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Thoughts From VMworld

Once again I'm leaving a conference with my head aching from the firehose of information I've been fed by vendors and my feet are just generally aching.  It would be hard to tell from the crowd at VMworld that we're in the middle of a recession as the show floor seemed busy from start to end. Of course the crowding during the Monday evening "welcome reception" was as much about the free food and booze as it was the opportunity to drool over Cisco UCS and EMC V-Max gear.  

That's not to say there aren't some grumbles. Unlike other conferences that use pre-conference schedule builders on the web to allocate rooms by size. VMworld has attendees register for sessions and works the doors to allow registered folks in before any of the great unwashed that have to wait on line until the session starts. While this seems like a better idea, San Francisco's Moscone Center apparently doesn't have enough large meeting rooms for VMware to set up multiple rooms that can each accommodate the hundreds of people that want to attend popular sessions. 

As a member of the chattering class, I usually book up vendor briefings as their PR reps call and email in the weeks before a conference and then try to poke my head into sessions in between scheduled briefings. As a result I didn't book session and lab time until I arrived in San Fran on Sunday. Much to my surprise well over 80% of the sessions Monday through Wednesday were already listed as full, with the remainder being things like "Manage your VMware Infrastructure from your iPhone" that weren't near and dear to this network and storage geek's heart.

Some attendees, having gotten used to the catering at the Venetian in Las Vegas last year, were also grumbling about sandwich box lunches and the lack of blackjack tables.  

Then there's the camp that thinks VMWorld should stand for VirtualMachineWorld not VMwareWorld and are upset VMware placed some significant restrictions on Citrix, Microsoft and other direct competitors in how big a booth they could have and what parties they could throw.  

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