Take Five With Tom Fenton
5 Key Takeaways From VMworld Europe
It's clear that Europe is no longer VMworld's "little sister" show.
VMworld Europe 2016 hosted more than 10,000 attendees in Barcelona. Although not as large as VMworld US, it was just as important. The keynotes and the sessions kept on message with VMware's vision of "One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device." Here are my top five takeaways from the show.
- The VMware/Amazon partnership. This was VMware's biggest announcement of the year. With this partnership, VMware gets a credible public cloud option and AWS gets an entry into the thousands of additional enterprise IT users. If this relationship is managed correctly, it will fill a huge hole each of these companies' product portfolios.
- Unique sessions. In the past, VMworld Europe sessions were a subset of VMworld US sessions. This year, however, there were a few sessions unique to VMworld Europe, including sessions surrounding the VMware/AWS partnership announcement.
- vSphere and VSAN are getting incremental improvements. VMware made its first billion dollars with a single product: the hypervisor. Now, VMware has proven it has the chops to create a true contender in the storage space with VSAN. The improvements to these two products, though incremental, show that VMware is still investing in them and are determined to continue to invest in and deliver market-leading products in these categories.
- Near live-streaming of sessions. This is a carryover from VMware US, but is still a big deal. VMware this year made most sessions available to the public -- at no cost -- shortly after they were presented. This is a feature I hope to see continue, as it makes valuable information available to the masses. While there is still no substitute for attending VMworld in person, streaming the sessions is a good way to stay on top of the latest information in the virtualization community.
- VMworld Europe's increasing importance. VMworld Europe used to be, for the most part, simply a rehash of VMworld US. This year was different, with VMware releasing its flagship product, vSphere 6.5, as well as its hyper-converged storage product, VSAN 6.5. Moreover, the biggest announcement of the year, VMware's coupling with Amazon Web Services (AWS), was made shortly before VMware Europe. These releases and announcements signal that VMworld Europe is becoming just as important to the community as VMworld US.
Tom Fenton has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 25 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 15 years focusing on virtualization and storage. He previously worked at VMware as a Senior Course Developer, Solutions Engineer, and in the Competitive Marketing group. He has also worked as a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, where he headed the Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on Twitter @vDoppler.