(My ears are still ringing from the awesome Camp Freddy performance last night, this post may be a little confusing.)
The morning started with a nice buffett style breakfast, laid out a little better than I’ve seen at other conferences, on par with Microsoft TechEd. It’s a small thing, but executing well on serving thousands of people in a relatively small room makes a conference better than average. I’ll try to get a picture tomorrow morning to show what I mean.
I didn’t have any scheduled sessions in the morning, so I spent some time wandering around the “Solutions Showcase” and had some interesting talks with Dell folks:
- Took the SAN Challenge: First time using the EqualLogic management interface, it’s pretty darn simple to use. Less than 5 min to do the 5 or 6 tasks on the list. Lance was hoping to have a Compellent unit in the rack also, but didn’t want to break their existing lab unit in the process.
- Point of Sales: Dell integrates with touchscreen monitors, receipt printers and cash drawers using something that looks more like a small form factor desktop than a traditional point of sale/cash register device. Interesting idea, hope to talk to them in some more detail.
- Reduced packaging options: Dell has a “mushroom” packaging option when ordering stacks of servers to reduce the volume of waste. The box includes an integrated “pallet” that is made out of cardboard and hardformed “stuff” that eliminates the wooden pallet. They don’t currently have an equivalent option for desktop orders, but they want to have one in the future.
- Ubiquity wireless: Random discussion with someone doing customer talk for Intel lead to a couple of comments about short-haul wireless using Ubiquity devices, was an unexpected detour from the norm.
The big keynote with Michael Dell and President Clinton had some fun content and some excellent philanthropy items. I didn’t hang around for all of the Q&A, it was getting a little long for sitting on conference center chairs.
Lunch included some interesting discussions with other Dell customers about various Dell (and non-Dell) things, always worth meeting and talking to people with much larger scale infrastructure.
The afternoon sessions included one on “High Performance Networking for the Virtual Era” and one about “A more complete approach to virtualization optimization”. Both were high on “marketecture” and a little low on technical content, but both were still useful.
The last session of the afternoon was a hands on lab for Compellent storage with Jason Boche and someone else from Dell sales, but there were only 2 of us in the room. The other person was an existing Compellent customer, so I essentially got a 1 on 1 lab with a Twitter celebrity!
The night started with a DellTechCenter.com Rockstar appreciation event at a swanky place. After that wrapped up, we headed over to the Emulex sponsored “better_together” tweetup at Bar 96 where I got to meet a bunch of twitter folks I’ve only ever interacted with online.
And, to end the night, just after midnight I called Dial-A-Carol at (217) 332-1882 and asked for White Christmas…and the students in the room sang to me!
Now to write up Day 3….