My Top 10 VMworld 2017 (US) Breakout Sessions

As you may or may not know, in less than 7 weeks, the best Software-Defined Datacenter minds in the world will converge upon Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.  VMworld 2017 is coming between August 27th and August 31st.  If you have not already registered, act fast!  Sign up today at www.vmworld.com.  In honor of the event, I have decided to list out my “Top 10 VMworld 2017 Breakout Sessions”.

Feel free to use the comments section to advertise some of your favorites.  As for me, much of my job is surrounding “End User Computing” and VMware Horizon in particular.  Many of my recommended sessions will surround EUC and it’s complimentary solutions.  The introductory statement is mine, and it is followed by the breakout title, presenter(s), and abstract.  Here goes!

  1. At NYC EUC Explore, I got an early viewing of a fantastic session regarding VMware’s internal Horizon environment.  Aresh Sarkari presented this session and was fantastic.  This time, none other than Double-VCDX Simon Long will do the honors.
    • The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal VMware Horizon Desktop Deployments [ADV1255BU]
    • Simon Long, Senior EUC Architect, VMware
    • “How does VMware architect its own global VMware Horizon desktop environment?” “Has it encountered the same obstacles we are facing?” Over the past two years, VMware has been re-architecting and re-deploying its virtual desktop infrastructure with VMware Horizon, VMware App Volumes, and VMware User Environment Manager running on top of the full VMware software-defined data center stack (VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, VMware NSX) and integrating with VMware vRealize Operations Manager and VMware vRealize Log Insight. In this session, the lead architects will reveal all.

      Session Type:  Breakout Session
      Track :  Empower the Digital Workspace
      Empower the Digital Workspace:  Application and Desktop Virtualization
      Market Segment:  No Specific Segment
      Session Audience:  Desktop/Help Desk, IT – All, IT – Network, IT – Operations, IT – Server Storage
      Product and Topics:  App Virtualization, App Volumes, Horizon, User Environment Manager, VMware on VMware
      Technical Level:  Technical – Intermediate

  2. Get some great in-depth technical how-to’s at this deep dive from two fantastic EUC Architects.
    • ◦”Horizon 7.1 – Advanced Topics” [SPL185108U]
    • Peter Schraml, Senior Solution Architect EUC Cloud Services, VMware
    • Mike Marx, Senior Solutions Architect, Solutions & Service Engineering, VMware
    • Exercise the common architectural concepts and considerations used to design a robust Horizon environment. Design multi-site and large scale implementations, while providing a robust end-user experience. Examine Load balancing, Cloud Pod Architecture, and user remote experience.

      Session Type:  Hands On Lab Self-Paced Lab
      Track :  Empower the Digital Workspace
      Empower the Digital Workspace:  Application and Desktop Virtualization
      Market Segment:  No Specific Segment
      Session Audience:  Desktop/Help Desk, Technical Support
      Product and Topics:  Horizon
      Technical Level:  Technical – Advanced

  3. Setting up an EUC solution is only half the battle.  Creating a solution that is secure is becoming as important as its usability.  Get some great tips on securing your Horizon deployment in this session.
    • ◦”Horizon 7.1 Security – Advanced Topics” [SPL185109U]
    • Chris Betz, Sr. Systems Engineer, Federal, VMware
    • Trevor Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, VMware
    • Experience the security features of Horizon 7 such as the Unified Access Gateway and TrueSSO. Integrate Horizon 7 with VMware NSX and explore multi-factor authentication. Configure security features and provide a rich user experience through demonstration use cases.

      Session Type:  Hands On Lab Self-Paced Lab
      Track :  Empower the Digital Workspace
      Empower the Digital Workspace:  Application and Desktop Virtualization
      Market Segment:  No Specific Segment
      Session Audience:  Desktop/Help Desk, Technical Support
      Product and Topics:  Horizon
      Technical Level:  Technical – Advanced

