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 !!

VMworld Day 3 – Keynote (My Thoughts)


My Thoughts

EUC – End User Computing

One of my favourite days of the conference as this is where EUC was the focus and Sanjay Poonen ( an inspiration to tech and business) was delivering the keynote. We also got to hear him strum some tunes on the piano with a band playing before the keynote kicked off.

The first phrase to strike me was Sanjay’s comments that “Animals can be digitised too”. What ?? Seriously, we are moving in a rapidly changing world so who knows what will be possible in the future. Digitised zoos maybe ?

VMware would like any app on any device and bringing this together is where Workspace One plays. Cloud first philosophy is key to EUC and Sanjay was focused on this message for the EUC team.

Unbelievable to think that 20,000 employees at Vmware use Workspace One today. Sanjay wants to ensure that all VMware employees and also customers benefit from this medium for application delivery.

Another comment that Sanjay made was that people take their phone out 100 times a day to check and read email. Boxer is an app that Vmware uses internally to make productivity with email more efficient. I liked this app – Maybe I could use it in my day job too ??

Voice recognition for Salesforce was demonstrated through the iPhone and this worked well in the demo that Sanjay delivered.

As we move forward Microsoft has a key relationship with VMware and enables VMware to build a solution for Skype inside a Horizon desktop today. Sanjay rolled a video that highlighted the use of Skype for Business working inside a Horizon desktop – very cool stuff !!!

TCO is key and it was highlighted that it can cost $7000 per endpoint per user and VMware think they can take this down 10-30%.

Conditional access was a new term for me and it was noted that it meant a document opened in a managed app cannot be posted or saved somewhere unauthorised. It was demonstrated several times and we saw Sanjay shows how certain docs can be opened and not saved to a non-company location thereby keeping security focused folks happy.



Ray O’Farrell was next up to talk more about SDDC and the key announcements made this week.

vSphere 6.5 was announced and is tailored for digital and a universal app platform with comprehensive security. A single vcenter now supports 20000 VMs with over 6x vCenter operations per second.
Secure boot of ESX host and also the guest and VM encryption is now possible. Encryption does not involve any guest agents and works on all Operating systems – This was pretty cool.
The Web client is still available as is the HTML5 version and VMware are very proud to pitch the HTML5 client for use with many products  to come. I like it and it looks very slick going forwards.

Yan Bing Li also introduced VSAN 6.5 and mentioned how 5000 customers were using it today. Not sure how many are production but it is still a HUGE number.

VIC (vSphere Integrated Containers) on vSphere on premises and also AWS were mentioned again and it was key that containers get to leverage the same networking (NSX) and also VSAN. Cool stuff !!!


Closing Remarks


Another immense jam packed keynote and lots of news. Good to see the innovation in digital is moving at rocket speed and aligns well with the Dell EMC messaging for digital transformation.

VMworld Day 2 – Keynote (My Thoughts)




Here’s my summary. An entertaining and invigorating day and I was lucky enough to sit on the 2nd row to see all the action. I’ve summarised the key highlights and also the quotes that resonated the most with me.


Jean Pierre talked about inclusion at Vmware and also the Airwatch initiative to drive the mobility message to all.

Digital transformation was a key theme as always. GE was started in 1896 and analytics is key to moving forward their company. Leonardo is a leader in aeronautics and driving the digital agenda and transforming themselves.


8% of companies are not engaging customers and moving forwards


Leaders have mobile cloud at the core and are rewriting the rules.


“Since the industrial revolution in 1700s everything is about optimisation and digital business is just as transformative as industrial revolution” – Pat Gelsinger


2006 – First time cloud computing used in a core way. Google mentioned it first (Eric Schmidt) 98% of workloads were on traditional IT. Back then 2% was Salesforce and this was the first SAAS model for cloud consumption of software. By 2011 – 13% of apps were on cloud representing 80 million workloads.


Today we are at 15% of public cloud and 160 million workloads. We will hit 50% public cloud in 2030 (596 million workloads)


“Hosting is 54 billion euros today and growing to 99 billion by 2021” – as quoted by Pat Gelsinger

“Every business function is becoming an IT hub”. I am seeing this become more relevant in companies I talk to as everyone seeks control and power.


8 cloud services are an average for most companies that are embracing the cloud.


