The saying goes “time flies when you’re having fun” and boy was that true at VMworld! I had heard a lot of stories about VMworld and have been wanting to go for ages. Sadly, I never got the opportunity to actually go until this year! As always, I entered to win a blogger pass and this year it actually worked out 🙂 Thanks again to Corey Romero and the team for giving me this opportunity.

Keynotes

Day 1

Because of the blogger pass, myself and the other bloggers got preferred seating during the keynote. This meant we had a great view of the stage and the speakers, this really helped increase the experience. The day 1 keynote was all about VMware’s vision for the future of IT and I do have to say, some of the things they touched on really hit home for me. It’s clear that the days of just deploying VMs and vSphere are behind us and the landscape is changing. Of course, this won’t happen overnight but the repeated messages really make it clear that it is time to start getting to know all these new technologies before it’s too late.

This has also been made clear with the recent acquisitions VMware made, most of which were already announced in San Francisco but some have been closed by now and you’re starting to see the impact of them already. The new possibilities that are there after the Carbon Black acquisition are really amazing and help the “Intrinsic security on all layers” message become a reality.

There was a lot more to gather from the day 1 keynote but others, like fellow blogger Fabian Lenzker (link), have already done an excellent job writing this down. You can always watch it yourself on YouTube.

Day 2

The day 2 keynote was a lot of fun to watch, it was a continuation of the messaging of day 1 but now the speakers were showing how this would actually come together in a couple of demos. The story that Ray O’ Farrell was bringing was clearly depicted in all the demos that were given, each highlighting a different part of the stack and harping on a different part of the overall vision.

After the tech part was done, Bear Grylls came on stage and gave a talk that really hit home for me. He told the story about the 4 F’s, Failure, Fear, Fire and Faith. These 4 pillars have helped him get through all of the rough times he’s had during his lifetime and how he finds the strength to keep on going, even though there may be constant setbacks. I have to say that I felt really inspired after hearing him talk…

Sessions

As you would expect, a good part of my time was spent in sessions. At times it was really hard to pick a session because there were so many great choices, thankfully all the sessions were recorded!

Monday started with a VCDX workshop, led by Joe Silvagi. I’m not planning on going for the VCDX in the short-term but I do want to start gathering more and more information so this was a great opportunity. For everyone considering going for the VCDX, I highly recommend attending one of these workshops. It was really an eye-opener for me! The other VCDXs that joined the session also gave a lot of great insights.

There’s a lot of sessions that I have already rewatched the recording of and some sessions will need a couple more viewings to really get all the nuggets that are in there! William Lam’s already made a summary page that has all the session recordings, check it out here!

VM Village

The first thing you see when you come in, after the registration, is the VM Village. I was a bit amazed at how big it was, I expected it to be big but seeing it in real life is still something else entirely! One of the larger stands there is the community booth, this is where all the vBrownBag and VMware Code presentations were held. But also where the blogger table was. Hanging out there means you get to meet a lot of other bloggers and people that you’ve heard of in the community. Whenever I had some spare time, I would go there to hang out. Something I can only recommend!

One of my personal highlights took place after VMworld on Tuesday. I went to the vExpert party together with a couple of other Belgian vExperts. When we got there we noticed there was a small crowd gathering in one part of the room. That’s when Corey told us Pat Gelsinger was there to say hi! This was a great opportunity to shake his hand and have a quick chat. We also got a nice picture out of it!

I had a great time at VMworld and can’t wait to go back !