Veeam Vanguard Summit 2019 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Disclaimer: I recently attended Veeam Vanguard Summit 2019.  My flights, accommodation, and some meals were paid for by Veeam. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated by Veeam for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as an attendee at Veeam Vanguard Summit 2019. Apologies if it’s a bit dry but I’m just trying to make it clear what I received during this event to ensure that we’re all on the same page as far as what I’m being influenced by. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week. Whilst every attendee’s situation is different, I was paid by my employer to be at this event.

 

Saturday

My wife kindly dropped me at the airport on Saturday evening. I flew Emirates economy class from BNE – DXB – PRG courtesy of Veeam. I had a 3 hour layover at DXB. In DXB I managed to locate the Emirates Business lounge and eventually found the smoked salmon. The Emirates lounge at BNE is also super nice compared to the Qantas one (sorry Qantas!).

 

Sunday

I landed in Prague Sunday afternoon and took a taxi to my friend Max‘s house. We went for a wander to Hanga’r Bar where I had 3 beers that Max kindly paid for. We then headed in to the city centre so Al Rasheed could drop his luggage off. We then dropped by Restaurace Mincova and had some sausage, pickled cheese and a couple more beers. Al kindly paid for this. We then returned to Max’s house for dinner with his family. Max’s family also put me up for the night.

 

Monday

On the way to the hotel (the Hilton in Prague Old Town) Monday, Max and I stopped by the Macao and Wok Restaurant for lunch. I had a variety of Chinese-style dumplings and 2 beers. I then caught up with the other Aussie Vanguards (and Drew). We stopped at a place called Sklep Na Porici and I had 2 Pilsner Urquell unfiltered beers. At the hotel before dinner Steven Onofaro bought me a beer in the hotel bar.

For dinner we had a welcome reception at T-Anker. It was a rooftop bar / restaurant with stunning views of the city. The staff were a little surprised that we all wanted to eat our meals at the same time, but I eventually managed to get hold of a chicken schnitzel. I also had 4 beers. We stopped at a bar called Potrefená Husa (?) on the way back to the hotel. I had another beer that David Kawula paid for. At the hotel I had another beer, paid for by Shane Williford, before heading to bed.

 

Tuesday

I had breakfast at the hotel, consisting of eggs, bacon, chicken sausage, and a flat white. The beauty of the hotel was that it didn’t matter what coffee you ordered, it would invariably be a flat white. Matt Crape gave me a 3D-printed Vanguard thing before the sessions started, and I picked up a Vanguard pin as well.

During the break I had coffee and a chicken, ham, and cheese panini snack. Lunch was in the hotel, and I had beef, fish, pasta, roast vegetables and some water. During the afternoon break I helped myself to some coffee and an apple tatin. Adam Fisher kindly gave me some CDs from his rock and roll days. They were really cool.

For dinner a few of us went to the Restaurant White Horse in the Old Town Square. I had a few beers and the grilled spicy sausage. I then had 2 beers at the hotel before retiring for the night.

 

Wednesday

For breakfast on Wednesday I headed to the hotel buffet and had mushrooms, bacon, scrambled eggs, yoghurt, cheese, ham, and 2 flat whites. During the morning break I helped myself to a bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese and some coffee. Lunch was in the hotel, and I had basmati rice, chicken, perch, smoked salmon, water, and chocolate cake.

During the afternoon break I had some coffee, a small cheese cake tart, and a tiny tandoori chicken wrap. I had two beers at the hotel bar before we caught a shuttle over to the Staropramen brewery. There I had a 5 or 6 beers and a variety of finger food. From there we headed to The Dubliner bar for a few more beers.

 

Thursday

I skipped breakfast on Thursday in favour of some sleep. I had a light lunch at the hotel, consisting of some pasta, rice, and beef. When I got back to my room I found a gift glass from Staropramen Brewery courtesy of Veeam.

For dinner about 10 of us headed to a Mexican restaurant called Agave. I had 3 Coronas, a burrito with prawns, and some guacamole. The food was great, as was the company, but the service was pretty slow.

 

Friday

On Friday I had breakfast at the hotel, consisting of mushrooms, bacon, scrambled eggs, yoghurt, cheese, ham, and 2 flat whites. I then walked around Prague for a few hours, and took a car service to the airport at my expense. Big thanks to Veeam for having me over for the week, and big thanks to everyone who spent time with me at the event (and after hours) – it’s a big part of what makes this stuff fun. And I’m looking forward to sharing some of what I learnt when I’m a little less jet-lagged.

Pure//Accelerate 2019 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Disclaimer: I recently attended Pure//Accelerate 2019.  My flights, accommodation, and conference pass were paid for by Pure Storage. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated by Pure Storage for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as an attendee at Pure//Accelerate 2019. Apologies if it’s a bit dry but I’m just trying to make it clear what I received during this event to ensure that we’re all on the same page as far as what I’m being influenced by. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week. Whilst every attendee’s situation is different, I was paid by my employer to be at this event.

 

Saturday

My wife kindly dropped me at the airport. I flew Qantas economy class from BNE – LAX – AUS courtesy of Pure Storage. I had a 5 hour layover at LAX. I stopped at the Rolling Stone Bar and Grill in the Terminal 7 and had a breakfast burrito. It wasn’t the best, but anything is pretty good after the smell of airplane food. When I got to Austin I was met by a driver that Pure had organised. I grabbed my suitcase and we travelled to the Fairmont Austin (paid for by Pure) in one of those big black SUVs that are favoured by many of the limousine companies.

I got presentable and then went down to the hotel bar to catch up with Alastair Cooke and his wife Tracey, Matt Leib, Gina Minks, and Leah Schoeb. I had a gin and tonic, paid for by Alastair, and then took the hotel courtesy car to Austin City Limits with Matt to see Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. It’s not the sort of gig I’d normally go to, but I appreciate live music in most forms, the crowd was really into it, and it’s always great to spend time with Matt. Matt also very kindly paid for my entry to the gig and bought me a beer there (a 16oz can of Land Shark Lager). I had a second beer and bought one for Matt too.

 

Sunday

I hadn’t really eaten since LAX, so I hit up Matt to come to lunch with me. We went for a wander downtown in Austin and ended up on 6th Street at Chupacabra Cantina y Tacqueria. I had one of the West Coast Burritos, a huge flour tortilla stuffed with refried beans, green chilli rice, jack cheese, crispy potato, lettuce, tomato, onion and chicken Tinga filling. It was delicious. I also had two Twisted X Austin Lager beers to wash it down.

