VMworld 2017 Europe Wrap Up….

So this blog post has been a bit late coming, mainly due to me coming back from Barcelona with a heavy chest infection and cold… and when you’re sick, you tend to procrastinate alot… =)
Looks like all the excessive late nights, early morning starts, long days, freezing cold breakout rooms (was anyone else cold??) and lack of sleep really took it’s toll on me…. not to mention having to entertain all the customers MTI took out to VMworld this year! Such a hard life I live…. =)

We had a mad 1st day as Monday 11th Sept was Catalonia day and a huge demonstration was planned with demonstrators forming a large X along Carrer de Arago and Passeig de Gracia! The big problem was our hotel was smack bang in the middle of the intersection of the X…. nightmare getting to the hotel, our taxi dropped us off 2km away as there was a huge cordon around the demonstration! What an experience!

It’s a bit strange to be in Barcelona in September when it’s still warm outside… we had some really lovely sunny days…. but to be honest I think the weather was lost on most VMworld attendees as we were all too busy running around the conference centre trying to squeeze in lunch, trips to the solution exchange and all our breakout sessions!

As usual, the layout of the conference centre was annoying…. breakout sessions in hall 8 are miles away from where the solution exchange and VMVillage/Hangspace/HOLs are! I was clocking over 15000 steps a day just walking back and forth between hall 6, 7 and 8! This year they moved Registration over to hall 6 rather than have it by hall 8… totally confusing every VMworld Europe Alumni! =)

I wonder why they don’t use Hall 5 for breakout sessions? I guess maybe it’s because Hall 8 is the only hall that can be split into several rooms??

One thing I did like was the “Expert Bar” where attendees were able to have roundtable sessions with some VMware experts… it was very well laid out, much better than previous years!

This year was the 10th VMworld being held in Europe and we were told during the 1st day general session by Pat Gelsinger that it was the biggest VMworld yet – over 11,000 people attending. This may explain why the conference was laid out as it was…. the solution exchange definitely looked a lot bigger!

Before I go into my wrap up, I have to give a shout out to the new VMTN community programs and especially to Katie Bradley (VMTN Community Manager) and Elsa Mayer, (VMware Blog Program Manager)…. they were kind enough to pass me my VMware vSphere vExpert goodie bag and also explain about the new BlogBeats Program and help me register my blog on the VMTN community! I actually think this is a great initiative for the VMware community, it will also help drive traffic to bloggers who might be a bit on the lazy side (ie…. me!)…. keep up the good work ladies!! =)

It was also nice (if a bit awkward at times) to be recognised as a blogger by a number of attendees as well as vendors within the Solution Exchange… first time that’s happened to me since I started blogging! It’s a shame I was unable to make it to the vExpert party, unfortunately I had too much happening on Tuesday, what with my company sponsoring the Trend Micro Party… Hopefully next year – although maybe there should be more vExpert gatherings organised for UK/London!

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The Wrap Up

I’m not really going to say much about the General Sessions, mainly because as per usual it was a repeat of the US ones but with a little European twist to it (see my 2 previous blogs on the US General Sessions)…. Pat did mention the dreadful “GDPR” word and that companies can’t just rely on technology to make them GDPR compliant!
GDPR is one beast of a legal mandate…. nearly every customer I’ve spoken to has heard of GDPR but don’t know what it means! I’m not going to pretend I know everything about GDPR… to be honest I typically just refer people to my colleague – Andy Tang – who’s a GDPR Practitioner! =)
Anyways, VMware Radius has a decent article that talks about GDPR and Addressing Data Security Gaps with VMware…. go have a read!

The whole VR demo looked really cool…. imagine being able to manage your VMware datacentre via VR… picking up workloads and throwing them into different hosts or even into the cloud!! Anyways, it looks like Pat was having fun – and to think the hackathon guys built it in a matter of days… impressive!
It’s amazing what some of the community gets up to… like writing API calls to integrate Amazon’s Alexa with vCenter – William Lam and Cody De Arkland have some great blog articles and demos available (Cody even did a recent vBrownBag podcast on it)!

