This post will focus on the better part of the VMworld Tuesday, from both a time and an enjoyment perspective. Things didn’t start too well, I’d not gone to bed too late, but it seemed that I was party to Barcelona’s loudest ever relationship breakup which took place outside my window at about 4.30 AM, which meant that I failed to get to the vBreakfast for 7AM (sorry Fred, I definitely will make it one year!) and I’ve already mentioned my experience with hunting for power to blog about the General Session in another post, but as soon as the General Session had finished then there was plenty more to get stuck in to.
The first thing I did was take a look around the Solutions Exchange. There’s always a lot to see here and it’s an interesting exercise to see who’s where - who’s made strides over the past 12 months, who hasn’t kept up and so on! There’s also always swag to be collected (or avoided!) competitions and prize draws to enter, the usual scenes from any show floor, just bigger than most.
I had some very interesting conversations with quite a few vendors out there, some I can name and some I cannot :) That said, I am also a VMUG Leader, which gives me the VMUG Sponsorship angle to discuss with a vendor, even if I do not or cannot use their products myself. I had a chat with the guys from Cohesity, caught a demo of the Hitachi Enterprise Console (more vRA stuff, which is something I have started to become more interested in, personally), looked at some of the VMware solutions, as their stand dominated the hall. The most interesting swag item came from NetApp, a pair of VR goggles, which I have yet to get to grips with, but they’re a proper solid device, not one of those odd card foldouts. I also got to have a chat about the idea of VMware VVols on NetApp FAS, which was something that had admittedly passed me by until this point. There was a big queue at the Veeam stand today as well, maybe something about a party?
I also had a stroll over to the VMware Education booth to pick up a Certification pin and to the bloggers area to have a nose at the vBrownbag folks. I really must get my act together and get my name down for a talk next year! Now I’ve written that down here, it might get held to it.
VMUG Leader Lunch
Next up, was the VMUG Leaders Lunch. This is a networking opportunity for the Leaders and VMUG staff and also a chance for VMware to come along and say hello. There was a UK Leaders table at the back, in typical Brit style, but I’m new on the scene, so this was great. I’d still not met all the UK VMUG Leaders, so this bagged me a few more. Nice to see that Nathan Byrne from the UK North West VMUG got an award as well. Congrats buddy! So we got fed, we got recognised, we got thanked, then we got Joe and Pat. Baguely and Gelsinger that is. Fresh from the announcements of the General Session and the Press briefing afterwards. They were probably hungry! What they definitely were though is generous again with their time as we got to ask them basically any questions we wanted and were rewarded with some very good, entertaining and forthright answers. No prizes for guessing that AWS and licensing were hot topics here.
TAM Customer Central
The rest of the afternoon was taken up by a couple of additional TAM Sessions which are held in the Tam Customer Central area, (next to the baggage drop) I attended were these;
- TAM 3838: vRA and NSX - The Unvarnished Truth
- TAM3840: VMware Validated Design for SDDC - Design decisions and Best Practices
These were two cracking sessions, with luminaries such as Jad El-Zein, Ryan Johnson and Mike Brown in attendance, amongst a host of others.
Hmm, so yet another vRA item on my agenda, I think I had left this long enough, so it seems that 2016 was the year for me. With the talk around VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF), integration with the IBM and AWS Clouds and so on, it was interesting for me to get into a discussion around vRA and NSX, about what’s in VMware Foundation (NSX) and what is not (vRA). Then on to what must be one of the hot topics of the schedules, VMware Validated Designs (VVD’s). I think I saw more sessions available on this than anything else. You can see why, when you hear what VMware are doing with them. Internally, BU’s are having to work to the VVD’s to ensure that when they amend products and add or deprecate features, that they do not compromise the VVD, which means that when new stuff comes out from VMware, it will work with other stuff from VMware.
A chunk of what goes on in TCC, stays in TCC, as there’s NDA’s to respect, but I am relatively confident that I can say that I found out that VCF and the SDDC VVD are created by the same BU at VMware. VCF is a “Product”, whereas VVD is a “Manual”.
This is a topic that interests me, it covers a lot of the future of VMware’s development direction, so this is fuel for future blog posts from myself at some point in the future.
This day flew by, to be honest, but it was not done yet. I was already running late for the vExpert party and so I just had time for the usual quick pit-stop back at the apartment and then off in to town. I bumped in to Ather Beg and Gareth Edwards from LonVMUG/OpenTechCast on a random metro platform and so we arrived together, just in time for some decent tapas and some drinks. Their audio kit looks very impressive, can’t wait to listen to the interviews! Then Mr James Kilby and myself took part in some interesting Italian taxi passenger mathematics (you had to be there) as we migrated to the Veeam party. The Veeam party, at Shoko once again, the salient points being lots of geeks drinking one too many, a considerable number of lonely geeks leering at girls wearing not much, a cracking light show and a hidden competition - yes folks, each year the staff compete to see who can move the largest piece of furniture through the biggest crowd, without maiming anyone. Always entertaining!