This year I was lucky enough to attend my first VMworld with my colleague Michael Sweeney (http://www.v-ms.uk/ – Go check out his blog!) and can recommend to anyone to try and get to a VMworld if possible. I thought I’d put together a few highlights from my VMworld experience.
First off, I cannot really give any advice on where to stay or good food spots as this was my first time in Barcelona, however I can give a review of the VMworld experience. The venue is well laid out and structured, so navigation is easy. The VMworld app is also a must, this also has a map of the venue so you can easily find your next tech talk or the Hands-On-Labs area etc.
Michael and I entered the HOL Odyssey challenge, not sure if we will ever be back at VMworld (I hope so!) we wanted to make the most of our trip and do as much as we can. The competition consisted of 24 teams and 4 rounds. Round 1, Round 2, Semi-Finals, Finals. The challenge was all based-on efficiency and speed across four areas, vSphere, vSAN, Horizon and vRA. The first 12 teams to finish round 1 (vSAN) and round 2 (vSphere) collectively the quickest progressed to the Semi-Finals (Horizon). After a not so strong start we picked up in round 2 and managed to finish 11th with a spot in the Semi-Finals. The topic for the Semi was Horizon and we managed to finish 5th therefore in the top 6 cut off for the final. With a fair early flight booked for the Thursday and the winning team receiving a MacBook Pro each the pressure was on for the final and unfortunately, we were outdone be some great teams. All in all, the experience of the Odyssey HOLs was great and had continued support from the VMware staff especially Anoop Jalan who was our assigned Coach and Michael Armstrong who kept popping over from the HOL area. Congratulations to the winners Pranay Jha (@Impranayk), Pawel Piotrowski (@Vv_piter) and @Itsvmme. Well done guys!
The solution exchange was another area we spent a lot of time seeing what all the vendors had to offer as well as picking up various loot from the vendor booths, from RedHat hats, to plenty of socks from Rubrik, LoginVSI and a few more. The VMware store was also present in VMvillage with a decent discount on all book, so picked up a few NSX books for next year’s project on passing my NSX VCP and possibly explore the VCAPs too.
Want to give another shout out to Michael Armstrong for giving us tour of the Hands-On-Labs area, some serious work goes into the HOL setup and the constant monitoring and data gathered is very impressive! Thanks again Michael.
Wednesday night was VMFest, was brilliant and a great way to finish VMworld. From free beer, food and ice cream to watching the Stereophonics live. If you are at VMworld definitely head over to VMFest!
I want to finish with the major keynotes, they were informative and the future of all VMware products that’s on the horizon and the current offerings. I cannot wait to see what 2020 brings!