What is there to say about VMworld that hasn’t been said already? It was just an all around great time. I have to first say that my trip to VMworld 2010 couldn’t have happened without winning Jason Boche‘s contest and Gestalt IT chipping in for the airfare, thanks so much Jason and Stephen and the rest of the Gestalt IT crew! Money was tight this year, and my company just didn’t see the value in sending me to San Francisco for a week to converse with some of the top bloggers, vendors, and top executives from VMware. Go figure??? A big thanks for nothing to my company for that, luckily my name was drawn out of a hat by Jason Boche and the rest is history.
My first day there was a blur, I spent the first 3 hours just cruising around Moscone South and trying to get a handle on what was going on. I was really excited to see all the sessions that I signed up for right up until I saw vChat episode #6 from David Davis, Eric Siebert and Simon Seagrave. Eric said not to go to many sessions, after all they are all posted online and can be watched throughout the year. I hit the blogger’s lounge which was a blast. It was crazy trying to read everyone’s badge and figure out who was who in the blogging world, and what their twitter handle is. Pretty quick Patrick Redknap decided to start passing around a sharpie so everyone could write their twitter handle on their badge. Note to VMware: Allow the option to have your twitter handle/avatar printed on your badge for VMworld 2011!!
Tuesday was a really fun day and a super busy one. There wasn’t much going on Tuesday morning aside from the keynote address (which I didn’t get to see live, spent the morning at breakfast w/ my wife) where VMware CEO Paul Maritz spoke, as well as CTO Steve Herrod, and it was nothing short of riveting. I appreciated how Paul Maritz stated that the cloud will go on with or without VMware. For a CEO to state in so many words that his company is not the be all end all for cloud computing is a very mature and humble approach to take. While he did say the cloud will go on with/without VMware, to say that VMware is replaceable or dispensable is a huge mistake. VMware is the leader in cloud computing as far as I’m concerned, and I think that most of us would agree with that statement. Cloud computing is the wave of the future, and VMware is leading the charge, they continue to stay relevant and up to date with the demands of cloud computing.
Tuesday also presented the opportunity that I had to join Stephen Foskett and the rest of the Gestalt IT Field Day Delegates in being part of Xsigo’s product announcement. By now you’ve read or heard about the huge step that Xsigo has made in the field of virtual I/O with the release of their new I/O directors and the ability to virtualize your I/O and de-clutter your infrastructure while not having to spend the money on expensive adapter cards. This was great to be a part of, and after the lunch Xsigo provided we were able to participate in a video roundtable discussion, that has yet to be posted. Tuesday night was apparently VMworld vendor party night! There were at least a dozen parties, of which 5 I was invited to. We started out at Veeam’s party at the Thirsty Bear just blocks from Moscone. They had some great food, loved the mini shish kabobs (sp?) they were awesome, if you were there I’m sure you had a few of those. We then made our way to the party we were most anticipating, the WYSE party which was held at the SF Museum of Modern Art. This was the classiest party of them all, well done WYSE. I had sushi, Chinese food, BBQ, Mexican food and of course dessert (yes, I ate that much food, what?) The museum was open for you to walk around and check out, the most weird attraction by far was the Michael Jackson and Bubbles sculpture, if you were there, you saw it and were equally wierded out.
My Wednesday was packed with trying to catch up with all the vendors, grab all the schwag I wanted and get some one on one interviews with companies like Kaviza (best of VMworld, best of Synergy), and Emulex (the booth with the dirt bike on display, who won?). Wednesday was very productive, I took in a bunch of demos and spent alot of time networking. I, myself, was interviewed by Kasia from Train Signal for thier blog, which I will post as soon as it becomes available. I met Mike Laverick, David Davis, and many other bloggers that I had yet to catch up with. Wednesday night my wife and I hopped onto the Powell/Hyde Streetcar/Trolley and rode it all the way to the end at Fisherman’s Wharf and then took it back to Powell stop right in front of our hotel.
Thursday was filled with more of the Solutions Exchange, I spent most of my day trying to make a last-ditch effort to win an iPad, @NerdBlurt won 2 iPads, I’m convinced one of them was supposed to be mine, I just wasn’t that lucky on Thursday(still petitioning Luigi to give me one of the iPads, your wife doesnt’ really want one, does she?). As the clock struck 2:00pm the VMworld 2010 Solutions Exchange was officially over and out of nowhere there were construction guys everywhere carrying ladders, taking signs down, unplugging cables, it was coming down fast. I spent the rest of the day in San Francisco with my wife at Pier 39, took a Blue and Gold bay tour which went under the Golden Gate bridge and around Alcatraz as well as a stop by the famous Pier 39 sea lions (a bunch of lazy bums if you ask me).
It was a great trip, and I can’t wait for VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas. If you didn’t get to go this year, start saving money for next year, it really is an event that you shouldn’t miss. The things I learned and the people I met have helped me understand so much more about virtualization, the virtualization community and VMware’s relevance in the cloud computing game. There’s nothing more I can say, it was really a blast.