In the afternoon I caught up with Matt and Chris Evans in the hotel bar. I had 3 Modelo Especial beers – these were kindly paid for by Emily Gallagher from Touchdown PR.

The Tech Field Day people all got together for dinner at Revue in the hotel. I had 3 Vista Adair Kolsch beers, some shrimp gyoza, chilli wonton dumplings, and okonomiyaki. This was paid for by Tech Field Day.

 

Monday

On Monday morning I had breakfast at the hotel. This was a buffet-style affair and I had scrambled eggs, huevo rancheros, bacon, jalapeño sausage, charcuterie, salmon and cream cheese, and coffee. This was paid for by Pure Storage. I received a gift bag at registration. This included a:

  • Pure//Accelerate cloth tote bag;
  • Rocketbook Everlast notebook;
  • “Flash Was Only The Beginning” hardcover book;
  • Porter 12 oz portable ceramic mug;
  • h2go Concord 25 oz stainless steel bottle; and
  • 340g bag of emporium medium house blend cuvée coffee.

For lunch I had beef brisket, BBQ sauce and some green salad. I also picked up a Pure FlashArray//C t-shirt during the Storage Field Day Exclusive event.

Before dinner I had a Modelo in the hotel – this was paid for by Tech Field Day. We then attended an Analysts and Influencers reception at Banger’s. I had 3 beers there (some kind of Pilsner) and a small amount of BBQ. I then made my way over to Parkside on 6th Street for an APJ event. I had 4 Austin Limits Lagers there and some brisket and macaroni and cheese. I should have smoke-bombed at that point but didn’t and ended up getting my phone swiped from a bar. Lesson learnt.

 

Tuesday

I skipped breakfast in favour of some more sleep. For lunch I had beef tacos in the Analysts area. Dinner was an Analyst and Influencer and Executive Program reception at the hotel. I had 3 Modelo beers, some dumplings, and some beef skewers. I turned in relatively early as the jet-lag was catching up with me.

 

Wednesday

For breakfast we were in the Solutions Exchange area for a private tour of the Pure setup. I had a greasy ham, cheese and egg croissant, some fruit, and 2 coffees. After the keynote I picked up some Rubrik socks.

In the afternoon I took a taxi to the Austin PD to attempt to report my phone. I then grabbed lunch with Matt Leib at P. Terry’s Burger Stand downtown. I had a hamburger and a chocolate shake. Matt paid for this. Matt then paid for a ride-sharing service to the local Apple Store where I picked up a new handset. We then took another car back to the hotel, which Matt kindly paid for.

We had dinner at Banger’s with the remaining Tech Field Day crew. I had 3 Austin Beerworks Pearl-Snap beers, boiled peanuts, chilli fries, and jalapeño sausage. It was delicious. This was paid for by Tech Field Day. I then headed to Austin City Limits for the Pure//Accelerate appreciation party. Weezer were playing, and I was lucky enough to get a photo with them (big thanks to Stephen Foskett and Armi Banaria for sorting me out!).

I had 3 Landshark Lager beers during the concert. After the show we retired to the hotel bar where I had 2 more Modelo beers before calling it a night.

 

Thursday

On Thursday morning I ran into Craig Waters and Justin Warren and joined them for a coffee at Houndstooth Coffee (I had the iced latte to try and fight off the heat). This was paid for by Craig. We then headed to Fareground. I had a burger with bacon and cheese from Contigo. It was delicious. This was also paid for by Craig.

Returning to the hotel, I bumped into my old mentor Andrew Fisher and he bought me a few Modelos in the bar while re-booking his flights due to some severe weather issues in Houston. I then took a Pure-provided car service to the airport and made my way home to Brisbane via LAX.

Big thanks to Pure Storage for having me over for the week, and big thanks to everyone who spent time with me at the event (and after hours) – it’s a big part of why I keep coming back to these types of events.

VMware – VMworld 2019 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2019 – US.  My flights and accommodation were paid for by Digital Sense, and VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated by VMware for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as an attendee at VMworld US 2019. Apologies if it’s a bit dry but I’m just trying to make it clear what I received during this event to ensure that we’re all on the same page as far as what I’m being influenced by. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week. Whilst every attendee’s situation is different, I was paid by me employer to be at this event.

 

Saturday

My wife kindly dropped me at the airport. I flew Qantas economy class from BNE – SYD – SFO courtesy of my employer (Digital Sense). My taxi to the hotel was also covered by my employer. I stayed at The Fairmont on Nob Hill. This was also covered by my employer. On Saturday night we went out and fought valiantly against jet-lag.

 

Sunday

On Sunday I went to the conference venue and picked up my VMworld backpack (containing a notepad, pen, and water bottle). I was also given a VMworld-branded pop socket because I’d uploaded my photo for my badge to the portal earlier.

On Sunday afternoon I attended a VMware Cloud Provider Technical Advisory Board (TAB) Meeting. Lunch consisted of rice, chicken, fish, and salad. My manager saved the day by fetching real flat white coffees from Bluestone Lane. During the break I had some coffee and a choc-chip cookie. As we left we were all given a VMware cloud provider platform polo shirt and Keen wireless charging desk clock.

That night there was an attendee welcome reception in the Solutions Exchange. I had 2 Sapporo beers, some shrimp and some cheese. I also picked up:

I then headed over to the VMunderground party at Tabletop Tap House. I caught up with a few people and helped myself to 2 Coronas, 1 Firestone 805 and some bruschetta.

 

Monday

Before the general session I grabbed some coffee and a muffin from the Square. I also managed to grab a vExpert gift bag, consisting of one of those drawstring bags, a vExpert 2019 pin and sticker, and a Raspberry Pi 3. I then swung by the VMUG stand and picked up my VMUG leader gift – a nice leather notepad folio.

For lunch I had one of the boxed turkey sandwiches.

For dinner a group of use met at Osha Thai Restaurant. We convinced them to let us share plates from the set menu, and I had a bit of everything. For appetizers we had:

  • Kobe beef wasabi roll with carrot, celery and mint
  • Miang Kham Shrimp – lettuce wrapped with shrimp, ginger, lime, roasted coconut, peanut, fresh chilli, and coconut herb caramel.
  • Vegetarian crispy roll – silver noodle, shiitake mushroom, cabbage and carrot served with sweet and sour plum sauce
  • Tuna Tower – yellow fin tuna tartare with mango, avocado and sriracha sesame oil

There was also a really tasty Shrimp Tom-Kha coconut soup. And for the main course they served:

  • Volcanic Beef – wok-fried grilled premium USDA flank steak with Thai basil, bell pepper in lava sauce
  • Chu-chi salmon – pan-seared salmon fillet served with “Chu-Chi” fragrant and flavourful red curry
  • Pad Thai – Classic Pad Thai noodles, tamarind reduction, peanut with choice of chicken or tofu
  • Country chicken – stir-fried lightly battered chicken with cashew, onion, garlic and honey-ginger sauce

It was all really nice. These people put down their credit cards to pay for it:

Thanks to Keith Townsend for organising the evening. I also had 3 Singha beers. I took a ride-sharing service paid for by Stephen Foskett and walked from his hotel back to mine.