Who is responsible for the security – 90% still want I.T. to control this. Freedom vs. Control is key even as a parent !!!

Users want freedom and I.T want to control this  – How can we combine these forces ? Hybrid Cloud gives consumers the ability to do this.


vSphere 6.5 was released and has over 100 features !! Most of these writeups can be found on other blog sites by my esteemed friends out there on the blogosphere.


VMware cross cloud architecture is key to combining Vmware Cloud Foundation and Vmware cross-cloud services and will be available sometime in 2017.


VMware Cloud on AWS for full SDDC on AWS is going to be big. Mike clayville and Pat talked about the #1 for private and #1 for public coming together. Most customers want to avoid Capex and get out of datacenter building – Mike Clayville. Bursting into the cloud is another use case. Oil and Gas and Public sector defined as leading edge for hybrid. Merck as healthcare in 148 countries is key example

Cloud and AWS announcements


Elastic DRS and Vmotion are key features for AWS environment. Full SDDC stack using elastic DRS. Available in mid 2017 and Tech preview today.


Vmware cross-cloud Services – New SaaS offerings – Guido Appenzeller – Daimler have 3 clouds at the moment and work with Vmware very closely. Now supporting 7 cloud providers. Different APIs can cause an issue. Privacy laws are very serious and still considered. Changing tech and people is key. Traditional silos are dissolving and requires this agility and to be modular.


Why can’t we do the same platform for public cloud  using Cross cloud services to manage across all clouds. Search for VMs across filters for various clouds. You can also filter by applications !!!  UI is smooth and deploying NSX achieved in a few mouse clicks on AWS. NSX cloud agent can manage all networking for an application on AWS. Deploying 3 tier security policy for a web app is short and simple to do. Policy for encryption inside the instance for AWS is powerful. The future will be to encrypt between application between on premises and off.


Closing Remarks

I thoroughly enjoyed the keynote and the forward looking thoughts on how cloud and SDDC will come together to offer choice, flexibility and a path forward for the digital transformation journey.

Life could get boring – not anymore – OpenTechCast is here

It’s true what they say about trying something new and breaking down your personal barriers but it’s only once in a blue moon that a group of passionate community folk come together and decide to go it alone and launch their own podcast.

So welcome to the birth of a new, exciting and hopefully invigorating podcast….DRUM ROLL please…


» Read more

VMworld 2016 – Who’s going to be tomorrow ?

CaptureJust to think that it’s that time of year again when tech officianados from around the world descend upon the hallowed grounds of VMworld 2016 in search of the unicorn, the golden tip or even the life changing keynote that will allow them to be inspired when they return home.

You’ve all read the headlines and no doubt many are dubious of what going back to Vegas will be like after the joys of the Moscone but no doubt it will still be an impressive conference in the US and in Europe. It’s what YOU make of it and how YOU make the most of your time that will set you apart from the others that persist in squeezing as many sessions as they can into 1 day.

All the events kick off from Monday 29th August in Vegas and for those waiting for the European event it’s all going to start from Monday 17th October in Barcelona. I want you all to make your time well spent no matter what as I have done in previous years and again will do so this year.


My Tips


  1. Wear comfy footwear – There’s a ton of walking to be done at both venues. Make sure you are well prepared and try and coordinate your activities so you arent forever bouncing from 1 end to the other.
  2. Stay hydrated – Make sure you don’t binge on alcohol every evening and carry a water bottle with you to ensure you stay awake, sane, and full of life during the few days whilst there.
  3. Be yourself – There’s a lot of pressure to try and be the one that is recognised by others at a strong influencer or a contributor so only do what you can. Not all of us are extroverts so if you find talking 1:1 instead of large group or vice-versa then stick to your guns. No doubt if you don’t stay hidden and you talk to others then you’ll be a name to be remembered.
  4. Be social – This isn’t just in person but more professionally. Use Twitter to voice your comments and use hashtags and be part of the fun.
  5. Meet at least 3 new people a day – It’s easier said than done but you’ll find that if you smile and introduce yourself to others (at after event, in the hangspace area, in sessions or in the solutions exchange) you’ll feel so much better for branching your network. Don’t be afraid to talk to familiar bloggers that you admire and also new and upcoming community folk.
  6. Try something new – Whether it’s entering a competition,talking to a CEO,partying like it’s 1995 or simply trying some new cuisine, make sure you do something new. Breaking out of our comfort zones is something techies hate to do but it can be rewarding once you try it.


