BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
VMworld opened up its VMworld sessions Schedule Builder last month, but that doesn't mean there isn't still time to sign up for last-minute sessions, make changes to your schedule or add your name to the dreaded overflow line. With much anticipation surrounding VMware's partnership with Amazon Web Services, this looks to be a big year for VMware and VMworld attendees.
Still have some open slots on your VMworld 2017 schedule and looking to fill them in? Take a look at this list of sessions that have caught our attention. In addition to the standard virtualization sessions, there's a bit of something for everyone: hyper-convergence, open source, DevOps, the public cloud and more. So, be sure to sign up before it's too late, and let us know in the comments which VMworld 2017 sessions you're looking forward to most.
1. SER1411BU: vSphere Clients Roadmap: HTML5 Client, Host Client, and Web Client
When VMware did away with the vSphere Windows Client last year, users issued a collective groan at the thought of using the slow and insecure Flash-based vSphere Web Client until the new HTML5 Client got up to speed. A lot can happen in a year, though, and the HTML5 vSphere Client has made the transition from fling to feature and is progressing at a steady clip. It still has a ways to go -- a host management feature would be nice -- and this session should give us some idea of exactly how VMware intends to incorporate customer feedback into long-term plans for the HTML5 vSphere Client, as well as its other vSphere Clients.
Speakers: Dennis Lu, Product Manager, VMware
Tushar Desai, Sr. Director, vSphere UI - R&D, VMware
2. LHC2384BU: VMware Cloud on AWS: A Technical Deep Dive
The catalog for VMworld 2017 U.S. is chock-full of sessions about the first major product release from VMware's partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Though VMware's been pretty tight-lipped on details about the VMware Cloud on AWS offering, there's been a lot of talk about what it means for VMware's cloud ambitions and how it will affect each provider's customer base. This session will get into the technical specs of VMware Cloud on AWS and will hopefully give us a better understanding of its inner workings. If recent speculation proves true, we might even get an official general availability date at the conference.
Speakers: Frank Denneman, Sr. Staff Architect, VMware
Ray Budavari, Sr. Staff Technical Product Manager, VMware
3. SER2779BU: What’s New in vCenter
VCenter's become an old standby in VMware's product arsenal, but based on the release of vCenter 6.5 Update 1 this past July -- which includes a simplified user experience and universal app platform -- it's clear that the old dog can still learn new tricks. According to this year's itinerary, this session will cover new vCenter features, including "enhancements to vCenter Server Appliance" and "new security and cross-cloud capabilities."
Speakers: Kim McDole, Sr. Systems Engineer, Umpqua Bank
Madhup Gulati, Director of Product Management, VMware
4. LHC3159SU: Accelerate the Hybrid Cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS
You might ask, "Is VMware Cloud on AWS important enough to warrant a second entry on this list?" or "How does this session differ from the first VMware Cloud on AWS session on this list?" Yes, absolutely. If the hubbub surrounding VMware Cloud on AWS is any indication, the VMware-AWS partnership will likely be the focus of VMware's efforts for at least the next year, if not longer. How does this session differ from the one previously mentioned? Where the other entry on this list takes a closer look at the technical elements of VMware Cloud on AWS, this session intends to give attendees a better idea of how it will function from an enterprise perspective.
Speakers: Sai Gopalan, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, VMware
Narayan Bharadwaj, Sr. Director, Product Management, VMware
5. MGT2609BU: VMware Integrated OpenStack: What's New
As adoption rates continue to lag and user satisfaction ratings drop, it's clear that OpenStack has become a bit passé. VMware has even taken a step back, instead placing its bet on AWS as the fastest horse in the cloud race. However, in an effort to cover all of its bases, VMware still contributes to OpenStack projects and updates its VMware Integrated OpenStack offering; some reports even speculate that VMware might unveil VIO 4.0 at VMworld 2017 U.S. This session should be interesting if only to see whether VMware makes good on that conjecture and if the company can come up with a legitimate reason why customers should continue to care about OpenStack.
Speaker: Henrik Blixt, Product Line Manager, VMware
6. FUT3025PU: VMware CTO Innovation Panel: What's Next?
IT is constantly evolving, and it's a challenge for even the most experienced IT workers to keep up. For those curious about the changing IT landscape, what innovations lie just beyond the horizon and where VMware fits into this bigger picture, this session is a must. Hosted by some of VMware's CTOs, this panel will discuss everything from serverless computing to machine learning, artificial intelligence and more.
Speakers: Cameron Haight, VP & CTO, Americas, VMware
Ray O'Farrell, EVP and Chief Technology Officer, VMware
Christos Karamanolis, VMware Fellow - CTO of Storage and Availability, VMware
Shawn Bass, VP & CTO End User Computing, VMware
Mike Wookey, VP & CTO Cloud Management, VMware
7. FUT1281PU: Ask the Experts - Titans of Tech
Now in its tenth year, the Ask the Experts series has long been a highlight of VMworld, and this year will likely be no different, especially with industry leaders like Kit Colbert and Duncan Epping on the line. Come armed with questions -- this panel is entirely unscripted and completely at the audience's discretion, so you never know what could happen.
Speakers: Kit Colbert, CTO, Cloud Platform BU, VMware
Duncan Epping, Chief Technologist, VMware
Josh Gwyther, Agent of Innovation, Google
Chad Sakac, President, General Manager, Dell EMC
Rick Scherer, Principal Global Architect, Dell EMC
8. NET1510BU: Introduction to NSX-T Architecture
VMware broadened the reach of its network virtualization platform earlier this with NSX-T, which brought NSX virtual networking to non-vSphere environments. This session will explore the NSX-T architecture and all that it entails, from the NSX-T management plane to the NSX-T security infrastructure. According to statements from VMware higher-ups, NSX will play an integral part in VMware Cloud on AWS, so this session's definitely worth checking out.
Speakers: Dimitri Desmidt, Sr. Technical Product Manager, VMware
Andrew Voltmer, Group Product Line Manager, VMware
9. STO1794BU: The Evolution of VMware vSAN and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure
The appeal of hyper-converged infrastructure is obvious: It takes the components of a traditional data center and bundles it into one neat package. Although the concept of hyper-convergence is no longer a novelty, it's as relevant now as ever, and VMware has made a concerted effort to keep its popular vSAN storage offering up to date. It's been less than a month since the release of vSAN 6.6 Update 1 -- which includes vSphere Update Manager integration -- so it's unlikely we'll see a new version or update at VMworld 2017. That said, this session should still offer some insight about the road ahead for vSAN and will teach customers "how the architecture of vSAN can be adapted" to meet their needs.
Speakers: Christos Karamanolis, VMware Fellow - CTO of Storage and Availability, VMware
Vijay Ramachandran, Sr. Director, Product Management, VMware
10. DEV2353GU: UnPanel: Surviving the DevOps Transition
DevOps has revolutionized the way administrators, developers and enterprises approach IT. For the second year in a row, VMware's UnPanel makes our list of top VMworld sessions for not only its content but its format. Designed to be part panel, part debate, this should be a lively -- and perhaps even heated -- discussion of all things DevOps. You might even find yourself pulled onstage to become part of the panel!
Speakers: Ed Hoppitt, EMEA Lead - Applications Transformation, VMware
Peg Eaton, Director, Emerging Services Practice PSO, VMware
Tom Hite, Director, Emerging Solutions and Architecture Practices, VMware
VMware expands its reach beyond vSphere with NSX-T