EMC World 2013: Highlights and Photos

EMC World 2013 - Day 1 449I meant to get this post out a loot sooner as EMC world ended over 2 weeks ago.  This year is my 3rd EMC World and it did not disappoint.  The overall show theme was a superhero theme.  From the Global League of Storage (pictured left) to Captain Scale-Out, every booth was very creative in their design and creativity.

 

EMC World 2013 - Day 2 095Outside of the solutions pavilion, the EMC Square was front and center when anyone entered there show floor.  This area was HUGE and twice the size than had been described to me.  Made up of the EMC TV booth, the back stage area, and the Blogger’s Space (which also contained the EMC Elect Space).  The EMC Elect Space was a huge hit with the members.  We were able to sit down and chat about all sorts of topics, including some special sessions on BRS as well as ViPR.

 

EMC World 2013 - Day 1 118EMC World 2013 - Day 2 379Speaking about ViPR, it was defiantly the big announcement at EMC World this year.  If you are not familiar with ViPR, EMC’s Chuck Hollis has a great write up on the product announcement and where it fits in the industry.  We also got a closer looked at Pivotal presented by Paul Maritz.  Overall, things are looking very good for EMC and I’m excited to see what the coming year brings for these announcements.

 

EMC World 2013 - Day 2 620What you might not of noticed during the general sessions and the keynotes was a new initiative we were trying this year called “Blueprints”.  This idea was the brain child of fellow teammate Kari D’Elia and winner of an internal pitch contest called Shark Tank.  Off in the corner, during each of the presentations, was a person transcribing what they see and here into a full page info graphic.  These were defiantly a huge hit, and every time I walked by the finished product I would see people standing and taking pictures of them.

 

EMC World 2013 - Day 2 530The other big winner of EMC World was the Hands-on Labs.  This 200 person demo center was powered by EMC vLab (expect to hear more about this team in the coming months) and allowed attendees to try all the various products that EMC has to offer without the need for physical hardware.  This place was always packed and seemed to be a huge hit with everyone who sat down for a lab.

 

EMC World 2013 - Day 3 675What show would be complete without a customer appreciation event?  This year’s headliner was non other than music sensation Bruno Mars.  Now I will be the first to admit, I’m not a huge fan of his music (probably because I’m not his target demographic), but he and the rest of the band put on a great show with several cover songs including some Nirvana and some Michael Jackson.

 

EMC World 2013 - Day 3 075My role during the majority of the show was to take photos for the social media team.  By the numbers, I snapped off more than 1200 photos over the course of 4 days for a grand total of more than 30GB of images.  I whittled that number down to 190 images that I have published to google here.  I hope you enjoy them.

https://picasaweb.google.com/103806208080531222274/EMCWorld2013

Are you going to the EMC Global Partner Summit? You should!

GPS2013Calling all EMC Partners, are you attending EMC World this year? Make sure you start off by attending the Global Partner Summit going on concurrently with the show.

 

It all starts Monday morning with a special general session just for GPS attendees.  Here you will find out about all that EMC is offering to enable partners in 2013 and beyond with presentations by EMC’s executives.  The general session is then followed by 3 keynotes for resellers, service providers, and IIG specialists.  After lunch, partners will be offered a multitude of breakout sessions including regional solution provider sessions as well as informative deep dives on security, big data, and XaaS.

 

After the EMC World general session and grand opening reception, there will be a partner appreciation party from 9pm – 11pm at the TAO Nightclub in the Venetian.  Be sure to pick up your wrist band in the EMC Business Partner Lounge located on the show floor.

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Speaking of the Partner Lounge, they will be open the entire EMC World show hours on Monday – Thursday.  I encourage you to stop by as they will have staff on site showing you how to register for and leverage the EMC Community Network.  While you are there, be sure to enter their contest to win one of 3 $200 gift cards.

 

Tuesday will be another filled day.  After the EMC World General Session, there will be additional product specific break out sessions.  In the morning, you can sit in on presentations from USD, ESD, ASD, Isilon, and Flash while the afternoon will have presentations from BRS and Global Services (my former organization at EMC).  Capping off day 2 is a final presentation by VSPEX and VCE.

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Be sure to follow @EMCchannel on twitter for updates throughout the show!  If you are attending GPS2013, let me know what you think in the comments below.

