After discussing the technical side of VMworld 2017 in my previous posts, it is finally time to shift focus to my favorite topic: networking and community.

The real added value of VMworld is the infinite opportunities to interact with peers and build your own professional and personal network. I remember my first VMworld in 2011: I was nobody and I knew nobody. In 2017 I can list the achievements I “unlocked” as a direct consequence of that trip to Copenhagen:

1. I started attending VMUG meetings
2. I became a VMUG Leader and got the VMUG President’s Award in 2016!
3. I became a vEXPERT
4. I landed a job with VMware (although I am not there anymore, that was a life achievement!)
5. I started blogging
6. I became a Tech Field Day delegate
7. I attended VMworld 2017 as an Official Blogger
8. I learned a lot and became a way better professional
9. I met and shook hands with the best minds in the industry
10. I made lots of friends in the community <== This one’s the best!

Going to that VMworld in 2011 on my own money and leave days (my employer at the time wasn’t interested in having me attend conferences) was the best career and personal investment I could do, it all started from there.

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Being a long time VMworld attendee, I have learned with experience that Break Out sessions, although being of incredible educational value, can cannibalize all your available time if prioritized over other VMworld activities. Also, most if not all of the sessions are recorded and made available after VMworld for easy fruition from the comfort of your couch. For this reason I set a personal rule not to attend more than two sessions a day. I broke this rule this year and for one reason: VMware Cloud on AWS.

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The two VMworld 2017 editions (USA and Europe) are traditionally a couple of months away from each other; this always guaranteed staggered announcements and two events with distinct identity and purpose. Not this year, since the two events were held only a copule of weeks away from each other: this caused the audience to have understandably reduced expectations from the General Sessions, which have been perceived as a replay of what had been showcased in Las Vegas.

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Finally back home and well rested after a hectic and super-packed week in Barcelona, it’s time to collect the ideas and put together a comprehensive set of VMworld Europe 2017 recap posts. I will begin with an introductory one then break my stream of thoughts into more small posts to avoid overwhelming you with too much info all at once.

I have been a regular VMworld attendee since 2011, I only skipped the 2015 edition since… well… that was during my last week as a VMware employee. Since my first VMworld, I have seen it evolving and I have evolved too (immensely!) as an IT professional, so I can consider myself a veteran able to bring home the most from this experience.

VMworld is kind of a routine for me: the General and Break-Out Sessions, the Solutions Exchange, the Parties and, most importantly, the Networking part. The available time is always limited so I planned carefully a tightly packed agenda, to be sure I could be able to do all that was in my list. I wore different hats this time… first I represented my organization, so I had to be sure to gather and bring back information relevant to my day job, then – once again – I was there as a VMUG Leader and finally, as an official VMworld Blogger. It wasn’t easy to fill so many roles at the same time, but I think I managed it, at the expense of giving up on proper food and enough hours of sleep!

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I have written a couple of posts (here and here) about Datrium around Tech Field Day 14 back in May;  at that time I was intrigued by their fresh and unusual approach to resolve the challenges associated with both the traditional “non-converged” and the “hyper-converged” infrastructure philosophies, but at the very same time I expressed my concerns about the maturity of their solution. I was eager to see their promising technology mature and today I am very pleased to acknowledge the efforts that Datrium have been making since that day, away from the glamour of the spotlight. Datrium just made a big push and only three months after their TFD showcase they introduced not one but two major technology updates.

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An introduction to Nimble Storage

2016-10-31-19_59_36-nimble-tech-field-day-pptx-powerpointNimble Storage was founded in 2008 by Varun Mehta and Umesh Maheshwari (both formerly at Data Domain) and the company delivered their first product to market in 2010 (they went out of stealth mode and announced the CS200 array at Tech Field Day 3 in 2010); since then Nimble Storage witnessed a rapid growth, counting now more than 9000 customers in 50 different countries. In the meanwhile the portfolio of products also grew and Nimble Storage now define themselves as an all-round “Storage Provider” for hypervisors and applications. Particularly notable is the network of Technology Alliances Nimble established with very diverse vendors like Cisco, Microsoft, Splunk, Oracle, Veeam, VMware, Citrix, Commvault and very recently Lenovo; this alone should say a lot about how versatile and interoperable Nimble solutions are. More »

Paeesler is a German company founded in 1997 by Dirk Paeesler, who wanted to create an easy to deploy and operate network monitoring solution, having no idea that what was at the time a “one man show” would have become in 20 years a company with 150,000 deployments worldwide and a staff of 170 people based in different countries. Paessler is a quite peculiar company as it is completely independent and owned by its founders and staff. It is also interesting to note that PRTG, Paessler’s solution, is adopted by 70% of Fortune 100 companies worldwide and acknowledged in Gartner’s magic quadrant.

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VMworld Europe 2016 will be a memorable one for me, not only because I will be returning to the event after a one year hiatus, but also because something very special is going to happen.

Let me explain… last August, at VMworld US 2016 in Las Vegas, VMUG Leaders gathered for the traditional lunch with VMware Execs (including Pat Gelsinger).Every year there is a ceremony where a few Leaders are publicly mentioned for their commitment and their efforts for the VMUG community. This is when people who have gone the extra mile for the community are acknowleged at the presence of their peers. More »

VMworld Europe 2014 is only a mere four weeks away and now it is time to start focusing on it and achieve that sort of Zen mental state that it is required to survive the experience!

For the third year in a row the event will be held in Barcelona: somebody may object this, but from my perspective it does totally make sense. I admit I am totally biased as Barcelona is my favorite European city and a place where I’d move anytime if I had the chance, but let’s be honest: the city has a gorgeous weather in October, it is easily reachable from anywhere in Europe, it has great accommodation options, a working and efficient transportation system, food is great, it is a cheap place compared to other destinations and it is a pleasure for the eyes! Gimme Barcelona anytime!

After two Catalan VMworlds and almost a dozen leisure trips to Barcelona I can consider myself a veteran, so let me guide you through my experiences, who knows, you might find some useful advice here.

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During this edition of VMworld Europe I followed only a few sessions, included two focusing on the new vCloud Hybrid Service directly offered by VMware, one presented by Massimo Re Ferre’ and another one by Chris Colotti and David Hill on “How to build a Hybrid Cloud in less than a day”.

In this post I will present Massimo’s session: PHC5070 – vCloud Hybrid Service: Architecture and Consumption Principles. This session was the first of a five part series, completely focused on vCHS.

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