 

Tuesday

On Tuesday morning I was fortunate enough to be selected to attend a vExpert breakfast with Cohesity CEO Mohit Aron at Grill in the St Regis hotel. I had 2 cups of coffee, and the “Local Farm” egg sandwich, with a scramble of organic Petaluma farmed eggs, Hobbs smoked black pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, and sourdough bread. We were also given a Cohesity mug that surprisingly survived the flight home. Regular readers of the blog will know I’m a fan of Cohesity and this was a great opportunity to learn more about Mohit.

After the general session I did another whip around the Solutions Exchange and picked up:

I had the box lunch again, which consisted of a chilli rubbed beef torta sandwich with avocado, black been puree, grilled onions, roaster tomatoes and cotija cheese on teller bread, a lemon bar dessert, and an apple. Later in the afternoon I stopped by Super Duper as I knew I wouldn’t have much time for dinner in the evening. I had the Super Burger with cheese, and a Pilsner. My arteries did not thank me.

I then headed over to the Dell Technologies Cloud & VMware VeloCloud MeetUp at The Grid on 4th Street. I had 2 Holy Ghost Pilsner beers and Dell very kindly gave me a DJI Osmo Pocket camera and 32GB Sandisk microSD card. Big thanks to Konnie for having me along.

I then headed back to my hotel and Howard Marks swung by in a cab to take me to The Orpheum to see Hamilton. I now understand what all of the fuss is about. Big thanks to John White at Expedient for the tickets. I took a ride-sharing service back to the hotel – this was paid for by Becky Elliot.

 

Wednesday

On Wednesday morning I walked down to the venue with Becky. We stopped at Starbucks and I had an egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich – it was just what I needed. I attended two Tech Field Day Extra sessions in the morning, and had 2 coffees and some extremely tasty Baklava (provided by Al Rasheed). For lunch we had Mexican, consisting of corn tortillas, rice & beans, house made carnitas, cheese quesadillas, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and house made churros.

After lunch I headed back to the Solutions Exchange for a final walk around and picked up:

  • A Druva shirt;
  • Some stickers, a cable organizer, and a glasses cleaner from Apstra;
  • Some more Gorilla Guides and stickers from ActualTech Media; and
  • A Faction T-shirt (one of my favourites).

I then attended a 3-hour VCPP APJ Roundtable event at the W Hotel. I helped myself to some bottled water while I was there.

For dinner I caught up with some of the Tech Field Day crew at Thirsty Bear. This is a taps-style place, and I had devilled eggs, pulled pork empanadas, buffalo chicken empanadas, bacon and corn flatbread, and bacon-wrapped shrimp. I also had 3 Kolsch beers. We then retreated across the road to the bar at the W Hotel where I had 1 Cal Lager. This was paid for by Stephen Foskett. I then took a ride-sharing service back to the hotel with Becky Elliot. This was paid for by Becky.

 

Thursday

On Thursday my colleagues and I attended a NetApp EBC in Santa Clara. NetApp paid for our transport to and from the city. We had breakfast there, consisting of coffee, potato gems, bacon, quiche and a muffin. We were also given a NetApp-branded notepad and socks. For lunch we had 6 cheese mac and cheese, beef short rib, grilled chicken, mashed potato, salad, and water.

I had 2 Stella Artois beers and some crumbed prawns during the happy hour. We then headed to Birk’s Restaurant for dinner. I had 3 Firestone Pivo beers, blackened ribeye and mashed potatoes, and a shrimp cocktail for dinner. This was paid for by NetApp.

When we returned to the hotel we checked out the Tonga Room. I had a Fog Lifter cocktail, which seemed to have a lot of rum and crushed ice in it. This was paid for by my colleague.

 

Friday

We went for breakfast at Lori’s Diner and I had the Blues Burger. The blue cheese worked pretty well I thought. We then headed over to Pier 39 to check out some of the tourist shops and ended up having lunch at the Barrel House Tavern in Sausalito. I had the Tartare Tacos consisting of four wonton tacos (2 ahi tuna and 2 salmon tartare) with avocado mousse, summer slaw, chili oil, soy lime vinaigrette, and chili aioli. It was really nice. I also had 3 Kolsch beers. Once we were back at the hotel I took a cab to SFO and flew home via LAX. Please now enjoy this photo of a baseball card with my likeness on it – thanks Rubrik!

Tech Field Day 19 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Disclaimer: I recently attended Tech Field Day 19.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as a conference attendee at Tech Field Day 19. This is by no stretch an interesting post from a technical perspective, but it’s a way for me to track and publicly disclose what I get and how it looks when I write about various things. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week.

 

Sunday

My wife kindly dropped me at the domestic airport so I could make my way from BNE to SFO via SYD. I had ham and cheese in the Qantas Club before my flight. I flew Qantas economy class to SFO. The flights were paid for by Tech Field Day. Plane food was consumed on the flight. It was a generally good experience, lack of sleep notwithstanding. I stayed at the Plaza Suites Hotel. This was covered by Tech Field Day as well. I made my way to a friend’s house to spend some time before the event.

On Sunday evening I was fortunate to have dinner at Georgiana Comsa’s house with her and some friends. I’m always appreciative of good food and good conversation, and it was great to spend some time with them (jet lag notwithstanding).

 

Tuesday

On Tuesday I arrived at the hotel in the afternoon and was provided with a bag of various snacks by the Tech Field Day team. I had 3 Firestone Lager beers at the hotel bar. We had dinner at the hotel, consisting of:

  • Panzanella, with plums, cucumber, nduja vinaigrette, burrata, and brioche
  • Gazpacho, with shoyu-marinated heirloom tomatoes, and avocado creme fraiche
  • Artichokes, consisting of Monterey grilled artichoke halves, and mint-chutney mayo
  • Bavette, with 100% grass-fed beed from Marin Sun Farms, and pistachio leek chimichurri
  • Chicken, with mixed nut puree, summer squash, and harissa
  • Asparagus, à la plancha, with Romesco sauce
  • Homemade gelato, in some kind of banana and miso flavour.