EMC World 2013 – What you should see and where I will be

EMC World 2In just one weeks time, 15,000+ people will descend on Las Vegas and the Sands Convention Center for EMC World 2013.  While I can’t wait for the show to start, I wanted to highlight a few things that you may not know about, but will definitely make your show experience so much better.

EMC Square

Front and center during this year’s show is the EMC Square.  This mecca to all things social (and it may or may not be a perfect square) will house EMC TV, Silicon Angle, the EMC Backstage (more on this later) and the all new Blogger’s Space.  The Blogger’s Space (formally the Blogger’s Lounge) will be where bloggers such as myself can meet to talk, share ideas on the white boards, relay screens to watch keynotes, and of course  internet access to blog.  Inside the Blogger’s Space is a special area for EMC Elect members.  Elect members will have their own area to converse and I’m also told there will be special Elect ONLY blogger briefings during the show.  If you are a blogger and you are attending EMC World, make sure you register here.  I will be spending most of my time here and at the ECN booth, so be sure to stop by and say hello.

 

This year the social media team will unveil an all new Buzz Board.  This new interactive display will pull in tweets, Facebook posts, pictures, videos, and more about EMC World.  Simply tag things with #EMCWorld and watch them populate in near real time.

Social display

Last year we had Buzz Sessions, Quick 10 – 15 minutes sessions highlighting a multitude of topics (including one staring yours truly).  This year we decided to slow things down a bit and introduce EMC Backstage.  After every keynote, we’ve invited the speakers to come sit and answer questions.  If there was something you wanted to know more about during the keynote, now is your chance.  Simply tweet your question with the #EMCBackStage hashtag and the moderator may ask it during the session.


Hands-on Labs

The Hands-on Labs are always a highlight of the show.  It’s the best place to try out all sorts of product demos and get a real feel for things without having to play with your production system.  It’s also rumored that this year you will get a chance to try out some unreleased products through the hands on labs

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I know my friend Craig “Chappy” Chapman was looking for good music this year, so I can’t wait to hear the final playlist.  The Hands-on Labs tend to fill up fast, so your best time to participate is first thing in the morning.  There should be little to no wait then.

Nightlife

With everything that goes on during the day at EMC World, what are you going to do at night?  Well on Wednesday is the customer appreciation event.  Just like last year, there will be another big name performer.  Guest passes are already sold out, so I hope you got one if you were going to bring a friend.

 

But what are you going to do the other few nights?  That is where we have you covered.  On ECN you can find a list of all the official and unofficial meetups going on during the week.  There will be a party on Tuesday night in the Zebra Lounge for ECN Members.  This party requires a wrist band, so be sure to see me to get one.  I haven’t figure out how I’m going to award them, but I’m always wanting to meet readers of my blog.

 

Where you’ll find me

My time at EMC world will be split between taking photos (be sure to follow me on twitter as well as @EMCCorp to see them) and booth duty.  On Monday you’ll find me at the ECN Station for most of the evening.  Tuesday and Wednesday mornings will be spent at the Elect Lounge.  I will be taking photos of all the keynotes (I believe another team mate will be taking photos of the general sessions).  Outside of that I’ll be at various meetups and events.  If you want to meet up, just tweet me and I’ll tell you where I’m at!

EMC World in Review … with Pictures!

Another great EMC World has come and gone.  I’m sorry I didn’t do a daily post like last year, but I was a lot more involved this year and had less time in Las Vegas.  When I landed, I immediately hit the ground running.  I picked up my badge, put out a tweet to my followers, and headed off for the pool party.

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After informing a couple of customers in bathing suites that it wasn’t that kind of pool party, I met up with a lot of my friends who I hadn’t seen in ages.  The opening mixer is a great place to introduce yourself, enjoy some good food and music, and network with colleagues and customers alike.

Day 1

The first day I woke up early (in part because I was still on east coast time).  I grabbed my iPad, my camera bag, and my conference badge as I made my way right to the bloggers lounge.  There I was greeted by EMC’s best in social media.

EMC World 2012 - Day 1 015EMC World 2012 - Day 1 021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a quick tour around the main areas that were open (the solutions pavilion didn’t open until that evening), it was time for the first keynote by CEO Joe Tucci.  I’m not one to take a seat away from a customer, and luckily EMC TV had me covered.  With a massive TV screen in the main area, I pulled up a private cloud and took in the speech.EMC World 2012 - Day 1 018EMC World 2012 - Day 1 020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the keynote, it was a great time to take in a hands-on lab.  If you remember from my most recent podcast, my two guests were heavily involved with the creation of the hands-on labs this year.  And let me tell you they did not disappoint this year.  With over 200 stations available, the hands-on labs this year were packed and I’m told customers performed over 3000 labs this year.

