VMworld is coming back to Europe this autumn, with thousands of delegates attending hundreds of sessions to keep up-to-date in virtualisation technologies. The annual conference has been running since 2004, and since 2008 there’s been a European event alongside the US one. My first VMworld was last year and this year I’m privileged to have been offered an official Bloggers pass to the 2016 event in Barcelona. Many thanks to Corey Romero and the VMware community team for this opportunity. Continue reading
With 60 days to go to the Barcelona event, the Content Catalog for VMworld Europe 2016 is filling up and the Schedule Builder will be coming online later this month. Here’s a look at some of the sessions already listed that I’m hoping to get onto my timetable. There’s lots to choose from, and this is by no means a complete or final list for my schedule- just five highlights I’ve spotted in the list so far.
1- The Power Hour: Deep Dive, DevOps, and New Features of PowerCLI [INF8092] with Luc Dekens and Alan Renouf
I saw Alan and Luc in action last year where they were “Automating Everything with PowerCLI Deep Dive” (YouTube link) and it was a thoroughly useful session. This is most definitely in my to-do list for 2016.
2- VMware NSX-Deep Dive [NET9152] with Jacob Rapp
There’s a number of sessions on NSX that I’m interested in, but from experience I’m planning on attending the heavier sessions and catching up on the more intro/overview sessions online. This makes my schedule workable, and personally I believe I learn the most this way. This one is currently scheduled for the Tuesday morning straight after the Keynote, so it’s a case of diving in at the deep end!
3- How to Manage Health, Performance, and Capacity of Your Virtualized Data Center Using vSphere with Operations Management [INF8275] with Kyle Ruddy and Himanshu Singh
vSphere with Operations Management is the core of the virtualised infrastructure, and I try hard not to overlook that in favour of the exciting things happening in the surrounding ecosystem. This talk promises demonstrations “of the latest features and capabilities via various scenarios and use cases”, which sounds promising.
4- What’s New with vSphere [INF8375]
Referred to in the Content Catalog as “A VMworld staple”, this session covers everything that’s new to vSphere in 2016 along with future directions the platform is heading in. It was filled last year, so one to book in early this year to get a seat. There’s a series of “What’s New” breakout sessions on throughout the week covering vCenter Server, vSphere, Storage, Horizon, vRealize and more.
5- Troubleshooting vSphere 6 Made Easy: Expert Talk [INF9205] with Ragavendra Kumar and Abhilash Kunhappan
Currently scheduled for last thing on the last day (must make sure I can catch the plane home afterwards!) this session promises insights into the “black art” of vSphere troubleshooting. It will cover the tools and log files available and examples of how to use them.
Not yet signed up for Barcelona in October? You can register here.
For those that have previously been to VMworld (or other conferences) at the Fira Grand Via Barcelona venue there’s a few changes to transport this year. If you’ve walked round the conference centre from the “Europa Fira” metro station to the North entrance used by VMworld (and formerly TechEd Europe) in the past couple of years you’ll have spotted the closed entrance to the metro station ten minutes closer to the front door. Well good news- it’s now open!
— Ian Crawford (@ICT_Crawfie) October 26, 2014
The new metro station is served by an all new line that links the airport terminals to the conference venue- as shown in this tuneful video from TMB Barcelona.
So, what does this all mean for VMworld attendees?
Firstly, there are still Airport Bus Shuttles running on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday (see http://www.vmworld.com/en/europe/hotel-travel.html for times). But if you arrive/leave outside these times and want to travel between the airport and the conference venue, you can use this new “L9 Sud” metro line and an Airport ticket.
Secondly, the “Metro shuttles” that have run in previous years from the “Europa Fira” metro station round to the North entrance are not running this year- attendees are advised to use the L9 Sud metro line from “Europa Fira” to “Fira” instead (or you could take the 10 minute walk). Remember- this won’t cost extra on your metro ticket from the city centre because it will still count as the same journey
Finally, if you have a metro map of Barcelona from a previous trip, it’s worth downloading a new one.
Monday is always a quieter day at VMworld Europe; the Keynotes kick the event off fully tomorrow and most of the sessions on Monday are reserved for Partners and TAM clients. However, there’s still plenty going on for us regular attendees.
Sunday night once again saw vRockstar provide an “unofficial” opening to the event. Thanks to the team and sponsors (Rubrik, Nutanix, Veeam, and the rest) for putting the event on, it was great once again to see faces old and new- several who I hadn’t seen in person for a whole year.
Back over at Fira Grand Via, my Monday agenda featured a couple of sessions, plus the opportunity to explore the Hang Space and Hands-On-Labs area. Here’s a quick run down of some of the content, in all of my posts this week I’m planning on giving the highlights, and linking into deeper-dive pages (or session videos where available) so you can have a closer look if something piques your interest.
Hands-on Lab: SPL-1703-SDC-1: VMware NSX Feature Tour
I worked through the first couple of modules of this, and intend to come back to look at the rest after the event is over. It’s aimed at people looking at NSX and starting a deployment from scratch. The first module was a click-through interactive slideshow of a basic NSX deployment, getting the components installed on a virtual infrastructure. This was extended in the second module where an existing deployment was used to work through adding a logical switch, connecting up some workloads, and checking connectivity. I’d recommend having a look if you have an interest in NSX and aren’t sure where to start. (To find the lab, visit http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/catalog/123 and search for “HOL-1703-SDC-1”)
Virtual Networking: Moving from Hype to Reality with Deep Traffic Analytics [MGT8486-QT]
Staying on the NSX theme, this was a quick-talk format session which formed a useful introduction both on a technical level but also helped me warm up to the more intense sessions coming later in the week. A half-hour long version of an hour-long presentation it showed how important analytics is to making sure a virtual network is correctly configured and traffic is running as it should.
Hands-on Introduction to VMware Cloud Foundation [ELW-1799-FEL-1]
Cloud Foundation was announced at VMworld US in August (plus an announcement of an AWS partnership last week) and this was an ideal opportunity to dive in and get acquainted with some of the new technology through a Hands-On-Lab, with the added benefit of a knowledgeable guide to take the group through it. The product “integrates vSphere, VSAN, and NSX into a single unified stack” that can be run both in a private cloud on-premises but also on a public cloud provider – or both through a elastic hybrid cloud model.
This lab skips the initial setup of the Cloud Foundation and dives straight in with a guided walkthrough of the user interface followed by a practical look at creating and destroying work domains- essentially the independent vSphere clusters carved from the stack and given to a particular task (VDI, generic compute, management etc). A simulated version of this lab is available here – http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/2715 .
Roll on tomorrow, with the “General Session” keynote kicking off the day at 9am. I’m expecting some big announcements there so it should be good.