I was very honored to speak at the first Experts to Experts Virtualization Conference held in the United States. I had a blast, met some great people and got to see some great technical content. It was pretty overwhelming to meet people from all around the world, all brought together by a common interest. America, Australia, Holland, Ireland, Germany, France, Brazil, Israel and even more nations were represented by the 55 attendees. There was no cultural barrier with Technology involved.
The organization of the event was excellent. All thanks go to Alex Juschin and all of the great sponsors in that regard. The sponsors who presented at the conference were not heavy on the marketing which was great, considering those in attendance would likely not be responsive to this. We got treated to some great presentations by the likes of Nvidia, AMD, DigiCert and SMSPasscode. It was great finally getting to see products such as UberAgent and Norskale being demo’d and discussed in person. They are products that I have admired from afar for quite some time. I also must say, I really enjoyed that the majority of the products being demo’d had a Consultants or Community version available for us to play with. Thanks guys!
I got to meet people who I have followed online for quite some time like @HelgeKlein , @RemkoWeijnen , @CarlWebster, @JarianGibson , @XenAppBlog and more! I had the privilege of meeting @Stealthpuppy for my second time, he actually took a look at my slides the night before I presented and gave me some very useful tips, which he didn’t have to do and I appreciate! I also got to meet some people I was not following before the event but am now!
Some of my highlights for the conference include:
Both the fun of seeing some very beautiful people in various states of undress doing Yoga and also that feeling of self loathing when walking past a group of Yogi’s with my dumb face stuffed with an overpriced glazed donut I got in the lobby between sessions. A roller coaster of emotions!
The first American E2EVC also featured the first female presenter by way of Theresa Miller (@24x7ITConnect) who gave us a glimpse into her world, providing details about her current architecture in use and what she learned from her day to day work in both building and maintaining it all. Something else I found interesting with regards to Theresa, there was a conversation over a few beers on Friday evening. Theresa had suggested that Twitter has become a vital tool for her in terms of research and keeping informed. This is something I certainly relate to. For anybody with an interest in keeping skilled up and informed, Twitter is your best friend!
I met a fella from Oklahoma named Shawn Maiberger (Sorry Shawn, I think I called you Maiberg in my presentation..also couldn’t remember how many apps you said your organization used so took a stab at it) over a few beers he told me about how management in his company took a very hard line approach when rationalizing their software library during a migration. They decided, if something won’t work in App-V, they will find an alternative that does. And by taking this approach his company currently has 92% of their applications virtualized!! and… AND!! they are currently migrating to App-V 5.0 SP2, meaning they should get higher than 92% going forward. Amazing! I had never heard of any company getting to that high of a success rate UNTIL Andrew Wood spoke during my session, telling us that he knows a company in the UK that took the same approach and has 100% of their applications in App-V!! Aaron Parkers little quip about it actually being 99% due to not being able to Sequence the App-v Client aside, this is now the highest success rate I’ve heard about. I wonder if companies will start a trend of this, I also wonder if software vendors will take note and start producing their own App-V packages. Certainly I’ve noticed an increase in official support from vendors, so who knows!
If I had to pick a favorite presenter at the event, I think it would have to be Denis Gundarev ,not only was the information excellent in his presentations but he had a wicked sense of humor and all of his jokes landed. I particularly enjoyed the Steve Ballmer killing kittens slide! When the videos get published, go out and find it! His very low level technical dissections of products and solutions was very inspiring. I learned a lot! Denis actually had two sessions, one of which focused on Application Virtualization and Isolation of applications. He showed us the nuts and bolts of Application Streaming in XenApp, He also spoke about App-V and other alternatives such as CloudVolumes, ThinApp and Spoon to name a few. He made many of the same points about App-V that I made. Ultimately, it’s hard to overlook App-V as a great solution due to the wide user base, huge amount of available info online, it’s maturity compared to the others and it’s progress in Enterprise. Denis also echoed one of my thoughts. Why isn’t Spoon more widely used? It is a really great product.
Pierre Marmignon gave us all a great look at how he manages to optimize logins so well. He also mentioned that he’s been working with Andrew Morgan in a collaborative effort, which can only mean great things! I had never heard about Control Up before! You guys need to go take a look at it….I plan to, hopefully I can share my findings on this site. Remko brought Stroopwafels into one of the presentations but I wasn’t in that room so they continue to evade me. Also, on the subject of Remko, that guy must have barrels of energy. Most people who attended the event were also at Synergy for the four days prior. Many, including him travelled from afar to attend and he was still the most lively of the group! Day 2 featured split sessions which just means I’ll need to wait for the videos to watch all the sessions I missed. Isn’t technology grand!?
This was actually the first time I got to meet my work colleagues. One of the benefits of working for a Cloud Services Provider is that we have the ability to work remotely. It was great to meet the guys, Henrik Johannson ,who also presented on NetScaler which honestly went over my head a little but since I know he’s a master of it, maybe I can pick his brain and get to grips with it over time! Rick Dehlinger who could have fallen asleep on Stage at Synergy, he was the personification of cool at that GeekSpeak! Mike Nelson who went for a different angle during his GeekSpeak session, he charged that stage like a bull. He was by far the most lively on that event! Very animated, even his shirt was amped up to 11! (Spinal Tap reference) And also Mitch Meade who is my App-V partner in crime at work, I hope we can work together much more going forward.
To talk a little about my own presentation. It was actually really my first time ever attending a conference, I did go to the Microsoft MVP Summit but that had a very different format to the event, which I was aware of. The Summit provided me with a keen insight into what App-V experts think and also what they choose to present to other experts. So, I must admit, the format of my presentation was very heavily influenced by a presentation that I previously saw Nicke Kallen perform. I focused on Case Studies from projects I had previously worked on and discussed both the success stories and the failures and what I learned from them. I covered my own App-V sequencing practices which again were influenced by Nicke and also Tim Mangan. Dan Gough as always is the case with App-V 5 presentations got a mention! I was pretty nervous throughout, it was the first public speaking I have done since being Best Man at my brothers wedding. (Some day I may post that video on here…I did a reading of the Presidents speech from the movie Independents Day) Though I may have stuttered, stammered and flubbed my way through it, I think I got my message across. It was also tough to miss out on Eriks presentation which ran at the same time! I figured I’d share my slides with all of you via the site. So you can find these HERE
To conclude, Once again I have to say it was truly a pleasure to attend this event. I can’t wait to go back next year. I know I learned a lot at the conference and now I have extended my circle of peers that I look up to and can learn from going forward.