The VMware Experts Database Program
The program started in 2013 and sponsored by the Cloud Platform Business Unit boasts completed six successful workshop events. The program, thus far has focused on gathering MS SQL Server and Oracle experts in either Palo Alto or Sofia Bulgaria (Cork Ireland and Singapore are under consideration for future events) for three days of intense Executive Welcomes along with open discussions with VMware engineers, architects and product specialists. Customized labs are setup specifically for each Experts Group and run on a high-end storage array provided by a VMware storage partner for that specific event. Since 2013, Pure Storage, Tintri and EMC have partnered with the CPBU in the delivery of individual events. The experts in the various database disciplines are nominated from a variety of sources, interviewed and then specially selected based on three specific criteria. First they must be true experts in their specific field of expertise. The famed “Microsoft MVP” and Oracle designations of “Oracle Certified Master” or “Oracle Certified Professional” and “Oracle ACE” constitute some of the categories that the experts have achieved. In addition they should be public figures. Teachers, writers, bloggers, consultants, frequent speakers and general all around well-known personalities qualify. Most importantly they must be open-minded towards the message of VMware. We believe that vSphere is the best platform for Business Critical Applications and databases of any level of performance demand or criticality and the main objective of the program is to develop knowledgeable external BCA/DB experts to carry that message to their customers, students and attendees of the many sessions that they deliver throughout the industry and the world. To that end VMware pays normal travel costs (flights, hotels, local transport, meals) for each selected attendee.
Continued Involvement of the Experts
After the event has completed, each Expert is invited to be included in a specially established internal/external email distribution list. The DLs include all the experts within a specific discipline and the VMware employees who participated in the event. Separate DLs exist for the Oracle (20) and SQL Server (50) groups. The DLs have been established to allow for continued communications between the external Oracle and SQL Server Experts and the VMware personal who they met throughout the workshop. The aliases are SQL_Server_TechAdvisory_Group <SQL_Server_TechAdvisory_Group@vmware.com>; Oracle_Techadvisory_Group <Oracle_Techadvisory_Group@vmware.com>
Experts are encouraged to include vSphere content in sessions that they deliver at any conference or event that they participate in. They are also, on an individual basis, encouraged and sometimes recruited to submit sessions for VMworld. The 2016 VMworld season include 7 sessions in the Virtualizing Applications track that were submitted and delivered by individuals who are part of the VMware Experts Database Program. We expect new and interesting sessions to be submitted to VMworld 2017 as well.
Papers and Blogs are also encouraged and on occasion members of this group are commissioned to write White Papers on specific subjects. An example is the paper by Allan Hirt of SQLHA presently listed on the VMware.com BCA homepage SQL Server Section.
Each event provides a great learning experience for all involved. Oracle and SQL Server Experts expand their personal toolkits to include the message and technology of VMware and in-turn internal personnel have the opportunity to speak with true industry experts in a setting that fosters open and frank discussion.
Included below are links to both the new montage video from the Nov 15-17, 2016 VMware Experts SQL Server event in Sofia, Bulgaria as well as a YouTube playlist which includes all the montage videos complied over the entire VMware Experts series.