I also had a Firestone lager and some pinot noir. It was all very delicious. I received a very cool wooden sign from Alastair Cooke as part of the Yankee gift swap. Emre also gave each of us some real Turkish Delight.

 

Wednesday

Wednesday morning was breakfast at the hotel, consisting of scrambled eggs, sausage, pancake, bacon, and coffee. During the pre-TFD delegate meeting, I was given some OpenTechCast, VirtualBonzo.com, and TFD stickers.

During the Ixia session I had a coffee. At NetApp I had 2 still spring waters. Lunch at NetApp was an antioxidant salad with feta cheese and pomegranate vinaigrette, braised short ribs with chilli citrus marinade, grilled salmon with feta and olive, and grilled asparagus. I also had a chocolate chip cookie after lunch. We had the dinner / reception at Faz Restaurant in San Jose. There was a variety of finger food on offer, including Mediterranean Bruschetta, black sesame encrusted Ahi Tuna with wasabi, vegetarian spring rolls with teriyaki dipping sauce, crab cakes with chipotle aioli, and fire-roasted beef mini-kabobs. I had 3 Modelo Especial beers, and 2 Firestone lagers at the hotel.

 

Thursday

Thursday morning was breakfast at the hotel, consisting of scrambled eggs, sausage, pancake, bacon, and coffee. At Automation Anywhere I grabbed a bottle of water before our session. Automation Anywhere also provided us with lunch from Dish Dash. I had a chicken shawarma wrap, tabouli, leafy salad, rice, falafel, and water. They also gave us a branded water container and phone pop socket.

At Druva we were given some personalised gifts by W. Curtis Preston. This was the first time I’ve had a particular tweet about a dream become a reality.

Thanks Curtis! (and thanks for signing my copy of your book too!)

We were also each given a Holy Stone HS160 drone and personalised coffee mug. I really like when sponsors take the time to find out a little more about each of the delegates. After the session we wandered over to Philz Coffee. I had a large iced Mocha Tesora with dark chocolate, caramel, and cocoa. For dinner we went to River Rock Taproom. I had 2 Russian River Brewing STS Pils beers from the tap (there are about 40 different beers to choose from). We also had a variety of snacks, including:

  • Bruschetta, with tomatoes, herbs, onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, parmesan cheese on toasted baguette slices
  • Sliders, consisting of creamy habanero beef with caramelised onions and cheddar cheese
  • Garlic French Fries
  • Buffalo wings and creamy habanero
  • Popcorn shrimp served with orange chilli garlic
  • Candied bacon with caramelised steakhouse bacon served on toasted bread

By that stage jet lag had really caught up with me, so I retired to my room for an early night.

 

Friday

Friday morning was breakfast at the hotel, consisting of scrambled eggs, sausage, pancake, bacon, and coffee. At the VMware office I had a coffee, and picked up a vROps ninja sticker, Indy VMUG sticker, and VMware Cloud Assembly sticker and key ring. We had lunch at VMware. It was Mexican, and I had a tortilla, rice, refried beans, grated cheese, guacamole, sour cream and salsa, and some water.

At the finish of proceedings some delegates made their way to the airport, and the rest of us hung around for one last dinner together. I had a Firestone lager at the hotel. We then walked to Faultline Brewing Company for dinner. I had 2 Kolsch beers, and the Brewhouse Bacon Cheeseburger, consisting of an 8 oz. Angus beef patty, sharp cheddar cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, roasted garlic aioli , a brioche bun, and kettle chips. I then had 3 Firestone lagers at the hotel bar.

 

Saturday

I was staying a little longer in the Bay Area, so on Saturday morning I had breakfast at the hotel, consisting of scrambled eggs, sausage, pancake, bacon, and coffee. I then took a car to a friend’s house in the Bay Area, courtesy of Tech Field Day. It was a great week. Thanks again to the Tech Field Day team for having me, thanks to the other delegates for being super nice and smart, and thanks to the presenters for some really educational and engaging sessions.

Dell Technologies World 2019 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Disclaimer: I recently attended Dell Technologies World 2019.  My flights, accommodation and conference pass were paid for by Dell Technologies via the Media, Analysts and Influencers program. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as a conference attendee at Dell Technologies World 2019. This is by no stretch an interesting post from a technical perspective, but it’s a way for me to track and publicly disclose what I get and how it looks when I write about various things. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week. While everyone’s situation is different, I took 2 days of unpaid leave and 3 days paid to attend this conference.

 

Sunday

I took a ride sharing service to Brisbane International Airport. I had some sausage and eggs in the Qantas Club before my flight. I flew Qantas economy class to LAX and then American Airlines to LAS. The flights were paid for by Dell Technologies. Plane food was consumed on the flight. It was a generally good experience, lack of sleep notwithstanding. I stayed at the Palazzo Hotel. This was covered by Dell Technologies as well. I took a taxi to the hotel. I’d been provided with some discount codes for a ride-sharing service by Dell Technologies, but faffing about with the app whilst I had limited WiFi didn’t really appeal.

On Sunday afternoon I headed down to Registration to pick up my conference badge. I also received a backpack, some random bits of paper from sponsors, an Intel eco-straw, a notepad, and a $25 discount card at the on-site store for being a Loyalty Member. We didn’t get a backpack last year, so that was nice.

A group of us had dinner at Grimaldi’s in the Palazzo. I had 2 Samuel Adams Unfiltered beers, and a variety of different pizzas. This was paid for by Stephen Foskett.

 

Monday

I had breakfast in the Media and Analyst lounge. This consisted of fruit, yoghurt, and coffee. I couldn’t bring myself to consume whatever it was that was lurking in the greasy paper they had stacked on one of the trays. At the first media briefing we all received an eco-straw in a little much that you could, theoretically, wear on your belt. You can read a bit more about Dell’s work on that sort of thing here.

I had lunch in the Media and Analyst lounge. This was coleslaw, red wine soaked chicken, vine-ripened tomatoes, and some bread.

I then scooted off to meet with Brandon Schaffer at Starbucks to discuss all things data protection. He kindly bought me a flat white. It wasn’t really like an Australian flat white, but it did the job. I then caught up with one of the good people at Dell EMC who look after me in my day job. Let’s call him Bill. He bought me 2 Perroni beers. I’m often amused how I seem to only catch up with people who live in the same country as me when I’m overseas.

