VMworld 2018 Live (to tape) Blog: Day 3

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Welcome to the VMworld 2018 US Tuesday General Session live (to tape) blog!

Why live to tape? Due to the overwhelming popularity of today’s general session (to reason for which you’ll discover below) the VMvillage was a bit more full than usual and space and electricity for the laptop more scarce than usual. So I turned to my trusty pocket notebook (yes, actual pen and paper) to record my notes and observations, which I’ll transcribe here.

Tuesday General Session

Kick off

  • The session starts off with Sanjay Poonen, VMware’s COO, taking the stage.
  • He causally mentions that the conference this year boasts some 25,000+ attendees.
  • The theme for this session is “Pioneers of the Possible”.
  • During a slide of VMware’s approaches and vision, it’s interesting to note that they’ve been focused on multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud and virtual networking since 2016.
  • Originally, when VMware started shipping their virtualization infrastructure product, customers would share with them power bills. Both before and after the implementation of VMware, showing savings of 10’s of thousands of dollars per month or more.
  • vSAN can deliver 619% ROI over a period of 5-years for customers.
  • NSX’s estimated impact is a 50% reduction in expenses/effort, mainly via operational improvements.
  • The three A’s are becoming increasingly important:
    • Automation
    • Analytics
    • AI

Customer Panel

  • Sanjay is joined by representatives from Brinks, Sky and a third company (I missed it – audio’s not great in the VMvillage).
  • Brinks is building what they call a digital network, which connects not only their offices, but extends out to the edge. This includes connecting their drivers as well as the secure devices they leave on customer sites.
  • Chad Sakac can be heard yelling “yeah!” from the crowd again today at the mention of PKS by one of the panelists.
  • Sky is using HashiCorp’s Terraform, and is trying to execute an agile, software driven approach to their digital business.
  • Sky is using VRNI and NSX.
  • The third company (again, sorry!) are also using NSX and PKS and have integrated them.
  • At the mention of PKS, there’s more noise from the crowd. Sanjay: “If [Chad] creates too much noise, security will vMotion him out of the arena.”
  • Brinks decommissioned their DR site entirely and replaced it with VMware Cloud on AWS. They only keep a bit of compute active to keep the site warm.
  • Brinks is keeping on eye on blockchain and digital currency. Makes sense, given their business.
  • Interestingly Brinks mentions that Las Vegas is the biggest cash city (meaning for the use of cash over digital transactions – credit, debit, etc.) They’d likely be the ones who’d know.

End-User Panel

  • Sanjay mentions that end-user devices are no longer typically from a single vendor. Apple, Google and Microsoft each have a significant share of the enterprise end-user device space.
  • VMware estimates that today it costs companies about USD$50 per user per month to manage their end-user devices and experience. VMware Workspace ONE can allegedly bring that cost down to USD$15 per user per month.
  • Sanjay is joined by representatives from DXC and Adobe.
  • DXC’s company name is meant to represent digital transformation for its customers.
  • Adobe has had many pioneer transitions to the cloud, most infamously the transition of much of their popular consumer products to online services (ex. Creative Suite).
  • Adobe’s key measurements for success  for end user changes are viability and employee experience.
  • DXC is looking to enable contractors who may work for multiple companies within the same day.
  • Adobe’s workforce is about 50% Windows, 50% Apple devices.
  • Adobe adopted Workspace ONE to unify the employee experience and enable self provisioning for all end-user devices (not just smartphones).
  • DXC is working on reducing their dependency on email. Looking to solutions such as Slack, Skype for Business, and others.
  • Adobe agrees about the approach to email, further predicting that email will become mainly a medium for delivering alerts and monitoring information.
  • Sanjay mentions Workspace ONE has (will have?) Slack integration, as VMware is working with Slack on this.

Malala Yousafza

  • The audio feed cut out within the VMvillage, leaving many concerned that the warning that this portion of the keynote wouldn’t be streamed might apply here as well.
  • Malala is the reason for the additional popularity for the keynote this year.
  • After several minutes, about half-way through a trailer for a documentary about Malala, the audio returns. The trailer wraps up and Malala joins Sanjay on stage.
  • This is Malala’s first tech conference, and when asked her first impression, she notes that there are too many confusing acronyms.
  • Malala recounts her youth growing up in the north of Pakistan, referred to by Queen Elizabeth II as the “Swiss Alps of the East”.
  • Malala father (who is present in the audience) believed in women’s rights, as he grew up with a brother and five sisters, the sisters who were not allowed to go to school. He made sure Malala was able to go to school.
  • Malala’s father named her after a famous soldier who raised her voice, and is the only named historical female figure known in Pakistan.
  • Cricket is Malala’s favourite sport. As she puts it, “obviously, it’s the only sport I know”.
  • In the area that Malala grew up, the Taliban first banned music, then banned women going to market, then said that women should stay home, and finally that girls and women should not attend school.
  • Basically the Taliban was trying to stop the empowerment of women.
  • Malala wanted to speak out for her dreams and her future. At that time she wanted to continue her education to become a doctor.
  • October 2012 was when Malala was attacked.
  • She doesn’t remember what happened, only that she woke up in a UK hospital surrounded by English speaking doctors.
  • “Sometimes I think they made a mistake trying to silence me, and now look what happened.”
  • Hate and anger are a waste of energy, and Malala doesn’t want to waste her energy.
  • The best thing to do is educate girls.
  • A clip is shown from her 2014 Nobel Peace Price acceptance speech.
  • Malala says she was in chemistry class when a school official arrived, took her into the hall, and told her that she won. She was relived that it wasn’t bad news, and went right back to class.
  • We have to invest in girls and women, since we cannot succeed globally half the population not educated properly.
  • It’s estimated that educating women could add 13 trillion dollars to the world economy.
  • One hundred students are  present in the audience from local Las Vegas schools. They’re invited to ask Malala a question.
  • Dell Technology is donating computer equipment to the students’ schools’ labs.
  • Malala is now an Oxford University student. Her friends treat her as a student and don’t treat her as a “famous person”.
  • She’s pursuing a program involving philosophy, policitcs, and economics.
  • When asked what it’s like having two younger brothers, Malala jokingly comments that she had two years of peace, then nothing but chaos since her brothers came along.
  • The Malala Fund does advocacy for secondary education of girls, as most existing funding is for primary education.
  • The Malala Fund looks at issues specific to certain regions and works with local activists to improve education.
  • Technology has contributed all over the world, starting from mobile phones to computers.
  • Technology provides support for women, for things like education and safety.
  • Despite technology, Malala says we need to continue to work on quality education to avoid a gap between only using technology as tools and its ability to improve the future.

That’s it for the Tuesday general session, coming to you kinda/sorta live(ish). ‘Till next time.

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 was awarded VMware vExpert for 2014-2018. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter.

1 Response

  1. August 29, 2018

    […] out my dedicated general session post for more […]

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