I attended VMworld this year, during August 25-29 in San Francisco. This is a brief report of what I saw and the impressions I came away with. It is getting bigger each year, with 23,000 attendees in 2013. There were lots of interesting sessions, but I could only attend a fraction of those I would have wished to attend. Reasons? Too many conflicts, with each session offered only once. In addition, there were many meetings/receptions/lunches, and lots of networking. I feel that conference prices keep rising just from the perceived value from networking.
For those looking for a overview of the content, here are the day-by-day highlights from the VMware vCloud blog. An excellent coverage of Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 by David Davis. In case you are looking for more detail, here is Scott Lowe’s blow-by-blow from the keynotes by Pat Gelsinger (Day 1) and Carl Eschenbach (Day 2). Scott also has a great report on interesting vendor meetings he had during VMworld here, these could be technologies and companies to watch over the coming months.
Picture from “Ask the Expert vBloggers” Session
The Exhibit Hall was huge, with over 250 exhibitors. The influence of the major industry players was clearly evident from the size of their operations, and the show they put up. Nearly half the exhibitors were storage companies, or offered storage solutions. It took me over two days to cover all booths of my interest, and got me wondering about how new players and small startups could effectively stand out in this environment. Well, Jerry Chen had the very same impression; see here for his post on how it is becoming harder for startups to get noticed at VMworld. He also analyzes the future of VMware as a company, and the role of many key initiatives to VMware’s strategy.
Finally a plug for the VMware User Group (VMUG). VMUG is a customer led organization, and relies on the dedication and commitment of its members and its leaders (including yours truly) to support the community of VMware users. The VMUG booth was the most visited booth, with over 5480 visitors. One-third of VMworld 2013 attendees were VMUG members and this is expected to grow. Join the VMUG community, and volunteer – it is a great way to be amongst a smart and passionate set of individuals!!
A view of the VMUG Booth at VMworld
Robin Matlock, VMware CMO, made a shout out to the VMUG community and organization on the opening day. It was really great to meet other leaders, with over 190 Leaders, VMware Employees and Partners attended key VMUG Leader events. I will leave you with some press coverage of VMUG; interviews with the President, Mariano Maluf are here and here, and an interview with the Executive Director, Victor Bohnert can be viewed here.