I went back to the lounge in between sessions and grabbed a choc chip cookie to sustain me until dinner.

In the evening I went to the Media and Analyst welcome reception at LAVO. I had one Stella Artois beer there, along with some bruschetta, a small bite of pizza, and an alarming amount of shrimp. It was a nice venue, but heaving with people. From there I went to Yardbird Southern Table and Bar with Chris Evans and Enrico Signoretti. We met up with Stephen Foskett and Karen Lopez. I had 3 Tenaya Pilsner beers and some house fries. This was kindly covered by Stephen.

 

Tuesday

On Tuesday there was a tour of the Solutions Expo organised for media and analysts. They served breakfast beforehand, and I had a green chilli pork burrito, some melon and pineapple slices, and coffee. The burrito was surprisingly good. As I toured the expo, I picked up a reusable bag and some PowerProtect-badged sunscreen.

Lunch in the lounge was:

  • Shaved radicchio Belgium endive and wild arugula salad;
  • Roasted fillet of Branzino, English peas and braised fennel with lemon on a mint vinaigrette; and
  • Beef pot roast with crunchy vegetables in red wine demi.

It was really quite excellent.

I then headed over to Nutanix’s Xperience event at TAO. My primary motivation was to see Magic Johnson speak, and I was also keen to hear about what Nutanix had been up to. I had thought I might be too late to get in, but there seemed to be enough space for everyone. I had some shrimp and some bottled water. We all headed upstairs to be seated for the talk with Magic. Not a lot of people were sitting in the front row, so I sat there. It turned out to be a good move, as I was able to get a photo with the man himself.

If you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, it’s worth listening. Besides the fact that I’ve been a Lakers fan since my youth, I found his perspective on business to be super interesting. And he was pretty good at telling tales about Larry Bird too. I also picked up some Nutanix-branded socks. Thanks to Nutanix for putting this on.

Back in the village I was given a Dell Luminaries Yeti 10oz Rambler. I did a quick whip around the Solution Expo in between meetings and picked up:

I went to the Royal Britannia for a few beers with Bill. I had the North Coast Brewing Co – Scrimshaw pilsner. I then went to dinner with a group of folks at the Grand Lux Cafe in the Palazzo. I had:

  • 2 Samuel Adams Boston Lager beers;
  • Crispy Calamari;
  • Bread;
  • Buffalo Chicken Bites;
  • Fried Pickles; and
  • Wood Grilled B.B.Q. Burger With Crisp Applewood Smoked Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Tempura Onion Rings, Pickles, Mustard and Special B.B.Q. Sauce

The burger was really quite good. Here’s a photo of how good it was.

 

Wednesday

Breakfast was in the lounge again. I had the:

  • English muffin, provolone, scrambled egg patty, chicken sausage patty and apple sage compote;
  • Vanilla yoghurt;
  • Coffee; and some
  • Artisanal meat and cheese.

Konnie gave me a Dell Technologies water bottle. One of those ones you can put additional things in with the water. Apparently cucumber is a popular option.

I had lunch at Treasure Island as part of the Tech Field Extra event. This was pretty decent fare as well, and I had:

  • Classic Caesar salad with croutons and fresh parmesan cheese;
  • Fafalle and Pesto Cream Sauce;
  • Pan-flashed Tilapia with Fried Capers and Lemon;
  • Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions; and
  • Fig-glazed pork loin, roasted peppers, spinach and rosemary jus.

During the three sessions I also helped myself to 2 coffees and a granola bar. Before dinner I had a Sapporo beer at the Players Lounge bar at the Encore. This was paid for by Enrico Signoretti. We had dinner at Wazuzu. I had a variety of sushi, some edamame and 2 Asahi beers. The food tasted great but the service was fairly slow. We split the bill evenly seven ways. I then randomly bumped into Bill again so we headed to Stripburger and Chicken for a few beers. I had 3 Pabst Blue Ribbon draught beers. This was covered by Bill.

 

Thursday

On Thursday morning I had a late breakfast at Morels with Max Mortillaro. I had the smoked salmon eggs benedict, a cappuccino, and some orange juice. Max very kindly picked up the tab. I went to lunch with Bill at Bonito Michoacán. I had chicken sopes and a coke. I could barely finish half of it. We then visited the Las Vegas South Premium Outlets to do a spot of shopping and Bill dropped me at McCarran airport to start the trek home.

VMware – VMUG UserCon Sydney 2019 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

This is a really quick post to disclose everything I received as part of my attendance at the recent VMUG UserCon in Sydney. My flights and accommodation were paid for by VMUG. I paid for my own transfers in the main, although Tim Carman kindly covered my taxi to the airport after the event. Alastair Cooke bought me a coffee on Tuesday morning. We both agreed that perhaps the Melbourne UserCon would have better coffee, as they’re into that kind of thing down there. Lunch at the event was really good. I had some caesar salad, a small wrap, some pork belly thing and a chocolate slice.

I didn’t pick up anything from the event sponsors, although my youngest daughter (who happened to be in the area) picked up a couple of Sydney VMUG stickers and one of those shopping / carry bag things. She was also really happy she could attend the session on Getting Started with Python by Grant Orchard and Cody De Arkland. She found it most entertaining.

If you’re interested, here’s the deck I presented on building a brand by starting (and maintaining) a blog.

Thanks again to VMUG for having me, and big thanks to Ryan, and Claire, and the rest of the Sydney VMUG team for putting on such a great event. Thanks also to the presenters for some really educational and engaging sessions, particularly those who travelled a long way to be there. I think it was a big success, with over 300 people turning up on the day.

Storage Field Day 18 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 18.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as a delegate at Storage Field Day 18. I’d like to point out that I’m not trying to play companies off against each other. I don’t have feelings one way or another about receiving gifts at these events (although I generally prefer small things I can fit in my suitcase). Rather, I’m just trying to make it clear what I received during this event to ensure that we’re all on the same page as far as what I’m being influenced by. Some presenters didn’t provide any gifts as part of their session – which is totally fine. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week. Whilst every delegate’s situation is different, my employer paid for 4 days and I took 1 day of unpaid leave to be at this event.

 

Friday

My wife kindly drove me to the domestic airport. I have some status with Qantas so I get a little bit of special treatment and lounge access. In Sydney I had some cheese, sausage and crackers and a Coopers Original Pale Ale in the lounge. I flew BNE – SYD – SFO in economy class, and this was covered by Gestalt IT.

