VMworld Europe 2016 – Looking back

So I’ve finally recovered from VMworld…. A week long of learning, networking and zero sleep! =P

Let’s recap what I learnt at VMworld, first the moans:

  1. Lunch sucked!
    I was pretty disappointed with the lack of lunch available to attendees – or at least to those attendees who were at VMworld to attend Breakout Sessions, 30mins to rush between sessions just isn’t enough time to try and find some food. No time to run to a different hall to queue for hot food, and by the time I get out of a session at 12:30pm all the sandwiches and cold food are gone! Surprisingly it wasn’t just me complaining about the lack of food!!
  2. Solution Exchange was in the wrong place, it should have been back in Hall 8.1 rather than over in Hall 7…. Too far away from the breakout sessions, which again meant those people who are at VMworld to learn can’t get over to the Solution Exchange as it’s across the other side of the conference centre! I have to wonder whether footfall was a lot less than previous years!
  3. VMworld Party was dry….. no entertainment within the Party, just food stands and bars….. what happened to all the arcades and scalextric sets from last year? So many people were just standing around eating and drinking, there wasn’t the mingling and networking like previous years! Pool tables, air hockey tables, arcades…. These are great devices to help people break the ice and network….! Suffice to say that the party started to empty out halfway through the night! Nothing beats lasts years band – Faithless were awesome!!
  4. Missed out on a ticket to watch Barcelona vs Man City! I did actually win a ticket from Cohesity, but was too slow to answer my phone. In the end it went to a fellow vExpert who was a Man City fan – tbh, I was planning on giving it away as I had to look after the customers who came to VMworld with MTI. Glad it went to someone who would appreciate the game (although he didn’t appreciate the score)!

Now onto the good stuff

  1. VMware launched vSphere/vCenter/VSAN 6.5 in Europe! YAY!
  2. VMware announced the tech preview of VMware Cloud in Amazon AWS.
  3. Tuesday’s General Session wasn’t just a repeat of the US opening General Session – we got some new content!! Which really isn’t a surprise given the announcement the week before VMworld about the new VMware and Amazon partnership!!
  4. Wednesday’s General Session was quite similar to the Day 2 General Session in the US, but at least it had a decent bit on vSphere 6.5 and VSAN 6.5.
  5. A lot of breakout sessions on the vCloud on AWS Tech Preview!
  6. More sessions on vCloud Foundation!!
  7. Nearly all the vSphere sessions were about 6.5 (which I guessed correctly and registered for).
  8. I got to meet a lot of the VMware NSBU Exec team, including having a pow-wow with Rajiv Ramaswami (SVP/GM NSBU) about my company’s engagement with VMware UK for NSX (MTI Technology are one of five NSX focus partners in the UK), as well as how VMware could help the channel drive the sale of NSX.
  9. My colleague – Andrew Tang – drew the short straw and was up on stage for a Q&A session at the Partner Exchange NSX Key note (Accelerate Network Virtualization [PAR3693]). After Rajiv and Dom Delfino (VP Worldwide Sales & Systems Engineering NSBU) did their bits, Louise Ostrom (VP Network and Security EMEA) interviewed Andy on stage…. Louise was supposed to ask some pre-arranged questions but decided it was more fun to do it ad-hoc! Well done Andy for surviving and also presenting MTI as a transformative VMware partner showing we’re a safe pair of hands in delivering NSX and complimentary security products to our customers! =P
  10. Customers – we took out more customers this year then last year, and this year I made sure I spent time talking to them rather than running around all the breakout sessions. In fact this is probably he first year that I’ve not featured on the Gamification Leaderboard! =P
    It was good to find out about what their future plans are and discuss how VMware can become an integral part of their plans!

It looks like VMworld 2017 US will again be held in Vegas…. I’ve been promised a free ticket next year as I couldn’t use it this year, so who knows, I may head out to Vegas for VMworld 2017!! =)

Interesting that VMworld 2017 Europe hasn’t announced a venue or date yet… I’m guessing it’s because they’ve finished their contract in Barcelona and they’re considering other venues. I quite like Barcelona, lovely city and I like the fact that I can walk around in the evenings with just a polo or t-shirt on! Hope it’s not back in Copenhagen… it’s too grey and cold during Autumn time. I’ve heard Berlin and even Lisbon mentioned during my discussions with fellow bloggers/vExperts…. Lisbon would be a nice venue!

Roites…. All I have left is to finish writing my blog entry on what’s new with vSphere 6.5 and VSAN 6.5….

