VMworld 2018 Day 1 Recap

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VMworld 2018 is well under way and already a number of big announcements have hit the waves.  Before the key note kicked off, I spent some time on Sunday before the conference checking out Opening Acts and attending the VM Underground party.  I had a blast hanging out with a bunch of community members that I had yet to meet in person, and it was a great way to get warmed up for the start of the conference. 

Monday morning brought the start of VMworld and a sea of people invading the Mandalay Bay Conference Center.  I found a spot on a recharge bench in the VM Village and took in the day 1 keynote.  The 90(ish) minute session was a flurry of activity, which you can catch on demand.  The overarching theme of the session expanded upon what has been one of VMware’s main strategies for a little while now, which is having one overall solution for the hybrid cloud world.  There were many announcements about VMware Cloud on AWS and an overview of the improvements that have been made since VMC on AWS was launched this time last year.  VMware is committed to new releases every quarter for the VMC on AWS platform and announced that the next big feature release will be integration with NSX and Direct Connect, Enterprise App and License Migration, and support for VMware PKS.  A price reduction was for the VMC on AWS service was also announced, along with decreasing the minimum cluster size from 4 down to 3 hosts and a limited time promotion to be able to purchase 3 hosts for the price of 2.

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On top of that, one really big announcement was that the AWS RDS service will now be able to be deployed on VMware.  That brings the ability to run RDS on prem and will further enable the hybrid use case for database services.  VMware also announced the acquisition of a company called Cloud Health, which is a public cloud management platform.  I am interested to learn more about what Cloud Health is currently capable of and what joining the VMware family will bring for the future. 

There was also a lot of talk around NSX, PKS and Workspace One, which wrapped up the big keynote.  I was very interested to learn that 82% of Fortune 100 companies have currently adopted NSX in some capacity.  NSX has been pushed by VMware for a while, and now with all the integrations around hybrid cloud, it looks like adoption is certainly picking up to the levels that have been talked about over the last few years. 

After the general session I spent some time working on a vRealize Network Insight workshop in the Hands on Lab area.  I’ve heard about this product a lot recently and wanted to check it out first hand.  It is a very powerful product that can perform application/network mapping and visualize the flow from many different perspectives (VLAN/VXLAN, Subnet, Application, etc).  It can also integrate with NSX and make recommendations for firewall policies and how to best design your network based on active workloads.  Again, with the NSX integration and for everything in the hybrid cloud, I can see this being an important tool to for maximizing the power of your SDN from a single pane of glass.  Definitely check out the Hands on Lab if you have the chance. 

Other than that, I spent a lot of time hanging out with people in the VMTN area and watched a few of the vBrownBag Tech Talks.  I also spent a good bit of time talking to vendors on the floor and checking in with some of our partners that are attending.  After dinner, I somehow made it through the madness that was the line at the Rubrik party and got the chance to check out Run DMC:

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For those that know me, I am pretty much a rock-n-roll guy, but I will say that Run DMC brought the house down.  It was really cool to witness a group that helped transcend an entire genre of music into pop culture history.  Unfortunately I didn’t stick around for The Roots, but wanted to call it a night at a reasonable time.  It was a very successful day 1 and left me excited for what day 2 has in store…

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