 

Saturday

Pavilion Data were kind enough to host me at the Warriors – Rockets game. We started at the Westin SFO with a few Lagunitas Pils beers before the game. We then caught a ride sharing service to Oakland Arena for the game. At the game we had a few Firestone 805 beers. After the game we took a car back to the Westin for a few more beers. I also had a Kobe beef burger (with American Kobe burger, caramelized onion, mushroom, cheese, and ginger gastrique sauce) at the hotel bar. I then shared a car back to my accommodation in Menlo Park. This was all covered by Pavilion Data. It was a great night, notwithstanding the Warriors losing the game.

 

Monday

On Monday morning I met with Pavilion Data at their offices. They kindly fed me some lunch from Chipotle. I had a taco and some rice and beans. I also had a chocolate croissant and a cup of Keurig pod coffee.

 

Tuesday

I had lunch with Georgiana Comsa of Silicon Valley PR and two of my friends at Refuge in Menlo Park. I had the Western Cheesesteak sandwich (with bacon, fried onions, provolone cheese, BBQ sauce, cilantro, and ranch dressing), and a litre of Radeberger Pils. I paid for Georgiana’s and my meals, and my friends paid for theirs. Georgiana covered the tip.

The Field Day delegates all met at our hotel on Tuesday afternoon. I had one Sam Adams Lager at the bar before dinner. I had two more Sam Adams at dinner, as well as a variety of dishes served “family style”, including:

  • Brussels with shaved brussel sprouts, pecorino, lemon, almonds, and cracked pepper;
  • Agnolotti with english peas, heirloom fingerlings, and fennel sofrito;
  • Bavette with 100% grassfed beef from marin sun farms, unfiltered olive oil, and fleur de sel;
  • Chicken with pasture raised marin sun farms chicken, green garlic, kamut, pickled mushrooms; and
  • Gelato – asian pear sorbet, parsnip gelato.

The food was great, and the parsnip gelato tasted surprisingly good. I received a lovely Kuala Lumpur panoramic photo book as part of the Yankee Gift Swap from Chin-Fah Heoh. Stephen also gave us a 3D-printed SFD18 souvenir.

I then had two Sam Adams beers at the bar after dinner.

 

Wednesday

Breakfast at the hotel was scrambled eggs, super crispy bacon, potato, and coffee. I picked up a ExploreVM sticker, a (now collectible) Greybeards On Storage sticker, and some TechUnplugged Podcast stickers at our pre-event meeting. We were all given a Gestalt IT clear bag with a few bits and pieces in it.

WekaIO gave each delegate a WekaIO-branded Qi charger, WekaIO-branded notepad with built-in 4GB USB drive, and a WekaIO sticker.

For lunch we ate at the hotel. I had a burger with beef, tomato, lettuce, cheese, mayo, pickles, sesame seed bun, and some coffee-flavoured mousse for dessert.

VAST Data gave me a sticker and t-shirt. StorPool gave me a t-shirt, sticker, notebook, screwdriver multi-tool, and carry bag. After the day’s sessions ended, we had a mixer (including dinner) at Olla Cocina in San Jose. I had a Carne Asada slider, some chips and guacamole, empanadas, and prawn skewers. I also had a few tacos (al pastor, carne asada, and chicken) as well as a few Modelo Especial beers. Back at the hotel I had a few more Sam Adams beers.

 

Thursday

We had breakfast at Western Digital. I had sausage, scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit, juice, and coffee. WD also kindly provided each delegate with a 1TB WD Black drive SN750. We had lunch at NetApp with Dave Hitz. I had a San Pellegrino sparkling water, herb baked salmon, braised beef short rib stew, creamy mashed potatoes, and salad (Lolla Rossa lettuce & cucumber, balsamic vinaigrette). It was delicious.

We went to dinner at Faultline Brewing. I had a few Kolsch beers, along with:

  • Chips ‘N’ Onion Dip – House made kettle chips caramelized onion-stout dip;
  • Crispy Calamari – Fried green beans / fried onion strings / chipotle aioli; and
  • Smoked Sausage Sandwich – Pale ale beer brat / Swiss cheese / sauerkraut / beer mustard / pretzel-hoagie roll / kettle chips.

Faultline never disappoints. I had a Sam Adams at the hotel bar afterwards and retired early to try and get some decent sleep.

 

Friday

We had breakfast at the hotel. This was scrambled eggs, super crispy bacon, potato, and coffee. I should have had the fruit, but there you go. Cohesity gave us a nice warm jacket with custom embroidery, and some chocolate.

I had a few coffees during the Cohesity session. We also had lunch at Cohesity. This was a variety of Mediterranean food from Dish and Dash.

After the last session ended on Friday, we all went to Georgiana Comsa’s house for a garden party. I had a few Firestone 805 beers and gotten beaten at H-O-R-S-E. I then took a car to SFO (paid for by Gestalt IT) and flew back to BNE. It was a great week. Thanks again to Tech Field Day for having me, thanks to the other delegates for being super nice and smart, and thanks to the presenters for some really educational and engaging sessions.

Storage Field Day 17 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 17.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as a delegate at Storage Field Day 17. I’d like to point out that I’m not trying to play companies off against each other. I don’t have feelings one way or another about receiving gifts at these events (although I generally prefer small things I can fit in my suitcase). Rather, I’m just trying to make it clear what I received during this event to ensure that we’re all on the same page as far as what I’m being influenced by. Some presenters didn’t provide any gifts as part of their session – which is totally fine. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week. Whilst every delegate’s situation is different, I took 5 days of unpaid leave to be at this event.

 

Saturday

I took one of those “ride-sharing” services (that seem awfully similar to taxis) to the airport. I have some status with Qantas so I get a little bit of special treatment and lounge access. In Sydney I had some cheese and crackers and a couple of Coopers Original Pale Ales in the lounge. I flew BNE – SYD – SFO, and paid for my own upgrade to Premium Economy for the SYD – SFO leg of the trip. It was very nice to be at the front, rather than the back, of the plane for a change.

 

Tuesday

I dropped in at Georgiana Comsa‘s house for a coffee, and we then had lunch at Una Mas Mexican Grill prior to meeting with a vendor. I had the Foghead chicken and bacon burrito, with home-made BBQ sauce, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, black beans, rice and Corn Salsa in a tomato tortilla along with an Agua Fresca. This was paid for by Georgiana. After our meeting Georgiana very kindly dropped me off at Mountain View, saving me the hassle of getting a Caltrain there.