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Trend Micro VIP Party – sponsored by MTI Technology

Oh, I forgot to mention that my company – MTI Technology – are sponsoring the Trend Micro Party @ VMworld 2016 Europe on Tuesday 18th October.

Feel free to register and come along…. =)


Join us at VMworld 2016 for the MTI Trend Micro VIP party, a great networking opportunity, in the heart of Barcelona.

Kicking off from 19:00 on Tuesday 18th October 2016, our DJs are there to entertain you throughout the evening. There will also be a selection of canapé stations and an open bar right the way through to when the party ends!

Date: 18/10/2016
Time: 19:00 – 23:30
Location: OneOcean Club, Moll de la Barceloneta 1, 08003 Barcelona

Getting there
OneOcean Club is a short drive away from VMworld and a 30-minute drive from Barcelona international airport. It is in the heart of the city of Barcelona, just five minutes’ walk to the Gothic Quarter and beaches and ten minutes from the famous Las Ramblas.

Register here: https://www.trendvmworldparty.com/

VMworld 2016 Europe – Sessions

After the past 3 years of attending VMworld in Barcelona and packing my schedule full of sessions causing me to run between sessions and grab lunch on the go, I swore to myself that this year I would be more selective with my sessions so that I’m not rushing around like a headless chicken…..

…. Unfortunately I’ve failed in my scheduling prowess….. when the Schedule Builder was released, I pretty much went through the whole content catalog and selected all the interesting sessions I wanted to attend, and basically ended up with another packed out calendar!! >_<”

Dammit… why are there sooo many interesting sessions at VMworld and sooo little time to schedule them all in! I remember watching at least a dozen video replays of sessions I couldn’t attend last year…. I’m now trying to work out whether to attend the sessions in real life or just watch a virtual replay post-VMworld!

Given my hectic schedule…. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up in the Top 10 yet again in the VMworld attendee game (shame there aren’t any prizes).

I’ve got a packed out PEX day, including trying to fit in my VCP6-DCV Delta exam in the morning….. Best have a quiet Sunday night!

Anyways, if you’re going to VMworld then you’ll find me in these sessions!

Tuesday 18th October:

  • VMware NSX-Deep Dive [NET9152]
  • The Practical Path to NSX [NET8675]
  • What’s New with vSphere [INF8375]
  • Reference Design for SDDC with NSX and vSphere: Part 1 [NET7857R]
  • Reference Design for SDDC with NSX and vSphere: Part 2 [NET7858R]

Wednesday 19th October:

  • Monitoring and Troubleshooting NSX with vRealize Network Insight (Arkin) [NET8241]
  • vSphere Client Roadmap: Host Client, HTML5 Client, and Web Client [INF8172]
  • Operational Best Practices for VMware NSX [NET7865]
  • What’s New with vCenter Server [INF9944]
  • VMware Cloud Foundation Architecture Deep Dive [SDDC8481]

Thursday 20th October:

  • Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive [STO7645]
  • Enhanced Disaster Recovery with NSX and Site Recovery Manager [NET7760]
  • Simplifying Disaster Recovery in 2016 using VSAN, NSX and SRM [STO7802]
  • Introducing VMware Cloud Foundation [SDDC8618]

Sessions down for post-VMworld viewing:

  • Software-Defined Storage at VMware Primer [STO7650]
  • Virtual SAN Technical Deep Dive and What’s New [STO8246]
  • Hot Topics in VMware Research [CTO9406]
  • Tech Preview: Enhanced VM Availability Leveraging vCenter and Partner Hardware Integration [INF8020]
  • Discover What’s New in Workspace ONE and AirWatch [EUC3908-C]
  • VSAN Vision: The Future of HCI [STO9424]
  • vSphere Encryption Deep Dive: Technology Preview [INF8856]
  • VMware Cloud Foundation on Public Clouds: A Technical Deep-Dive [INF7849]

It’s strange that Chad Sakac is no longer presenting his session (The Edge is Still Bleeding: A face-melting technical smorgasbord of all things Converged, Hyper-Converged, Cloud Native & Software Defined [SDDC9462-SPO]) – he’s been replaced by Tom O’Reilly….. such a shame as he’s a great presenter! At least Vaughn Stewart is back this year (Best Practices for All-Flash Data Reduction Arrays with VMware vSphere [INF9455-SPO])!

As you can see, my sessions are heavily skewed towards NSX, and that’s because MTI are a VMware NSX Focus Partner in UK and I’m always after more material to use within my NSX presentation decks. Not to mention that NSX is a focused product from VMware this year (how many times have I said that now in my blogs?)….

Roll on VMworld 2016!