Heck yeah, I was approved to go to VMworld 2009 today.
In case you’re still trying to convince someone you should go, here’s the approach that has worked for me for the last three years, amidst constant budget problems and skepticism about virtual environments:
1. VMworld is the best opportunity & best value for VMware software training in the United States during the year. There are hundreds of sessions, labs, and other hands-on opportunities. You’ll learn better ways to do what you’re already doing, good ways to start doing things you want to do (like implementing vSphere 4, SRM, Lab Manager, View, etc.), and be able to talk to people who are already doing it to find out how well it really works. It’s also a great place to see what the future directions are for virtualization.
2. On top of the conference sessions itself the vendor showcase is very useful. See new product releases from vendors, learn about options for storage, networking, hardware and software to make your virtual environments even better.
3. Virtualization is the way that all future IT operations are going to be run. As such, a trip like this is an investment in your company’s IT future. Additionally, compared to the cost of hiring a consultant, a week of VMworld can be quite inexpensive. It also keeps the knowledge in-house. Not saying consultants aren’t handy, because they can be very knowledgeable and useful, but I’m always a fan of the local IT guys being the long-term experts on their own systems. VMworld helps with that.
4. The airfare is quite inexpensive from most places in the U.S., and with San Francisco there isn’t the perception of some lavish trip to exotic places to play golf. If you’re coming from outside the country the exchange rate is probably still quite favorable, too. And if your significant other wants to go, but doesn’t want to get stuck with a bunch of dorks talking about Extended VMotion Compatibility and HBA queue depths, Scott Lowe’s wife Crystal is organizing some touring, too. Plus, it’s the long Labor Day weekend, it’ll be awesome!
5. Networking with VMware staff, VMTN & Communities celebrities, and all those vExpert rock stars is handy. The virtualization community, while it’s growing rapidly, is still pretty small, and you can meet and buy beer on your expense account for all those folks whose blog and forum posts have saved your duff all year long.
Okay, #5 probably isn’t super useful in your justifications. But I do owe a lot of people beer. And there’s lots of great beer in San Francisco… Now to just find an expense account…
So get it together, people! Get registered, get your flights, and get moving!