I then met up with Craig Waters at the Pure Storage office in Mountain View. I had a few Modelo Especial beers while we caught up. We then went to QBB for dinner. I had a pulled pork sandwich, pickles, potato salad, and a Kölsch beer. It seems like this would be the place to go if you’re into bourbon too. We followed this up with a cheeky brew at Bierhaus. I had a Paulaner Hefe-Weißbier. I then took a ride sharing service back to Menlo Park. This was all covered by Pure Storage. It was great to catch up with Craig again as it had been a while.

 

Wednesday

While waiting for the other delegates to join us for dinner I had 2 Modelo Negra beers at the hotel bar with Howard Marks. I paid for these myself. When everyone turned up I had another Modelo, paid for by Tech Field Day. We had dinner at Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops at the hotel. I had some prawns and cheese and crackers prior to the main. Howard picked out a nice chianti to accompany the meal. I had a wedge salad with cranberries, blue cheese, candied pecans, bacon, apples and balsamic vinaigrette. For the main I had a 14oz USDA prime boneless ribeye with asparagus and potato mousseline. This was followed up by praline cake for dessert. I was feeling pretty full by this stage, but, hoping to ensure I got a poor night’s sleep, I had one more Modelo in the hotel bar before bed.

I was also lucky enough to score two signed George R. R. Martin books as part of the Yankee gift swap we did. Well, I hunted them down, as Howard had hinted he’d be bringing something like that along as a gift. Ben from Tech Field Day also gave each delegate a gift bag of various snacks, etc. I left most of these in my room when I left, but I did take the bag with me, as it had a Minion riding a unicorn on it, and this seemed like something I’d want to take grocery shopping.

 

Thursday

We had breakfast at the hotel on Thursday morning. This was buffet-style affair and I had bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, fruit and strawberry yoghurt, along with some orange juice and coffee. We were all given a Gestalt IT clear bag with a few bits and pieces in it. Stephen also gave us a 3D-printed SFD17 souvenir. I’ll leave you to work out what it is.

Komprise gave each delegate a sticker and pen.

We had lunch at the hotel. It was Mexican style. I had salmon, lettuce, a chipotle chicken fajita, guacamole, sour cream and whole pinto beans in a flour tortilla, a cheese enchilada, some iced tea, and a Mexican chocolate caramel bite.

For dinner we went to Loft Bar and Bistro. I had some crispy calamari, tomato and fresh mozzarella salad, Chinese chicken salad, pesto salmon and grilled bistro filet. I also had 4 805 beers.

I followed this up with a Modelo at the hotel bar before retiring for the evening.

 

Friday

We had breakfast at Mikayla’s. I’ve been here before and really like it. I had the supreme breakfast wrap with bacon, freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee. I had some water during the Intel session. Intel also gave each delegate an Intel SPDK carry bag and Optane socks. Lunch at Intel was from Dish n’ Dash. I had a beef shawarma wrap and some water.

NGD Systems gave each of us a USB fan (something like this), a cap, sticker, and webcam cover (I don’t have that many webcams, but maybe one day). I had 3 Modelo Negra beers at the hotel before we headed out to dinner at Mexicali Grill. I decided to play it safe this time and didn’t load up with a jumbo shrimp burrito prior to a 14-hour flight. Instead I had the Camarones Cancun and a Modelo beer, along with some guacamole.

Stephen and Ben dropped me at SFO. I had 2 Heinekens and some crackers and cheese in the Cathay Pacific lounge (yay status!). All in all, it was a great trip. Thanks again to Tech Field Day for having me, thanks to the other delegates for being super nice and smart, and thanks to the presenters for some educational and engaging sessions.

Dell Technologies World 2018 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Disclaimer: I recently attended Dell Technologies World 2018.  My flights, accommodation and conference pass were paid for by Dell Technologies via the Press, Analysts and Influencers program. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as a conference attendee at Dell Technologies World 2018. This is by no stretch an interesting post from a technical perspective, but it’s a way for me to track and publicly disclose what I get and how it looks when I write about various things. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week. While everyone’s situation is different, I took 5 days of unpaid leave to attend this conference.

 

Saturday

My wife kindly dropped me off at BNE airport. I had some bacon and eggs in the Qantas Club before my flight. I flew Qantas economy class to LAX and then American Airlines to LAS. The flights were paid for by Dell Technologies. Plane food was consumed on the flight. It was a generally good experience, lack of sleep notwithstanding. I stayed at the Palazzo Hotel. This was covered by Dell Technologies as well. I bumped into an old friend I hadn’t seen for quite a few years and we shared an Uber to the hotel and then went to lunch and dinner to try and fight off the jet lag. This was at our own expense.

 

Sunday

I mainly kicked around the hotel and had a reasonable burger at PBR Rockbar and Grill on the Strip.

 

Monday

Breakfast in the Press Lounge consisted of scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and small hash browns. They also had tiny bottles of tabasco sauce that went pretty well with the eggs. I also had a mixed berry yoghurt, some cold meat and cheese, and some passable coffee. At the Media, Analysts and Influencers conference we were all given a Dell Technologies World / Intel co-branded d.stil water bottle that looks something like this.

For lunch I had a green salad, tomato and cucumber salad, red wine chicken and beans, NY sear steak and a small bread roll. I also grabbed a coffee and a homemade chocolate “whoopie” pie (yes, it’s apparently a thing). It’s basically some biscuit sized chocolate cake thing filled with ganache.

In the Luminaries Area in the Village, I grabbed a @theCUBE sticker from Stu for my laptop. I picked up a carry bag at the Solutions Expo during the opening reception. I then tailed Jon into a VMware NSX event at AquaKnox and had 2 plates of prawn and crab. They also had bacon which wasn’t burnt to a crisp. I headed up to the Media, Analysts and Influencers party at the Palazzo pool deck and had 2 Stella Artois beers.

We headed to Lotus of Siam for dinner in a taxi – this was covered by Tom Hollingsworth. At dinner I had 2 large Singha beers, some garlic prawns, and fried banana for desert. It was, as usual, delicious. The cost of dinner was covered by people from Rubrik, Datrium and Gestalt IT. After dinner we caught a Lyft back to the hotel. Tom covered this again.

 

Tuesday

I had a small flat white at Starbucks before breakfast courtesy of Ray Lucchesi. It’s nice to see flat white on the menu at Starbucks in America. It’s not quite like a real flat white though. In any case, it did the trick. The Solutions Expo was opened up to Media, etc for breakfast. I had a ham, egg and cheese croissant, and a yoghurt parfait with nuts and berries. The croissant was terrible, but you live and learn.

