Honestly, I really just wanted to hear Scott Lowe's keynote on VMware's network virtualization strategy. He didn't disappoint. He laid out the progress made through compute virtualization over the last ten years, and explained that network virtualization is the next logical step. The logical construct of the "virtual network" is the foundation for VMware NSX, a product which seeks to provide a virtual network infrastructure on top of an existing layer 3 network. Read the product announcement here.
Other interesting points from Scott's presentation:
- ~40% of VMware administrators manage the virtual switches for their environment. I really thought this would be much higher.
- Half of all server access ports are virtual. This should be a wake-up call to people stuck on the traditional physical switch approach.
- VMware NSX requires vSS or vDS. Cisco's 1000v cannot be used with NSX. Given low adoption and increasing feature-set from the vDS, this shouldn't affect too many people.
I also got a chance to talk with a few vendors about their products, ran into some colleagues from Cisco and F5 (including the guy who inspired me to pursue virtualization, Lyle Marsh, who is wicked smart and funny as hell), and managed to keep the swag to a minimum.
I highly recommend attending these local events. If you can sneak out of the office for a day, it's a great way to learn and network with your peers.