Oct 162010

So another VMworld Europe is over and the majority of attendees will be left with a sense of satisfaction and a slightly painful hangover. Also some with iPads, net-books and countless T-shirts, USB keys, pens and even sponsored energy drinks.

This years show was widely criticized when it was announced for being so close to the main event in San Fran and it was anticipated that the number of attendees and vendors would have been effected. This was true to a certain extent but other factors compensated.

The good:

Tech Preview

The technology presented by VMware at this show was not the staggering list of features and new products we had in Cannes however it was more than enough to get our teeth into. The focus was mainly around vCD and its peripherals (vSheild, Chargeback, Networking etc etc). We also saw plenty on View 4.5 and its evolution. I also particularly liked the look of project ‘Horizon’ which will be VMware SaaS solution arriving some time next year.

The vendors had plenty of tech to keep us all interested between Breakout Sessions and it was interesting to see how the landscape is changing from a vendor perspective. Some very interesting solutions to the old VDI I/O bottle neck issue seemed to grab my attention and the guys at Atlantis Computing were on the full marketing warpath. I also liked what HP/3par are trying to do and the direction that venture takes will be hugely interesting and could make a huge mark in the VDI space. Perhaps is the tide is theoretical tide is swinging back towards SAN than local disk?? I think I’m edging into dangerous territory and getting away from the point….

I’m a big fan of UCS and that and he vBlock were really interesting to get a good look at in the flesh. While im not as much of an ITIL guru as Steve Chambers (anyone following Steve will know this) I am still very much of that way of thinking so Service Manager really captured my attention and vCloud request manager also looked to fit the cloud model very well.

Attendee figures

Paul Maritz announced that this has topped 6000, a record for the Europe event.

Vendor attendance

Compared to the Cannes show last year (seems allot longer) I did not notice a great deal of vendors (that I cared about anyway) being missing from the event.


Copenhagen is an inspiring an beautiful city with excellent transport and plenty of accommodation. Its night life left there to be plenty to do outside the event.

2010-10-14 09:41:58 +0200

Solutions Exchange

Overall the Bella Centre was more that adequate for the event. As it was scaled down somewhat this year there was more than enough room to host such an event.


This year seemed to have more vendor parties than ever. I was pressed frequently by attractive young girls trying to get me to go their party. It was plainly obvious that those girls wouldn’t actual be there though.  I hit the VMUG party on the Monday evening and the Veeam party Wednesday and despite the tiredness had a great time at both.

2010-10-14 09:41:31 +0200


This year year in San Fran we saw the Labs being delivered by a cloud service provider for the very first time. This theme was continued in Copenhagen and I was very pleased to see that the Lab team reached there goals on VMs created and destroyed and people attending.

I found the labs them selves to work very well and they were responsive and I had not issue. One person next to me had all sorts of issues however and had to keep getting an engineer over to help, I initially though bad things about the lab he was doing but when he asked what ‘putty’ was and what ‘ssh’ was to the response to his first question I realised it was more likely user error.

2010-10-15 23:32:50 +0100

Breakout Sessions

I really liked the format of a few of the breakouts where it was basically an intimate 15 or 20:1 ratio to the tech lead. This was far for more informative and I felt I got an honest and frank answer to most of the questions I asked. I also like the ‘Who want to be a millionaire style surveys at the beginning.

Social Media and Bloggers Lounge

I was blown away by this as I did not expect there to be level of attention around this. I always knew that this area was popular and the amount of people trying to get into the social scene (me included) has exploded in the last 18 months (I think I may have said that in my interview a few times haha). You only have to look at the VMUGs and there popularity along with the vbeers events to see how much people enjoy spending time in the company of like minded people.

I was very pleased to have been involved with this and meet some really cool (geek cool that is) people that I will defiantly keep in contact with.

