VMworld 2017 Roundup: Day 1

Sunday’s typically the day many attendees show up for VMworld. There are a few sessions, TAM stuff, partner stuff, but it’s fairly light over all. Registration went very smoothly this year, with the badge and materials pick-ups handled separately. It wasn’t without flaws, of course, as a gentlemen in line beside me tried to get his badge, only to be told that he was at the wrong printer line-up and to go to the printers were he scanned his QR code (quick tip: when picking up your badge, you shouldn’t leave the carpet from QR/check-in to badge pick-up).

Opening Acts

This year’s Opening Acts was well executed, once again. Kudos to the crew that puts this on for the community. It’s run just as professionally as any of the official conference offerings. To paraphrase John Mark Troyer, the crowd at Opening Acts is representative of the community and largely acts as proxy for all of the people passionate about virtualization and the surrounding ecosystem.

The first session, Current State of the VMware Ecosystem, the panelists tackled the challenging topic of where the ecosystem is and how it could move forward. This devolved fairly predictably into an assessment of VMware itself. Most concurred that the company is in a sustainment pattern, where not a lot of innovation is originating from within. An interesting suggestion/observation is that VMware is (or should be) considered the “glue” that ties on-prem infrastructure and (multi-)cloud environments. Personally I think this would be a smart play for VMware, positioning themselves not only to be the cloud go-between, but also containers (vSphere Integrated Cloud, anyone?), and “server-less” (ala Amazon Lambda) could be their sweet spot for the next several years.

Some panelists contend that VMware has to figure out how to move past the hypervisor to stay sustainable. The hypervisor will, naturally, remain at the heart of VMware’s tech portfolio, but competent competition means that they can’t necessarily rely on it as the main revenue source. Likewise, the panel also suggested that the virtualization community itself needs to evolve. Again, virtualization may stay at the core, but bringing in more current and interest-driving tech, like Docker and AWS, will be key.

The How Failing Made Me Better panel discussed how failure played a role within their careers. Interestingly, three of the panelists are VCDXs who didn’t achieve the designation on their first try. They learned from that first failure, persevered, and ultimately achieved the coveted label. By and large this panel mutually agreed that failure is an inevitable, and useful, part of anyone’s career. As the saying goes, fail fast and fail often.

Welcome Reception

The annual opening of the Solutions Exchange went well. Among the crush of conference goers, it was nice to see lots of new companies displaying their wares. A little surprisingly AWS had a prominent booth,  though it really shouldn’t be, given the new VMware Cloud on AWS offering. I look forward to chatting with some of the companies a little later in the week, when there’s a bit more breathing room in the hall.


Day 1 in the can. Check back for live coverage of the general session and further updates throughout the week.

Dee Abson

Dee Abson is a technical architect from Alberta, Canada. He's been working in the field of technology for over 20 years and specializes in server and virtualization infrastructure. Working with VMware products since ESX 2, he holds several VMware certifications. He is a 9x VMware vExpert. You can find him on Twitter and Mastodon.

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