessions in this category are ML, AI & HPC, Office of the CTO, Professional Development and Vision & Innovation types of sessions.

If you haven’t registered for VMworld yet, drop everything you’re doing and register right away. It’s free, it’s awesome and you can attend from the comfort of your home or office. Register here!

These are some of the sessions I’m really looking forward to. I tried to limit myself to two sessions per category but given the sheer amount of sessions, that’s next to impossible. But here goes…


60 Minutes of NUMA [HCP2453]

Frank Denneman, Chief Technologist, CPBU, VMware

Abstraction is the fundamental design concept in today’s IT world. Constructs such as software-defined data centers, Kubernetes and VMware vSphere clusters, as well as software-defined network overlays, shield the user from dealing with low-level infrastructure components. But they require the admin and the architect to focus on individual host components again. In this session, we explore the many facets of non-uniform memory architecture (NUMA). Understand the difference between Intel Xeon Scalable and AMD Rome architecture. Learn how to determine the underlying configuration of a VM, and discover the connection between the PCI devices and the NUMA node. Learn how this contributes to optimal scaling decisions and allows you to rightsize your virtual data center to achieve consistent performance.

Why this session?

Frank’s content on CPU architectures, CPU scheduling and NUMA is amazing. I love how he dives extremely deep in this complex stuff and is able to explain it to a large audience. I think following this session from home, well rested, with a notepad on my lap, a good cup of coffee and my full attention wil make it even better!

Deep Dive into VMware’s new DRaaS based on Datrium [HCI2886]

Nabil Quadri, Product Line Manager, VMware
Sazzala Reddy, Chief Technologist, VMware

Join Sazzala Reddy (co-founder of Datrium, ex-CTO of Data Domain) & Nabil Quadri (VMware Product Manager of DRaaS) as they detail the newest member of the VMware Cloud family. Traditional data protection and DR solutions have many moving parts which makes things complex, expensive and unreliable. Newer cloud backup solutions promise lower costs but force a compromise on recovery time, scale, and performance. Meanwhile, ransomware is increasingly causing large-scale outages and these other solutions can’t help. Dive deep into how DR with VMware succeeds where others fail, with the Datrium solution’s powerful DR workflows wrapped in a super-simple, modern SaaS experience and the operational consistency of VMware Cloud. Learn about continuous compliance checks, immutable backups & always-on data integrity, and see the service in action.

Why this session?

I love Datrium. At ITQ we were talking to the amazing people at Datrium to see how we could help our customers provide a cost-efficient DRaaS solution. I think this is a really valuable acquisition by VMware and I can’t wait for the Datrium technology to be incorporated in the VMware Cloud portfolio.

App Modernization

A Deeper Look at the Kubernetes Cluster API [KUB2470]

Tim Carr, Staff Cloud Native Field Engineer, VMware
Scott Lowe, Staff Cloud Native Architect, VMware

The Kubernetes Cluster API is a powerful open source project leveraged by a number of products in the VMware Tanzu portfolio, such as VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and VMware Tanzu Mission Control. In this session, you will gain a better understanding of what the Cluster API is, how it works, and how it’s leveraged by products such as Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and Tanzu Mission Control to help solve customer problems.

Why this session?

VMware is obviously going all-in on Kubernetes (duh). I think Cluster API is a core technology fundamental to the Tanzu portfolio and I simply want to get a better understanding of it. This is just me trying to learn about cool new technology!

Application Modernization with VMware Cloud on AWS and Kubernetes [MAP1251]

Michael Vu, Consultant Professional Services CEMEA, VMware
Alex Dess, VMware Cloud Solutions Engineer, VMware

In the real world, parts of an application are modernized to get the maximum value, compared to the high effort of refactoring the whole application. Apps are commonly modernized to make use of features, such as auto-scaling and monitoring, or to decompose single modules because they became too big and complex for a single team to fully understand and maintain. VMware Cloud offers a rich feature set for application modernization. It offers the benefits of VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Plus to easily integrate Kubernetes workloads, and also offers a huge set of native services. This allows companies to tackle their application problems and choose the modernization strategy that best fits their applications and business needs. Most often, this is a mix of Kubernetes, native service integration and automation.

Why this session?

This session combines two areas of technology I am deeply interested in: Kubernetes and VMware Cloud on AWS. I see a lot of customers struggle with adopting some of the public cloud flavours of Kubernetes and I’m keen to understand how VMC on AWS and TKG integrate to provide customers an easy to consume Kubernetes experience without all the public cloud lock-ins.

Virtual Cloud Network

Active-Active SDDC with NSX Advanced Load Balancer Solutions [VCNC2043]

Vincent Han, Staff Specialist Solution Engineer, Networking and Security, VMware
Kian Wah Lai, Senior Consultant, VMware

In this session, you will hear from network virtualization experts on how they help customers design and build an active-active software-defined data center (SDDC) architecture, using VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer and VMware NSX-T solutions to address their requirements to achieve a highly available and secure infrastructure. You will see live demonstrations, design reference architectures and design rationales in this session. You will walk away with lessons learned, best practices and pitfalls to avoid so you can design and build a successful active-active SDDC solution.