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With a couple of labs under my belt, it was just about time to check out the solutions pavilion.  Apparently, a lot of other people had the same idea as the entrance was PACKED!  The food was great, and the booths were even better.  There was a lot of creative themes this year which you can see in my full list of photos.

 

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Day 2

 

The next started with Matt Brender and Tyler Altrup having a Buzz Session about Project R.A.M.P.  Matt spoke to us about Project R.A.M.P in the most recent podcast we did.  The buzz session was great (except when Tyler butchered my last name).  You can watch it below (and yes you’ll see me in the video too).

I had completed the special mission for EMC world and received my extra ramp badges, so I was in good standing.  Actually, I may have cheated a little and got my badge scanned at a required booth that wasn’t open the night before Winking smile

 

The afternoon was spent going to sessions.  One of the better sessions I attended was hosted by J Metz of Cisco.  He presented on the Evolution of Data Center Architecture.  One of the key takeaways for me was when he talked about Cisco’s Unified Ports technology.  What’s great about this is it doesn’t matter what you use the ports for.  You can use it for FCoE, CIFS, NFS, iSCSI and you can still use the same switch.  This speaks to me because of my work with the VNX.  We have all these network protocols on the VNX, and we can just use this one type of switch to handle it all.

imageEMC World 2012 - Day 2 073

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the day over, it was time for a customer appreciation party for all the members of the EMC Community Network.  We had a great turn out and lots of laughs.  There was even a female magician doing card tricks that even I couldn’t figure out.

 

Day 3

The third and final day started with my Buzz Session.  I joined Mark Browne and the other Legends of ECN (I got to meet dynamox!!!!).  The session was great and we got both the customer and the employee perspective of the support forum.  You can watch the full session bellow:

 

With my session over it was time for me to study for my upcoming proven exam.  Followers of my twitter account will know that I spent weeks studying for my Virtualized Infrastructure Specialist exam (E20-018).  I’m glad to say I passed and once I get a few things cleared up, I can call myself a Cloud Architect!

 

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After it was all said and done, it was time for the closing events.  Chad’s World Live 2 rocked!  The customer demos were great as well as those who were on stage.  Chad had no idea that the Gorilla was going to goose him.  Speaking of Chad and his army, the vSpecialists released a new video called “Cloud Freaky”.  You can watch it below (and make sure you watch the ending!):

 

With the evening fast approaching it was time for the final event.  The customer appreciation party with Maroon 5.  Adam Levine did not disappoint and the best quote I’ve heard from him was “I’ve never played a show where there were more men than women, but we’ll make it work”.

 

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All in all it was an amazing show.  There were so many great things to do and great people to meet.  My only regret was that there wasn’t enough time in the day to do it all!  I can’t wait for EMC World 2013.  Be sure to check out my album on Picasa to see all the photos i took (150+ photos)

Get a sneak peek at new VNX features

imageToday marks the first full day of EMC World 2012.  While everyone is busy watching key notes and checking out the hands on labs, I thought I’d offer you a sneak peak at some new VNX features you can look forward to in the 2nd half of 2012.

 

New Raid Levels for Storage Pools

The first thing I want to talk about is storage pools.  As you are well aware, when you add disks in to storage pool, you need to use the same type of raid level in all storage tiers in the pool.

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As you can see from the picture above, when creating a typical pool from a RAID 6 configuration, you must use it for your FLASH, your SAS, and your NL-SAS drives.  This means that you must use extra flash drives to fill out your pool.  What is changing in the future is a shift towards towards tier specific raid levels.

 

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As you can see in the picture above, now you will be able to have different raid levels at different tiers in your pool.  By mixing a smaller amount of flash with a larger amount of spinning disks, you can put the majority of your unread / archived data on your cheaper storage while being able to afford flash drives as well for your performance data.  This translates into a cheaper initial cost for your storage and offers a more affordable option for customers looking to start out.