There was a few new announcements though… An improved Cloud Provider Program was announced to help VMware Cloud Provider partners expand their service offerings, enable simplistic workload migration, more efficient operations and improved automation. Of the 3 announcements, VMware HCX looked the most promising…. in summary:

  1. VMware HCX (more about that in a moment)
  2. New VMware Cloud Provider Platform – allowing partners to rapidly deploy and scale up their cloud infrastructure. It’s a complete stack of VMware’s cloud infrastructure products, including certified reference designs. All built around vSphere, vCloud Director and NSX.
  3. VMware Cloud Verified Partner – this is a new ‘trustmark’ which shows that a cloud provider partner has made a significant investment in VMware cloud infrastructure and offers their own ‘value-add’ services that differentiates them from the rest of the crowd. TBH, at the moment only the really big Cloud players have been given this seal of approval from VMware – CenturyLink, Fujitsu, IBM Cloud, OVH and Rackspace. It will be interesting to see whether smaller cloud providers will gain this new trustmark.

VMware HCX looks like a promising piece of tech…. An integrated solution that helps customers to migrate workloads to the cloud – allowing seamless portability of applications and data between different versions of ESXi, whether on premise or between Clouds (as long as they run VMware)!
Customers have been telling VMware that it’s not just about building the infrastructure, but more importantly how  they can gain increased application mobility across multiple clouds. Businesses frequently struggle with the complexity of migrating old workloads, such as old versions of ESXi, to modern environments, be they internal or cloud-based – and this the problem that HCX is going to help solve. It’s like Cross-vCenter vMotion on Steroids, using the network overlay (NSX) to help connect on-premise, old environments to modern environments or to cloud!

At the moment only IBM Cloud and OVH have access to HCX, but I’m sure VMware will end up rolling it out to the rest of their VMware cloud partners!

TBH, I’m still waiting for the announcement of some super-duper CMP solution from VMware that will let me migrate my workloads between AWS, Azure, GCP or my on-prem datacentre… seamlessly…. now that would truly be “Cross-Cloud”…. I guess we’re still a few years away from such a cloud-agnostic solution!

 

The only other announcement was a new version of the vRealize Suite – vRealize Suite 2017. The new version of VMware’s CMP offers a more comprehensive platform to manage hybrid clouds… nothing excitingly new, just some minor updates to speed up deployment and lifecycle management of workloads. vRA gets support for Admiral – VMware’s Container management platform.

 

I’m not going to breakdown all the sessions I attended, as previous years I got a slight slap on the wrist for posting up photos of slides which had “confidential” marked all over them… oops…. Plus so many key sessions are now available for playback on the VMworld website or via the Content Catalog: https://www.vmworld.com/en/europe/video/vmworld-on-demand.html
There’s even a load of videos on the VMworld TV youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/VMworldTV

 

The other obvious highlight from VMworld was winning the Mobile App Game and getting the opportunity to go backstage to meet and greet the Kaiser Chiefs… =)

It’s funny, but all the people who went back stage due to either winning the VMUG competition or the VMware Inclusion draw were all from the UK… How ironic!

TBH, I’m not a big Kaiser Chiefs fan…. but my colleague Andy was, so I brought him along as my plus one…. surprisingly they’re quite down-to-earth guys!

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I do have to admit that this year’s VMworld party was one of the better ones I’ve been to (on par with 2015s party band – Fearless)… it was far busier and people actually stayed around and watched the performance… and many enjoyed it too!!

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So to conclude…. it was another great VMworld…. the customers we took out all enjoyed themselves and learnt loads, and whilst the geek inside of me was hoping for more announcements I was satisfied with what I got out of the conference.

There’s a clear message coming out of VMware now, Hybrid Cloud is mainstream… it’s now possible to migrate workloads easily between clouds… containers are how the next generation of applications will be deployed (Cloud Native Apps/PKS)… It seems that the vision VMware started 2 years ago of “Any Device, Any Application, Any Cloud” is finally coming into fruition (albeit limited to just VMware or AWS Cloud at the moment).

