VMware Sydney vForum – Day 1 Thoughts

Having just attended the vForum day 1 here in Sydney, I wanted to share my insights into the event along with some of the topics discussed during the keynote.

vForum this year was held at a fairly unconventional location at Luna Park which for those that do not know is a central Sydney based amusement park which has been going since 1935.

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What’s great with this location is that its just a short ferry ride from Circular Quay to Luna Park and makes a great experience traveling across Sydney harbour to attend a conference.

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Luckily I was fortunate enough to obtain a press pass for the event which basically meant front row seats at the keynote (which was held in the big top). With tables and power supplies (USB ports would be useful).

IMG_3410Duncan Bennett

Duncan Bennett opened the Keynote, which started with a full screen video of the ‘No Limits’ theme cracking under the strain as per VMworld, with the same dancers manipulating light.  The presentation went straight into explaining why luna park…  “Just think, you’re 10 years old and your dad says to you ‘where do you want to go for your birthday?’ Why Luna Park of course…”.  Duncan then went on to cleverly describe VMware’s impact on the Australian economy where VMware have saved the AUS economy $12.7 billion on IT Hardware spend, administration, power/cooling and real estate/maintenance.

Paul Strong came on stage next to cover for Tony Scott who was unable to attend last minute.  Paul talked about the transformation of IT mentioning a liquid world similar messaging again to VMworld. There was an interesting reference to how Uber has changed the taxi industry calling this a ‘weapon of mass disruption’.

Paul has a lengthy session covering a lot of content about the following main concepts: –

  • As IT leaders we need to move from rigid structures to liquid business – no barriers to technology with cloud – no upfront cost, pay as you grow.
  • Silos still exist, traditional apps vs cloud native.
  • All about applications and how they are delivered.

Topic then moved onto Software Defined DataCenter and discussed Private/Public/Hybrid with EUC same process, same maintenance and same technology experience across each.

Purpose is to separate applications from the infrastructure (compute/storage/network) then automate their lifecycle using the VM as its container.

Products mentioned include: –

  • VMware vCloud Suite 5.8 SRM vRealize Automation (vCloud)
  • vSphere 6.0 Beta – SMP FT up to 4 CPUs, Long Distance vMotion, VMfork, vVols & vSAN 2.0 64 node clusters & Federation SDDC (EMC&VMware integration) sounds like VCE?
  • Management & Automation leaders (rated by Gartner/IDC etc)
  • vRealize suite Automation/Operations/Business
  • Roll out of aaS solutuions
  • vRealize Operations 6.0 – scale out architecture
  • vRealize Code Stream
  • Evo:Rail/Rack
  • VMware integrated Openstack
  • Docker
  • NSX with an ephasis on solving security issues via new and innovative ways.

vCloud Air announced in Australia – with Telstra partnership, this was really the only new piece of information provided and (to me) sounds similar to what was announced at TechEd Sydney last week, although it doesn’t look as mature as Microsoft’s offering with only a single location listed and a Q1 date mentioned.  It’s good to see VMware invest in local partnerships and work with the eco system they have developed.

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There was then further detail about vCloud Air in region, including connecting On-premises with vCloud Air, you get the same management/network/security on top of the most popular hypervisor stack.

Initial offering will start with Disaster Recovery as a service (DRaaS) from on to off premises.

There was a mention about the vCloud Air partner network, and I think this is really VMware’s strength over their public cloud competition, although they are late to market against AWS, Azure and Google, what VMware have built is an eco system of partners who they can leverage to provide off-premises solutions.  Alot of todays messaging was about on-premises AND off-premesis, this was very much inclusive of that realisation that Cloud needs to be hybrid.  VMware have a  mature suite of on-premises products along with a broad customer base and you’ll find that most of todays Data Centres run on vSphere, they also have a strong EUC offering and a robust set of management tools.

Future aaS offerings will include: –

  • DevOps
  • DBaaS
  • Object Storage – 20TB limit, API integration – not hotel california
  • Mobility Services – airwatch
  • Cloud Management – vRealize Air Automation – AAS
  • Tight integration with Evo:Rail.

The keynote closed with a live Panel discussion to talk about how a selection of customers use VMware (Tatts, Macquarie Telecom, ASIC & City West Water).  A big emphasis on what problems customers are solving using the latest technology VMware has to offer i.e. NSX, VSAN etc.

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The rest of the day was filled with sessions (which unfortunately I’ve not been able to attend due to Booth & vBrownBag duties).

vBrownbag session

Finally onto the evening party which included a live set by Wolfmother and the various Luna Park rides being open to the delegates.

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What’s my overall opinion of todays event? Personally I think VMware have pulled off a great event in Luna Park, much more engaging than some of the other events I’ve recently attended.  I look forward to day 2, kudos to them and Happy 10th Birthday VMware!

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