2010-10-15 23:34:21 +0100

The bad:

Tech Preview

While there was plenty to consider with the announcements (specifically Horizon, View 4.5 and vCD) there was no getting away from the fact these technologies had been announced and being used for a fair number of weeks. This gave enough time for everyone to find the failures and missing features that most VMworld’s would not experience. I know I may be a minority on this looking at the % of attendees but the advanced guys were all feeling a little deflated. As a result the Breakout Session often felt like pure marketing and not technical. Perhaps I’m being a little over critical here but I can not honestly say I went away thinking I have learned anything new that I didn’t already know from reading the announcements or playing with the products prier to the show.

Breakout Sessions

As a result of the lack of technology announcements the Breakout Session often felt like pure marketing and not technical. Perhaps I’m being a over critical here but I can not honestly say I went away thinking I have learned anything new that I didn’t already know from reading the announcements, documentation or playing with the products prier to the show.


While on the whole i liked the labs and there structure I thought that the queues were allot worse than Cannes. This is in part to the ‘cloud’ way it was done, Cannes had separate banks of desks for each lab. This meant that if you arrived at a lab that had a huge queue you could do your second or 3rd choice. I found the queuing in Copenhagen frustrating and as a result I didn’t get as many labs done as Id have liked. Many be if id been more dedicated then id have arrived at 8 every day.


While I dont think the venue was bad I though the food was a far cry to that in Cannes. Im not a fussy eater however the lack of variety and the peculiar food combinations meant that I was left with bagels most days. When I did try the hot food (lamb curry I think) it was warm at best.


The main party lacked something this year while basically a similar setup to the Cannes (games machines etc) it lacked a certain intimacy you got at last years venue and felt a little like we were all cattle in a barn being made to force drink and much larger as possible. Not to say i didn’t at least try and drink as much as i could ;-). Id say the place was only half full by 10:30 as most vendors had dragged people off to bars. Also the pre main event entertainment was a little boring and the 60’s theme was very odd. On the bright side I was with great company and any party is only as good as what you make it.

Solution Exchange

Much smaller exchange from Cannes. While I don’t think there was a radically reduced vendor attendance the size of the booths were much reduced. As was the free gifts. The iPad giveaways from the bigger vendors draw crowds but the usual gift were reduced to pens and hats.

The not so great:

Simons pink, flowery shirt.

Celebrity spotting (Simon Long)

and my interview.

David Owen (@vMackem) on VMwareTV

Suggestions For 2011

All in all I enjoyed this years VMworld immensely and most of the bad points I highlighted are not issues I would think would put me off. If I had to say which was the best out of Cannes and Copenhagen I would probably have to give it to Copenhagen. The whole social networking scene has made it impossible (if you wanted to that is) not so have access to even the most famous faces in the industry.

I’m fairly confident that Copenhagen has been booked in for next year so I’m not going to suggest changing that however I feel the following would make the experience better:

  • At least having one big announcement at the Europe event. This wont leave us feeling like the poorer cousins over the pond.
  • Placing twitter names and blog addresses clearly on the badges. While not everyone have these it would be great for those that do to identify people from there virtual persona.
  • Have the labs accessible through wireless and allow people to use their laptops throughout the venue. Thee wireless was pretty good (apart form the odd drop outs) so I think this would be achievable with some reconfiguration on the lab side.
  • Split the party into multiple rooms like Cannes.

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Oct 132010

“The Evolutionary Path to a Revolutionary Approach to IT”

Today is the first day of the conference proper today and to kick it all off is the keynote speeches from Paul Maritz, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Steve Herrod, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of R&D.
They are presenting the “VMware vision for IT as a Service, and plan to demonstrate new virtualization and cloud computing technologies enabling modern infrastructures, application platforms and end-user computing.”

Opening Video –

The opening video mainly focused about what is cloud? There were several references to the Matrix in the video (the Oracle and the bullet dodging screen springs to mind).

One thing that I was very interested in this year was the attendance due this conference being so close to the main vmware event in San Fran.

Bellow are the attendance figures:

2008 – 4500

2009 – 4700

2010 – 6000


I’m sure its been well publicised that the labs this year are operated as part of a cloud. This was championed in the key note as being significant proof that cloud works and works well. (Ill be sitting the labs tomorrow so ill let you know if they got there).

