This is my fifth VMworld and the forth one I have attended in Barcelona, so I have come to know what to expect and how to get the most out of the event. Before I leave I like to try and set myself a challenge or a focus for the event. This year is no exception, my goal is to understand or at least have a glimpse into the IT industry for the next five years, specifically for small to medium customers who I work with predominately. This sounds like an impossible task but VMworld is a good place to at least start formulating an understanding and seeing where the trends are going.
I flew out too Barcelona earlier on Sunday morning, my first stop was for a day of NSX training at an amazing meeting space in central Barcelona.
The training focused on the architecture and benefits of NSX. There is quite a compelling case for NSX where security and governance are held in well regard within an organisation, that's everyone, right?? For organisations of a small to medium size it is the security benefits of microsegmentstion and the continuity aspects that by far will be of most interest. I enjoyed learning about the integration with third party products like checkpoint and Palo Alto amongst others as well.
My second day in Barcelona was spent attending the partner day. Whilst partner day tends to be very sales focused, it does give me an understanding of VMware's messaging and positioning. This is extremely useful when trying to find out the use cases that really work and how to best serve my customers. We also got to hear for the first time some details of the main announcements for the conference from people like the main man himself Pat Gelsinger. The main message for partner day was it's time to start focusing outside of vSphere. Virtualization alone is no longer enough for our customer's or VMware and we now need to move onto understanding what is next. From VMware's perspective this very much focuses on security, management, monitoring and automation, the workspace and the cloud. With the announcements coming and the acquisitions and partnerships we have seen it is clear VMware is very close to delivering the full, any app, any device, any cloud vision. As a VMware partner you need to pick and understand the areas you will specialise in. Whilst it used to be possible to be a VMware specialist with the length and breadth of the portfolio, today that simply isn't possible.
After partner day it was straight on a coach and heading down to the harbour to attend the Dell EMC welcome reception, held in the bar at the top of the W hotel. The views from the top looking over the harbour and the beach were amazing, Claire Vyvyan VP of Dell Enterprise gave an inspiring speech about the newly formed Dell Technologies, but also hinted to bright and transformative futures as we move into an era of technologies such as analytics and IoT.
Tomorrow is the official start of VMworld where a further 7000+ customers will join the 2900 partners to listen to the keynotes, attend sessions and run through hands on lab.