EMC, General, Storage, Virtualization

Post convention melancholy

I’m sitting on board of a delayed Airbus A320 from Las Vegas to Chicago while I’m writing up this small post.

I left for Las Vegas must over a week ago to help set up gear for EMC World, and my week has been amazing. After landing inVegas, I met up with some of the guys, went to dinner and to bet, just to be wide awake at two in the morning due to jet lag. Ain’t that just the way it goes?

Anyway, after attending some conference calls, the rest of the team was up and that meant it was time to get started setting things up. Part of it was wrapping up the guides that were created for the labs, and converting them to a format that was suitable for the lab guide reader that was created by fellow vSpecialist Nick Weaver.

Part of it was also to get the backup system up and running on site, because even though we ran the entire vLabs off of the infrastructure located on the other side of the USA, we needed a backup system that would be able to support the labs in case of issues. And one of the first challenges was to actually get the back hardware to the convention center, and actually getting the truck to the right spot to offload the hardware wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Not to mention the fact that it’s hard to work when people actually relocate you from room to room on what seemed to be an hourly basis.

But, all worked out in the end. We were able to get everything loaded and working, and actually started setting up shop in the vLabs area I the convention center. 200 WYSE consoles, custom written lab management software, almost 20 different labs to pick from, and a team of well over 25 folks helping out assured that the vLabs were a good experience.

Did it all run smoothly? No, not all of the time. If you eat your own dog food, want to be bleeding edge and run your service in the cloud, you are bound to run in to some glitches and hiccups. Think of things like firewalls that get in your way, switches not cooperating, or even something like a simulator that tends to crash more than it works (I’m looking at you RecoverPoint 3.4 Sim….). Then, there’s also the fact that this was a first for us in such an environment and at such a scale.

And even with those things, we managed to do an incredible job. We had a great team on site that pulled all nighters to get our environment up and running. Some of us have been living off of about 3 hours of sleep per night, but we still managed to provision over 3000 VMs (exact numbers to be published soon).

And besides the hard work we also had a lot of fun. We got to play craps with two Elvi, perform a pit stop for Wayne and Garth (errr, Chad and Wade), and the random Hangover quotes on our lab headsets were always good for a chuckle.

And now, I’m flying back home and am feeling somewhat melancholic. It’s been a hell of a ride, and coming down from the chaos, or not getting to hang out with my colleagues until I see them again the next time is sort of a strange feeling. It’s like saying goodbye to a dear friend that is leaving for a while, and although you have some very good memories, it leaves you with a sort of funny feeling.

So, for now I want to thank all of the guys that made this week an incredible experience. Folks like Aaron, Erin, Nick, Dave, Rick, Travers, Fred, Tommy, JT and Heather. And of course all of the others that I won’t all name here right now. Thanks guys!

And as the king said it: Viva Las Vegas!

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