VMworld Europe 2019 – Day 1 recap

Pre VMworld VMUG Event

Russel O’Connor and the other nice guys from the VMUG Barcelona team once more organised an event on Monday morning which I decided to start the day with. The event with the theme “Kubernetes in the spotlight” was again held at a conference room in the Hotel Porta Fira, which was crowded. This was probably caused by some prominent presenters. Besides some engineers from OVHcloud (the main sponsor of the event) Scott Lowe and Cormac Hogan talked about Kubernetes (“K8s”) in general and the interaction with VMware products today, e.g. Cluster API used to deploy and manage K8s, either used directly or under the hood by Tanzu Mission Control. Cormac explained how the Cloud Native Storage introduced with vSAN 6.7u3 can be used for stateful applications, which usually use Persistent Volume Claims or NFS shares.

Pre VMworld VMUG Event – Kubernetes in the spotlight

Kicking off VMworld

Afterwards it was time to head over to the “Fira” and receive my badge at one of the plenty registration desks. All in all everything is very well organised, even small things as a coat and baggage drop area with a short queue at most time, especially considering nearly 13.000 people were attending.

VMworld 2019 Europe – Hall 8

First things first: The obligatory photograph at the oversize VMworld sign with a couple of mates, this time Jörn Rusch, Christoph Villnow and Niclas Sieveneck:

At this time the activities in the VMvillage started with lots of fun things to do and people to meet.

New to the VMvillage was the VMware Champions booth which offered snacks, games, prizes and give-a-ways for people already participating in the program, or new “recruits”. The program is based on an app called Advocate Hub and offers challenges like taking part in the community, reading news articles, provide feedback or refer new members.
It was fun to chat with the guys at the booth and take part in the challenge to get most points during VMworld, which would grant the winner with a longboard hand signed by Pat Gelsinger. After myself being at the top of the leaderboard for a while in the end a the vCommunity’s own Andy won.

VMworld 2019 Europe – Champions booth social media wall

Most regular sessions ran from Tuesday to Thursday as Monday is TAM and partner day, but some interesting 3-4 hour long workshops, like “Running Kubernetes on vSphere”, “vSAN operations best practices”, “VMware cloud on AWS” or “Operating the Ultimate Hybrid Cloud with VMware Cloud Foundation” took place in parallel which according to other experts were all packed.

Partner Forum – General Session

Especially held for VMware’s ecosystem of partners the Partner Forum in the afternoon gave a glimpse of their vision and strategy (explained more thoroughly in the key notes held in the next two days), as well as presenting the new program how the company will interact with its partners, called Partner Connect. It aims to bring the several different parts of the current partner network, like resellers, solution providers or service providers under one cloud services oriented umbrella. Partners participating are going to show their expertise either with Solution Competencies or Master Solution Competencies (requiring several certified employees and reference projects) in these focus areas:

  • Data Center Virtualization
  • Cloud Management and Automation
  • VMware Cloud on AWS
  • VMware PKS
  • Network Virtualization
  • Digital Workspace
Partner Forum – General Session – Introduction by Pat Gelsinger

Rubrik Party at Pacha

A nice way to end the first day was a party sponsored by Rubrik taking place at the famous nightclub Pacha, directly located on the beach:

Rubrik Party at Pacha – Dancefloor
Rubrik Party at Pacha – Terrace

VMworld Europe 2019 – Day 0 recap

VMUG leader gathering

My second VMworld experience started with the VMUG leader gathering on Sunday, 3rd November 2019. It is an informal gathering of various represantatives of the VMUG program and leaders from all around the world. It was great chance to get to know the VMUG President Steve and Brad from VMUG leadership and other leaders who are in the business a bit longer than our newly created chapter “Rhein-Ruhr“.
The gathering was held in a small but very stylish bar with a comfy atmosphere. Big thanks for the team organizing it!

VMworld Europe 2019 – VMUG leader gathering

vRockstar Party

Another great event organized by Patrick Redknap, Marco Broeken, Michael Letschin and a few others for the 8th time to kick off VMworld Europe. It gave everyone a great chance to do some networking while enjoing some drinks at the ‘Cabaret – The Barcelona EDITION’ club, this year’s venue. Cohesity, Comdivision, Kemp, Veeam, VMUG and Zerto were kind enough to sponsor everything.
In between a small panel was held to introduce the sponsors and to discuss what to expect of VMworld and the time to come:

VMworld Europe 2019 – vRockstar Party panel

Getting ready for VMworld Europe 2019

vCommunity

Many people put a lot of effort in empowering people who are not active in the vCommunity or aren’t even aware of it. I am myself quite new to this network of people sharing interest in virtualization and cloud technology and what is possible with it, but can already say the support both virtually (mostly on Twitter, Slack) and in person (e.g. at VMUGs and conferences) is amazing.
One of such people is Yadin Porter de Leon who founded the Level Up Project. The project’s goal is to make it easier to “newbies” to join the vCommunity and make the most of this network, be it learning, network or to advance careers.
The Level Up Project’s contributers provided a guide with tons of information called the “vTrail Map” which was distributed during last year’s VMworld conferences in the US.
This year a couple of volunteers, called ambassadors, were invited to do bring the vTrail Map to VMworld 2019 Europe in Barcelona, which is about to start Monday. The ambassadors were instructed how to distribute the map in various areas of VMworld (recording online) so it reaches everybody.
It also is available online.

News & Resources

A good place to start reading about VMworld is the official blog page.
VMware Champions is an app which features gamification (collection of points) to distributed news and gather feedback. There are currently several “challenges” online to inform about VMworld.
For specific and up-to-date news follow the official twitter account and the hashtags, #VMworld2019, #VMworld or #VMworldEU.
At the end of next week there will be a collection of articles written by a couple of vExperts who were selected for a so called Blogger pass. A preview of this with articles from VMworld US 2019 can be found here.

Parties & Events

There are plenty of events happening before and during VMworld, but must of them are invite only.
Here is an inofficial VMworld 2019 EMEA Parties and Events list giving an overview about everything which happens.
Andreas Lesslhumer and Manfred Hofer already wrote about this extensivly. (Big thank you!)

Swag

On top of the complimentary VMworld backpack (this year co-sponsored by Rubrik) every visitor with a full pass receives after checking in, there are plenty of ways to get free promotional items. At the booths in the hall crawl you have good chances to get free stuff from sponsors and exhibitors of the VMware ecosystem if you engage in talks, attend mini presentations or enter raffles.
Also the VMworld blog lists some more ways to win or obtain interesting giveaways, e.g. a Oculus Quest VR set.