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.