VMworld Europe 2019 – A record-setting event

Posted on 21/11/2019 by charlene

The beautiful Spanish city of Barcelona played host to the annual VMworld Europe earlier this month, from the 4 to 7 November, with more than 13 000 people in attendance. The event was focused on showing attendees how to accelerate their cloud journey and building momentum around the rapidly-changing IT environment.

The opening day kicked off with an inspiring keynote by VMware’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger. He reflected on the natural tension that exists between choice and complexity. While this is a challenge the IT industry must continually adapt to, from these challenges stems the innovations and breakthroughs that make the impossible seem possible. He illustrated that those who master the multi-cloud will own the next decade.

To that end, Gelsinger introduced several new projects VMware will be launching to help IT practitioners adapt. See his full session and the announcements here.

Also taking to the stage were Joe Beda, Kubernetes and Heptio co-founder, VMware Principal Engineer, and author of Kubernetes: Up and Running, as well as VMware’s COO Sanjay Poonen. Poonen reiterated the importance of, and the results that are possible, when investments are made in the digital employee experience. He was joined on stage by VMware customers, IHS Markit, SAP and Michelin. Watch the replay here.

The first day concluded with a Diversity & Inclusion Reception where attendees could meet and discuss how partners, customers, and VMware itself practically promotes diversity and inclusion in their company on a global scale.


Making your mark

Day two began with VMware Executive VP, Ray O’ Farrell discussing the challenges of digital transformation today and in the future. He was joined by various colleagues to highlight how best to take advantage of the modern infrastructure made available to them.

Several guided technical demonstrations, which included new product updates, helped demonstrate the power of current and newly announced VMware solutions. O’Farrell concluded the session by highlighting how the dynamic interplay between apps, infrastructure, cloud, networking, security, and devices all comes together with the VMware Digital Foundation, and how this helps organisations solve real problems.

Up next was Greg Lavender, Senior VP and CTO of VMware, who affirmed how the culture of innovation at the organisation was the best he had ever experienced. This was no small praise coming from someone who previously worked at Citigroup, Cisco, and Sun Microsystems. He summed it up perfectly by stating: “We’re better together. Let’s go out and make our mark.”


Building on this discussion, the extreme adventurer and Special Forces serviceman, two times BAFTA winner, best-selling author and Honorary Colonel, Bear Grylls gave a motivational speech around his tried-and-tested formula to tackle self-doubt and encourage innovation.

Several other impressionable keynotes took place through the course of the day, examining topics as diverse as futureproofing company infrastructure, which strategies are required to operate at scale, how to make best use of Kubernetes, and how VMware infrastructure can turn the tide in cybersecurity.

Beyond the main sessions, more than 4 000 Hands-On Labs were taken, delegates completed more than 124 exam certifications, and more than 253 people attended 62 Meet the Expert roundtables.

The day ended off in style with a truly rocking celebration at VMfest. The DJ in the main hall, the RJP band, as well as a special performance by the Showman Circus kicked off the evening with the Stereophonics wrapping the evening up.


Onwards and upwards

The third and final day saw a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) customer panel lead customers into a discussion on what they had learnt from deploying HCI, where VMware’s Lee Dilworth, Chief Technologist for Storage and Availability in EMEA spoke.

Additionally, a diversity and inclusion panel discussed experiences of, and advice relating to, fostering a culture of inclusion in organisations. The panel featured representatives from across VMware and partner and customer organisations.

The final of the VMware Hands-On Labs Odyssey competition took place where the six top teams from throughout the week battled it out in a VRealize-based challenge. They had to complete three tasks against the clock with Team ‘Meteors’ walking away with first place and winning themselves a MacBook Pro for each member.

There was a record-breaking achievement by Abdelrahman Elmeky who became the youngest person yet to get a VCP-DCV certification. Many others showed their determination by completing self-paced exams right up to the end of the day.

If you could not make it this year, or if you could not keep up with all the happenings of the VMWorld, check out the Day 1 recap blog, the Day 2 recap blog, the on-demand video replays and latest news announcements.

See you there in 2020!

Category: Success Stories

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