EMC World 2013, the final countdown has started!

The countdown has started

Just 3 weeks and a few days to go and it’s EMC World again! Time to meet my old and new friends and finally getting some rays. the one thing I’ve been missing the last few weeks it’s the sun and I guess most Europeans agree with me. Don’t know what it’s like in other parts of the world, but I certainly need more heat than what we’re having now.

This time I arranged my stay to be a few days longer than just the event itself, so I actually have time to see a bit more of Vegas than last year. I’ll be arriving on Friday the 3rd of May and that day I am already meeting Jorg, a Norwegian friend of mine. Sorry for the misspelling of his name, but in this editor I don’t seem to be able to find the o with the slash through it. And two of my colleagues (EMC Elect as well) will be there too. I don’t think we’re going to try out every bar on the strip since traveling in airplanes and hanging around on airfields for 75% of a day wears you out. But dinner and a couple of drinks will be on that evening’s schedule for sure!

Saturday the 4th of May will be a bit of a site seeing day. I hope to visit Fremont Street and see the famous light/LED ceiling as well as the waving-arm-cowboy and just some of the old Vegas. And right around the corner is one of these pawn shops that are shown on television lately called “Gold & Silver Pawn Shop“. Since my wife always watches that show, I’ll be taking snapshots of that place for her. I won’t be in a hurry, so there will be plenty of time to take it easy and see it all.

Saturday evening most of the people I know from last year and got to know on ECN this year will have arrived in The Venetian resort and after dinner I’m sure it’ll be a fun evening with drinks, music and some Vegas entertainment.

The main reason why I’m in Vegas in the first place is my membership of the EMC eServices Customer Council and Sunday May the 4th will be the big meeting day. While others like Jon Klaus and Menno de Liege will have the opportunity to go rafting and see Hoover Dam, but meeting more eServices friends and talking about EMC eServices will be the greater part of that Sunday for me.

Later on that day we will picking up the EMC World badge, shirt, pen, bag, anything that goes with it and see if there’s a pre EMC World event like last year. In 2012 we had the pool party, which was supplied with food and drinks and many of the people I never met IRL before. I sure hope to meet more of them and expand my network 😀

Monday will be the official start of the event and since I didn’t make a detailed schedule just yet all I can do is simply mention what would attract me. So in random order and just mentioning what comes to mind are these:

General sessions and receptions:

  • General session by Global Partner Summit
  • Grand Opening Reception in the Solutions Pavilion
  • General session by Joe Tucci & Paul Maritz
  • General session by Pat Gelsinger
  • Chad Sakac

Break out sessions

Without taking a detailed peek at the actual list of topics things I’m interested in are:

  • New storage technology like VMAX2 or VNX2. I’m not sure if any of these two will actually be announced before or at EMC World, but I’ll be on the lookout for those two anyway
  • New features in VNX / VMAX Flare or Enginuity codes
  • Cloud solutions (VMAX CE for example)
  • VPLEX. I know what it does, but I’d like to know more about it and if we can incorporate this in our DCs @Open Line
  • Long distance SAN solutions (CWDM, DWDM, FCIP, performance boosters, stuff like that)
  • Flash solutions like FAST Cache and SSDs in storage pools
  • Flash Solutions as a 4th tier like EMC Xtrem flash solutions for servers
  • Tiering solutions like FAST VP
  • VMware integration with enhanced storage features like thin provisioning
  • As my friend Allen Ward also mentioned in his blog, I’d also love to see the new Brocade hardware
  • the Isilon product. I know what it is and we actually got it in our DCs since a few days, but I’d still like to hear more about it

Solutions Pavillion

I’m very glad to see that the pavilion is now open from 10AM to 5PM instead of only the afternoon. So many booths to visit and so many people to talk to, just 4 hours per day simply wasn’t enough last year. And this time I’ll make sure to carefully plan which booth I need to visit and have my badge scanned in order to accomplish ECN RAMP missions. I’m sure I had my badge scanned a lot, but it seems that I missed most of the RAMP missions anyway.

