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VMworld Europe 2018 Sunday

VMworld Europe 2018 officially started today (4th November) with registration opening this afternoon. The IT world has descended again upon Barcelona and you can’t go far in the airport or on the streets or metro without overhearing talk of virtualisation and VMware.

pyrreneesAfter flying in over the snow-capped Pyrenees (yay for November!) the Sunday offers a chance to get settled in, collect your conference badge, and find your bearings before the doors fully open tomorrow,

Delegates visiting the Fira Gran Via conference centre this afternoon got a glimpse of what is in store this week. The Hands on Labs area is adjacent to the main entrance in Hall 6.0 again, with the VMware Store opposite. Further down the hall are the VMTN, vCommunity, and {code} areas, and the VMware Education lounge. These areas are currently off limits to us regular delegates, but doors open bright and early tomorrow.


After registering there’s the option to collect your VMworld 2018 bag or –in a new scheme this year- donate the equivalent money to a charity. And don’t worry if you can’t register today- the desks are open all week.

Top tips for registration:

  • Remember your passport (or other “Government issued ID”- you’ll need it to collect your badge.
  • Install the VMworld App (and login to it) before you get to the venue- this makes badge pickup really quick.
  • Swing by the information desk and ask for your complimentary 10-trip Metro ticket.

vRockstarSponsorsThe vCommunity is out in full force as usual and I’ve already caught up with several familiar faces. Tonight I’ll be attending the annual vRockstar gathering where I’ll be looking to meet up with even more friends from previous years and make some new ones too.

VMworld 2017 Europe Monday

clip_image001Yesterday the VMworld faithful started arriving at El-Prat Airport in Barcelona, heading to registration at the Fira Gran Via, and checking into their hotels in the city. To get the event started the annual vRockstar gathering offered the chance to renew old friendships and make some new ones. This year vRockstar found a new home by the marina at the “Soho House” club. Thanks again to the organisers Patrick Redknap and Marco Broeken and the numerous sponsors they managed to persuade to dip into their pockets.

Monday morning, bright and early it was time to go back to the Fira and have the Monday morning explore. Monday is primarily Partner/TAM day but there are a number of sessions open to all attendees, plus the Hands-On Labs, Education Lounge, and VMTN Community area are all up and running in the VMVillage. Continue reading

VMworld Europe 2016 Social, Community, and vPeople


be_Connected – The people-networking side of VMworld is vital

VMworld is not all about announcements and sessions, some of the most valuable content is found in the social and community side of the event. It brings together over ten thousand people in the IT industry and there’s always lots to talk about and plenty to learn outside of the scheduled keynotes and breakouts. The social side isn’t just about popping out for a few vBeers courtesy of a sponsor- it’s the opportunity to meet your fellow professionals, hear what their up to, what they’ve seen at the show, what problems they are facing back at the datacentre or office, and possibly what solutions they can offer for your own issues. It makes for a week of long days, but it’s definitely worth it.

The community side of VMworld started for me even before leaving for Barcelona, as I had an impromptu meetup at London Gatwick with a couple of other vExperts (great to meet you Mark and Giuliano) who were waiting for the same flight.

vRockstar2Upon touchdown at El-Prat there was just time to check-in to the hotel and change before heading off for the opening social gatherings organised by the awesome events team that is Patrick Redknap and Marco Broeken– the Cohesity “Pre-Beer Party” at the Obama English Pub and then the annual vRockstar party held at the Hard Rock Cafe. Thanks to the vRockstar sponsorsRubrik, Nutanix, Veeam, VMUG, Hytrust, EMC Elect, Zerto, and Exelerys. These events were a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make some new ones before the conference officially started the next day.


WP_20161017_11_29_36_Pro_LIMonday morning saw my first opportunity to get into the Gran Fira venue, register, and get down to the VMVillage for my first taste of the Hands-On Labs. There were prizes to be won, and I finally met Noell Grier when collecting a SocialLabs T-shirt from the Cloud Credibility booth. This area was also the scene of a “Team London VMUG” photo opportunity later that morning.


For me, Monday evening started with a walk down the beach to the Dell EMC reception at W Barcelona, right up the tower at the Eclipse bar. This featured VMworld themed cocktails such as the “vMojito” and an “All-Flash Martini” and stunning views across the city as the sun set. Later on in the evening I got a taxi across town to the Nutanix event at Cafe Ocana. Again, there were some regular faces and I met a whole host of new people, including Stephen Foskett of TechFieldDay fame.

