#VMworld 2013 Preperation

So currently I am sitting in the airport getting ready to fly out to SFO a few days before the conference for training. This is probably not the right time to start a prep list for VMworld but better late than never. Hopefully next year I will post early enough for this to be useful to everyone else.

  • 1 Year out from VMworld
    • Get a pass and hotel in your corporate IT budget
    • Book a hotel room, you can always cancel later but the cost will be much less ahead of time, even 1 month before VMworld and hotel rate will be upwards of $450 a night for a standard room
  • 3-4 Months out
    • Get the early bird pass and combine it with any other discounts you can, I saved $500 with my discounts.
    • Book you flights and adjust your hotel as required
  • 1-2 Months out
    • Start setting up your schedule, I always wait until the week before and sometime miss out on sessions that are packed full. There are also tons of VMworld parties you can sign up for if you work with vendors that are exhibiting at the conference. I am triple booked on parties a few nights.
    • Grab a VMunderground ticket (I managed to pick up 3 of them for some friends)
    • Check your business card stock and order more if you need to. If you don’t have a company business card, make one just for yourself with your contact info. When I say make some for yourself, I mean using vistaprint or a professional website like that. Nothing fancy but at least made from card stock.
  • 1-2 Weeks out
    • Finalize your schedule
    • Share your schedule with others and create a list of people you want to meet or topics you plan to discuss
  • What to pack
    • Business cards – bring a large stack with you and depending on how social you are, carry about 50-100 on you each day. As above, bring your self created cards if you have them
    • Comfortable clothing and shoes, you may be walking a lot when you are out here, either between sessions or from hotel to Moscone. Check the weather but at night it can get a bit chilly so have layers available
    • Bring a battery pack, I have a 1000mA with a USB port. If you don’t have one, buy one. I constantly charge my phone and any other devices while out and about. Between searching for wifi, using GPS to check in on foursquare, snapping photos, snapchatting, twitter tweeting, vining, auto uploading, and using all the mobile apps, VMworld will suck your battery dry by noon if you are not careful.
    • Get social – Join and follow all the hashtags, YouTube videos, Instagram, and G+ everywhere. At the very least just join twitter and follow me and #VMworld
    • Your wife, partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, just not all of them at the same time. Check out Spousetivities for more information but they can also get a city pass for about ~$80 and allows you access to a good list of museums and local attractions.
  • What not to pack
    • Everything! And by that I mean travel light, especially during the conference. If you can get away with just a phone and a compact USB charger the better.
    • I also forget this every time but empty your wallet. Just bring cash, 2 or more credit cards (primary and a backup) and a photo ID. Leave your Sam’s Club, Costco, discount cards, VA card, Freemason card, or any other card that you won’t ever use.

I am going to post another update about what to do and not to do while at the conference but hopefully this is enough to get your bags packed.


#vBrownBag Presentation – What’s New in Horizon Suite

I have been a long time listener of the ProfessionalVMware.com vBrownBag webcasts. To date I think I have only missed 1 or 2 in the past 3-4 months. After raising my hand for the past 12 episodes and slamming @Cody_Bunch @sixfootdad & @Josh_Atwell on twitter, I was eventually given this opportunity to present.

Join us tonight at 8:30 pm EST for the presentation.

Register Here

Horizon Suite vBrownBag Presentation Slides

vPinterest – Pin & Share interesting stuff for Technology Nerds

So this idea came to me a few weeks ago. I was searching through my history, bookmarks, email, twitter, chat logs, and everywhere else trying to find a link to  blog post I found on some VMware topic. During this scrounging for a link I came across the Pinterest, maybe I was just distracted by shiny objects, but it got me thinking. What does Pinterest have that I might be able to use that Twitter and all of those other social media site don’t. Pinterest has the ability to categorize your “pins” instead of a huge dump of twitter and RSS feeds, and only follow the content you want from other people.

After some thought, I figured it might be worth some time to use Pinterest as a way to share bookmarks. Not just any bookmarks, images that grab your attention and then link to useful content I might need to reference later. As I started to create a few boards and pin a few images that Mike Laverick and I started talking about this and he helped me develop a few of the ideas. So here is what I came up with so far of different boards. I am sure this will change as I go along and find the right fit.

Automation – For links to PowerCLI commands and references

Virtualization – For all of those other useful items

vCommunity Board – I made this and gave a few of the experts I know already on Pinterest right to post here, feel free to add this and share. I am interested to see what happens.

Preferred Vendor List – This one is just images that link back to the home page of the company site. I might decide to turn this into a Vendor Login portal or support page.

Blogroll – Might as well link to some of my favorite blogs, Mike Laverick, for example among others I will build into this.

Books I had Autographed, because I am that cool – And by “Cool” I mean “Nerd” and so far all the books I favorite I also had autographed.

Tech Toys – Because every nerd needs to be able to defend himself from rubber band wars, and fly helicopters around the cubes

So, what do you think? Are us Technology guys and gals going to have a business use for this social media tool? If you think you are up for it, or at least want to follow what I decide to do on here, click the link below to get started.

Follow Me on Pinterest      

Image Pinning Tips

Use the Pin it button at the top of this link, easy to use unless you have to manually tweak the image.

If you are looking for an image on a blog that doesn’t have a photo at all, take a screen shot of the “best” part of the site and upload the Pin, then “Save” the Pin. After it is saved you can edit the pin and add a link to the actual site.

If the image exists but doesn’t show up, it is probably set as a background image. In this case, you can view the page source and pull the image out or view background image in Firefox works well too.

Another option is google. Do a google image search for a picture or image that would best represent the link, Pin the image as it appears on google, then go back later and edit the link in the Pin.

Resume – Hot off the press!

It has been more than 6 years since I last updated my resume. Here it is, hot off the press.

Updated version is current as of 6/13/2012

Mike Ellis – Resume

Videos & Case Studies

Below is a list of links to videos and case studies I have been featured in or contributed content towards.

















Mike Laverick – RTFM


Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) User Group Meeting – February

The Cisco Untified Computing System (UCS) User Group will have their first meeting in Indianapolis on Wednesday February 22nd, 2012 from 11:00AM until 2:00PM.

11711 N. Meridian Street Suite 700
Carmel, IN 46032 View Map



  • Registration
  • User Group Updates
  • User Case Studies
  • User Optimization
  • Lunch
  • Panel and Q & A

Please join other UCS adopters to:

  • Engage in an open discussion with your peers on their experiences implementing Unified Computing
  • Meet/network with fellow data center professionals
  • Meet with Cisco Data Center / Server Business Unit engineering leaders, ask questions and get answers

About Me

Mike Ellis

Virtual Operations Manager at Seven Corners, Inc. (@SevenCornersInc)

President of Indy VMware User Group (@IndyVMUG)

VMware, CiscoUCS, NetApp, VDI, System Engineer.