The Obligatory Post-VMworld 2020 Post

Official VMworld 2020 image I got from Google Images.

Looking at the VMworld 2020 site for Level 200-300 Breakout Sessions, there are 393 available Breakout Sessions, including mine.

This is going to sound super arrogant but I rarely sit through Level 100’s anymore. If I have to sit through one more “What is Kubernetes?” introduction, I am going to double up on my binge-drinking. “What’s New?” sessions are the exception; those can be informative of course. I also typically stay away from marketing-adjacent talks, for obvious reasons.

My disclaimer here is that I am not even finished sitting through the Sessions I want to sit through, but I thought I would at least get some of my reactions out there to the ones that I have seen, and/or cover some topics that draw my interest.

I wish I could say I was psyched about all the “trendy/hypey” things this year, but I am a bit of a pragmatist when it comes to new technologies. 5G? Sure. Awesome. But I don’t really deal with that? . . . AI/ML? GREAT! Cool technologies, but I have already seen this in action where I work, so I get it. I am also not a data scientist nor am I developing AI/ML apps. I am an end-user of them. So, I am interested more in what can benefit me right now, as it were.

VMWorld 2020 – Sessions to Consider

  1. The VMware Event Broker Appliance (VEBA) – The “next level” for me is event-driven automation, and there is a lot of potential here for event-driven automation. I want to literally cash in on this technology before VMware starts charging people for it. I saw the talk last year by William Lam and I will be taking a look at it this year. I also attended the Round Table on VEBA, which was more Infrastructure as Code related and it was fantastic. I am not seeing that as an available recording, but if someone finds it, let me know.
  2. KnativeThis session was awesome. This technology strikes me as a method for easier IaC. I hope to try this one out in a lab at some point.
  3. vSphere Life Cycle Manager – There is at least one session on this. I will be watching it at some point, however, VMware keeps touting the updating/upgrade Lifecycle angle. That’s all fine and dandy, and I don’t doubt that it’s more robust than many homegrown solutions out there. And for the record, we will probably use it for that purpose. But where I work we’ve already mostly solved this problem, at least as it pertains to firmware/ESXi builds. I don’t care about updates and upgrades using this right now.
    What I do care about is ESXi configuration management. And, according to no less than two VMware Engineers, vLCM will do ESXi Configuration Management. If so, where are the talks and demos about that? I can’t find any.
    Yes, I know there are methods for configuration management in vSphere, like Host Profiles, but it suffers from what I call the, “what about that one thing?” syndrome.
    And yes, I know there are also more homegrown solutions like using PowerCLI/Jenkins for Config Management, along with both Pester or vSphereDSC.
    But it would be nice if VMware offered their own supported and robust IaC-friendly Desired State configuration management for ESXi. Is vLCM such a product? IS IT? Maybe I need to use VEBA for that? Oooohhhhh I think we’re in a blog post loop!
  4. EHRMERGERD KURBERNERTERS! I have seen enough talks/demos of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid to get a good feel for it. I get it. My next step is to get TKG installed on a Lab and kick the tires on it, so we can see what it can do for us. My struggle with blogging about TKG is that the market of ideas/talks/demos is saturated with this one, so I leave that in the hands of better-informed individuals. I plan on posting more about TKG in the coming months, so stay tuned. As far as VMWorld 2020 TKG Sessions are concerned, take your pick.
  5. EHRMERGERD MULTER and HERBRIDCLERD! I plan on attending some multi and hybrid-cloud talks. This is one area where I can stand to get some knowledge, particularly with the Public Cloud part of it. I want to try vSphere Cloud Foundation in a bad way.
  6. VMware Skyline – If you are not running this, get it into your environment. Like, yesterday. The log upload ability alone for support is worth it. VMware has continued to augment the functionality of this over time and seems to have big plans for it. There are two talks for this that I plan on attending.

The Other Event You Should Have Attended: CodeConnect 2020

The “sleeper” event was CodeConnect 2020. For this, I also have a lot of sessions I still need to attend. If you missed it, it’s not too late to get in on the recorded action. Lots of very good things here, and arguably more relevant for the code-savvy engineer. If you are new to coding, this session was great with Patrick Kremer. I love sessions with a story, and he does a great job. I also attended the session on Pester and finally there was a focus on configuration validation. I gobbled that up and at some point, maybe this December, I will be taking a look at it.

This is going to seem a bit strange to say out loud, but I am happy to see that PowerCLI is still a thing. With all the Python and Python-adjacent tools (Ansible comes to mind) it was nice to see that there is a lot of PowerCLI development going on, and I hope it continues. It was my first “for-realsies” automation tool and to this day I could not do my job without it.

That’s it for this one. If anyone has any advice on Sessions to attend, hit me up on twitter @RussianLitGuy or email me at bryansullins@thinkingoutcloud.org. I would love to hear from you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s