VMware: Was VMworld Barcelona a swan song or a Rally to Arms?

VMware’s VMworld conference season is now over. Its Barcelona shindig has just finished and everybody has flown home, is flying home, or is winding down on the beaches of the Catalonian coast pending the upcoming OpenStack summit. I did not attend the Las Vegas event; however, from what I have gathered from speaking to folks who attended and from reading about it, it was not well received. Complaints included a lack of new releases and what at first glance appeared to be muddled messaging and poor keynotes. However, fast-forward to VMworld Barcelona, and you could not have had a more night-and-day moment.

Historically, VMware’s European conference has been lackluster ever since it was moved from its original late-February slot to its current Autumn resting-place, October. The larger US conference had a larger audience, lasted longer, had all the important new releases, and got first shout at the keynotes. Not this time. VMworld Barcelona was extended by an extra day, and more importantly, it got all the major announcements: vSphere 6.5, VSAN 6.5, vRealize Automation and Operations, a new version of Log Insight, and the biggie, vCloud on AWS. Further, rather than being able to sit in the hang space and mouth out the keynote in time with Pat’s speech, Europe got brand-new keynotes.

VMware: Was VMworld Barcelona a swan song or a rally to arms?

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Copenhagen VMworld Europe 20011

Well that time has arrived, and myself and the family travel to Copenhagen for the annual european VMware fest, we arrive on Monday and we are staying at the Tivoli hotel in the City Center.  I am hoping to do some live blogging at the event this year.  it all depends on whether I can get WiFi access at the show. Smile 

Hopefully they will have as good connections as they had in Vegas.  There was a vast improvement in connectivity there over previous years.

So what Am I looking forward too?

Well the Veeam party for one Smile  they always throw a good bash, but primarily, the networking with fellow Virtualization geeks like myself and catching up with people from previous meetings.  the majority of VMware Europe will be there including rock stars like Duncan Epping, Frank Denneman, Alan Renouf and his secret alterego PowerCLIman

One thing I am hoping is that the Solutions Exchange will be a little more interesting than Vegas,  there was a distinct lack of innovation at that show this year, I think that corporate RnD budgets have taken a hammering with the current financial climate.  I think I will actually attend a couple of labs this time too.  The ones at Vegas got rave reviews kudos to all those that were involved in creating and keeping them running.

So for those of you who are going I hope we can meet up, and those of you that can not, hopefully you will get benefit from the content that will be posted here and on other sites

Rimmer’s Round Up of VMworld Las Vegas 2011

VMware is definitely more than just a regular virtualization company and continues along the bleeding edge of innovation.  As Paul Maritz explains in this interview, VMware is growing into an IT Solutions company, focused on 3 key areas:

  • More efficient, automated infrastructure,
  • Renewal of applications – develop new apps to service the Facebook generation and
  • Renewal of end-user computing.

It was the end-user computing ‘angle’ of VMworld that was of most interest to me.  I was entranced Steve Herrod’s Tuesday keynote, always delivered from a business aspect as well as technical, despite him being the CTO.  With around half of the keynote being focused on end-user computing and applications, it demonstrated VMware’s thrust into this arena.

Vittorio Viarengo’s contribution to the keynote was fabulous – both in terms of content but also from an entertainment perspective.  As many have already blogged about, Appblast is really exciting, as is Horizon Mobile and Project Octopus.  It will be interesting, however,  to observe how VMware will deliver all of this cohesively, over time, to truly move beyond the PC-era.

I spoke with many attendees and as always the Hands on Labs (HoL) really were the highlight for many and, as a London VMUG steering committee member, I am really excited to learn that the HoLs will be available for all, not just VMworld attendees, in 2012, learn more here.

A personal highlight for me as a newly “inaugurated” 2011 vExpert, was meeting lots of my fellow vExperts at a program meeting hosted by John Troyer.  I can honestly say I have never encountered such a community surrounding a technology/company.  The opportunity to also meet many of the folks I follow on Twitter was another highlight of VMworld for me.

I spent most of my days working in the Solutions Exchange with one of my clients, Centrix Software. The Solutions Exchange had around 250 exhibitors promoting their wares, ranging from the big and mighty vendors down to new, innovative companies, such as Centrix, in the Innovators Pavilion.  As I blogged prior to VMworld, many companies that have previously participated in this innovator pavilion have subsequently been acquired.

