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VMworld Europe 2014 – Day Zero Roundup (Partner Day)

24 hours later I’m sitting in my hotel room, nursing my swollen feet, with a belly full of tapas, reflecting on the ups and downs of my first full day of VMworld, and I can indeed confirm it was in fact brilliant!

The Downs:

  • The lacklustre breakfast at my hotel
  • Mistakenly thinking that “Fira Barcelona” was at the Plaça Espanya, just a brisk 20 minute walk from my hotel, then arriving there looking like the sweaty wreck of the Hesperus and wondering why I couldn’t see any VMworld signs…
    Fira Barcelona

    Fira Barcelona (*cough* easily mistaken…)

    It didn’t take long before I clicked that the actual event was actually at the “Fira Barcelona Gran Via” (North Entrance – Hall 8), which is actually over 3km away! For any other soul who makes the same error, simply jump on the FGC Subway service directly beneath the plaza, and go three stops to the Europa | Fira station. From there you can catch a 5 minute shuttle bus to the conference centre. (I would point out that I’m normally pretty well prepared, but I guess not today!)

  • The vast distances between the breakout sessions and the hang space, which may as well be measured in leagues!
  • Lunch time queues…
  • Distances between evening event venues in BCN!

The Ups:

  • Attending my first VMworld breakout session (TEX2254) on NSX Extensibility; very interesting indeed, though from experience, some of the partners need to consider reducing their virtual edition license costs methinks… (no names referenced to protect the innocent!)
  • Catching up with a number of the #LonVMUG crew at the bloggers hang space and partner lunch
  • Bumping into one or two old colleagues, almost inevitable in our seemingly incestuously small industry!
  • The Expert-Led VSAN Hands on Lab session – there are sessions on all manner of different VMware products throughout the week. I definitely recommend this as you can ask as many questions of the experts as you like. It was more about the interaction than the lab content to be honest (and that was great). Note however, there is only room for about 20-30 people in the lab room so I suggest you get there early for a session if you do want to do one!

    Expert-Led Hands on Labs

    Expert-Led Hands on Labs

  • Brief tweetups around the #vBrownbag area including Alastair Cooke, Josh Atwell, GS Khalsa, (Man)fred Hofer, etc. Always great to put a face to a twitter avatar after so many years. I will definitely be trying to take in some of the sessions there this week. They will primarily be on Tuesday and Wednesday only as I understand it?
  • The unusual rotating balls entertainer at the partner evening event, both mesmerising and creepy at the same time!
  • Eating copious amounts of tasty tapas for dinner whilst setting the tech world to rights, and wondering if I should have stopped before that last bowlful of potatoes!



  • Using a HailO cab on the way home. The app makes it incredibly simple as you just hail a cab via the app. They arrive at your GPS coordinates within an estimated time (you can actually see where the cab is on the map), you pay with your credit card via the app, (optionally) automatically including a tip, and it conveniently emails you a receipt so you can claim back your expenses at a later date. Perfect! The icing on the cake was the price of taxis in BCN, which seems to be far more reasonable than those at home in the UK!

First impressions

If today was anything to go by, the rest of this week is going to be awesome!

Finally, it may be obvious but I wont be posting any of my session notes from today as it was partner day, so unfortunately NDAs etc… hopefully tomorrow though!

VMworld at Fira Barcelona Gran Via

VMworld at Fira Barcelona Gran Via (of course!)

VMworld Europe 2014 – The build up…

So I’m sitting in with a cup of strong coffee waiting for my delayed flight to BCN to attend VMworld and I thought I would jot down some quick thoughts.

Having worked with VMware products for fast approaching 10 years, it may sound strange to say, but this is my first VMworld! Historically I worked for a significant period of my career at a VMware competitor, and let’s just say it was a bit tricky to get sign off to attend any paid competitor events… Fortunately my current employer is a VMware Partner who sees the value in VMworld attendance and is sending a number of people, including myself!

I have read through a bunch of posts from people who have been to VMworld in the past and there is some great advice, but I suspect even so I will probably make the cardinal offence of trying to bite off more than I can chew. I have planned to attend quite a number of live breakout sessions, in part because I simply don’t always have the luxury of the time to watch the videos at home. I plan to spend time at the HoLs whenever possible, especially to play with NSX, and I will definitely be hitting the solution hall (in part to get a hands on look at the new EVO kit). Finally I will be trying my best to take as many notes as I can at each session (I may even take a stab at a bit of live blogging), and anything worth publishing / sharing will go up on here, so sign up to the RSS Feed if would like to see any of that. The posts may not be my normally perfectly crafted works of art (cough), so please forgive any mistakes!

In between all of that, the plan is to take advantage of the biggest resource at the event, like minded individuals! 🙂

In terms of the sessions I am signed up for there is a distinct leaning towards technologies around networking and storage, and automation; all of the areas where I think there are the most exciting things happening. A couple of sessions I will also definitely be attending are Ask the Expert vBloggers and Chad / Vaughn’s annual roadshow.

Finally I just want to wish good luck to all the #LonVMUG guys who are presenting sessions or tech talks at the vBrownbag area.

If you are attending and you see me, feel free to say hi. I’m 6’7” tall, so you can’t miss me!

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