I've been privileged to attend several technical conferences during my career, but 2017 was my very first VMworld. I was told to prepare for exhaustion as well as a deep drink from the proverbial knowledge firehose. This is an accurate characterization of my experience. Over five days, I recorded 59,934 steps or 30 miles walked.
I was gratified to see VMware's hybrid cloud story coming together with multiple offerings. VMware on AWS was announced for general availability during the Monday keynote and RoundTower Technologies is the first AWS partner authorized for this offering. For customers with traditional enterprise workloads looking to move to a cloud-native future, the AWS/VMware partnership offers a simplified on-ramp toward that destination. VMware recognizes customers will consume cloud in numerous ways and there is no perfect way for every customer. VMware on AWS provides simplicity and familiarity for customers looking to extend their Enterprise Hybrid cloud onto AWS for 2-tier and cloud-native workloads.
Later on Monday, I attended a small but well attended breakout titled "Demystifying Kubernetes: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started.” This turned out to be prescient, as Tuesday's Keynote announced VMware's Pivotal Container Services (PKS) partnership with Google Cloud. There is enormous energy and a large rapidly evolving ecosystem around Kubernetes for application container management and orchestration. It makes perfect sense for VMware to have a native capability which fits in well with their Enterprise Hybrid Cloud strategy. This is yet another way VMware is providing simplified paths for their customers. I suspect this breakout will be much larger at next year's VMworld and be accompanied by numerous additional k8s sessions.
VMworld has a strong reputation for providing deep technical content in the breakouts, and this certainly proved to be true. There were numerous VSAN breakouts reflecting the rapid adoption and interest in the product. I was lucky to attend a vSphere Host Resources Deep Dive session conducted by Frank Denneman and Niels Hagoort which whetted my appetite for their recently-released 570 page book. I was lucky enough to snag one of the 1,000 free copies they gave away at the Rubrik booth.
Besides delivering deep technical content for engineers, VMworld is known for its extensive evening schedule of parties to let us all blow off a little steam. Suffice it to say that I was not disappointed in this regard, and my evening schedule was as packed as my days were.
I was glad to be picked to attend and experience my first VMworld as part of the RoundTower team this year. I recommend it highly and hope I'll be able to attend next year as well as a VMworld alumnus.