COVUG Tech Days

I just got back from the Central Ohio VMware Users Group (COVUG) Tech Days at Kalahari Resort. It was a great time and very, very informative. The event was held up at the Kalahari Resort just a touch south of Sandusky, Ohio. The convention center and hotel were very nice – I believe the convention had approximate use of 10,000 sq. feet, so there was plenty of room for everybody.

The event had numerous vendors there with presentations and break out sessions held on both Thursday and Friday. VMware, HP, EMC, DataDomain, Vizioncore, esXpress, Equallogic, Dell, Intel, AMD, Acronis and others had booths and presentations.

I find these events great ways to get an overview of what is happening out there and act as a starting point for what I should be looking more into. Some of the things that caught my eye this time around…

I sat in on an Acronis presentation. It seems like a very nice product. The ability to restore on different hardware is very attractive and would be handy to have for any Virtual to Physical situations one may run into to make a vendor happy (i.e. to be on a physical box for support instead of virtual). I do plan on looking more into their product and see if it has a place in our organization.

I always try to sit in on Equallogic presentations and I managed to catch one this time as well. I still really like the hardware they put out. People are always saying good things about it and from the live demos I have seen it does seem to be a very impressive piece of equipment. I still lean towards getting one of these for Phase II of my virtualization project at work if the budget for next year will permit.

I managed to talk to David Siles, the CTO for Kane County who runs a lot of Equallogic storage with VMware. He is running to 5 9’s availability and is running VMs, Exchange DBs and SQL DBs off his SATA based arrays. He had great things to say about the boxes and it was nice to hear from someone running some very serious workloads on just the SATA products.

I also sat in on an esXpress presentation. They do the backup software that does hot backups of VMs. I am using their software in production and am very fond of it. Their presentations are usually fun as the tech guys do them, not sales guys. They have a couple of cool things coming up soon – file level restores from within the VM and a feature to help allow automated replication to warm standby boxes.

I also attended several sessions done by VMware which were informative. Their NDA sessions are always a nice glimpse at what might be in store for us in the future.

All in all, a very successful trip. If you ever have the chance to attend one of the COVUG events I would encourage it. They are very informative and a good time.


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