Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

VMworld 2006 Day 1, Part 2

Don’t get me wrong, here–“bad” is a relative term. It’s just that some of the presentations were really top-notch, and some of the presentations were…well, not. Some speakers clearly had been “on platform” before, but others just as clearly had no prior platform experience as a speaker.

After the general session ended this morning, I went into one of my two hands-on labs, this one focused on VMware Consolidated Backup. The lab staff were very technical, very understandable, and appeared to be quite approachable. The problem was the lab materials. They were unclear and inaccurate. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, especially if the instructors know the material inside and out. Unfortunately, the VMware instructors weren’t as knowledgeable about the lab materials specifically (and the steps defined in the lab manual) and this showed through in the final presentation. This is not to say they didn’t know the product—they just weren’t familiar enough with how the lab was supposed to run. In addition, they were trying some new stuff that had never been done before, and so there were some glitches here and there. Having been an instructor myself, I could certainly empathize with them as they struggled to work through the glitches with the lab procedures. However, VCB (VMware Consolidated Backup) is a very cool technology, so that makes up for whatever glitches we ran into during the lab.

Then off to grab some lunch, and into a session on troubleshooting VMware. I was really hoping for some additional in-depth information on extra troubleshooting tools, some hidden commands or features. Instead, there was too much of the same old information being rehashed again. Accurate information, yes, but information that I think most everyone already knew.

I wrapped up the day with a session around VMware command-line tricks. This presentation was lively, entertaining, and quite informative (like a presentation should be). I gleaned a couple of useful tips but unfortunately did not find an answer to a problem I’ve been running into with vmware-cmd (where it reports an error trying to disconnect a device from the VM). I’ll have to keep working on that one.

More information tomorrow…

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