This month marks my 6 months at EMC, and more specifically as a vSpecialist and what better way to celebrate then to get an opportunity to work at the #vLabs at EMC World. First I want to thank Jeff Thomas as well as Chris Horn and his merry Tech Enablement Team for the opportunity to help. What these guys pulled off was simply amazing. A 200 seat, fully automated hands on lab with over a dozen labs to choose from was unbelievable. All of it being hosted in “the cloud” back in North Carolina. Now, I’m not going to say it went off without a hitch, in fact I think most of them didn’t sleep for about the first 48 hours. They essentially were running on 5 hour energy and Sugar Free Redbull while they worked through some very unfortunate technical challenges that were “pushed” down to them the weekend of the deployment. BUT, as always we had some killer teammates step up in a huge way and help get everything back on track. By the way, @ClintonSKitson and “Tips” should never have to buy another drink ever again !! He and Rick Scherer aka“Tips” spent a lot of time heads down in a laptop working on powershell scripts !! It was just cool seeing everyone pitching in and helping get things done. Not to mention it was cool hanging out with @VTylerBaker, @Virtualbug, @JohnAvery, @Traversn and all the other vSpecialist – to many to list – so here is a list 🙂
By the way, you really should be following the tech enablement team guys on twitter:
Here is a little “behind the scenes” stuff. While we didn’t have to setup the dual monitors per station (Vegas Union Rules) we did have to setup each Wyse terminal. By the way a little known fact, it takes 5min’s and 40 seconds to re-image a Wyse Terminal with a USB Stick. We had 200 terminals….we did this 3 times in 24 hour period so we got REALLY good at it !! Each table was setup with 2 sets of dual-monitors as well as 2(ea) Wyse Stations. Each of these connected back to a dedicated T3 connection to our Vblock in North Carolina. We did have 4(ea) “backup” systems in the #vlab just in case we ran into any connectivity issues but thankfully we didn’t need them. Unfortunately we had to work through some opening days gremlins on Monday but by that afternoon everything was running like a well oiled machine. In fact, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday was just AWESOME. The #vLab practically ran itself. I’m not saying we didn’t have issues with individual labs from time to time, but for the most part it was few and far between. We received some great, positive feedback from those that sat through the labs and in the greatest compliment you can get, we had a lot that went through almost all of them.
By the way, I did take advantage of being at EMC World to network with some really cool people. I’ve been truly impressed with EMC’s embracing of Social Media. “Social City/Bloggers Lounge” was so impressive. They had a full time coffee barista onsite as well as nice comfortable area to sit and chat with fellow Social Media people. It was great to have just a quiet place to hang out and catch up on what people are working on and meet people that I normally only communicate with on Twitter. Special thanks for @KeithNorbie for getting me into the “EMC World Alumni Area” to sneak some Diet Coke out 🙂 Also, a HUGE shout out to Bas Raayman who setup a great “Storagebeers/vBeers” event at Harrah’s and especially @storagestaffing for picking up the tab!! I was able to finally get my hands on the famous “FCoTR” button from @SFoskett (Thanks to @Gminks for taking the picture – you RAWK 🙂 ). It was just great being able to meet up with so many people. Also that night @Banksek and I were able to get into the @Brocade party over at the Marquee at the Cosmopolitan hotel. Their party was just off the hook crazy and I can’t thank @CharlesHood enough for the personal invite. It was a great opportunity to just let off some steam and have a great time.
Finally, all good things must come to an end and the last day of the #vLabs was just about perfect. We had to box every one of those Wyse Terminals up and get them onto a pallet and shipped back to who knows where. In pure vSpecialists fashion, everyone came together to help. It was awesome and crazy all at the same time and I can’t wait to do this again.
So my first 6 months has came and went and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon which is fine with me. Next up is VMworld and the craziness that comes with it. I’ll be blogging about my 3 session I’ve submitted. My hope is to get one of them accepted (you can help with that by the way). With that said, I’m going to go and reintroduce myself to my family and let the count down begin until VMworld.
Again – special thanks to JT, Chris Horn, Nick, Simon, Tee, my vSpec Mentor David Robertson etc for letting me help out this year. I had a BLAST !!