Ah, VMworld Wednesday, the show is in full swing. Get past the second morning keynote and the messaging will slowly change to focus on the VMworld Customer Appreciation Party with the Kaiser Chiefs playing.
The VMTN Community area was once again my first destination of the day, to get settled before the keynote started. However, a conversation with a bunch of the people who had also gathered there meant that during the keynote itself, I wrote 2 words, neither of them in this post. But still, when you’re in an ebb-and-flow containing the assembled might of Alex Galbraith and Amit Panchal (fresh from their OpenTechcast Podcast Pat Gelsinger Interview Coup) Kim Bottu, Wouter Kursten, Hans Kraaijeveld, Rebecca Fitzhugh, Lior Kamrat, Simon Eady, Chris Lewis, Sam McGeown etc. etc. etc. then a repeat of a keynote from 2 weeks ago tends to get overlooked.
For me, part of that is worth repeating, the guys from the OpenTechCast podcast had an interview with Pat Gelsinger at VMworld on Tuesday in what was basically an “Ask me Anything” format and they turned it around pretty sharply to get it published and available before the Wednesday morning keynote. I’ve subsequently listened to this and it’s a great interview. Kudos to the guys for securing this and, if it were needed, this is further testament to Pat’s willingness to engage with the user community. Life lesson here people, if you want something, ask. You might get it - especially in this community!
The consensus following the VMworld US keynotes was that VMware have “got their mojo back” and I am inclined to agree. There are some really promising developments going on at the moment and VMware do seem to be involved in quite a lot of them, what with all that Kubernetes related shenanigans with Google Cloud and the things they are doing with VMware Cloud on AWS and in the IBM Cloud. The growth rates and development curve on both vSAN and NSX both continue to impress, so the future does look quite promising. Given that we’re at VMworld here, this is generally seen as a good thing.
More TAM Sessions
As much as I am in danger of repeating myself, I like TAM sessions, so today I had a look at more vSAN, VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Cloud on AWS across the course of the day. All pretty fundamental to the future success of VMware. A chunk of this stuff is NDA (or close to) so I’m not going to go in to a lot of detail on this, other than to say that the pace of development in any of these fields shows no sign of abating whatsoever. The only issue I had with TAM Customer Central is that the rooms are quite small and there was no aircon and not a lot of air circulation, so even though I was taking notes, I found myself nodding once or twice at times today. Oops!
Hunting for Lunch
The worst part of the day was heading out of TAM Customer Central after a cracking session to watch everyone taking all the food grab bags in hall 8. OK, so off we go to the next source of food, hall 8.1, empty - head to hall 7 they say. This actually meant go to the very back of the solutions exchange to wait in a huge queue with half of VMworld. Then we’re told that place is closing, go back to Hall 8.1. Ugh. After about 45 minutes to and fro, we managed to grab some cold pasta in a box, which was actually considerably better than it sounded. The feeding of thousands of geeks in a short timescale is something that is obviously hard to do! I usually bagged food from TAM Customer Central to avoid things like this, but not this time.
Another regular event on the VMworld calendar, this is where the whole event goes in to party mode. Everyone is encouraged to take a trip around the Solutions Exchange during which time the vendors don’t just try to attract your attention for a badge scan with swag (as normal) but they also can offer you beer, wine and nibbles. If you’ve been block booked in sessions upto this point then it is definitely a good opportunity to pick up a favourite bit of swag as well as seeing some of the product demonstrations, comparing vendors stand sizes and so on.
There aint no party like a Consumer Appreciation Party
The party continues then in another part of the sizeable Fira Europa complex, we are treated to Popcorn from trays, Beer from a whole army of people with kegs on their backs akin to those that festival goers will be used to, Burger stands, Beer, Hotdog stands, Beer, The KaiserChiefs - who were brilliant, they went down a storm with the assembled tech crowd, even though the jacket sported by lead singer Ricky Wilson was apparently modelled on the VMware Code tshirt. What were the chances of that?
Never thought I’d see a moshpit at a VMworld.