Thursday, September 10, 2015

My first VMworld - It was simply awesome

Last week I was able to attend this renowned number 1 IT conference that everyone talked about - VMworld.

I arrived on Sunday afternoon and left Thursday evening.

It was a wonderful experience and when I left the conference I wrote this on Twitter:


In short, this summarizes my first VMworld.  I had good experience, memory and friendship.

Before I went I have no idea what I will encounter at the conference.  I worried being alone in a BIG crowd but the Twitter community immediately ensured that I would not be. I had written a blog post setting my theme to VMworld 2015 – Experience.

I was to experience VMware in 3 ways:
  1. Technologies
  2. People
  3. Community
As I reflect on the conference this is what I experienced at VMworld.

Technologies of VMware

There are tons of blog posts on what was announced at VMworld 2015. I like this post the most which stated the following points:
  1. VMware public cloud gets vCloud Air SQL, Site Recovery Mgr Air and object storage
  2. Working with Nvidia's Grid 2.0 on virtual desktop
  3. VMware Integrated OpenStack rev 2.0 (based on Kilo release)
  4. VMware vSphere Integrated Container and Photon Platform
  5. vSphere storage driver for ClusterHQ Flocker
It is clear that VMware is getting into the container space under the umbrella of Cloud-Native Apps which also includes technologies such as Docker containers as well as DevOps.  At VMworld 2015 there is a 3 day DevOps mini conference – DevOps @ VMworld held at the Hang Space with keynotes and hands on training.  There is also the Developer Day and Hackathon on Wednesday.  Participants of the hackathon were given a free one day pass to VMworld (if they have not registered to attend VMworld) and a $600 credit for vCloud Air.

People of VMware

For me this is the best part of VMworld.  At the conference people of VMware get together to talk and to exchange ideas or concepts.  At the conference, friendships are built and this is why we have such a strong VMware community.  Even being a first time attendee of the conference I could already feel the bonding effect among the attendees.

The VMunderground events on Sunday that began at 1:00 pm was just amazing. People in this event mingled well and everyone was extremely friendly.  I, am a nobody in the VMware community was able to meet some VMware “hot shots” and was greeted with friendly smiles and warm conversations. 

Every day, the Partner Exchange was very crowded and was difficult to move around.  Still people were very cordial and would give others the right of way if they were on a collision course in a tight space.  After all there were 23,000 people at this conference.

I also attended a few parties hosted by different vendors and I was able to interact with different people.  I was able to encourage one person to start blogging.

Some of the people I met, I recognized them not by their face but by their Twitter handle. And in one instance, I have a change to tell the story of my Twitter handle - vCloudenBeer (ping me on Twitter if you want to know the story).

Community of VMware

There are 2 specific communities that I am involved in. The first one is VMUG and the second one is vBrownBag.

VMUG is the best place to learn, network and to share. This year VMUG was having a lounge at Moscone West 2nd floor instead of just a booth at the Partner Exchange.  Attendees were able to play games, relaxed and to talk to different people at the VMUG Lounge.  The staffs from VMUG headquarter were all very friendly, capable and organized. I took a picture at the VMUG Lounge where they provide a photo booth for members to capture memories.

The vBrownBag crews were busy from Monday to Thursday.  Lots of people signed up for a 10 minutes slot to present different topics.  Some were rookies like me and some were VMware veterans. Complete schedule of all the presentations can be found here

My presentation was on Wednesday and you can view it on YouTube with the slide deck posted here. Comments on the presentation are welcome as I wanted to improve my presentation skill.  My presentation topic was on "Microsegmentation - a perfect fit for Microservices security" which some how aligned with one of the highlighted topics of WMworld 2015 by VMware.  Before the presentation I have written blog posts on this subject.  One of these blog posts (A new chapter in Docker Networking) was featured at the DockerWeekly.  This was encouraging and elevated my confidence during the presentation because being featured at DockerWeekly validated my presentation content.  After all this was VMworld and not just any event.

Thanks to James Brown (@jbcompvm), I was able to take part on another vBrownBag slot talking about Virtual Design Master as a participant sharing my experience and benefits from the contest. It was in a form of penal discussion.  English being my second language, this is a bit challenging to me as the session is not scripted nor based on PowerPoint that we can expand on or reference to. It was free form question and answer. If interested, you can watch this here.   

With these efforts I am now a proud owner of this polo shirt

It was simply awesome

Yes, it was simply awesome. I did not attend a single session nor tried any Hands-on lab at WMworld but I had a great time interact with different people and felt the bonding effect of the conference.  Of course I bought home a whole bunch of new t-shirts and other swags.

Next year VMworld will be held in Las Vegas and I am looking forward to experiencing the technologies, people and communities of VMware again. 


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