SAY HELLO TO ME !! (Only in Barcelona)


I promise I won’t sell you all the solutions and products I have access to. Instead I’ll be wanting to branch out my own network and get to know people I have conversed with over Twitter and LinkedIn and also see how I can educate you and hopefully educate myself at the same time. I’d love to learn about your challenges and also see what’s working in your organisation and what’s not. Perhaps a short interview with you to go up on my blog would be beneficial to you and I.

Whatever the outcome, come say Hi as I have done with numerous folk over the last 4-5 years and stayed close friends ever since.


See you all in Barcelona !!

Cloudcamp (June 2016) – We’ve done cloud, what’s next ?

I finally made time to attend this event that has long been in my list of events to go to. If you haven’t heard of it before it’s a London based meetup chaired by Joe Baguley (VMware CTO) and Simon Wardley (Cloud computing officianado) revolving around all things cloud and future looking technology that will disrupt your way of thinking.


So what goes on at an event named after a fluffy white object inside a camp ?

Well……Simon opened the evening talking about the famous ‘Art of War’ referring to Chinese military strategist and how the Wardley mapping technique can be applied to companies and the way in which they operate – Link. It was an interesting conversation and very unlike the normal tech conferences that you’d normally attend such as VMUGs and other user groups. The focus was very much around tech, business and economics which opened my eyes to a different perspective on the inner workings of a business.

This led onto Lightning talks where various people had volunteered to talk about a topic that was close to their heart for a maximum of 5 mins. If you didn’t like any of the presenters you had the option to red card them but luckily all of them had some interesting stories to tell. A colleague of mine, Paul Mackay (VCE), talked about AI and how robots would come to dominate the future of technology. An interesting view of how we could be out of jobs in the future. Names such as IBM Watson and Deepblue featured. Some more reading for me I think….


This was followed by a Panel discussion compered by Joe Baguley and 1st time attendees were encouraged (forced !!) to come onto stage and take part including ME !!! Topics thrown out to us panelists ranged from serverless computing with its pros and cons along with how Enterprises adopt to cloud computing and what they fear the most.

Serverless computing, in particular AWS Lambda, was talked about and the audiences had varying views on how mature it is today. The key message here was that it was also referred to as ‘function-as-a-service‘, by the CTO of a startup specialising in cheaper mobile calls in foreign countries, and he explained how it was in use exclusively for many code functions for his company. The point here was that operationally it was very difficult to monitor and manage and when it breaks or doesn’t work how do you know who to blame be it the developer or AWS themselves. Of course the efficiencies gained here are that the costs are very low as billing is carried out based on the memory the code uses along with the execution time.

It was good talking about my opinions on how Enterprises are embracing cloud and relaying some of the fears that I see when talking to customers and reading articles on cloud consumption.

The evening culminated in an informal networking discussion with peers with some beer/pizza courtesy of the event sponsors on the night. A great way to talk to developers, CTO’s and other folk who may never get the chance to interact with in your day job.

Having the event start at 6.30pm means that most people can finish work and come along without sacrificing their day. A Plus point in my opinion !!

So would I attend again ?? OH YES. If I can make time to attend the next event I will be there for sure. Would love to see you too.

EMC Rapidfire – Bite sized EMC World

rapid_fire_by_lordhayabusa357-d717n9fComing to a UK City near you, watch out for this jam packed event in the month of June. Not all of us were blessed to attend EMC world earlier in May but fear not….this event is designed to give you the information you need to succeed in 2016 and deliver bite sized knowledge chunks in order for you to understand and apply the vision of EMC to your business.

These events will give you a flavour for all things concerning the Modern Data Center, I.T. Transformation and the importance of cloud computing. Armed with this knowledge is where you can make a real difference in contributing to your companies success.

These half day events are taking place all over the UK&I and I’d encourage you to sign up before places run out. Dates and Cities are summarised below.


