HP Storage Tech Day, January 2012

It’s Sunday evening in New Zealand and I’m looking back over a somewhat surreal week.  The whole thing began just over three weeks ago with a tweet from Calvin Zito asking for independent bloggers who might want to know more about HP Storage.  Having met and liked Calvin at VMworld 2011 I immediately asked to be considered.  The event he invited me to was in a week I was booked to teach, I’ve never been so happy when a course was cancelled.

Excitement built as the logistics got sorted, I was very pleased when the airline booking showed up in my Air New Zealand web login.  I left home early on Monday afternoon and after travelling for around 24 hours I arrived in Denver Colorado in the early evening of the same Monday.  I had arranged to spend an extra couple of days in Denver, using loyalty points to pay for a hotel and being a tourist for a while.

On the Wednesday evening I joined another two delegates for the one hour drive from Denver airport to a nice hotel in Ft Collins that was our base.  The evening was spent  meeting the other delegates and going for a burger.  Calvin has a list of delegates and their links on his Around the Storage Block blog.  The only delegate I’d met before was Brian Knudtson who is part of the VMUnderground, we looked at each other and both thought we were faces from the blur of VMworld.  Socialising with these guys was one of the reasons I was keen to come to Tech Day, there aren’t that many opportunities to talk in person to other people who organise virtualisation community.

The other big reason for going to Tech Day was access to the technical (and marketing) people who fronted the sessions. I was going to say presented the sessions but the sessions were mostly very conversational with lots of questions, which was awesome.  In New Zealand we don’t often get the degree of specialisation that these guys have.  Access to the depth of knowledge was wonderful, and I’ll be bugging some of them for more details.

We crammed a lot into Thursday and Friday morning, allowing people to start their trips home on Friday afternoon. I had about another 24 hours of travel from Ft Collins back to home, all of which went smoothly.

I’m going to have to re-read my notes, we galloped through material and a fair amount of it was new to me.  Some things I’ll be writing up and others extended my knowledge in more general ways.

Of the sessions my personal favorite was Aboubacar Diare digging deeper into VMFS and ESXi storage behaviour than I’ve every heard.  I think all of the VMware guys in the group could have spent all day asking him questions.  I never realised that storage vendors use storage network protocol analysers to work out what VMware does with their disk access and how to make their own storage to work the best.  Of course when you say it it seems logical, but who knew before?

The Tech Day was a big trip for me, if HP hadn’t paid my airfare and accommodation for the event I wouldn’t have made it, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to take part.  Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat, I love to meet other people with a passion for the tech and it’s community.

Thanks Calvin, Becca, Tom, Terri and HP.

Disclosure: HP paid my travel and accommodation expenses for me to attend Tech Day.  Thanks HP.

© 2012, Alastair. All rights reserved.

About Alastair

I am a professional geek, working in IT Infrastructure. Mostly I help to communicate and educate around the use of current technology and the direction of future technologies.
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