Why this session?

I’m a VCDX on NSX but unfortunately in my new role at ITQ, I haven’t been really active with NSX-T lately. I really want to learn more about the AVI load balancer and see how it helps customers build active-active data centers.

The Future of Networking with VMware NSX [VCNC1555]

Bruce Davie, CTO, Asia Pacific & Japan, VMware

In this session, we will look into the future to see why networking will be the enabling force behind many breakthrough innovations, from next-generation applications to the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G. To better understand the future of networking, we will explore the progression of networking as it has become increasingly software based. Network virtualization has become a key enabler of modern apps, providing automation and security controls required by these apps. We will look into some emerging technologies inside VMware NSX-T, such as support for Kubernetes and service mesh, intrusion detection, and other innovations designed to provide the necessary control for complex and distributed cloud applications. We’ll also include demos of new networking capabilities.

Why this session?

This a session I always attend at VMworld. Bruce is an great presenter and his vision on the future of NSX networking is always extremely insightful. Don’t miss this session!

NSX Federation: Everything About Network and Security [VCNC1178D]

Dimitri Desmidt, Senior Technical Product Manager, VMware

This session will introduce you to VMware NSX-T Federation. You will learn all the benefits NSX-T Federation brings with central management, consistent policy and very simple (but still very effective) disaster recovery. This session will go over the NSX-T Federation management, security and networking capabilities. You will also see a couple of demos on disaster recovery, as well as active-active data center use cases. A shorter duration of this session is also available under the same title. Watch this session if you want to hear speakers expound on the topic.

Why this session?

I haven’t had the chance to look closely at NSX Federation yet. I’ve encountered enough Cross-vCenter NSX-v ugliness in the past so I definitely want to learn if and how NSX Federation brings proper multi-site NSX to the table.

Intrinsic Security

Demystifying the NSX-T Data Center Distributed Firewall [ISNS1141]

John Krueger, Principal Instructor, VMware
Tim Burkard, Senior Technical Instructor, VMware

VMware NSX-T Data Center Distributed Firewall—the wow of micro-segmentation. But many questions arise. How does it work? Is the rule working? Where are these packets being stopped? Why aren’t these packets getting through? How do you reach a true Zero Trust environment? We will take an advanced look at the architecture and the inner workings of the Distributed Firewall to track, manage and troubleshoot packets traveling through it. We will use a combination of user interface (UI) and command line interface (CLI) tools for troubleshooting, and use VMware NSX Intelligence and VMware vRealize Network Insight to build the rules. You will walk out with a collection of real-world tools to manage and troubleshoot the Distributed Firewall.

Why this session?

Microsegmentation and Zero Trust comes up in almost every customer discussion about NSX. This session provides some excellent touchpoints on how to actually implement microsegmentation. Really interesting!

Intro to VMware Carbon Black Cloud Workload [ISWL2616]

Chris Corde, VP, Product Management, VMware

Join this session to discover agentless protection for vSphere workloads that’s easy to operationalize, while reducing the attack surface and strengthening overall security posture. We’ll explore best practices for securing workloads, including foundational workload hardening, vulnerability management and IT hygiene, combined with industry-leading prevention, detection and response capabilities to dramatically improve your organization’s security posture.

Why this session?

Carbon Black is one of the most impactful acquisitions of VMware. Cybersecurity is a strategic theme for almost every customer. I am looking forward to learning more about the solution and how it integrates with other VMware products.

Digital Workspace

Back-End, Meet Front-End: Modern App Delivery with Tanzu and Workspace ONE [DWMM1468]

Andrew McCarter, Consultant, AMER EUC, VMware
Michael Timmers, Tanzu Solution Engineer, VMware
Sean Connolly, Associate Consultant II, AMER EUC, VMware

As continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) becomes more ingrained in organizational go-to-market strategies and pushes the boundaries of application development, immense stress is placed on traditional IT infrastructure. VMware Tanzu alleviates this pressure by promoting scale of back-end development, all while VMware Workspace ONE accelerates front-end delivery. Join two End-User Computing consultants and a VMware Tanzu solution engineer as they demo the combined capabilities of each solution to deliver a seamless strategy for modern application development, delivery and monitoring. This will showcase the power of VMware’s portfolio in adopting the CI/CD framework. See how the distinct intersection of VMware Tanzu and Workspace ONE will enable organizations to remove siloes once thought impossible to overcome.

Why this session?

What’s the use of speeding up your development cycles and release pipelines if your digital workspace can’t keep up? I think this is a really interesting area to explore and I’m looking forward to this session a lot.

