VMworld 2017 EU – Day 2 Recap + Interviews

It seemed like a whirlwind few days at VMworld but Day 2 was an eye opener for many reasons which I’ll go into here.

Keynote

The theme was kept similar to previous years and Day 2 enhanced the Day 1 keynote by delving deeper into the solutions and technologies unveiled the day before. This format provides the audience with the knowledge and know how of concepts they perhaps didn’t key understand on Day 1. In this case VMware showcased a fictitious company called ‘Elastic Sky Pizza’ and how they used Cross cloud, HCX, Network Log Insight and various other products on stage. It’s good to do this as it reinforces the key messages from Day 1 and shows real use cases to the wider public. Chris Wolf, VP & CTO, and Purnima Padmanabhan, VP of Products (Cloud Business Unit) both played a part in demonstrating the provisioning of workloads, portability, monitoring and the extensive use of the product sets. Personally, I felt there was a lot of content here and the audience did start to feel a bit lost towards the latter part of the presentation so keeping the content light and digestible is a key element here but difficult to achieve in practice.

Dell EMC Elect Podcast

I was asked to appear on the podcast as were a few members of the community and I didn’t hesitate to say Yes. It’s always great to catchup with Mark Browne who runs the programme and it was good to give my feedback and thoughts on the event. You can hear my interview below after the 9 min mark on iTunes or via the the player below.

Itunes

Interviewing the VMware execs

My highlight of this VMworld was being able to interview some special guests for the Opentechcast podcast that I co-host with my good friends (Alex Galbraith, Ather Beg, Kev Johnson & Gareth Edwards). Now I always like to try and do something different at each VMworld I attend and this one really knocked it out of the park. What was a simple idea and something that seemed unachievable was eventually planned and executed just the way I imagined. Arranging these interviews was difficult as I was also on holiday whilst the fine detail was being planned but I was happy that I got in touch with the right people at the right time and all the pieces finally fell in place.

First up was our interview with Pat Gelsinger, CEO VMware, which was a monumental episode and was every bit as exciting as it sounds. Here’s a link to listen to it via the OpenTechCast webpage or iTunes.

OpenTechCast Ep6

iTunes

Second up was Sanjay Poonen, COO VMware, who I’ve always admired from his stage presence and candid nature. I just don’t think I’ll ever play the piano as well. Links below.

OpenTechCast Ep7

iTunes

Thanks for reading my impressions of VMworld 2017.

VMworld 2017 EU – Day 1 Recap

It was a busy and hectic day as usual but Day 1 was very insightful. Over 11,000 attendees so it was a busy conference already.

Being on the other side of the tech circle and now in the vendor world meant I wanted to learn a bit more about the ecosystem and less on the features and functions of the new releases. Of particular interest was how VMware’s vision ties into the ecosystem and the wider Dell Technologies umbrella.

Pat Gelsinger was keen to draw our attention to VMware’s ambitions to be the glue that bridges the multi-cloud world. It’s evident that the messaging is now encouraging customers and partners to understand that this is not a closed eco system but one where VMware can partner with all the clouds of this world.

HCX not HDX

Pat announced HCX which can bridge the app mobility gap between on and off premises worlds. This is not a GA product yet looks to have a bright future. You can read more below. At the moment IBM and OVH have the prime focus but this will spread to other clouds I’m sure – https://cloud.vmware.com/vmware-hcx

Dell EMC + IBM – say what ?

Close to my heart was the news around Dell EMC and IBM. Personally I never knew this was being worked on but hearing that there is now an integrated cloud solution with vCenter – you can read more on what this entails and how Dell EMC is reselling services to the IBM Cloud by going here – https://www.emc.com/about/news/press/2017/20170912-03.htm

VMware on AWS

As a follow on from last year there was a lot more focus on this managed service from VMware. There were a number of breakout sessions as this is now GA but I didn’t manage to get a space. I did hear that at GA not everything is available to seamlessly migrate workloads using NSX but this is a heavy piece of engineering and is something that will come in time. As yet the focus of this announcement is around offering choice and flexibility and the vibe around the conference was one of enthusiasm especially for existing VMware and AWS customers.

VR that Datacenter…

It was good to see a mix of content and this year Alan Renouf’s pet project got a major boost as he was featured on stage with Pat showing how an HTC Vive could be used to migrate a virtual machine to the cloud and also destroy a virtual machine. It was a really good demo but will we ever see this adopted in the workplace. Hmmmm..not sure on that one but at least the APIs can be used to control vSphere workloads in an alternative way.

Wrap Up

For me Day 1 was a great job by the marketing and events team at VMware. Keynote was executed to the highest standard and there was a real focus on simplicity and choice. Pat also had VxRack and VxRail references in his presentation so the synergy with Dell Technologies is ripe and evident this year. As shown above my mission statement is clear on how I intend to help the ecosystem…

VMworld 2017 is almost here

It’s been rather quiet lately in the world of tech but all of that is about to change next week when the US VMworld event kicks off and our Twitter timelines go crazy for a few days.

So can we really expect a ton of new products and features ? 

Well – it’s a good question and we know that announcements have been few and far between but expect some more VMware on AWS updates. I also think that EUC is a prime revenue generator so we may see more with Workspace One and not forgetting NSX of course.

