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!

Rimmergram’s first day thoughts of VMworld Europe 2010

Arriving at the Bella Center on Monday after noon, my first impression was that it is a good conference venue – everything on site.  VMworld Registration was a quick an easy process, no major lines like in San Francisco.  The show floor was still being put together but many vendors are here, so should be good.  The other first impression about Copenhagen is that is WAY expensive, as others have already blogged and tweeted about!  £40 for 4 beers and a diet coke is hard to swallow 🙁 albeit that was hotel prices.

I attended the VMworld VMUG Party at Custom House a great party venue on the water.  Well done to the Danish VMUG team for arranging and thanks to all that sponsored it so we could drink for free 🙂 Many of the industry blogger alumni were present including Eric Sloof, Scott Herold, Doug Hazelman, David Davis and  my old friend too, VCP #1, Ms Susan Gudenkauf.

However,  I do think Copenhagen does not work in the same way that  San Francisco and Cannes do for VMworlds – they both are locations where you can walk between VMworld and the hotels and you get more sense of a “community” in these two locations, walking around you bump into lots of people.  Whereas I feel, so far, that Copenhagen is quite diverse and disparate, and you have to take the metro to the Bella Center from most of the hotels, but will report more once I’ve been here more than 15 hours!

Looking forward to the keynotes today! And working on Centrix Software’s booth in the innovator zone.

VMworld 2010 – TA8623 “Storage Super-Heavyweight Challenge”

Well this was supposed to be mine and Cody’s session, but due to circumstances beyond my control I had to drop out of VMworld San Fran this year.  My thanks go to Mike Laverick for stepping in at the last minute to be joint moderator and compare. I have to admit his eccentric manner was perfect for the session.  I especially liked the opening sequence, shades of HBO there,  I think he has missed his true vocation.  The four panellists are Gods of the Storage area,  now I mean Gods no mere Demi-Gods for this session

  • Adam Carter @ HP
  • Chad Sakac @ EMC
  • Eric Schott @ Dell (formerly EqualLogic)
  • Vaughn Stewart @ NetApp

Now this session was not one your normal run-of-the-mill sessions.   For a start there were over a 1000 people in there :O.  The format of the session was open question, however and this was the rub, to prevent any body going into verbal diarrhoea mode (You know I am looking at you Chad here 😉 ). Any question the punters wanted to ask had to be answered in two minutes and then in one minute during the lightning round.

In the words of Chad “The questions were, shall we say, hard-hitting :-)”

Well – watch for yourself.

Thanks to Chad for this video.

If you thought the session was good and informative please comment after watching the video of course and see if we can get VMware to change their mind and get in on the lists for Copenhagen.

VMworld San Francisco and Copenhagen – which one will you choose?

There have been many Tweets and Blog posts (here’s just one example) about the two events being so close together and the impact on attendance and this is my view on the discussion. The general consensus seems to be the San Francisco VMworld is the “better” one as it has far more lab time, probably due to it being a day longer. But also it is the first one and therefore the news will be announced there and Copenhagen will just be a regurgitation of the San Francisco content.

Having the two events virtually back to back is a mistake in my view. Firstly, the perception that Copenhagen is a lesser event due to fewer days and secondly, because both events will suffer in terms of attendee numbers. By holding the events so close together VMware also loses the opportunity to announce major news twice in one year.

Other than lower attendance numbers, VMware also runs the risk of lower income from the sponsors. For some of the smaller eco-system partners, that would have attended both Cannes and San Francisco, having both events so close together is a huge impact on their resources, not just financial but also human. The smaller sponsors, in all probability, would have at least 50% of their staff, if not more, attend both events. They cannot afford to have those folks out of the office for over 2 weeks virtually back-to-back. The other consideration is the type of sponsorship package they would take. If the events were separated by 6 months or so, they would probably take a larger booth at VMworld SanFran and may take a slightly less sponsorship at VMworld Europe. However, I personally know of vendors that have decided to take a considerably smaller sponsorship at VMworld Europe as they too feel Copenhagen is a “lesser” event. This is probably mainly true of US-based vendors but it should still be a concern for VMware. One vendor actually told me when the decision was taken to move the European event from February to October that it would be the death knell for VMworld Europe.

