VMworld 2015 is right around the corner (relatively speaking) and it’s that time again when anyone who has submitted an abstract is out promoting their sessions for the promise of presenting their topics and speaking their minds in front of a captured VMworld audience. While the fine individuals of the VMworld voting committee are out placing their votes, the public has an opportunity to contribute to the cause. So, get out and vote!


This year I have submitted 4 abstracts and included in a 5th, all of which I’m quite passionate about. If any of these resonate with you, please take a moment to give a “thumbs up”…

Session 5318 – Becoming a vRealize Automagician: Why Automation isn’t Automatic

Jad El-Zein, Principal SE, VMware

Steve Kaplan, Principal Architect, Defense Contracts Management Agency (DCMA)

As any IT professional knows, being able to provision systems in a consistent manner, reliably, is the holy grail. Most organizations have tasks they are performing during various stages of provisioning, but these things are, in many instances, manual. While that can be a great starting point, this approach does not scale and routinely falls victim to things like “Oh, I forgot about that” or “I didn’t know about that!”. The longer the list, the more likely there is for discrepencies between systems being provisioned, regardless of if it’s the same person or multiple people performing the same steps. What if there was a way to reduce the possibilities for human error? To do that, you have to become an “Automagician”. For vRealize Automation (vRA) managed environments, becoming an Automagician means leveraging vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) to extend native automation. Applying custom properties effectively in vRA to invoke workflows included in the vRA plugin for vRO, the Automagician gains the ability to incorporate automation and transcend the need for manual processes while removing the error-prone human factor in much of the decision process. This session will delve into the symbiotic relationship between vRA and vRO, and how custom property attributes in vRA can be used to power workflows within vRO for enterprise-scale automation.

Session 5756 – Deploying vRealize Automation in a Secure and Highly Available Architecture with NSX

Jad El-Zein, Principal SE, VMware

Sid Smith, Staff SE, Global SET, VMware

VMware’s cloud management solutions are designed to be secure and scalable to meet every enterprise’s business critical needs. And while scalability is important, the resulting architecture must also be highly available for optimal service levels. This is certainly the case for VMware’s core cloud management platform, vRealize Automation (vRA). VMware provides well-documented best practices and reference architectures to help cloud administrators deploy vRA at enterprise scale and with these key concepts in mind. A highly-available and scalable architecture will often rely on one or more 3rd-party clamp-on solutions for key services such as load balancing, traffic shaping, user access controls, and secure deployment methodologies. Many of these tools have been datacenter staples for several years. However, each component can add complexity, significant cost, and unique architectural limitations. This does not bode well in a world where software-defined everything promises to reduce complexity and associated cost through deep integration and streamlined management. The solution? VMware NSX.

vRealize Automation and NSX together provide several integration points that allow organizations to incorporate dynamic network provisioning and intrinsic security with their application provisioning strategy. In this scenario, vRA natively integrates and consumes available NSX services. But to respond the aforementioned challenges, we’ll take a step up the stack and leverage NSX from an infrastructure perspective. Attend this session to learn how vRealize Automation and NSX can be implemented together exclusively to deliver a highly-available, scalable, and natively secure architecture worthy of the most demanding environments.

Session 6076 – Solving the Software-Defined People Problem (SDPP)

Jad El-Zein, Principal SE, VMware

The Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) delivers a compelling vision of infrastructure transformation and a modern means to IT service delivery across the Private, Public or Hybrid clouds. The SDDC provides a software-defined framework for modern datacenters, which encompasses Compute, Storage, Networks, and Policy-Based Management tools. For traditional IT shops – or those with applications chained to legacy infrastructure – this can be a fundamental shift in datacenter design and the associated skill sets. This shift can result in a software-defined anxiety for those who have managed more traditional infrastructures throughout their careers. We’re evolving from silo-based administration to an environment that requires true teamwork across many competencies. Silos create roadblocks in this world…every modern organization must address this people problem head-on or else be set fail.

A sure way to be successful when embracing emerging technologies, such as the SDDC, is to ensure the people who will be responsible for architecting, deploying, and managing the solutions are in sync with a common set of goals. No longer is the storage admin just a storage admin; no longer is the CCIE in the room just the network guy; virtualization isn’t just one team’s fiefdom. Attend this session to learn how to address the software-defined people problem and build a modern SDDC architecture team. What you call it doesn’t matter…it’s about teamwork, common goals, and fearless execution. It’s about driving IT outcomes that can benefit the entire organization. It’s about evolving people ahead of technology.

Session 6014 – VMware Public Sector SDDC Experts Panel

Jad El-Zein, Principal SE, VMware

Jon Schulman, Sr SE, Public Sector SET, VMware

Mosa Emamjomeh, Sr. SE, EUC Specialist, VMware

Charles Saroka, Sr. SE, Networking and Security, VMware

VMware’s Public Sector customers are actively implementing some of the most complex and cutting-edge infrastructures in the industry. Several Federal agencies have embraced the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) and are working on incorporating an SDDC strategy, often into legacy datacenters and archaic processes. The use cases are wonderfully unique and can encompass the entire SDDC – compute, storage, network – stack, Business Mobility solutions, and Cloud Management and Operations tools. While some agencies lead with innovation, others are following along because they have to…struggling every step of the way. It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time to lead with innovation rather than follow behind per mandate.

This panel session will help VMware’s Public Sector customers understand the benefits of incorporating the Software-Defined Datacenter proactively, paving the way for a successful transformation. Join this panel of Public Sector focused subject matter experts who will help articulate what the Software Defined Datacenter can mean for your agency, what steps you can take to shift a traditional mindset, and dig deeper into the operational best practices for rolling it out.

 Session 4837 – Ask the Cloud Experts Panel Discussion

Jad El-Zein, Principal Engineer, VMware, Inc.

Will Huber, Principal Cloud Architect, EMC Corporation

Grant Orchard, Systems Enginer, VMware, Inc.

Steve Kaplan, Principal Infrastructure Architect, Defense Contract Management Agency

Tim Gleed, Manager EMEA/APJ EMC Global Cloud Services, EMC Europe

Following the format of some of the highest rated sessions at past VMworlds, meet 4 VMware Cloud experts who will be on stage answering your questions about VMware vRealize Automation and how it can be leveraged with other VMware products to build your private or hybrid cloud. The panel has the perspective of VMware employees, customers, and partner consultants who all have in-depth experience implementing large scale, complex cloud environments.

See you at VMworld!