Roll on VMworld 2018… with Europe back in Fira Grand Via Barcelona, but this time on the 5th-8th November 2018 (I’m told the date was moved due to a change in VMware’s financial year end). VMworld 2018 US will again be in Las Vegas on the 26th-30th August 2018.

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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!

VMworld 2015 Europe – My Sessions

So after spending several days trawling through the VMworld Europe schedule builder, I’ve finally sorted out all my sessions (although I’m on the waiting list for 2 of the sessions)!

However, I’m quite disappointed with some of the scheduling this year… Big focus on the likes of NSX, vCloud, VSAN, and a lot of the good technical breakout sessions all clash!! =(

Monday 12th October 2015 (Partner Exchange)
PAR6641 – How to Time to Sale and Increase your Deal Size for VMware’s End-User Computing Business
ELW-SDC-1603 – VMware NSX Introduction Workshop
PAR6419 – Whats New with vCloud Air
PAR6390 – VMware’s Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) Solution
PAR6389 – Winning SDDC deals against competition

Tuesday 13th October 2015
STO6085 – What’s New in Site Recovery Manager – Technical Deep Dive
STO5877 – What’s New in Virtual SAN
HBC4849 – vCloud Air 2015 – Getting Started with Hybrid Cloud
STO5605 – What’s New in Site Recovery Manager
SDDC5440 – VMware Validated Designs – An Architecture for the SDDC

Wednesday 14th October 2015
STO6556-GD – Stretched Clusters with Lee Dilworth and Rawlinson Rivera
EUC5573 – Introducing Project Enzo – Low Cost, Simplified Desktop and Application Deployment and Management
NET4989 – The Future of Network Virtualization with VMware NSX
HBC5008 – vCloud Air Disaster Recovery Technical Deep Dive
STO6089 – Automation for vCloud Air Disaster Recovery – VMware Technical Preview

Thursday 15th October 2015
EUC5052 – Beyond the Marketing: Horizon 6 Technical Deep Dive
STO6228 – Monitoring and Troubleshooting Virtual SAN, Current and Future
NET5640 – Building a Hyper-Converged Infrastructure with EVO:RACK and NSX Integrations
SDDC4797 – EVO:RAIL 2.0 Deep Dive
INF5803 – Deploy Hundreds of VMs Instantly via Forking

As you can see, I’ve pretty much packed out my session schedule yet again this year!!

I wonder if they’ll be running the same VMworld Leaderboard competitions like the previous years….. I was 7th in 2013 and 12th in 2014 (although I reckon I should have been higher as some sessions didn’t record the points!). Although TBH, I’ve never found out whether there’s any prizes for topping the leaderboard – probably just bragging rights! =)

…. sounds a bit sad to try to top the leaderboard, but given that I’m there to learn and attend as many sessions as possible, I guess a little competition never hurt anyone! =)

See you in Barcelona! Drop by and say hi if you see me…..

3 days till VMworld Europe 2014

Barcelona here I come (again)…… bit gutted that the weather looks like it will be as wet as London! =(

My schedule is pretty packed yet again, with lots of sessions on VVOLs and EVO: Rail….!

The only thing left is work out what clothes to pack, and also work out which vendor parties to attend! =P

Update:
So as a lot of people have been asking me where I’m going, I’ve decided on these parties:

Sunday Night – vRockstar (if there are any tickets left) otherwise a good nights sleep! (Although I have an invite to the VMware NEMEA EUC welcome reception @ Hotel Arts)
Monday Night – Trend Micro/VMware/Arrow party @ SALT, the “W” Hotel
Tuesday Night – EMC/Intel Party @ La Monumental Bullring
Wednesday Night – VMworld Party. Although I was planning on going to the Zerto party on a Catamaran, but the weather is looking pretty bad so I may stay indoors.

