NetApp Insight is getting closer, and if you’re planning on attending, hopefully you’ve already started mapping out your schedule. If you haven’t, fear not!


As an IT professional, your time is extremely valuable. Time is precious to you and to your employer, and you both want to get the most out of a day. But with so many great sessions at Insight 2017, how can you choose?


Whilst everyone’s interests are different, I thought I’d give my pick for the top five sessions that I’m looking forward to at Insight Las Vegas. Whether you’re a first timer or an old guard Insight veteran, I hope this will help you be smart with your time—as the Stones put it, “time is on your side.”


Accelerate Unstructured Data with FlexGroups: The Next Evolution of Scale-Out NAS

For those of you who haven’t heard the Tech ONTAP podcast (what a shame!), this is a session presented by one of its hosts, and will give you an idea of the great content it puts out. During the session, Justin Parisi looks at why FlexGroups are winning in the unstructured data space and how it improves upon the FlexVol. Just don’t ask him about SAN…


BOF: Ask the A-Team – Next Generation Data Centre 

I would be remiss if I didn’t call this out as a session of note (and yes, centre IS spelt with an R-E). This is a “birds of a feather,” session which means it’s more of an open conversation or Q&A rather than a lecture. Hosted by Mark Carlton with several members of the A-Team on hand to provide honest opinions, feedback, and tales from the field with the Next Generation Data Centre, you should leave this session with a greater understanding of how to make the move to NGDC.


VMware Plugins Unify NetApp Plugins into a Single Appliance 

With the recent update of the plugin for vSphere, here is your one stop for a good look at what has changed, hosted by Steven Cortez. Backup can seem like a beast of burden, but it needn’t be when you look at this offering and see what this new plugin can provide, whether that be over the old VSC dashboard, improvements to VASA integration and SRA functionality, or even VVol support. In this session, Steven will cover the more popular workflows within the unified plugin.


26420-2 – Hybrid Cloud Case Studies 

Come to this session to hear Scotty Gelb’s top reasons for why you should embrace and implement a hybrid cloud strategy to the benefit of your company and customers. Based on customer experience, in this breakout, he will cover the considerations needed for a successful deployment and how to migrate your data to the cloud.


It’s also worth noting that whilst the sessions are the real meat on the bone for the conference (and you do get access to the content after the event), there’s lots more to do! The general sessions are always enlightening, and I look forward to what George Kurian will have to say. Then there’s the ability to give honest feedback directly to the PMs. Get your certs up to date (these have all been updated since Insight Berlin 2016) or spend some time in the hands-on labs. The DevOps café was also a hit last year. The list goes on and on.


The best advice I can give for attending is to do your homework and plan what you want to get out of the conference. Plan for lunch. Plan for some downtime during the day. Plan for a “working from home” day after the conference to get caught up, as you will no doubt be shattered. Maybe even plan to have a go at tumbling dice whilst in a casino. Plan for new friends and new faces, and most of all, plan to have a good time, because before you know it, you’ll be singing “It’s all over now.”


Meet the NetApp A-Team

Check out the SlideShare below to get to know the members of the A-Team. Look for expanded bios in their blog posts right here on NetApp’s BlogFollow them on Twitter, check out their personal blogs, and share what’s on your mind.


Ruairi McBride

Ruairi is a Technical Account Manager and Team Leader for Arrow ECS based in the United Kingdom. His main focus is enterprise storage, particularly the NetApp portfolio.

When he’s not sitting in front of a keyboard, Ruairi can be found cycling the roads of Hampshire near his home.

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