VMworld 2014 EMEA recap

It’s been a week since VMworld 2014 EMEA kicked off. We had a blast at VMworld; Attended some very good sessions, met up with some good people, drank too much at parties, had fun!!
Most of all it became clear that visiting VMworld is a no-brainer, a must-visit! A word of thanks to our ‘sponsors’; YaWorks provided me (Niels Hagoort) with the opportunity to attend VMworld, Valid did the same for Robert Verdam.

Having said that, the EMEA version did disappoint a little bit on the major announcements… The most significant announcements in our humble opinion were:

  • EVO:RAIL partners extended; Hitachi and HP also delivering an EVO appliance.
  • EVO:RAIL will include vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery Service
  • VMware partners with Palo Alto to deliver VM-1000-HV for NSX.
  • CloudVolumes will be adopted as VMware App Volumes.
  • VMware vCloud Air will also be served from a Germany based DC for European customers.
  • VMware vRealize Suite introductions

But that is all on the ‘negative’ side. We like to share some of our experiences on VMworld 2014 EMEA in this post. Please don’t mind the bad quality photos included… I/We suck at taking photos. 🙂

Daily routine

We had a pretty nice balance each day. We won’t recommend anyone to fill up their schedule to only attend break-out sessions. The ones we attended we’re definitely worth visiting, but it is a waste if you don’t take the time to give the Solutions Exchange a go. The Solution Exchange proved a great opportunity to meet the vendors and really learn a bit on their solutions/products. Hell… you might even win a racing bicycle as I did on NetApp’s booth. Won it with racing their simulator.

vmworld2014-netapp
Another great way to spend time is the Hangspace hall where you can also take some Hands-On-Labs. Although taking a HOL can be pretty time-consuming, it was worth the time.

We did the HOL-SDC-1425 : NSX Advanced which was a great way to further explore NSX! When all the HOL seats are taken you can take a lab on a BYOD, most of the time there wasn’t a queue.

vmworld2014-holnsxadvanced

 

 

We, off course, did participate in the VMware Foundation Giveback game. The idea being to fold a paperplane and fly it as far as possible. VMware Foundation donates an amount depending where your paperplane lands. Our initial design did make it almost 2,5 meters. 🙁  After some fine-tuning we did much better on the dry runs, only to fail on the real thing. But hé, at least we did it. 🙂

vmworld2014-giveback

 

A few highlights on some of the break-out sessions we attended. Mostly the quality of the content and speakers was superb!

MGT1969 – vCloud Automation Center and NSX Integration Technical Deep Dive – given by Zakary Kielich and Ray Budavari. Really nice insight on how to match NSX and vCAC together. Looked like a match made in heaven.

vmworld2014-vcac-nsx

NET1974 – Multi-Site Data Center Solutions with VMware NSX – also one of Ray Budavari’s sessions. Very nice detailed session on multiple solutions on how to connect multiple datacenters together using L2 transparency

vmworld2014-net1974

STO1965 – Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive – A very well attended session on one of the most exiting storage feature within VMware. Good deepdive intel on VVOL’s were given by Suzy Visvanathan and Rawlison Rivera.

TEX1985 – Lessons Learnt from a Real Life VSAN POC at Trend Micro –  Good session on VSAN by Arsenio Mateos from Trend Micro and Cormac Hogan! Although Arsenio’s piece of the sessions wasn’t really detailed, Cormac did a great part on exposing some of the gotcha’s when implementing VSAN. Quite a refreshing look on VSAN implementations and for sure very informative!

SDDC1337 – Technical Deep Dive on EVO: RAIL, the new VMware Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance – Also a good attended session on VMware’s EVO:RAIL with much attention to the EVO application and which techniques are used like ZeroConf. Presented by Dave Shanley and Mornay Van Der Walt.

INF2951-SPO – Unleashing SDDC Awesomeness with Atlantis USX: Building a Storage Infrastructure for Tier 1 VMs with vVOLS, VASA, VSAN and Atlantis USX Data Services – Although we pretty much looked forward to this session, it kinda disappointed. I believe the Atlantis USX solutions is pretty awesome. However the customer case was done by someone who didn’t speak English very well, so it was kinda hard to follow which is a shame. Especially since the customer case involved a pretty kick-ass environment on HP blades together with Atlantis USX and Violin Memory storage.

STO2997-SPO – The vExpert Storage Game Show EMEA – This one was the most funniest session you could attend. John Troyer did a great ‘radio voice’ while presenting the gameshow! Good laughs and questions between the PureStorage and the VMware team.

vmworld2014-gameshow

 

 

Parties and Barcelona

We started off with the vRockstar party in the Hard Rock cafe. What a great party and venue!! Drinks all around and since tickets are limited, a nice number of people will be at the party. Had the chance to meet some good people there. All nice folks… and Joep Piscaer. 😉  We managed to get to the hotel on our own in the end.

vmworld2014-vrockstar

The PernixData gathering was also a good one. Since it was invite only the amount of people there was perfect. A very nice venue (Ocaña on the Plaza Real) again which was also used for the vExpert/VCDX party which we didn’t visit and felt a bit bad about it. We will definitely do so the next time around.

The Veeam party in club Shoko was off the hook. However we didn’t stay to late… clearly afraid of being in the same situation as last sunday at the vRockstart party! 😀

Next to the parties, we did have a short time to take the metro into the city and short-visit some of its finest buildings like the Sagrada Família.

vmworld2014-bcn1

 

When being in Barcelona, good food is certainly a must. We found ourselves very happy in the restaurants Cerveseria Catalana (great tapas) and Los Toreros!!

vmworld2014-cerveseriacatalana

vmworld2014-lostoreros

 


 

All in all a very good week!! We will make sure to attend VMworld 2015 with our complete Cloudfix team! I already look forward to it…

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I am a virtualization enthusiast with a love for virtual datacenters! About 15 years of experience in IT. VMware VCDX #212. Working at HIC (Hagoort ICT Consultancy) as fully independent consultant/architect!

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