 

What the SNAP!

imageThe next big thing coming to VNX is enhanced block snapshots.  I think everyone is well aware of the limitations of SNAPS of luns on the VNX.  Well I’m proud to announce that those are a thing of the past!  With the new functionality, the VNX has increased the maximum amount of writable SNAPS to 256 per lun.  That also raises the limit to 32,768 per system.  Picture me in my best Boston Accent when I say that is a “wicked” high number of snaps.

 

Also introduced in this new enhancement is the ability to take SNAPS of a SNAP.  This opens up the possibility for all sorts of new use cases such as Testing and Development options as well as Point-In-Time backups.  This is functionality that has existed on the FILE side for quite some time now and I’m glad to see it’s making it’s way to the lun level as well.

 

Windows Branch Cache Support for CIFS

imageWith the release of Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2, Microsoft added new functionality called Branch Cache.  This functionality allows remote computers to cache files and server them out locally to their pears, thus reducing bandwidth over the WAN.  This cached data can either be distributed from clients PCs or be held on a local server in the branch office.  Application performance will be increased by reducing the number of hops the data has to travel.

 

In the next big release for VNX, we will see added support for this functionality to CIFS shares on the VNX.  For more information on this, please read this Microsoft TechNet Article.

 

Well that about does it for now.  3 big new features to look forward to in the second half of 2012.  Please feel free to ask a question in the comments section and I’ll try to answer them as best I can.

Come see me at EMC World!

5729684319_8614b56cd3_bOk, for starters, this is not a desperate cry for attention.  This is a information page for my schedule at EMC World.  I’m going to be all over the place at the show, and I’d love to meet readers of my blog.  So where will I be?  Well to start things off Sunday night, you’ll be able to find me at the Pool party and the Venetian resort.  If you don’t see me by the pool, I may have wondered into the Tao Day club area like last year.

 

During the day, you’ll find me all over the show floor.  I expect to spend a good amount of time hanging out in the bloggers lounge and meeting fellow bloggers.  If I’m not there I’m probably hanging out at the EMC Online booth, walking the show floor, or taking in a break out session or BUZZ Talk.

 

Speaking of Buzz sessions, I’ll be participating in one live on stage on Wednesday Morning @ 10:30 AM PST.  For those of you attending the show, please join me and my fellow support forum legends in the BUZZ area near the entrance to the show.  For those of you playing the home game, do not worry.  A live video  will be available as well as an interactive chat so you can ask us questions.  To add this event to your calendar, click here!

 

If after all this you still can’t find me, try sending me a tweet.  I’ll do my best to keep my phone up and running, but cellular data is spotty at best, so there may be a delay.  I look forward to seeing everyone at the show!

I Tech Therefore I Tool Around – Episode 04 – EMC World 2012

EMCWorldIts been a while since Matt and I teamed up to do another installment of the I Tech Therefore I Tool Around Podcast.  With EMC World right around the corner, we decided to preview the upcoming event!  Being located near the EMC Headquarters has it’s benefits, and one of those is that many people were in town working on projects for the show.  We invited two vSpecialists Jase McCarty and Dave Robertson to join us in talking about the show.

 

In this podcast we talk about several different subjects revolving around EMC World.  We started off by talking about the vLabs, what went into them last year, and what we can look forward to this year.  Jase is going to be head of operations this year at the vLabs and will be the man to make sure things get done.  Dave has been up here working on a VMAX VSA that will be used as vLab demo this year.

 

Next we moved on to Project R.A.M.P.  Matt takes us through the first big public result of his new role at EMC.  For those of you who don’t know, Matt has transferred from Engineering to the Social Media team here at EMC.  As of this blog post, Project R.A.M.P has gone live on the EMC Community Network but there will be mission for those attending EMC World.

 

New this year are BUZZ sessions.  These short 20 – 30 minute gatherings are modeled after the TED Talks and will encompass a variety of subjects.  Matt, myself, and several of the support forum legends will be having a BUZZ session on Wednesday, May 23rd @ 10:30 AM PST.  Be sure to join us both in person and online (more on that later).  In addition to the buzz talk, you will find myself and several other ECN members at the EMC eServices / Social Media booth and around the show conducting interviews and reports.  And be sure to come check out the Bloggers Lounge and catch up with other bloggers.

 

While at this years show, be sure to visit the EMC Proven Professional area where they are offering 50% off the price of exams.  The show floor will always have some great swag to give away, so be sure to bring an extra bag to fill up.  Closing out the show this year will be another live episode of Chad’s World as well as a special concert by Maroon 5!!!!!!!  I look forward to seeing as many people there again this year.