It is unlikely I will be at VMworld Copenhagen this year.  I still feel it’s a mistake to hold the European event so close to the US one, but unfortunately this year there is a major event in the UK, IPExpo being held at exactly the same time as VMworld Copenhagen and it looks like I will be there instead.

If you’re attending Copenhagen, I can guarantee you will experience the same community spirit and “awesome sauce” of a superbly staged event by VMware for its customers – enjoy!



Voting is now closed for this years VMworld submissions

Ok so Voting is now closed,  hopefully the sessions that you voted for will  be accepted and we will be all happy, but some how I do not think that will be the case, once again the party will be overburdened with Vendors plying thinly disguised sales pitches and VCE staff toeing the company line.

To be truthful I was disappointed with the sessions this year,  not the content or subjects, but the presenters.

if you removed EMC or VMware there would have been hardly any submissions that made it through to the voting stage. Now whether that was an indication of lack of external content submission, or more an indication of a Machiavellian plot to reject not VCE content before voting I cannot say.  

Another thing that annoyed me this year has been the blatant hi-jacking of popular independent content and repackaging it with VCE Staff.

Point in case, the Storage Super-Heavyweight Challenge, run by Cody Bunch, with a number of senior Storage bods you may have heard of,  Chad Sacac, Vaughn Stewart etc.  it extremely similar to and Q and A session run by Rick Sherver (EMC) containing wait for it, yep, Chad and Vaughn,

Another one:- The Annual Ask the Experts, staffed by senior Bloggers, has also been hijacked.

One of the things I loved about VMworld was that it was Pseudo Independent.   The little guy had a chance to have his say and do his session. 

I wait with baited breath to see how many of those session are not staffed by VCE personal.

VMworld Session Voting is now Open!!

The Voting is open

This year there are a record 1164  sessions that you can vote for and if you vote for any, vote for Session 1843 – why I hear you ask?

Well to be fair it is a shameless plug 🙂 but that aside, where else are you going to get Forbes Guthrie, Scott Lowe and Maish Saidel-Keesing talking about Design practice.  for the uninitiated these three illuniartie have submitted a session as an opportunity to present your questions and voice your opinions on vSphere Design at VMworld. The Shameless plug relate to the fact that yours truely is the session moderator.

so what exactly is Session 1843 Your vSphere Design and a Session with the Experts all about? below is the blerb from the VMworld website.

Every infrastructure administrator would like to have the best of all worlds from their virtual infrastructure. You want a solid and sound foundation to build your datacenter and your cloud environment for the future. Join in this session with the 3 authors of VMware vSphere Design who have "written the book" on how to get the most out your environment. Come join us for a one hour panel session where you can quiz the Experts on your Virtual Infrastructure Design. Join the Virtualization Experts and Authors; Forbes Guthrie from vReference, Scott Lowe of EMC, and Maish Saidel-Keesing from Technodrone for chance to get the answers to your vSphere design problems.

That side and forget about the fact that I am the moderator, I think that the chance to be in a question and answer session with these three gurus is too good a thing to miss.

If you think so as well – then come on over and cast your vote on the Public Session Voting. You will need a VMworld account – which is easy to set up.

the list below is taken from the site FAQs,

Q: Who can participate in Session Voting?
A: Anyone with a
vmworld.com account can vote.
Q: How long is Session Voting open?
A: Session Voting is open May 9 – May 18.
Q: Am I voting on sessions for both events – US and EMEA?
A: Yes, this is global and 80% of sessions selected will occur at both events.
Q: I’d like to vote on a specific track and/or session. How can I do this?
A: Once you login to the voting site, select a Track and a dropdown menu will appear with the relevant topics. You can also search by Area of Interest (Healthcare, SMB, etc.) or Keywords (Session ID, title, speaker, etc.).
Q: How many sessions can I vote on?
A: You can vote on as many sessions as you’d like. You can only cast one vote per session.
Q: How do I cast my vote?
A: Click on the “Thumbs Up” symbol next to the Session ID. You will receive confirmation that your vote has been counted. To remove a vote, you will need to click on the on the “Thumbs Up” symbol again and this will remove the vote.
Q: Will my votes be saved?
A: Yes, your votes will be saved and you will be able to view them each time you login to the voting site.

