VMware Explore 2022 – Following the North Star

VMware Explore 2022 – Following the North Star

Popcorn, a giant foosball table, human chess, experts, networking and even a real Formula 1… but above all innovation, lots of innovation and incredible quality content!

This could be the headline for someone like me, who this year was pleasantly surprised after walking through the doors of the Fira de Barcelona for the first time to enter the multicloud universe presented by VMware.

An event where technology lovers feel at home and VMware shows us that the future can be exciting. Do you want to know more? Then read on!

Sessions suitable for everybody and expert tables

From technical sessions where we discover how technologies such as NSX or HCX can guarantee a safe and easy journey to any cloud or what VMware Aria is and what its evolution from what we knew as vRealize Network Insight entails or real success stories such as the Norwegian Road Administration (Statens vegvesen) that tell us how thanks to the implementation of VXrail and VCF they have managed to establish a firm DevOps strategy, simplifying the management of their environment and saving costs.

Whoever you are, and whatever your profile is, there is a session for you among the more than 300 that this event had scheduled with the collaboration of more than 500 interlocutors.

In addition, there was the possibility to go into technical depth on any product, thanks to the “Meet the experts” sessions, a place where real product experts (from developers to Senior Architect) were happy to answer any questions you had.

A General Session and a glowing North Star

The general session kicked off Tuesday, with VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram as master of ceremonies, along with other guests such as company president Sumit Dhawan, and vice president and CTO Amanda Blevins. If you didn’t make it into Hall 8 in time, that was no problem, as you could follow it live on any of the screens in the site.

Among other things, they talked about the company’s challenges for the future, the new Tanzu Application Platform, vSphere 8, vSAN 8, Aria, or the “Northstar project”, something that particularly caught my attention as it was related to networking.

The Northstar project aims to become a benchmark in terms of multicloud connectivity and security, offering tools such as the NSX suite with all its essence (NDR, Intelligence, Microsegmentation, Advanced Load Balancer, WAF) and HCX in a SaaS flavour, being able to run in any cloud, whether public or private, thus homogenising the management and security of the network on a single platform. Something I personally hope to try soon as it sounds great 😋😋.

Hands-on Labs and an authentic Odyssey to dominate the Cloud

Another strong point of this Explore 2022 was undoubtedly the presence of the VMware Hands-on Labs, with hundreds of desks available all the time for the guided realization of any Hands-on lab, with real-time metrics of running workloads.

Source: VMware HOL Blog

In addition, as a novelty in this edition, the “Odyssey by Hands-on Labs” challenge was added, a challenge that lasted the 4 days of the event and where each day you faced a different product as a competition.

Prizes were not to be sniffed at for the first 3 overall finishers:

  • First Place – Alienware x17 Gaming Laptop
  • Second Place – EVIL Sony RX100 VII Camera and Accessory Kit
  • Third Place – Millennium Falcon LEGO Star Wars
Source: VMware HOL Blog

I decided to take on this challenge just for fun, as unfortunately on Wednesday I had to go back to Madrid to meet with a client and I couldn’t make it to the end.

Honestly the first day was not my thing, as the HOL was vCloud Director and here I didn’t have much experience, however I managed to complete the lab in a time of 16 minutes.

The second day was VMware vSphere, intermediate level and I have to say that I did not do badly at all, achieving a place at the top of the table 😄😄:

The next day was NSX Security, and I was heartbroken that I couldn’t be there to play, as it’s the product I work with the most and I’m sure I could have done it well 😭😭😭😭😭.

An Expo packed with technology, products and raffles

At 10:30am on Tuesday, after the General Session, the Expo was officially inaugurated, a space where more than 60 partners, suppliers and manufacturers set up their promotional stands.

Among others, the stands of AWS, Google, IBM Cloud, Microsoft, Dell EMC or Hewlett-Packard Enterprise could not be missed.

A good place to approach each exhibitor to find out what is the latest that each company offers to the market and receive advice on any product or service, as well as a good place to leave with a backpack full of merchandising items 😂😂.

Leisure, rest and fun everywhere

You could not miss the places to have fun, relax and connect with your clients, colleagues or people you had met at the event itself.

A section of arcade machines, billiard, an “Oliver and Benji” edition table football (you’ll understand when you see the pictures), giant four-in-a-row (where I lost against my colleague by the way), skill games and even a McLaren F1 simulator, plus all the terraces of the venue full of sofas and armchairs where you can enjoy the sun of Barcelona, completed the offer that this Explore 2022 offered to all attendees. It was clear that fun was guaranteed…. I had the time of my life!

Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about the Welcome Party where none other than the Simple Minds performed, or the VMware Iberia reception in a hotel near the Fira because I had to leave early, but next year I will come back full of energy and I will try to stay all 4 days because, in my opinion, the event deserves it.

I hope you liked the article and if you had the opportunity to attend, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

See you in future posts!

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