It’s been a week since I’ve returned from VMworld and I am finally getting to wrapping my head around everything that took place last week. It was an exciting and hectic week, with lots of announcements and even more networking. As I mentioned in my previous Tech Field Day Extra post, I had originally planned on posting a daily recap during my time in Vegas. I figured with a year under my belt since I started this blog, maybe I had finally built up the chops to pull it off! Sadly, that was not the case, although I chalk most of that up to just having way too much to do with too little time.
That being said, I wanted to get a recap of the conference out there and put a stamp on my VMworld 2018 experience. There have already been a ton of posts outlining the major announcements, so I want to briefly touch on some of the big things and point you to the spots where you can deep dive further into them. As usual, the first day provided a flurry of activity, including announcements about the availability of VMware Cloud on AWS into the APAC region via Sydney, RDS on vSphere, vSphere Platinum with App Defense as a SaaS offering and the release of Project Dimension. A great overview of all the new announcements can be found here. On top of that, vSphere 6.7 U1 was released. The big highlights for this release include:
- Direct Upgrade Path from vSphere 6.5 U2
- Full functionality for the HTML5 client
- vCenter Server converge tool
- Cluster quick start
- Enhanced Content Library
Check out another great blog post that covers all of these updates from VMworld by fellow Tech Field Day Extra delegate, Ather Beg.
A lot of my time was spent at the VMTN lounge and on the Solution Showcase floor. With this being my first time at VMworld as a vExpert, I found that every time I wandered past the VMTN lounge, I was always meeting someone new that I have followed or chatted with on social media at some point. It was great to network with everyone and I truly can’t thank the community enough for being so friendly and welcoming. For anyone unable to attend VMworld or unaware of what the #vCommunity is or how to get started, a copy of the VMware User vTrail Map is available for download. Definitely check it out on your free time! I also did my fair share of browsing the Solution Showcase to speak with vendors I was already familiar with and to learn about some up and coming VMware partners that had interesting products to present. I also spent some time in the VMware area talking to the experts about topics that I missed sessions for. I feel like some of these one on one interactions are way more valuable and efficient than the actual sessions…but thankfully all the sessions are available to watch on demand. I also picked up my fair share of swag, including some awesome vExpert gifts that a few vendors made available.
Of course, it wouldn’t be VMworld with out the extra-curricular activities that take place outside of the conference itself. The week provided plenty of opportunities for vendor parties, with the biggest act battle taking place between Rubrik (Run DMC and The Roots) and Cohesity (Snoop Dog). There were also a lot of little happy hours throughout the Mandalay Bay and plenty of get-togethers that lasted long into the early morning hours. My favorite experience was definitely the vExpert party, which took place at the Pinball Museum and featured some amazing food from Rolling Smoke Barbeque. This was another opportunity to meet up with other vExperts and get to play some old school pinball and arcade games. It was an amazing experience and I applaud the whole VMTN team for putting together a great event.
My final night in Vegas involved the big VMworld Fest party. It was held inside two massive tents on the far side of the Vegas strip. In contrast to some of the other end of conference parties, this event had more room to walk around and check out a few different options for food and entertainment. There were dueling pianos, a Prince cover band and of course the headliner, Royal Machines. My love for Josh Freese aside, I think Royal Machines put on a great show and probably surprised many of the attendees who didn’t know what to expect. On top of that, one of my best friends and someone I have known since third grade happened to be in town for work, and we were able to catch VMworld Fest and spend some quality time hanging out, which unfortunately happens too few and far between these days.
VMworld 2018 was a great time, and being involved with the vCommunity opened so many doors to experience VMworld in new ways. I’m glad to have met new friends, spent time with old friends and colleagues, and really hope I get the opportunity to do it all over again in San Francisco next year.