 

Click HERE to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

Or click HERE (or on the icon) to download the MP3 directly!

I Tech Therefore I Tool Around – Episode 03 – Community

Community pinned on noticeboardA new year, a new installment of #ITTITA!  This time we decided to take a new approach to the podcast.  Instead of picking a technical topic and doing a deep dive, we are going to review the past year.  One of the biggest influences of our year was this theme of “Community” it was everywhere and played a big part in our lives.

 

Community has been a big factor at some of the different conventions I’ve been to this year.  At EMC World we held a virtual #nerdherd and invited the community to interact with us at the convention as well as online via a live video and chat feed.  At the New England VMware User Group meeting a few weeks ago, community was also present with the great conversations as well as user presentations.

 

2012 is also going to be a great year of community.  We started the year by launching the “Ask the Expert” forum on the EMC Community Network.  In the first event of the year on there, Matt partnered up with Henri to tackle the tough questions about VNXe VMware integration.  There was some excellent conversation as well as a storage deep-dive and we had a record number of views on this single thread.

 

All in all I think that 2011 was a great year for me.  I launched my blog, I linked up with some great and knowledgeable people, and I even started a podcastwith one of my best friends.  2012 looks to be an even greater year!

 

Click HEREto subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

Or click HERE (or on the icon) to download the MP3 directly!

EMC World 2011 #nerdherd: Lights, Camera, Action!

So EMC World 2011 has come and gone.  Now is the time that we can look back and remember.  For those of you who were unable to make it live (or watch the webcast), a video of our #nerdherd has been posted on the EMC Community Network website.  I want to thank Alan Zenreich for filming and posting the video.  If you are one of the many people who prefer a more static image, EMC’s own David Elmes did most of the photography (including the photos of our meetup you see below).  To see the rest of his work and other’s, check out the EMC World 2011 flickr stream.  Once again, thanks to everyone that made this happen and enjoy the pictures and video.

EMC World 2011: Day 3 and Final Thoughts

First off, my apologies for not having this final EMC World post out sooner. Traveling and lack of sleep has pretty much kept me away from writing until now. Day 3 was the last full day of EMC World and it was just as packed as before.

Today was EMC Proven day at EMC World. Attendees that had received a proven certification were given an orange shirt and asked to wear it to show their support. After hearing news that Matt took 3 different exams yesterday, I decided it would be a good idea to take one as well. Being that it has been over a year since I started in NAS support, I should have retained enough knowledge to pass the NAS Specialist exam. Apparently I wasn’t the only one to have this idea because the line to register was out the door and it took over a half hour to get signed up for my exam. This also meant that all the timeslots were taken and it was standby only. The people at the proven center were well aware of this surge to pass exams, so a second testing room was opened up and my wait time was only a few minutes. This whole experience was well worth it as I passed my NAS Specialist exam.

We also had our #nerdherd today and it was a great experience. While several people joined us on camera, even more joined to watch, or participated via twitter and the live chat. All sorts of topics were discussed like the keynotes at EMC World, the vLabs, the VNXe, local #nerdherd meetings, and many other things. One of the comments that were brought up was the notion that “EMC eats its own dog food”. Taken out of context, this sounds like it has a negative connotation, but it really doesn’t. What was meant by this statement was that we use internally the same thing we are trying to sell to customers. We have a very large VDI deployment that works very well.

The day closed out with the final keynote, Chad’s World Live. Hopefully most of you already know the Chad’s World videos, but if you don’t, you should check them out. The venue was full of beer and laughs and it was a great time. The tech demos on stage were great.  They powered on 100 Wyse thin clients only to reveal that it was powered by the new Iomega PX6 (I want one of these). My only concern with this was the time. The performance was right after the sessions and show floor ended, so people were being pumped full of beer on an empty stomach. This did cause a lot of noise to be coming from the back of the room.

Las Vegas is a great place for a conference. Everything is within walking distance and there are plenty of things to do when you’re not on the show floor. You can take in an after party, a club, some great food, or a performance. When you are ready to unwind, the view can be incredible. I had an incredible time at EMC World. Len Devanna made a great place for a blogger like myself to get work done while at the show.  Thanks to everyone who made this an event to remember and I can’t wait to go to EMC World next year.