Getting ready for #VMworld – My thoughts

So it’s this time of the year again, and there’s a lot of buzz around the virtualization community because of the two upcoming VMworlds, the US one in Las Vegas starting august 26th, and the European version in Barcelona, starting september 11. This year the EU one has moved forward from the usual week 42 spot. Which at least for northern Europe is a big plus, as week 42 usually is a fall holiday.

When going to VMworld there’s a couple of options for planning your week. I used to spend a lot of time in the Hands on Labs, but since these has been available afterwards the buzz about these has gone away. The main problem about this though is that getting the time to actually do the labs when you get home, usually is a problem. So if possible, do schedule a few hours for the Hands on Labs.

There’s of course also a lot of sessions to attend, and again in my first few VMworld I had a fully booked schedule, which leaves you running around a lot. Getting from one session to the next could have you walking more than a kilometer. My record was more than 30 km’s in one day (Vegas hotels are HUGE).

This year I’m focusing more on meeting with people, I have been lucky enough to be able to get meetings with a few product managers of some of the cooler stuff VMware creates, and a such I think I’ve only scheduled 10 or so sessions.

This also gives me ample room to wander the Solutions Exchange talking both with big vendors but also a lot of small new startups are present, and there are usually a few really cool ones, that you can see and demo. Especially coming from Europe there are a quite a few companies that seems to be US only.

This will be my 8th VMworld, having participated in 3 European ones and 4 US ones, I have to say I prefer the US ones. First of it is 1 day longer (at least), and all the right people are here. Working with VMware at Scale there are a lot more US companies at 20.000+ VM’s than there are in Europe. Usually most of the sessions do get repeated in Europe, but it not all, and its cramped in to 1 day less. Having been 3 times to San Francisco and once to Las Vegas, I must say I’d much rather go to San Francisco. It’s a way more European town. Vegas is fun to experience, but after a week your head is spinning and you can’t wait to get home 🙂 For a list of gatherings head here:

Around both conferences there are a lot of happenings, all from morning breakfast meetings, to late night parties, and again these are excellent places to meet new and interesting people from the community. Most of the “superstars” of the community are usually attending some of these and they easily approachable. Don’t be afraid to walk up and say hi. People like Duncan Epping, Frank Denneman, Cormac Hogan and Rawlinson Rivera are really down to earth and easy to talk to.

There will be a ton of blogs covering all the new and fancy things that are presented at VMworld, so I’m thinking I’ll do another round of T-shirt reviews this year.

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