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VMworld 2011 breakout sessions: End-user computing, SRM and vSphere 5

Mike Laverick previews the eye-catching VMworld 2011 breakout sessions that focus on the latest VMware releases, including vSphere 5, Site Recovery Manager and end-user computing.

VMworld 2011 is an especially important show for VMware because of all the company’s new releases, including vSphere 5, vShield 5 and vCloud Director 1.5.

For attendees, there will be a number of excellent breakout sessions that explain these new features and technologies. By going to the right breakout sessions, you can separate yourself from the rank-and-file IT crowd.

The VMworld 2011 breakout sessions that I will focus on cover end-user computing, site recovery, stretched clusters and new vSphere 5 features. These VMworld 2011 breakout sessions will provide a fresh look at VMware’s upcoming products as well as the company’s technology roadmap.

End-user computing breakout sessions at VMworld 2011
EUC1881: End User Computing 2012 and the Cloud
Date and time: Wednesday, August 31 at 11:30 a.m.
Speaker: Scott Davis, VMware

If you are looking for a VMworld 2011 breakout session that articulates VMware’s vision on end-user computing, look no further. Expect to hear about VMware's cloud initiatives and end-user computing portfolio, including View, Zimbra, smartphone virtualization and a few surprises.

EUC2956: VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform: Solving Enterprise Mobility Challenges
Date and time: Tuesday, August 30 at noon
Speakers: Courtney Skay, Hoofar Razavi and Srinivas Krishnamurti, VMware

I’m hoping this session will shed some light on the Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP), VMware’s smartphone virtualization technology.

I had the good fortune of attending the Gestalt IT Tech Field Day in Boston this summer, and one of the sessions took place at an office that VMware shares with Google. There, the development of VMware’s smartphone virtualization caught my attention.

We saw VMware’s type-2 smartphone hypervisor run an Android smartphone OS inside a virtual machine (VM), which allowed users to easily toggle between their personal and business phone.

It’s not clear if there’s a demand for smartphone virtualization, and we weren’t given any insight on how the hypervisor’s management works. So I think it’s time for VMware to explain when this technology will become commercially available and how IT pros will handle management. After all, we saw a prototype of MVP at VMworld 2009.

Site recovery breakout sessions at VMworld 2011
BCO1562: Site Recovery Manager 5.0 and VMware vSphere Replication: Understanding the Use Cases and Implementation Options
Date and time: Tuesday, August 31 at noon or Wednesday, August 31 at 10 a.m.
Speaker: Lee Dilworth, VMware

This breakout session should detail vSphere Replication, a vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5 feature that lets you copy VMs from one site to another without the need for array-based replication.

BCO3276: Disaster Recovery and Site Migration with SRM - Customer Experience from Around the Globe
Date and time: Wednesday, August 31 at 11:30 a.m.
Speakers: Christopher Wells, TUV Rheinland Japan Ltd., and others

If you want to learn about surviving a disaster from an IT standpoint, there isn’t a better way than by listening to someone who has. Christopher Wells was in the thick of the devastating Japanese tsunami earlier this year, and his data center faced rolling blackouts in downtown Tokyo. Luckily, Chris’ business had the foresight to implement SRM.

Chris’s blog post on his experiences have accrued thousands of hits, and his VMworld 2011 breakout session will give you a chance to hear his story directly.

Stretched clustering breakout sessions at VMworld 2011
BCO2395: Stretch Clustering -- Now and Beyond
Date and time: Wednesday, August 31 at 10 a.m.
Speakers: Charles Gautreaux, TIAA-CREF and Tom Stephens, VMware

Charles Gautreaux is a vice president of VMware’s Global VMware User Group, and he’s often at the bleeding edge of new technologies from VMware and other companies.

Expect lots of juicy information about how he built a stretched high-availability cluster between his company’s two sites in Charlotte, N.C. His organization concluded that a stretched cluster was more important than implementing SRM or a cloud-based infrastructure.

BCO2479: Understanding vSphere Stretched Clusters, Disaster Recovery and Planned Workload Mobility
Date and time: Tuesday, August 30 at 4:30 p.m. or Wednesday, August 31 at 1 p.m.
Speakers: Lee Dilworth, VMware and Chad Sakac, EMC Corp.

This session focuses on different implementations of VMware High Availability (HA) stretched clusters. In each scenario, the presenters will cover the supported best practices for both vSphere 4.1 and vSphere 5.

I think the development of VMware HA will encourage more customers to adopt stretched clusters. VMware has completely redesigned the product, making it more reliable and easier to implement stretched clusters.

VSP1682: vSphere Clustering Q&A
Date and time: Monday, August 29  at 8 a.m.
Speakers: Duncan Epping, Frank Denneman and Christopher Colotti, VMware

These VMworld 2011 presenters are experts on High Availability, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and Storage DRS. Look for detailed information on Storage DRS, one the most widely anticipated features in vSphere 5. This feature can move VMs based on disk I/O, rather than just RAM and CPU consumption.

This session will also be an opportunity to ask questions about VMware HA. Duncan and Frank have written books about HA, and I expect them to write a new one on the redesigned version. Who knows, maybe one of your questions will appear in their book?

VMworld 2011 breakout sessions on vSphere 5
VSP1700: vSphere 5.0 Storage Features
Date and time: Tuesday, August 29 at 1 p.m.; Wednesday, August 30 at 12:30 p.m.; Thursday, September 1 at 11 a.m.
Speaker: Cormac Hogan, VMware

VSphere 5 introduces a host of new storage features, including a new version of the Virtual Machine File System (VMFS), storage profiles and storage clusters. In fact, you could say that that vSphere 5 is more of a storage release, whereas vSphere 4 featured more improvements to the networking stack.

VSP1956: The ESXi Quiz Show
Date and time: Monday August 28 at 1 p.m.
Speakers: John Troyer, Duncan Epping and Pablo Roesch, VMware

The ESX hypervisor and its full-blown service console will soon be ancient history, and I expect that there are a significant number of people who are very nervous about changing to ESXi. This breakout session may be an opportunity to learn more about VMware’s lightweight hypervisor. But more importantly, it may help explain how ESXi 5 architecturally differs from its ESX 3i and ESXi 4 predecessors.­­

I’m also hoping that a quiz-show format will be a light relief from the Microsoft PowerPoint slides that dominate some presentations.

VSP2376: Performance and Scalability Enhancements in VMware vStorage VMFS 5
Date and time: Wednesday, August 31 at 8 a.m.
Speaker: Mostafa Khalil, VMware

VMware will release VMFS 5 with major changes, including virtual-disk capacities of up to 2 TB. Mostafa Khalil is certainly an expert in this field and very technically knowledgeable, so brace yourself: This session isn’t for the faint of heart.

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