  4. The foundation of a great EUC solution includes a well-designed vSphere deployment.  Frank Denneman is the master of DRS, HA and managing resources in your vSphere environment.  This best-selling author and VCDX will be presenting along with Niels Hagoort.
    • vSphere 6.5 Host Resources Deep Dive: Part 2 [SER1872BU]
    • Frank Denneman, Senior Staff Architect, VMware
    • Niels Hagoort, Owner, HIC (Hagoort ICT Consultancy)
    • Today’s focus is on upper levels/overlays (software-defined data center, VMware NSX), but proper host design and management remains the foundation of success. These new “overlay” services present a new consumer of host resources. Ironically, it’s the attention to these abstraction layers that returns us to focusing on individual host components. This talk delves into CPU (nonuniform memory access) and memory configuration and zooms in on how virtual networking influences virtual machine configuration and host design. We will show you a collection of command line tools that provide you with unparalleled insight into the behavior of resource consumers (virtual machines) and providers (hosts). This information contributes to optimal scaling decisions and allows you to right-size your virtual data center to achieve consistent performance.

      Session Type:  Breakout Session
      Track :  Modernize the Data Center
      Modernize the Data Center:  Server Virtualization
      Market Segment:  Enterprise
      Session Audience:  IT – All, Research and Development
      Product and Topics:  vSphere
      Technical Level:  Technical – Advanced

  5. VMworld veteran Jim Yanik is continuing his legendary “Beyond the Marketing” series that has been a hit at VMworld, and UserCon’s across the country.  Come see his Instant Clones Deep Dive along with VMware’s Oswald Chen.
    • Beyond the Marketing:VMware Horizon 7.1 Instant Clones Deep Dive [ADV1594BU]
    • Oswald Chen, VMware
    • Jim Yanik, Senior Manager, EUC Technical Marketing, VMware
    • VMware Horizon Instant Clones is a key component of the Just-in-Time Management Platform. This rapid provisioning method, which leverages vmFork technology, enables the next generation of desktops and published applications. Coupled with VMware App Volumes and VMware User Environment Manager, Instant Clones is a key building block for a great user experience. This technical deep dive will explore Instant Clones in depth. We will showcase some exciting new features, including support for published applications, vGPU 3D workloads, and multi-VLAN. We will provide troubleshooting tips and operational best practices and examine technical details, including provisioning workflows. The session will be led by architects and engineers with product experience, and there will be demos so you can see Instant Clones in action.

      Session Type:  Breakout Session
      Track :  Empower the Digital Workspace
      Empower the Digital Workspace:  Application and Desktop Virtualization
      Market Segment:  No Specific Segment
      Session Audience:  IT – All
      Product and Topics:  Horizon Air, Workspace ONE, Horizon, Horizon Desktop
      Technical Level:  Technical – Intermediate

  6. Countless times I see operations take a back-seat to architectural design.  Both are critical components to a Horizon deployment.  This session will help you manage your environment after it becomes production.
    • Horizon 7.1 – Advanced Operational Concepts [SPL185107U]
    • Laurel Spadaro, Sr. Systems Engineer, Joint Commands, VMware
    • Tom Baella, EUC Specialist, Systems Engineer, VMware, Inc.
    • You will explore operational concepts of VMware Horizon 7 by optimizing Windows images with VMware OS Optimization Tool, configuring Group Policies for the Horizon environment, and automating solutions using PowerCLI. Also experience integration with Log Insight and the Horizon specific dashboards within vRealize Operations Manager.

      Session Type:  Hands On Lab Self-Paced Lab
      Track :  Empower the Digital Workspace
      Empower the Digital Workspace:  Application and Desktop Virtualization
      Market Segment:  No Specific Segment
      Session Audience:  Desktop/Help Desk, Technical Support
      Product and Topics:  Horizon
      Technical Level:  Technical – Advanced

  7. More and more Horizon deployments are happening on VMware vSAN.  The next two sessions are a couple winners from legendary folks in the Storage and Availability Business Unit at VMware.
    • A Closer Look at vSAN Networking Design and Configuration Considerations [STO1193BU]
    • Cormac Hogan, Director – Chief Technologist, VMware
    • Andreas Scherr, Sr. Solution Architect, VMware
    • In this session, speakers will guide you through some of the most common VMware vSAN network configurations. We will cover topics such as the pros and cons of certain NIC teaming options, supported network topologies, L2 versus L3, witness traffic separation, two-node ROBO deployments, stretched cluster deployments, and, most importantly, “gotchas” related to networking in vSAN deployments.