I had to skip lunch as a meeting I had ran over by 30 minutes and I didn’t have time to get anything before my next session. In the afternoon I passed by the Toshiba booth in the Solutions Expo and picked up a Toshiba-flavoured Greg Norman polo shirt. I then had a session and grabbed a coffee and a bag of peanut M & Ms from the press lounge.

Tuesday evening I went and found a Philly cheese steak place on the strip and retreated to my hotel room to watch the NBA Playoffs (Go Dubs!).

 

Wednesday

Breakfast in the press area was scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and small breakfast burritos. I also had some fruit and coffee. Lunch in the press area was lettuce salad and vinaigrette, 5 grain salad, basmati rice, chicken and baked salmon. It was actually pretty good.

I headed to the Solutions Expo after lunch to do a quick whip around of the booths. I picked up a shopping bag, a Cloudera t-shirt and “Data is the new bacon” sticker, an autographed Brocade SAN Automation book, and a Dell OptiPlex notebook. Konnie also very kindly gave me two Luminaries coffee mugs. We’ll see how they stand up to the baggage handlers on the way home. I grabbed a coffee and a small Hershey’s bar before heading in to a session.

I went to the Customer Appreciation Party held in the hall. I had 4 Stella Artois beers. I also had some Ricotta Cavatelli – tossed with lemon scented lobster, parmesan cream, finished with tomato concasse and asparagus tips. It was pasta on a cardboard plate, but I was hungry. I also had a Red Chili Braised Chicken Thigh mini street taco with spicy shredded cabbage and carrot slaw topped with Mexican crema in a flour tortilla. This wasn’t too bad either. I then spent too much time near the table with the artisan cheese platter, crackers, various cold meats, and chipotle chicken skewer with pearl onion and roasted pineapple, topped with creamy salsa verde.

Walk the Moon did a nice cover of Bowie’s Let’s Dance. Sting sounded good, if you’re into that kind of thing.

 

Thursday 

I had breakfast in the hall. This was a ham and cheese Croque-monsieur, mixed berry yoghurt, fruit and water. I grabbed a coffee on my way to my first session. I picked up a light Dell Technologies hoodie in the Village between sessions. Lunch was boxed. I had the roasted turkey club sandwich, with sliced turkey breast, crisp turkey bacon, dijon mayo, tomato and Bibb lettuce on a sourdough loaf. I also had the chocolate fudge brownie but left the apple, potato salad and potato chips. It was actually pretty good, considering it came in a box.

After the last session I headed to the LEGO Store and then grabbed my bags from the hotel and caught a taxi to the airport at my expense.

Storage Field Day 15 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 15.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my notes on gifts, etc, that I received as a delegate at Storage Field Day 15. I’d like to point out that I’m not trying to play companies off against each other. I don’t have feelings one way or another about receiving gifts at these events (although I generally prefer small things I can fit in my suitcase). Rather, I’m just trying to make it clear what I received during this event to ensure that we’re all on the same page as far as what I’m being influenced by. Some presenters didn’t provide any gifts as part of their session – which is totally fine. I’m going to do this in chronological order, as that was the easiest way for me to take notes during the week. Whilst every delegate’s situation is different, I took 5 days of unpaid leave to be at this event.

 

Sunday

My wife drove me to the domestic airport. I recently acquired some status with Qantas so I get the special treatment and lounge access. In Sydney I partook of some very nice blue cheese and a couple of Coopers Original Pale Ales in the lounge.

 

Tuesday

I caught up with some of the Nutanix folks for a quick coffee (an American version of a flat white) and a choc chip muffin at a Starbucks near their EBC. This was paid for by Nutanix.

When I arrived at the hotel on Tuesday afternoon I was given a snack bag by the Tech Field Day crew filled with various snacks and bottles of water.

We had dinner at The Farmers Union in downtown San Jose. I had foccacia with herb butter, mushroom cigars with porcini aioli, and creamy tomato soup. For the main I had Flat Iron Steak, with dirty fries, Fresno child chimichurri and a fried egg. For desert I had the warm chocolate brownie with ice cream. I washed this down with 3 Firestone Pivo Pilsner beers. It’s a pretty neat place with nice food. As part of the Yankee Gift Swap I received a variety of spicy snack foods from Glenn Dekhayser.

 

Wednesday

For breakfast at the hotel I had bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, strawberry yoghurt, and coffee. We were all given a Gestalt IT clear bag with a few bits and pieces in it. WekaIO gave each of us a branded notepad, water bottle and sticker.

We had lunch at the hotel. This was tacos, chicken and rice.

Dropbox gave us each a Moleskine notebook and Dropbox sticker. I declined to take the small bag of coffee they had available as well. FYI my eldest daughter will be your best friend if you keep sending home Moleskine notepads.

We had dinner at Faultline. I had some “crispy calamari” for an entree and the Brewhouse Bacon cheeseburger and 3 Faultline Kolsch beers for the main. The burger was really quite good.

 

Thursday

Breakfast at Hedvig was pancakes, berries and cream, bacon, sausage and coffee. Hedvig also kindly gave each delegate a Kenneth Cole backpack. It’s really a lot flasher than I’d normally use. At NetApp I had some coffee and water during the session. For lunch I had steak, chicken, potato, polenta, salad and some bite-sized eclairs.

We were at Levi’s Stadium for the Western Digital and Datrium sessions, so we all took a self-guided tour of the 49ers Museum before dinner. At the social event I had a few sliders and 3 Anchor Steam beers. This was all covered by Datrium. We then went back to the hotel where I had a gin martini and some clam chowder at the hotel bar. This was paid for by Tech Field Day.

 

Friday

As we had our first session at the hotel, breakfast was scrambled eggs, bacon, eggs benedict, potato and coffee. I’m almost used to the way Americans cook bacon. Almost. Mariusz Kaczorek gave each of us a block of Polish chocolate.

Cohesity provided each delegate with a gift box containing a water bottle, fidget spinner, pen, sunglasses, multi-format charging cable, and USB battery. We had lunch at Cohesity. This was felafel, hummus, wraps and one of those zero orange vitamin water things.

After the last session Tech Field Day put me in a car to SFO. Apparently Qantas share lounge space with Air France (thanks to my wife for finding this out), so I spent a few hours there and helped myself to some bread and cheese before travelling home. The only thing paying for this is my waistline.

All in all, it was a great trip. Thanks again to Tech Field Day for having me, thanks to the other delegates for being super nice and smart, and thanks to the presenters for some educational and engaging sessions. Please enjoy this photo of a statue of Joe Montana and Bill Walsh from the 49ers Museum.