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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