By Craig Bramley, Solutions Architect at SCC
I knew VMworld was large, I mean, I heard the crazy stories, but I was not prepared for the sheer magnitude of the event. It is vast! The VMworld venue is Fira Barcelona Gran Via, which is a conference centre located just outside Barcelona City. To give you an idea of the size we are talking about here, the hands on labs alone take up 45,000 square feet, and that is tiny in comparison to the other areas – like I said, vast! So, expect to walk around 10,000 to 16,000 steps a day at the event – (according to my colleague’s Fitbit). That being said, keep hydrated with water, which is provided free all day long, along with coffee, tea, various snacks and fruit from the many stations dotted around, and of course don’t forget those comfortable shoes – you will thank me later.
Inside the Venue with myself and Craig Kilborn
The solutions exchange is the vendor area. This is a huge hall, crammed wall to wall with bright, shiny objects and vendor representatives who are eager to explain why their solution is better than the competition’s. So eager in fact, that they entice you on to their stands with weird and wonderful freebies. Anything from USB drives to flashing bouncing balls, remote control helicopters, prize draws and logo emblazoned t-shirts are on offer in return for your time.
This is a very busy area and all joking aside, it is extremely beneficial, as we do not always get the chance to meet up with vendors back in the real world if they are not on our preferred partner lists. This gave me the chance to demo products, and get to know what other optional solutions are available to us. Some amazing solutions were on show, and I really enjoyed this area (and some of the freebies).
The Solutions Exchange Main Entrance
Vendor parties are held every evening, with free food and drink at various local restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The choice is endless, and these parties are a very easy way to network with colleagues, and meet other IT industry representatives. However, be aware that late nights, involving free alcohol and lots of dad dancing can be fun – until you have to wake up early the next day! So, take it easy; it will be a long week if you feel terrible.
The VMworld party was headlined by Faithless, to give you an idea of the quality and scale of some of these parties.
Veeam Party with Craig Kilborn, a very green event!
Overall, I enjoyed my VMworld experience. Some advice I would give to anyone attending in 2016, along with all the advice throughout my posts, is to download the VMworld App and register for sessions in advance.
The sessions get full, and if you haven’t registered, you have to queue, keeping your fingers crossed that the door staff can find space for you. I saw a lot of people being turned away, and if you came from overseas to see a particular session, it’s a long way to come to risk being disappointed.
I attended various sessions which covered areas around workforce mobility and EUC, VSAN, Hybrid Cloud, Horizon View, Horizon AIR and vRealize Automation which are all areas of particular interest to me. That being said, I can’t stress how important the social side of VMworld is, so don’t register for too many sessions and end up with no time to meet anyone or talk to vendors.
The general sessions take place every morning and cover various topics but there was a lot of focus on application mobility, end user mobility, containerisation, SDDC and Hybrid Cloud.
As well as the usual technology topics, this year’s key notes were dominated by the Dell / EMC Merger, a merger that had been confirmed days before I attended the event. Michael Dell even made an (on-screen) appearance – which is a big deal!
Well done VMworld on a great event.
You can read part one of Craig’s VMworld journey here.