VMworld 2013 Europe – Day 1 Round Up

So those of you who read my VMworld 2013 US round up will already have read about all the juicy bits that was announced in San Fran….. basically vSphere/vCloud 5.5…..

The keynote session by Pat Gelsinger pretty much repeated a lot of what was announced in the US, with a little bit of juicy extras (see below)…… Pat did a good job engaging the audience, the dialogue flowed and it certainly kept my attention on what was being announced!
I don’t know why, but I tend to find some of the speakers from the US more interesting than those from the UK….. Not sure if it’s the accent or the way they’re more animated, or maybe it’s the way they deliver their presentations…..? Anyways, if you’re a speaker and you find me falling asleep – it’s because you’re not interesting….. ;oP
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First up was the announcement of VMware’s acquisition of Desktone!
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I first read about Desktone after VMworld US as there were a lot of discussions regarding vCHS and possible Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offerings… rumours were awash about Desktone being a ‘good fit’ for VMware…… guess those rumours turned out to be true!

One of the key points about the Desktone acquisition is that it brings the added advantage for on-premise VDI customers to burst out into the cloud (like a vCHS provider) if they suddenly require the need to spin up more desktops then they have resources for. From what I could gather speaking to the people at the Desktone booth, they have a piece of software, very similar to vCloud connector, that manages the connection of on-premise and off-premise VDIs, including the ability to transfer between the two….. interesting!
And obviously to bean-counters, the idea of DaaS gives them the opportunity to move all the outlay from CAPEX into a more “easy-to-budget” OPEX…. afterall, you’ll know how much it would cost to spin up and consume a desktop in the cloud. It would also save time and money because it allows remote users to spin up desktops on any device (tablet, laptop, smartphone, thin clients, etc).
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The next main announcement was that vCloud Hybrid Service was coming to Europe, with Sungard being the first vCHS provider. (No photo here because some bozo in front of me decided to stand up and block my shot).

Whilst we’re talking about Cloud, updates to some products were also announced to enhance Cloud Management: vCAC 6.0, vCOPs 5.8, vCenter Log Insight 1.5 and vITBM.

Next up was the announcement of the General Availability of VMware NSX!
Network has always been an issue with virtualisation, you spin up a VM in minutes yet always have to rely on some sort of configuration to be carried out on your physical network device….. NSX was launched to bring the Network layer into the virtualisation stack as a ‘Software Defined’ device.
Think of it as a Network Hypervisor….. what ESX did for Compute, NSX will do for Networks! NSX abstracts network operations and configurations from they underlying hardware into a distributed virtualisation layer. It will allow you to define switches, firewalls, loadbalancers, routers, plus other networking elements.
It’s vendor-agnostic…. supporting most hypervisors and physical network devices.
An interesting slide (and one I didn’t get a photo of) was the ability to define network policies that had the switch configuration, the firewall configuration and other network elements and then just simply ‘assign’ it to a VM…. bobs your uncle, your VM is now fully configured!
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The slides below were from a technical breakout session that introduced NSX and delved into it a bit more then what was presented at the keynote session…. This slide shows the various components of NSX:
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We then saw a list of partners that had already been engaged by VMware to work on integrating products with NSX.
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What’s very interesting from the partner slides we saw was that Cisco was missing as a partner!! It’s quite obvious that the relationship between Cisco and VMware have gone off the boil again…… and I’ve heard a rumour that Cisco maybe announcing something big in the SDN arena sometime soon!

The last thing I’m going to talk about was the announcement of the GA of vDP 5.5 Advanced (vDP 5.5 std was announced at VMworld US).
The key items to note about this product is that it now integrates with both EMC Data Domain and EMC Avamar!
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The integration with Data Domain allows you to use VDP as the front-end scheduler and back off to a Data Domain as the target. VDP will store all the Meta-data whilst DD stores all the backup data. This will be great as you’ll be backing off all your data onto a DD which means you will get global dedupe as your data is all in one location!
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The following slide was very interesting as it shows you what targets you can use to replicate your vDP to:
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Finally the last take-away point from the vDP advanced announcement was the fact that it will allow you to consider Backup-as-a-Service by replicating your backup from the vDP appliance to a service provider who may be running something like Avamar!IMG_0053

So hopefully that has rounded up the key points that I got out of Day 1’s general session and announcements!