Interesting things to note:

  • Developers moving to spring source and ruby on rails etc. This is to provide new enterprise in applications going forward.
  • One thing that that grabbed my attention was Paul’s comment that the operating system will be much less prevelent in the cloud, not that the operating system will be going away but will become just a background feature in the cloud.
  • It looks like if cloud really takes off then SaaS will really pick up pace and this is event in the way VMware are positioning there development
  • VMware are now trying unify the gadget world and as they acknowledge that different ways of accessing systems are going to be even more diverse in years to come.
  • Integrien is a company that VMware acquired that does, in my opinion, long over due advanced – monitoring at a glance. The screen shots that were in the keynote kind of reminded me of Quests Spotlight but that can only be a good thing as i like spotlight.
  • One thing Paul mentioned that looked really cool was that they have got an app that will let you use your iPad to manage vCenter this may not change the way we administer our environments but its a good step in the right direction.
  • Service catalogue in the cloud. Its a little like an App Store but for server and desktop OS and applications.
  • Virtual datacenters, gold, bronze and silver pools of resource can be derived from a very large pool of resources. It can also utilize service providers to run the applications, its depending on the model and costing (this is a hybrid cloud).
  • Chargeback charges for what users use not just a one off fee.

VMware have a new high-level 3 part methodology

Cloud infrastructure and management
  • Vsphere,
  • Vcenter,
  • Vcd,
  • Vshield
New application platforms
Vmware vFabric:
  • Salesfource(vmforce), google app engine, csc net classv fabric cloud.
  • Java is big at the moment but expect announcement around adding languages to the platform.
End user computing.
  • Vmware view 4.5 – local mode. Costs? Can cost less than lowest end pcs
  • Project horizon.
    • Policy application management.
    • I am very interested how they are gonignt o manage non SaaS applicaions, ThinApp perhaps?
  • Horizon on iPad. Looks very cool and very easy usability. (Expect to hear alot more about project Horizon in the coming months)

vCD demo:
I have had a look at vCD before however it was a good opportunity to see a configured environment and see how it should be used properly. I know they used the LabMager technology for vCD but webinterface is very similar. I know that the VMware guys hate me saying that vCD is labmanger with lots of bells and whistles but at the end of the day that’s all it is.

Check out the key note speeches yourself at http://www.vmworld.com/community/conferences/europe2010/generalsessions

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Sep 212010

I have finally managed to get my self to this years vmworld Europe. Many many thanks to John Troyer(@jtroyer) and Richard Garsthagen(@the_anykey) for helping me get a bloggers pass.

One of my main goals is to get more vocal in the communities and attending conferences like this as a blogger can only help the cause.

As soon as vmware announced that the Europe conference was to be so soon after the main conference every one assumed that europe would be a poor version of the San Fran conference. I must confess I was one of those people.

But now I have a renewed sense of optimism and heres why:

  • Great breakout sessions such as:
    • VMware vCloud Director Technical Overview
    • VDI Performance Benchmarking and Best Practices
    • Design, Deploy, and Optimize Microsoft SQL 2008
    • etc
  • Hands on Labs like:
    • VMware ESX 4.1 – New Features
    • VMware vSphere Performance & Tuning
    • VMware vCenter Configuration Manager – Provisioning, Patching, and Software Distribution
    • VMware vCenter Chargeback – Advanced
    • etc
  • Solutions Exchange



I know there will not be the big announcements like there were at Cannes last year (seems like longer) but there is still enough to get grab my attention. VMworld Europe will never live up to the US version but its well worth the effort.

As I was part of the vCD beta I am eager to catch up with some of the guys that have been tirelessly working (in secrecy) away behind the scenes for some time now and being able to talk in public about vCD. I would also like to get some real world customer opinions on vCD as its one thing believing what the vendor says compared to what the guys on the front line say.

Oh yes and the parties……..

I hope to meet as many of the bloggers and tweeters as possible. If you see me feel free to stop and say hello.

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