VMworld 2020 – My Top 15 Picks in Storage, Availability, DR and Kubernetes

VMworld 2020 is only a few short weeks away, and since the Content Catalog is now available, I decided to pick some sessions to add to my conference agenda. In the past, I have made similar posts, and these were usually entitled “See you at VMworld”, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen this year. But even though we won’t be able to get together at one location this year, the fact that the event is online and free should mean that there are lots more opportunities for people to get to see what they really want to see. The following tweet from the VMware twitter account has details about where to start building your own VMworld agenda.

The areas that I am most interested in are Storage/Availability, Disaster Recovery (DR) and Kubernetes, and there are lots of sessions on these topics at this year’s VMworld. Of course, we also acquired Datrium recently, and this is going to be the first chance to show off what we are doing in the DR as a Service (DRaaS) space with them.

OK then, let’s get on with my choices. These are in no particular order of preference by the way; they are simply sessions that are of interest to me at this year’s VMworld.

Storage/Availability/DR (specific sessions related to storage and availability)

  • [HCI1691] Core Storage Best Practices Deep Dive: Configuring the New Storage Features. In this session, Jason Massae and Cody Hosterman  are going to review the new storage features in vSphere 7.0. A must attend for anyone managing storage in vSphere environments.
  • [HCI1276] Deconstructing vSAN: A deep dive into the internals of vSAN. This is a presentation from our vSAN technical marketing stalwarts, Pete Koehler and John Nicholson. vSAN (VMware’s Hyper-converged Infrastructure solution) is constantly evolving, and these guys will fill you in on how it all ties together “under the covers”.
  • [HCI1413] Simplify HCI Cluster Updates with vSphere Lifecycle Management. vSphere 7.0 saw the introduction of a new Lifecycle Management solution, vLCM. In this session, technical marketing aficionado Pete Fletcha (Hola!) and Product Manager Kris Groh will walk the audience through how this simplifies the overall lifecycle management of HCI.
  • [HCI1825] vSAN File Services Deep Dive. This is another feature that was introduced in the 7.0 release, something that many vSAN customers have been requesting for the longest time. A must attend if you are using (or plan to use) vSAN File Services. Delivered by TMMs John N and Pete F.
  • [HCI1455] Better Together: Site Recovery Manager with Virtual Volumes. With the release of SRM 8.3, we included support to protect workloads using vVol arrays with replication. In this session, our PM for SRM, Velina Krasteva, will be joined by some of our storage partners to delve into this feature in more detail. vVols is definitely gaining traction among our partners and customers, so this should be of interest to many storage specialists.

DRaaS – DR as a Service (specific availability sessions related to the recent Datrium acquisition)

  • [HCI2876] Don’t be left in the Cold: Protect vSphere with Datrium-based Warm DRaaS. This is the level 100 introductory DRaaS session and will provides a business overview of DRaaS. Join Mark Chuang from our product marketing team and Shobhan Lakkapragada (Product Management) who will cover the benefits of our DRaaS, and will provide a demo of this “built for the cloud” solution.
  • [HCI2865] Protect all your workloads with DRaaS from VMware. Join Jatin Jindal (PM) and Mike McLaughlin (TMM) to learn all about our new Datrium acquisition and how we will use that to implement Disaster Recovery as a Services  (DRaaS) for VMware Cloud on AWS. This should give a good level 200 overview of the solution.
  • [HCI2886] Deep Dive into DRaaS based on Datrium. In this breakout, Sazzala Reddy (co-founder of Datrium) and Nabil Quadri (PM) will get into the nuts and bolts (level 300) of the new DRaaS solution. This should be a good one.

Cross-Over – Storage/Availability with Kubernetes (sessions which cover both topics)

  • [HCI2160] Technical Deep Dive on Cloud Native Storage for vSphere. This should be a great session. Sandeep from our engineering team will joined by Myles Gray to talk through how we use CSI-CNS to create stateful volumes for Kubernetes applications running on vSphere. Should be very interesting for sure as we get into the nitty gritty of how our CNS-CSI is implemented.
  • [HCI1814] vSAN 7.0: A platform for both VMs and Containerized workloads. Well, it would be remiss of me not to mention this one 😀 In this session, Duncan Epping and I will be talking about how the new features in vSAN HCI can be used for both virtual machines workloads and containerized workloads. As well as highlighting the new features in vSAN 7.0, we will talk about how vSAN can be consumed as a storage back-end in both native Kubernetes, but also in vSphere with Tanzu (formerly Project Pacific). We hope you can get along to this one.

Kubernetes (specific sessions related to Kubernetes)

  • [KUB2829] Ease into Event-Drive Apps with Knative. This is not a session on developing serverless applications, but rather a way to setup a lightweight Kubernetes environment on your local machine, so that if you are interested in servereless through Knative, this will get you started. This will be presented by Leon Stigler, a Product Manager from our Tanzu team. This is a topic that I want to get into more and more, so glad to see it in the catalog.
  • [KUB2306] GitOps and Kubernetes – A Guide for the VI Admin. This session definitely caught my eye. Sam McGeown from our Cloud Management team and Keith Lee from the Tanzu team will be looking at the benefits of using GitOps for VI Admins. Looks like there will lots of cool demos as well, so this should be very engaging.
  • [KUB1248] Kubernetes Operators for VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid. Kubernetes Operators are a big deal – almost all applications containerized applications today are moving toward this model for ease of deployment, monitoring, management, etc. Here Tom Schwaller from the Tanzu team and my good pal Michael Gasch will walk us through the steps of how to create an operator. I expect to have my mind blown in this session – sure to be great.
  • [KUB2334] Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Networking Concepts. Networking has always been my ‘Achilles heal’, but I’m trying more and more to get to grips with it. Container-based microservices aren’t making this any easier. This session from Patrick Daigle is going to go through some key Kubernetes networking concepts, so I’m hoping to brush up on my knowledge in this session.
  • [KUB2469] vSphere with Tanzu Deep Dive. FYI, vSphere with Tanzu is the name for the product that was originally called Project Pacific. We have made a huge number of additional enhancement to vSphere to enable vSphere with Tanzu. In this session, Bo Fu and Derek Beard will give us the low-down on the architecture of vSphere with Tanzu.

In the past, I always closed these posts with a message about how I hoped to meet many of you at the conference. This year I’ll close by asking all my readers to stay safe, and hopefully we’ll be able to chat in person again soon. Take care!

One Reply to “VMworld 2020 – My Top 15 Picks in Storage, Availability, DR and Kubernetes”

  1. Great suggestions Cormac, I definitely will be catching several of those. And yes, stay safe, we’ll have a cuppa soon enough.

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