Ask the Expert

On April 15 my friends Allen Ward, Sergey Kamenetskiy and myself will start yet another “Ask the Expert” discussion on ECN. It’ll be my 3rd ATE and the topic is “Fibre Channel Routing“. My first ATE on CX/VNX performance calculations I did in August 2012 together with Jon Klaus and this one introduced EMC’s first EVER Tweet Chat and is still ECN’s most viewed ATE discussion on ECN! The second ATE I did in November 2012, again with Jon and this one was about long distance SAN connectivity.

Dutch Delegation

As said during the day the Dutch Delegation will visit Hoover Dam and enjoy a rafting experience, but I’m already involved in a 1 day long meeting with the eServices Customer Council. On Sunday evening the Dutch Delegation will visit the Stratosphere tower for a welcome reception. Bungee jumping is one of the offered activities, but it’s probably just a bit too high for me, so I think I’ll pass on that one. My guess is that on Monday we’ll visit a show and on Tuesday evening we’ll be visiting the Voodoo Café & lounge for food and drinks.

Blogging

This year I’ll try to write a blog every day that I’m there. I hope that either the Blogger’s lounge or the EMC Elect lounge will provide uninterrupted internet access and healthy drinks, but I’m sure EMC will do its best to provide just that.

EMC Elect

Since this year is the actual first EMC Elect year I’m hoping to see the other 9 EMC Elect founders in the first place as well as many of the other 65. I know quite a few of the founders already as we already met last year in Vegas, but officially being one of the first 10 just adds that little extra. And as I said, I’m hoping to meet as many of the 75 in total when I’m there. I know not all of the Elects were able to get approval to attend EMC World this year and I feel sorry for that. I’m sure most of us will think of them while we’re there (for a few seconds while holding a drink at one of the nice pools).

Bruno Mars

On Wednesday there’s the concert by Mr Bruno Mars, which most of the women will find very appealing (and the guys are probably there for the food). The music is great, but I was actually hoping to see some sort of real rock band. Oh well, I’m sure my wife and daughter will envy me for being there so I must make sure to make lots of pictures and film and post all that on Facebook for them!

Bellagio and Treasure Island Fountain shows

Wednesday evening, after the show, I’ll probably go out to see the famous Bellagio Fountain show. Last year was a real treat and although we have a much more colorful water and fire show called “Aquanura” in funpark the Efteling in the Netherlands (http://www.google.nl/search?q=aquanura%20efteling) it’s still something you really should see when you’re in Vegas.


 

Souvenir shopping

My Thursday starts with checking out of the Venetian hotel and visiting the final part of EMC World. The afternoon is entirely for souvenir shopping for my women back home. I already got some strong clues about what to bring home with me, but that’s just a single item. There should be more and I’m still not sure what to add to it.

Valley of Fire road trip

Friday the 10th of May will be a whole day of driving through the desert, making pictures, enjoying the sun and visiting the National Park called the “Valley of Fire“. Allen and I (and maybe some more friends that haven’t already taken off to fly back home by then) will drive from Vegas to this park, which lies approximately 1 hour (I think) to the North East of the city. Pictures I’ve seen taken by a former colleague proved to be the initiator for this trip and I hope we can see rocks that are eroded by thousands of years of the sandy wind that blows in the desert.

My first idea was a trip around the Grand Canyon, but driving more than 900 miles was just a bit too much. I’d love to visit Monument Valley one day, but driving 400 miles just for that when there’s not even that much time (just 1, maybe 2 days) is probably not a good idea. I also love to visit Havasupai Waterfall one day, but that one is (of course) way out of any normal car accessible route, so I need some more planning on that one.

In the map below the blue route is what I had in mind originally, but that’s just too much for a day or two. The red square is what the plans are for this year. The arrow pointing to the left is where “monument valley” is. The arrow pointing North is where Havasupai waterfall is and as you can see it’s a long way from any normal road. Last year the “Dutch Delegation” (meaning all Dutch EMC World visitors brought together by EMC Netherlands) spent a day at the Grand Canyon Ranch. I don’t exactly know where it was anymore, but the red stars on my map are pointing in the right area. We enjoyed a helicopter flight THROUGH the Grand Canyon and we had a real nice barbecue style lunch with the most fantastic spare ribs I ever had.

More to come

In the next three weeks I’ll be planning my trip in more detail, but I’ll be blogging about the trip when I’m there, so watch this website for updates as they happen live from the actual event!

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