EMC World – T minus 2 – Vegas baby!

This week I’m attending the EMC World conference in Las Vegas with two of my colleages from Open Line, Menno de Liège and Rob Koper. EMC World is about new and improved EMC products, getting to know the direction EMC and IT is taking with data storage and meeting EMC employees you normally only talk with over the phone or behind a chat/email handle. A chance to meet the person behind the account sort to say!EMC World is being hosted in The Venetian, Las Vegas

EMC World is a pretty packed program. A few weeks in advance all keynotes, breakouts and general sessions are announced. EMC is kind enough to include a schedule builder in the package but with the amount of interesting sessions to attend it always ends up in a battle between which session to follow and which one to skip. One thing I learnt last year was to focus on the advanced sessions first. If there’s still time left after visiting those sessions I’ll try to add a couple of intermediate sessions. Little piece of advice: if you’ve ever worked with the product, skip the sessions classified as introductions. 99 out of a 100 times you already know what is being discussed and you’re wasting precious time!

And to make matters worse, there’s the solutions pavilion. The solutions pavilion is an enormous hall packed with booths – EMC and other vendors – all enabling you to learn about their company or product in the shortest available time. Last year we spent a considerable amount of time over here, walking around, listening to short 5-10 minute presentations and talking with engineers about the products on display.

The evenings are usually packed with appreciation parties organized by either EMC or one of the EMC World sponsors. And of course there’s the unofficial program… 🙂

We arrived to Las Vegas two days early: both to adjust from the cold, wet Dutch weather to a 30+ degrees C, sunny desert climate and because EMC Netherlands has organized a program around EMC World called the Dutch Delegation. To facilitate getting to know the fellow Dutch geeks (EMC customers, partners or employees alike) they’ve organized a number of dinners, trips and events in and around Las Vegas. Last year we’ve visited the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon and Stratosphere tower, attended the La Rêve show in the Wynn and had a couple of fancy dinners. I must say that last year it really added to the EMC World experience and helped me connect. This year’s program is the same in spirit but with different locations and events, starting on Sunday morning with the Black Canyon River Adventure.

My technical focus this year will be on the EMC Isilon breakout sessions. Several customers of Open Line are interested in this product due to the large volume of unstructured data they need to store, and I’m one of the people supporting them. I’ve already planned an Isilon Implementation training on the 20th-23rd of May so might as well do some pre-work right?

A full list of the sessions I’ll (hopefully) be following:

  • VPLEX: Advanced Technology Deep Dive for VMware HA & FT over Distance
  • General Session: Joe Tucci & Paul Maritz
  • Protecting & Backing Up the Isilon Cluster at Enterprise Scale
  • Isilon OneFS – The Highest Performance Scale-Out NAS – How Did They Do It?
  • General Session: Pat Gelsinger
  • Isilon OneFS – Insider’s Peek Under the Covers at Striping, Data Structures & More
  • Multi-Tenancy From a Storage Perspective with VNX & Isilon
  • Unified Infrastructure Manager – Ease the Transition to a Cloud Infrastructure on VCE Vblock Systems
  • EMC Backup: Big Data Backup Strategies with Data Domain for Pivotal, EMC Isilon, Teradata & Oracle Exadata
  • Leveraging SSD: Designing for FAST Cache & FAST VP on Unified Storage