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.

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)

sanjay

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.

 

SDDC

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)

betomorrow

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.

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 !!

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

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