      Session Type:  Breakout Session
      Track :  Modernize the Data Center
      Modernize the Data Center:  HCI and Storage
      Market Segment:  No Specific Segment
      Session Audience:  IT – All, IT – Applications Development, IT – Network, IT – Operations, IT – Server Storage, Technical Support
      Product and Topics:  vSAN
      Technical Level:  Technical – Advanced

  8. This one on vSAN stretched clusters is another fantastic one.  GS and Jase are fantastic speakers that have provided keynotes at several VMUG UserCon’s around the US.
    • Successful vSAN Stretched Clusters [STO1118BU]
    • GS Khalsa, Sr. Technical Marketing Manager, VMware
    • Jase McCarty, Staff Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
    • This session will provide a deep dive into using stretched clusters with VMware vSAN. Topics include the foundation of vSAN stretched clusters, the latest updates, recommendations, and failure scenarios. For those interested in implementing stretched clusters with vSAN, you won’t want to miss this session.

      Session Type:  Breakout Session
      Track :  Modernize the Data Center
      Modernize the Data Center:  HCI and Storage
      Market Segment:  Commercial, Enterprise, No Specific Segment, SMB, Telecom
      Session Audience:  IT – All, IT – Network, IT – Operations, IT – Risk/Compliance/Security, IT – Server Storage
      Product and Topics:  vSAN
      Technical Level:  Technical – Intermediate

9. GPU-enabled Virtual Desktops are becoming much more important than in the past.  Applications assume GPU’s are available, and there are some great sessions on the technology at VMworld.  This one is no exception.

  • Delivering 3D graphics desktops and applications in the real world with VMware Horizon, BEAT and NVIDIA GRID. [ADV1681BU]
  • Kiran Rao, Director, Product Management, VMware
  • Luke Wignall, Performance Engineering/Tech Marketing, NVIDIA
  • This session will cover advances in remote display technology to deliver 3D graphics accelerated desktops (Windows and Linux) and applications with VMware Horizon, BEAT and NVIDIA GRID. Combined solution helps deliver an immersive, high-quality user experience for everyone from designers to mobile professionals to office workers while improving user productivity and increasing corporate security.We will take real world examples of customer deployments, challenges they face and how VMware and NVIDIA solutions have helped resolve these issues.

Session Type:  Breakout Session
Track :  Empower the Digital Workspace
Empower the Digital Workspace:  Application and Desktop Virtualization
Market Segment:  US Department of Defense
Session Audience:  Research and Development
Product and Topics:  Desktop Virtualization, Horizon, Horizon Desktop, Linux, VDI
Technical Level:  Technical – Intermediate

10.  I would be re-missed if I didn’t also advertise the VMworld return of our VMware EUC Champions “Ask the Experts” panel.  Many other EUC Champions will be on hand as well, and as there was last year, expect a dozen or more surprises!

  • Ask the Experts: Practical Tips and Tricks to Help You Succeed in EUC [ADV1605PU]
  • Sean Massey, Senior Technical Architect, AHEAD LLC
  • Johan van Amersfoort, Technical Marketing Architect, ITQ Consultancy
  • Matthew Heldstab, Enterprise Systems Engineer, Minnesota State
  • Earl Gay, Practice Manager, RoundTower Technologies
  • Dane Young, Virtual Practice Manager, Entisys
  • Boost your end-user computing (EUC) knowledge by attending this panel discussion. Five experts in the area of EUC will be on hand to give you their latest tips and tricks and answer your questions about EUC deployments. Bring your notepads and your toughest questions!

Session Type:  Panel Discussion
Track :  Empower the Digital Workspace
Empower the Digital Workspace:  Application and Desktop Virtualization
Market Segment:  No Specific Segment
Session Audience:  IT – All
Product and Topics:  Horizon Air, Workspace ONE, Horizon, Horizon Desktop
Technical Level:  Technical – Intermediate

The content catalog is now open.  Last year, the Schedule Builder opened on July 19th.  Look for an announcement coming soon and we hope to see you at VMworld (and our Ask the Experts session!).

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