Day 3 for me started with the general session. This time, I chose to sit in the blogger’s area, instead of the hall, which turned out to be the right decision. Comfortable seating and a table in front meant I could use my laptop to tweet as announcements were being made.

Anyway, focus for the session was on the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) i.e. the products that help creating it, their integration with other products and new features being introduced. It does seem to me that all the different technologies by VMware are now coming together, which places VMware in this unique position of providing a complete and more mature product when it comes to SDDC creation and management.

Not only that, Micro-Segmentation introduced in NSX, is now providing something very exciting for everyone. There was always a need to protect traffic between VMs and/or applications but surprisingly, not much effort was made on that front.  That’s changing now which is great to see.

There was also a lot of talk and demonstration of Openstack and Docker integration into vRealize Automation. Again, this is one area where VMware has recognized that integration and support for other products in the ecosystem is a serious requirement from customers and is making an effort to make it happen. This will only get better with time.

After the general session, I went straight to Solutions Exchange as I was yet to give it proper attention. There are so many vendors displaying and talking about their products that it could be overwhelming to think where to start from. I normally just start from one end and do a “lawn mower walk” (a new term that occurred to me – not in the dictionary) and that’s exactly what I did. There are too many of them to mention but it’s great to have a chat with all of them and see their enthusiasm about their products. As a consultant, I feel it’s my job to look at all technologies available and filter out the strengths/weaknesses of all these solutions. That enables me to provide the best solution to my customers when the need arises. That actually fits in quite nicely with my role at @Xtravirt as we aim to be “vendor-agnostic” when providing solutions to our customers. Customer requirements are the main focus for us.

While there, I also visited the Office of the CTO booth from VMware. Chris Romano walked up to me and we started chatting (great guy!) Given what I learnt about VMwareHOL on Partner Day and my deep appreciation of what it offers, I expressed my wish that more priority was given to it by VMware and for it to use this unique mechanism as a serious tool to push out knowledge. Currently, it takes quite a while for labs to appear on them (as all work is done by volunteers devoting their own time to develop these awesome labs!) but imagine if these were available at the same time as the products themselves. The attendance in the conference and online show how big a resource it has become in the past few years. I believe VMwareHOL should be given top priority and therefore, dedicated resource to continue the wonderful work they’re doing.

I submitted “my big idea” into one of the booths (Chris took a picture of it :-)) so hopefully, VMware will give serious consideration to what I say. I think investment into this area is a no-brainer!

After spending a few hours in there, I was quite tired so returned to the blogger’s area to recharge my devices but more importantly, myself! This was my opportunity to chat with more people and after a good recharge, left for my hotel (which is nearby) to quickly dump my stuff and get ready for the VMworld Party.

On return, I joined the “Hall Crawl”. A lot of vendors also arrange for food and drink for attendees and suddenly, the Solutions Exchange area transforms into a festival. Very enjoyable!

The day ended with the VMware Party. It’s typically in Hall 6 and feels like a very spacious nightclub. Again, plenty of food and drink stalls were available, however, I feel the offerings are a bit limiting for people with special dietary requirements. It

[s clear that the organizers make an effort to have something unique every time but some thought given to accommodating everyone won’t be misplaced.

The headline act for this time were Simple Minds and they were amazing! They played all their well-known songs and everyone was going crazy. I think it was a great choice of act and one could see everyone joining in and having a great time. People loved them so much that they also got an encore as well which says it all.

Simple Minds

After a great night, I returned to my hotel to retire and be ready for today, which sadly will be the last day of the conference. Hope to catch-up with anyone I’ve missed so far and that would be a great end to an excellent conference!

VMworld 2014 Europe – Day 0 and 1

VMworld 2014 Europe – Day 2

VMworld 2014 Europe – Day 4 (Last)