Apart from the overall decision in timing to be a mistake, I also think the location is a mistake. Again, there have been many Tweets about the Copenhagen event being more expensive, for less content, than VMworld SanFran. In part this is due to exchange rate, coupled with the Nordic region being generally expensive. Moreover I think it is a mistake because Copenhagen in October can be pretty unpleasant weather-wise (this is true of most of Northern Europe, so I’m not picking on Denmark, honest!), and the event location is a distance from the main town. Whilst the Palais de Congres in Cannes may be a 1960’s concrete architectural nightmare, at least the location enables VMware to brand the whole area in the local vicinity and the weather in February in the French Riviera is most pleasant!

I do believe there must have been much debate about this internally at VMware and I think that most people agree with me (and many others) that holding the two events so close together is a mistake. But I do hope for the person (or department) that took the decision to ignore the majority of input on moving from February to right after VMworld SanFran, their decision will be right and we will be wrong. However, I will make a prediction; next year, if not the following, the VMworld events will revert to being 6 months apart again.

Jane Rimmer is owner of hiviz-marketing , a strategic marketing consultancy servicing the IT industry.

Storage SuperHeavy Weight Challenge

A you may already know, Myself and Cody Bunch have actually managed to get a session accepted for VMworld,

The TA8623’s session details are shown below

Session Details:

Title Storage Super-Heavyweight Challenge
Abstract Panel session to discuss all things storage, panelled by some of the best known storage experts from the major vendors.
Moderators: Tom Howarth Owner PlanetVM.Net
Cody Bunch Owner ProfessionalVMware.com
US Speakers: Adam Carter Worldwide Product Manager HP Storage Hewlett Packard
Vaughn Stewart Virtualization Evangelist NetApp
Chad Sakac Vice President, VMware Technology Alliance EMC Corporation
AN Other To be announced Dell
Technical Level: Technical
Track Technology and Architecture
Subtopic Storage

Now the format for this fun packed session is open format questions from the floor, however some times you little session attendee’s are a little bit shy in coming forward to ask the questions, so I am opening this up to the community. Please add any questions that you would like to ask the panellists as comment to this post, 

Cody and I will choose the best 5 to be used as filler questions, 

so thanks in anticipation.

My Session has been accepted

Well one out of my three submissions have been accepted for VMworld San Fran and Copenhagen 2010

Title: Storage superheavyweight challenge

Session Id: TA8623

Abstract: Panel session to discuss all things Storage, panelled by some of the best known storage experts from the major vendors, including Chad Sakac (EMC), Vaughn Stewart (NetApp), and Adam Carter (HP)

Type: Panel Session

Track: Technology and Architecture

Speaker Detail: Tom Howarth & Cody Bunch

I am really happy at this, in fact I have been grinning inanely all day, now however there is only one shadow on the horizon, that of funding to get to the conferences, Yes the fact that my session has been accepted removes the entrance cost of the conference, but it does nothing to remove the associated travel and accommodation costs.  and these are quite large for a UK based independent consultant,

So if some kind vendor wishes to sponsor this little old Brit all donations gratefully accepted.

VMworld 2010 – the time to chose is upon us

This year in a change to the normal schedule,  we mere mortals are being allowed a chance to chose some sessions for VMworld.  Can you feel the power of democracy at work.  Now many who follow me on twitter @tom_howarth will  be aware of my position on Cloudworld 2010,  I personally believe that there is way too much focus on what is in reality just a marketing term.  Anybody remember ASP in the ‘90’s and the Dot.com bubble ( just a little bit of history repeating…. ) sorry I digress, back to the task at hand 😀

Voting for what you want to see/hear at VMworld, first my election pitch.

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