8th June 2016 – Chelsea Football Club LONDON- Register HERE

14th June 2016 – EMC MANCHESTER – Register HERE

16th June 2016 – Printworks DUBLIN – Register HERE

21st June 2016 – The Library Society of Advocates ABERDEEN – Register HERE

23rd June 2016 – Sheraton Grand Hotel EDINBURGH – Register HERE


EMCWorld 2016 – It’s going to be epic…

Well what else can I say.

2016 is going to be of epic proportion at EMCWorld and a face meltingly awesome year to coin an illustrious leader you all know of – Hope you don’t mind Chad.

Personally it’s the year to think transformation and how you or your business can stay competitive and relevant and EMCWorld is the place where you will see conversations evolved from last year and new conversations around the art of possible and where the state of the industry is going.

Personally, I can’t wait to see all the content and follow the many ways of receiving the hot news as it is announced. Unfortunately for us Brits, this means most of the key announcements will be made on our special day off work but it won’t stop you from hearing the news via all sorts of media sources.

I’m super excited to be promoting a lot of content via Twitter and of course via this blog but there are multiple ways to stay up to date and receive information realtime.

Virtual EMCWorld is your way of having insight into the conference for those that cannot be in Vegas and will be broadcasting keynotes live as well as all the EMC TV content. Names like David Goulden, Joe Tucci, Michael Dell, Jeremy Burton, Chad Sakac and a host of leaders will all be featuring in keynotes that are going to WOW a lot of people.

You can also follow one of my favourite podcasts, The Source, for a daily summary as each day close.

The event starts with the Keynote on 2nd May 10:00 – 11:30 AM (UTC-8) Pacific Time (US & Canada) with some key announcements to be made on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 at the same time.

Oh and before I forget – Duran Duran will be one of the bands performing this year so for those of you who will be attending the evening festivities don’t forget to sing all those 80s classics.

Here’s some links to help you navigate what is sure to be an eye watering event and for the first time this year, for you millennials especially, you can also follow EMC on Snapchat for some great behind the scenes and exclusive footage.



Live streaming – emcworld.com/virtual

Snapchat – Follow emccorp

Twitter – Use #EMCWorld and follow @emcworld






vSphere Beta Program is open

VMware are excited to announce the upcoming VMware vSphere Beta Program. This program enables participants to help define the direction of the most widely adopted industry-leading virtualization platform. Folks who want to participate in the program can now indicate their interest by filling out this simple form. The vSphere team will grant access to the program to selected candidates in stages. This vSphere Beta Program leverages a private Beta community to download software and share information. VMware will provide discussion forums, webinars, and service requests to enable you to share your feedback with us.
You can expect to download, install, and test vSphere Beta software in your environment or get invited to try new features in a VMware hosted environment. All testing is free-form and we encourage you to use our software in ways that interest you. This will provide VMware with valuable insight into how you use vSphere in real-world conditions and with real-world test cases, enabling them to better align their product with your business needs.
Some of the many reasons to participate in this beta opportunity:
  • Receive early access to the vSphere Beta products
  • Interact with the vSphere Beta team consisting of Product Managers, Engineers, Technical Support, and Technical Writers
  • Provide direct input on product functionality, configurability, usability, and performance
  • Provide feedback influencing future products, training, documentation, and services
  • Collaborate with other participants, learn about their use cases, and share advice and learnings
Participants are expected to:
  • Online acceptance of the Master Software Beta Test Agreement will be required prior to visiting the Private Beta Community
  • Install beta software within 3 days of receiving access to the beta product
  • Provide feedback within the first 4 weeks of the beta program
  • Submit Support Requests for bugs, issues and feature requests
  • Complete surveys and beta test assignments
  • Participate in the private beta discussion forum and conference calls

Here is the link to signup – vSphere Beta Registration Form

Flash First – Could this really be the year ?


Honestly, what do you all think ? I’m certain that the tipping point has been reached and the relative costs of flash media vs. spinning disk is now a compelling reason for all to consider flash for their primary storage.

Every year, vendors come out with their spin on what’s likely to be the hottest thing since sliced bread. Obviously, none of us are time travellers but there are many industry analysts (IDC, Gartner etc.) and also visionaries that try to set the pace of change in technology by thinking about the next big thing. Technology changes as quick as fashion does and we see shifts in perception every few months or even quicker but this has been brewing up for quite some time and I believe that we are going to see significant growth in All Flash this year. Watch this space…

» Read more

1 2 3 4 5 10