From Horizon VDI On Premises to VMware Cloud on AWS: A Customer’s Journey [DWHV1484]

Nick Akl, EVP, Infrastrucutre Technology, PennyMac
Hilko Lantinga, Staff EUC Architect, VMware
Sean Lambert, Staff Technical Account Manager, VMware

Join our customer, PennyMac, as they discuss how they successfully deployed more than 5,000 VMware Horizon virtual desktops on VMware Cloud on AWS. They will also share their best practices to help you with your deployment. We will also talk about what is new with the Horizon on VMware Cloud on AWS solution.

Why this session?

I always love to hear customer stories. Especially when they involve VMware Cloud on AWS. I think the Horizon Cloud on VMC solution can be groundbreaking if you are looking to move large portions of your apps to AWS or VMC on AWS. Now you can place your VMware VDI environment right next to your AWS workloads. Awesome!

Vision & Innovation, ML, AI & HPC, Office of the CTO, and Professional Development

Achieving Happiness: Leadership Edition [ETPD2971]

Amanda Blevins, Senior Director & Chief Technologist, Office of the CTO, VMware

This session is for everyone. It begins with sharing how to identify happiness for one’s self. Then it moves into aligning career and brand to support one’s life goals. The session ends with concrete examples of what leadership is, how to be a leader, and personal growth in this area. You will leave this session with an increased understanding of shaping your thoughts and behavior to optimize the opportunities for personal and career happiness.

Why this session?

I love listening, reading and watching content on (personal) leadership. From the Steven Covey classics to Extreme Ownership and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fxck

Dynamic Optimization of Mixed VDI and Artificial Intelligence Workloads [ETML1848]

Luke Wignall, Director of Technical Product Marketing, NVIDIA
Sean Massey, Staff Cloud Solutions Architect, VMware
Johan van Amersfoort, Technologist EUC & AI, ITQ Consultancy
Tony Foster, Principal Engineer, Technical Marketing, Dell EMC

The world has changed. Organizations are being asked to do more with less, and deliver virtual desktops to a remote workforce that can run any application, including 3D professional visualization, and solve critical problems with high-performance computing (HPC) or artificial intelligence (AI). How can organizations maximize their return in both areas while minimizing costs, delivering results and providing an outstanding user experience? In this session, we will show you how to unify the infrastructure for these workloads with dynamic optimization of resources. See how easy it is to turn your NVIDIA vGPU enabled VDI environment into a powerhouse HPC environment, then revert back to VDI as demand changes. We will answer your questions on how to get started with dynamic workload optimization, going beyond VDI by day and compute by night.

Why this session?

This list can’t be complete without this awesome session. My colleague Johan van Amersfoort is doing amazing stuff with AI/ML, Bitfusion and GPU acceleration. This is cutting edge stuff you don’t want to miss!

Inside xLabs and Off-Roadmap Innovation in the VMware Office of the CTO [OCTO2406]

Daniel Beveridge, Director, Advanced Technologies Group, VMware
Chris Wolf, Vice President, Advanced Technology Group, VMware
Haining Zhang, Chief Architect, VMware
Sheri Byrne-Haber, Staff II, Accessibility Architect, VMware
Matt Coppinger, Director of AR/VR, Office of the CTO, VMware
Amit Garg, Machine Learning Engineer Intern, VMware

The xLabs team in the VMware Office of the CTO incubates new technology solutions with the goal of bringing them to market in anywhere from six months to three years. Attend this session to learn about the range of recently graduated and currently incubating innovation projects crossing a wide range of technologies, including virtual service networks and network slicing, AR/VR, edge computing, cloud native applications, accessibility, machine learning, management and automation, and more.

Why this session?

VMware is such an innovative company. People who stopped looking at VMware after they revolutionised the server market with ESXi often mistake VMware for being some legacy infrastructure company focussing just on server virtualization. They couldn’t be more from the truth. This session provides a glimpse of all the cool new stuff that’s shaping the VMware of the future.

Inside VMware’s Innovation Engine [OCTO3021]

Michael Gandy, Director, VMware

VMware is consistently ranked among the most innovative company’s in the world: here is why: How does VMware keep innovating for the past 21 years? How does VMware think about sustaining and disruptive innovations? What is it that differentiates it from others in the market? What are the most valuable lessons learned? This session is a unique chance for VMworld attendees to look behind the VMware innovation curtain and see how VMware nurture innovation.

Why this session?

See above.

Live Q&A with VMware CTO and Office of the CTO Leadership [VI3347]

Joe Baguley, VP & CTO EMEA, VMware
Chris Wolf, Vice President, Advanced Technology Group, VMware

At VMworld 2020, Greg Lavender, VMware Chief Technology Officer, shared a glimpse in to the future and showcased some co-innovation projects coming out of VMware’s Office of the CTO and our broader R&D organization. Join this session to ask Greg and Office of the CTO Leaders your questions about VMware technology strategy, innovation, and more.

Why this session?

Simple. Never pass up a chance to do a live Q&A with Joe Baguley and Kit Colbert.

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