WP_20161020_14_01_54_Pro_LIAs I mentioned in my session write up of the Tuesday, the day kicked off with the Keynote and as I was lucky enough to have a bloggers pass (thanks again Corey Romero and the team) I managed to get a reserved seat right down at the front. Tuesday morning was also the first opportunity to get into the Solutions Exchange. Here there’s the opportunity not only to pick up some vendor SWAG but, more importantly, find out what the latest product developments in the VMware ecosystem are.

WP_20161018_20_13_23_Moment (2)

OpenTechCast podcasters Gareth and Amit interviewing (or being photobombed by) Dave Simpson

Tuesday evening was the vExpert Reception held at L’eggs with a brief appearance by Pat Gelsinger himself. Also present were the OpenTechCast team conducting interviews.

After that drew to a close a small group of us took a trip to a local pub with London VMUG’s man on the ground, Alaric. Whilst the idea of a late-night party in a beach-front club is all well and good, the opportunity to have a chat with friends without having to shout was much appreciated.

Between sessions, much of my Wednesday was spent in the Hang Space and Bloggers area in the VMvillage including some last minute preparation for by vBrownbag presentation and some time to catch up on both my own blog posts and what others had been writing.


WP_20161019_18_53_26_Pro_LIFinishing up Wednesday was the VMworld Party. held in the keynote hall. This year the headline band was Australian outfit “Empire of the Sun”. Again the networking continued, the hall is large enough that even with the band or DJ in full flow at the front there is space at the other end of the arena for meet-ups and conversations.

Thursday is generally a quieter day at VMworld, and it offered the chance to do one last trawl through the Solutions Exchange- looking up those products and services that people had mentioned were worth a look at. The VMvillage got quieter and quieter as the afternoon went on as people left for the airport. An ideal time to take stock of the week’s happenings and finally get a go on that circular pool table!


Circular Pool Table in the Hang Space

VMworld Europe

VMworld Europe 2016 Day 1

WP_20161017_09_39_34_Pro_LIMonday 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.


WP_20161017_08_15_49_Pro_LI (2)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.

VMworld Europe

VMworld Europe 2015 Kicks Off

The anticipation, the build up, the packing. All done, and I made it to Barcelona yesterday evening to start VMworld today. With over 10,000 attendees and hundreds of sessions and labs to choose from this is going to be a busy few days!

First up, thanks to the vRockstar team (and the sponsors) for organising last night’s welcome event. It was a great opportunity to make new friends and finally meet all those twitterers in person.

vRockstar 2015 at the Hard Rock Café, Barcelona

vRockstar 2015 at the Hard Rock Café, Barcelona

Today’s schedule included discussions with vendors, hands-on-labs, and a couple of breakout sessions- MGT6521-QT “Adapting to Change: The IT Admin Role in the Hybrid Cloud Era” and the “NewV-101 New V Welcome Session”. The first of these was one of the new “Quick Talks”, at 30 minutes long. I quite like this format mixed in with the traditional full-length sessions, it allows me to look into a broader set of topics that I might not add to my schedule if it was a longer session.

MGT6521-QT Adapting to Change: The IT Admin Role in the Hybrid Cloud Era

MGT6521-QT Adapting to Change: The IT Admin Role in the Hybrid Cloud Era

Despite the brevity of the QuickTalk there was plenty of interesting material. In the world of constantly changing technology IT needs to stay relevant, and the role of the IT admin is evolving because of this. For example where the IT admin would have traditionally written ad-hoc scripts, the need for more automation in IT means that this process is now much more akin to formal software development- a much more structured approach is required. There is more of a focus on enabling the business, providing self service and self healing systems. The IT admin is ideally placed to handle this with their intimate knowledge of the systems and hands-on approach, the role isn’t going to go away but it will change.

I rounded off the formal sessions for this starter day with the NewV welcome session. This covered the basics of how the conference works, and whilst most of the material was already covered on the website leading up to the event, it’s nice to have a refresher and any gaps filled in. We even had the VMware CMO onstage to reassure everyone that the world wasn’t going to fall apart following the announcement from Dell and EMC (who are an 80% shareholder in VMware) this morning.

VMworld 2015 New V

VMworld 2015 New V

So, on to tomorrow with the General Session to kick the day off at 9am.