Traditionally there would be a lot of enhancements to core product lines and over the years this has been well received but now practitioners and managers alike are seeking more innovative and disruptive means to modernise and fuel their digital growth so I think VMware will be focusing in on how they stay relevant especially in the world of IoT and AI which has everyone talking right now.

Although I won’t be in Vegas this year, I will be in Barcelona for the European event so am very much looking forward to the european announcements. I will also be building more bridges and extending my network so if you’ve never met me before and you follow me on Twitter (@amitpanchal76) or follow my ramblings on tech here then please be sure to say hello. I am also recording a few podcasts this year in the VMvillage with the @OpenTechCast group which will be a welcome change and very much looking forward to this.

Final notes – pack light, don’t squeeze in all the sessions you can and above all wear comfortable footwear !!

Look forward to meeting you if our paths cross.

The vRetreat Pt 2 – What did Veeam bring ?

Veeam – So what’s new ?

So in the 2nd part of the vRetreat blogpost I’d like to discuss what Veeam presented on the day.

Many of you will know Veeam very well and I’m hoping that at least some of you have heard of backup before. Instead of talking about the what the company does I’d like to focus on the message that Michael Cade (Technical Evangelist) was keen to relay about the change in direction for the company. » Read more

Interview with a Storage Architect…

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I thought it would be worth while doing something a little bit different on the blog and this time I reached out to a friend of mine (based in the US) who has been in the storage industry for more years than I’ve been working. We talk about his role and the evolution he is seeing.

A good guy to work with and one who inspired me to learn a lot more over the years (you know who you are !!)

Hope you enjoy the dialogue below. » Read more

VMworld 2016 – Experience & Opportunity

Well what can I say ? 2 main keywords that really sum it up for me.

It’s been a productive, interesting and tiring event but I wanted to write about my experiences this time especially as I was missed Barcelona last year.

Firstly a big thank you to Corey Romero for the Blogger Pass I was lucky enough to have for this trip. I was particularly pleased that Bloggers and Press were able to sit in the first few rows at the Keynotes so had a good view and was able to write up notes as I watched the epic presentations. My highlights were obviously the AWS and VMware announcement as well as the new releases of vSphere and VSAN. EUC also had a strong presence and clearly VMware and Airwatch are going from strength to strength trying to make the Workspace One solution a great solution for those looking to bring together mobility and a simple SSO experience.

It was my first year presenting at the vBrownbag community area and I enjoyed my experience. It was a strange feeling to record directly in front of a camera but I loved my time on stage educating all on the importance of Career Disruption. Thanks to Alastaire Cooke and the crew for having me on. Maybe I can do the vExpert Daily panel next year ?? You can view my video below.

I was also drawn towards the Hands on Labs and Cloudcredibility areas where I hadn’t spent much time before in previous years and the whole gamification of completing challenges and learning at the same time was clearly a winning formula. It clearly means attendees can learn a lot more whilst also enjoying moving up the leaderboard and claiming gifts.

Of the sessions I attended, I enjoyed Frank Denneman’s overview on what the vSphere on AWS solution promises to deliver in 2017 and Robbie Jerrom’s Photon / Cloud Native presentation giving developers an easier way to move to Docker and Kubernetes whilst continuing to use the rich vSphere platform.

Networking and Community

2 big important areas for my development as an individual and I found I met a lot more people here this year. Being able to converse with people from vendors, partners and customers really helps me to understand the bigger picture for transformation and I.T. disruption. Apart from the vBrownbag achievement I was also glad to talk to various VMUG leaders about the upcoming events and get their take on the industry as a whole. I managed to meet various Twitter friends who I’ve been meaning to bump into for a while now and also past friends from my exploits at Tech Field Day.
One of my highlights this year was that I had a good frank discussion with friends who work at other storage vendors. We all see resentment and FUD when it comes to vendor wars, either through Marketing or through Twitter but I found it refreshing to be able to forget speeds and feeds for a while and talk more about how the industry was going and what customers were seeking when making investments. I talked to good friends at both Hedvig and Nimble on how the shape of enterprise I.T. was changing and what consumers were looking for when it came to storage. We came to the concensus that whilst speeds and feeds where good conversation points, its ultimately the manner in which you can consume, interpret and analyse the data where storage becomes useful to both admins and end users.
The events that I attended, particularly the VMUG evening and the Veeam evening were great places to relax, unwind and reflect on the good and bad points of this years show. The Vmworld party was not bad but not a patch on previous years (maybe because I’d never heard of Empire of the Sun who were the main act.

Recording the next episode of the podcast – OpenTechCast – with several VMware and blogger guests was a bonus too. Keeping the conversations light, informative and fluid meant my cohosts and I gained a lot of value and I hope you’ll agree once you listen to it.

Wrapping Up

So if I could change 1 thing about the show what would it be ?

I think it would be the fact that lunch was not provided on Monday at the conference center for attendees. One other point was that breakfast was not up to par of previous years so it would be good if this was improved next year.

On the whole it was a great conference and one where I certainly walked away with a lot more nuggets of information in my arsenal when talking to customers about their digital transformation.

Roll on VMworld 2017 !!

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