VMworld 2014 Europe will open for the general attendees today but as always, activities started a couple of days ago and in this post, I am documenting what’s been happening so far.

Like a lot of other people, I got here about noon on Sunday. I like to do that as that gives me a chance to check into the hotel and settle down, before heading out to VMworld. Registration starts from Sunday and it’s always nice to get that done early, pick up the official bag for that year and also the free 10 trip card that you should also not forget. In case you haven’t done that, it’s available from the information counter, right at the end of the registration hall.

The next obligatory activity of Sunday was what is slowly becoming tradition at VMworld here in Barcelona: Attending the vRockStar party. This was its third year in Hard Rock Cafe and as always, it was attended by everyone one knows from the VMware community. Marco Broeken, Patrick Redknap, and Hans De Leenheer did a great job and it was a blast. Obviously, it wouldn’t have been possible without the sponsorship so thank you, EMC, Cisco, VMUG and Nutanix for making it happen. I hope this tradition will continue in years to come as this is everyone’s first chance to meet everyone, before the conference gets into full swing.

Monday is normally “Partner Day”. As the name suggests, it’s mainly for VMware partners and sessions are targeted towards them. They’re great but I had something different planned for the morning: A tour of Hands-On Lab. I always wanted to see the mechanics of what is becoming an important tool in a consultants armoury. It started with Chris Romano taking us through some of the history of the lab and the discussion soon moved on to how the lab is automatically load-balanced between two datacenters and how VMware is “dog-fooding” its own technologies to keep it all running and monitored. It has become a huge operation over the last few years and it takes a big team to ensure everything keeps running smoothly and participants have no issues while taking the lab. I also found out that the lab is mostly developed by people who actually volunteer their time on top of their day jobs (even weekends!) A big thanks to them as without them, this awesome facility would not have developed. It was a great tour!

… and no, I wasn’t in San Francisco when I tweeted that as “Transporter” hasn’t been invented yet (sorry, Star Trek fans!) This seems to be a general issue with Swarm at the conference.

After the tour, I disappeared to do what I suggested to people attending this year: To take a VCAP-DCA exam. The exams are running in the same place as last time, away from all the conference activity. As I said, they’re 50% off and not a huge risk if you feel prepared but haven’t taken it before. That said, even though I booked it, I didn’t get a chance to do any study at all! All my preparation was Jason Nash’s PluralSight courses, run at 2x speed while at the airport and on the flight, skipping modules where I felt confident I had it covered. Now, I am not suggesting you do the same as preparation for these exams is very important but I thought given my experience with the product, I stood a good chance of passing. I am pleased to say that I did pass so it wasn’t too bad. So, my recommendation stands and you can still book it. Now that I’ve passed the exam, I am sure Gregg Robertson will start hounding me for VCDX – better start thinking of semi-valid excuses!

With the exam out-of-the-way, I headed back to the hotel as I had the VMUG and PernixData parties to go to. Sadly, things got in the way and I couldn’t attend the VMUG party but did manage to get to the PernixData one. Like the vRockStar party, it was overflowing with all the people from the VMware community and I had a great time there. Made quite a few new friends and caught up with old ones too!

Like I said a few days back, VMworld is also about meeting all the great people from the VMware community and having good conversations with them. For me, the best thing is when you meet someone you know from Twitter, in person. So, if you’re attending this year’s conference, then it will be great to meet up. I’ll most likely be in the Hangspace or with the @Xtravirt Gang, in between sessions and Partner Exchange. My Twitter handle is: @AtherBeg

Today it all starts with gusto and I intend to document whatever I see as important to share with you all after the day has ended or live on Twitter, so stay tuned!

VMworld 2014 Europe – Day 2

VMworld 2014 Europe – Day 3

VMworld 2014 Europe – Day 4 (Last)

VMworld - No Limits