To be honest, there’s probably a lot more I could waffle on about, but given it’s now 2am and I’ve had a very long day followed by a stint at the EMC party… I’m quite mentally exhausted!

I doubt there’ll be much for me to blog about for the remaining 2 days as I’ve gone over the key announcements in this post… and if I’m honest, the technical sessions I’ve booked myself onto are more for me to enhance my knowledge of existing products and solutions.

Time for bed……!

VMworld 2013 Partner Day

First day of VMworld is dedicated to Partners and TAMs..

As a representative of MTI I’ve signed up for the Partner track in order to gain some insight on what VMware has planned for their partners.

Although that said, my first port of call will be to register at VMUG in order to pick up my VMUG t-shirt… Second port of call will be the EMC stand In order to sign up for their party tomorrow… Then it’ll be off to find the food hall! =)

So my schedule for the day looks like:

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And to round it off there’s a partner reception this evening.

Good start to the week!

VMworld Barcelona

MTI Technology has arrived in VMworld Barcelona!! =)

So having left a soggy London and swapped it for a hot and sunny Barcelona, one of the first things I wanted to do was head to the convention centre in order to register and beat the massive queue that is bound to materialise tomorrow morning when non-partners and non-TAMs arrive!
Registration was quick and simple…. although I couldn’t help noticing all the signs on display regarding the €50 charge for re-printing any lost badges! *Mental note* Best keep mine safe!

Obviously with this being my first time at VMworld (my previous company was too stingy to send people to any sort of vendor events!), one of the first things you have to do is stand around like a tourist and take snaps of the venue to post online! =)
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With that quickly out of the way, my next call of business was to go grab my goodie bag! It’s nice when you take the time (and money) to go to one of these events and you’re greeted by a pretty decent bag of freebies!
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A pretty handy laptop bag with the usual load of flyers inside, plus a VMworld t-shirt, notepad and water bottle (obviously to keep us delegates hydrated as we salivate when finding out about all the new stuff being announced!)

I’m pretty excited at my first foray to VMworld, and in my excitement I’ve packed my schedule full of breakout sessions!
To be honest, it’s only just dawned on me that I don’t think I’ll make it to every one given how big the venue is and that I actually want to visit some of the vendor/sponsor booths…. as well as hunt down and meet some of the VMware community bloggers that I respect for their insight and blogs! (@vladan, @eSloof, @esiebert, @DuncanYB, @frankdenneman, @scott_lowe…… just to name the big guys….)

Seems that there are loads of people wandering around Barcelona carrying VMworld bags….. I wonder if any are staying in the same hotel as me?
Pretty cool hotel I’ve checked into….. Space themed…… spent ages trying to think up a smart and witty comment to tweet – the best I could come up with was “Checked into a Space themed hotel…. Defying Gravity before Defying Convention!”

Anyways, if anyone’s interested…. here’s my room location (cool eh?):
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Anyways, best get a good nights sleep….. long 4 days ahead of me!

 

#VMworld, #MTI_Technology

VMworld 2013 Barcelona

Yay…. finally sorted out my schedule for VMworld 2013 Barcelona….. pretty much packed out every day and every session! It’ll be interesting whether I can find the energy to attend all the sessions!!

Most of my sessions will be based around NSX, vCloud Suite and BC/DR….. not planning to attend any Hands on Labs since I kind of have one of my own (thanks to MTI’s solution centre!).

Also planning to hit the Partner Day Party, VMUG Party and obviously the VMworld Party! (As well as any other vendor parties I can gatecrash)
^_^

 

All that I need to do now, is ensure I’ve packed enough undies and red bulls to make it through 4 intense days!

 

Although I hope my ankle holds up…. tore ankle ligaments last week and I’m still hobbling around on a crutch! >_<“