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Top 10 VMworld session picks for 2016

If there’s one piece of advice I’d give to first-time VMworld attendees, it’d be to sign up early for breakout sessions. VMworld’s 2016 Schedule Builder goes live July 19, and you can expect the most popular sessions to reach capacity soon after. If you don’t want to be waiting in the overflow line outside a packed room, it pays to review the session library, have a few options in mind and sign up early.

With that in mind, we’ve picked through this year’s catalog to help you get a jump start on the crowds when the sign up window opens next week. Of course, these are just suggestions and are geared toward IT professionals using VMware’s server virtualization products, but there’s something here for everyone. Be sure to let us know in the comments below which sessions you’re looking forward to, or if we missed some of your favorites.

  1. INF8375: What’s New in vSphere

What would VMworld be without this perennial favorite? If you’re curious where vSphere is headed, what’s up with the new HTML5 client or want to learn about upcoming features, be sure to check out this session. And of course, if you have any lingering complaints about VMware’s flagship product, this is your chance to be heard.

Speaker: Michael Adams, senior director of product marketing, VMware

  1. INF8644: Getting the Most out of vMotion: Architecture, Features, Performance and Debugging

One of the most commonly-used vSphere features, vMotion is loved by many and fully understood by few. As its title suggests, this technical session will cover new capabilities and tools for performance troubleshooting. The session description also teases a sneak peek at future directions for the live migration technology, including encrypted vMotion and vMotion to public clouds.

Speakers: Arunachalam Ramanathan, staff engineer, VMware
Sreekanth Setty, staff engineer 2, VMware

  1. DEVOP9093: Unpanel: How I Survived the DevOps Transition

Will you survive? Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but more companies are beginning to consider a DevOps approach, which often presents unfamiliar challenges. This interactive session between IT operations professionals and developers should make for an interesting discussion — one in which the audience is invited to participate.

Speakers: Suzanne Ambiel, portfolio marketing Cloud Native, OpenStack, VMware
Tom Hite, director, DevOps and Cloud Native Applications, VMware
Reginald Lo, senior director, Advisory Services, VMware

  1. NET8193R: The Architectural Future of Network Virtualization

What’s next for network virtualization? This session will offer a technical deep dive into the future of network virtualization. It’s also possible attendees may hear about technical previews for future NSX features.

Speaker: Bruce Davie, CTO Networking, VMware

  1. STO8256: Introducing Virtual SAN for VMware Photon: The Best HCI Platform for Containers and Cloud-Native Applications

VMware’s Photon Platform, unveiled at VMworld 2015, offers a streamlined deployment option for containers. One of the most prominent challenges with managing containers is the storage layer, which this session promises to address. This session’s description also hints at upcoming Virtual SAN updates: “This new implementation of VMware Virtual SAN is designed to deliver the very best hyper-converged infrastructure architecture and experience to satisfy the management and storage needs and requirements of the Photon Platform, containers, and cloud-native applications.”

Speakers: Christian Dickmann, senior staff engineer, VMware
Rawlinson Rivera, principal architect, Office of CTO – SABU, VMware

  1. STO8159: Snapshots Suck: How VSAN and VVols fix all your operational nightmares

Snapshots are meant to provide quick roll-back points and have important use cases, but they can quickly grow out of control and present performance problems. While fixing all of your operational nightmares might be a bit optimistic, this session is sure to be popular for administrators wanting to learn how newer VMware technologies can help better manage snapshots.

Speakers: Pete Flecha, senior technical marketing architect, VMware
John Nicholson, senior technical marketing manager, VMware

  1. INF8255: vSphere API 101: Harnessing the Power for the Everyday Admin

This session’s speakers, William Lam and Alan Renouf, are among the best-known VMware bloggers for their insightful technical posts. Their session will serve as an introduction the vSphere API, including practical examples for both vSphere administrators and developers. It will also include a technical preview for future capabilities.

Speakers: William Lam, senior SDDC integration architect, VMware
Alan Renouf, product line manager, VMware

  1. INF8045: vSphere High Availability Best Practices and Tech Preview

Another bread-and-butter session that’s always popular, this session typically covers best practices and technical explanations. This year’s itinerary also says the session, “will spend a great deal of time on tech preview features.”

Speakers: Manoj Krishnan, vSphere HA tech lead, VMware
Matthew Meyer, technical marketing, VMware

  1. HBC9401: What’s new with vCloud Air

What is new? Over the last year, all we’ve heard about vCloud Air has been rumors that the company had cut development as a possible Virtustream joint venture was explored. That initiative fell apart, but where does that leave the company’s public cloud now? It’s also worth mentioning that the two co-general managers presenting this session were recently tapped to replace Bill Fathers, when he added his name to the list of former vCloud executives who’ve recently departed.

Speakers: Laura Ortman, VP & co-GM, vCloud Air, VMware
Allwyn Sequeira, senior VP & co-GM, vCloud Air, VMware

  1. NET8241: Monitoring and Troubleshooting NSX with vRealize Network Insight (Arkin)

Customers interested in learning how VMware would integrate its latest acquisition should attend this session, which features the new VMware brand name for Arkin’s product. Visibility and simplified management of VMware’s NSX will be key to the product’s long-term success. The session’s description also hints at integration with VMware’s Log Insight tool.

Speakers: Vyenkatesh Deshpande, senior product line manager, VMware
Sean O’Dell, senior systems engineer, Arkin