What are the technical level descriptions?
A: There are three technical levels:

  • Business Solution – Sessions in this category will cover business benefits and real world examples. These sessions are suitable for any audience interested in the benefits of using certain technologies within their organization.
  • Technical – Sessions in this category will cover technical aspects and share best practices. Targeted to anyone with a technical background, but with little to no previous knowledge about the specific topic.
  • Advanced Technical – Sessions in this category will dive deep into the technology and will assume that the audience has previous knowledge and experience with the specific topic.

Q: Who should I contact if I have any additional questions?
A: You can send an email to

Rimmergram VMworld final day wind up

What can I say that every other blogger hasn’t already posted about VMworld this week in Copenhagen? Over 6,000 attendees, 113 exhibitors in the solutions exchange, over 5000 labs delivered, it broke all previous records.

On Wednesday TechTarget announced their Customer Awards.  Personally I think this is a great idea and one that should be replicated in the US.  Vendors still get recognition as the winning customers’ solutions are highlighted and it’s a refreshing change to bog-standard product awards.   I’m immensely proud that one of key London VMUG contributors, Simon Gallagher, won not only Best Remote Office/Home Office Virtualization Project but also Best of Show – well done Simon!

I spent most of my time in the Solutions Exchange, which was always buzzing, working the Centrix Software booth.  Both CA and NetApp had some great crowd attractions – loved the guys in their cycling shorts as it made a nice change to see some guy “booth bunnies”!!

The VMworld party on Wednesday evening was great fun, where I met up with all the attending London VMUG chaps and spent some time chatting with my old friend Mr VDIInfo himself, John Dodge.  Unfortunately, Thursday morning I was unable to post a blog about my day due to being technically challenged with connectivity – it wasn’t due to a hangover, honest Tom!

One tweet that struck a chord with me was that with fewer attendees than San Francisco meant that customers had better access to the same VMware executives attending Copenhagen.

For those that couldn’t attend, please check out the VMworld videos on YouTube, all providing good summary of happenings at the event, as well as the community page at VMworld.com for further content.

No date was announced at the conference for 2011, but I believe it will be in October again.  This means that for sponsors that support both VMworld in US and Europe you’re going to be pretty busy again next year.  For those that also support Citrix Synergy in Europe and IP Expo in the UK (as one of my other clients, RES Software, do) you are going to be really resource challenged again, so get taking the vitamin supplements now!!

So a fond farewell to VMworld 2010, looking forward to VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas!

Rimmergram’s thoughts of the first day of VMworld Europe 2010

With over 6,000 attendees and 113 exhibitors, VMworld Copenhagen has beaten all previous records and is testament to the continuing momentum in the virtualisation industry.  The keynote was hosted by Maurizio Carli, Senior VP and General Manager, VMware EMEA, but was the same content and speakers, Paul Maritz, Rick Jackson and Steve Herrod, as San Francisco and wasn’t being streamed live as in San Francisco.  However,  the hall was packed and many people were blogging and tweeting live from the session. I spoke to many customers who were getting a lot from the sessions and the solutions hall had a lot of foot fall.

VMworld TV reported on the first day with my good friend and VCP#1 Susan Gudenkauf and Douglas Philips.  Susan interviewed me on my thoughts around Social Media, not just at the show but after VMworld and how people can take advantage of social media for ongoing education and information.  As a member of the London VMware User Group steering committee I said that the VMUGs provide an essential element of that ongoing community education. I hope it gets posted on VMworld TV!

Of course the other aspect of the community “spirit” was the all the Tuesday night parties!  I was lucky enough to receive an invite to the CA party as well as the Veeam one.  I fully intended to attend both, but unfortunately got held up and couldn’t make the CA one held at Wallmans nightclub, but did attend Veeam’s at The LOT – where I met up with many of the blogging community, as well as some old friends from VMware. I heard from a colleague that the CA one was awesome, it was a circus theme, so shame I had to miss that one, sorry Andi Mann L.

The strange thing is today’s keynote general session, that was published in the printed agenda, (but has disappeared from the online agenda) has been cancelled and replaced by 3 separate breakout sessions – I wonder why, does anybody know?

Anyway, onto Day 2 – where Tech Target will be announcing the winners of the VMworld Customer Awards later this afternoon. I hope it’s going to be another exciting and buzzing day!