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VMworld US 2016 Buzz: The Parties!

September 14th, 2016

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

The VMworld parties are part of the experience, vendors & community get together to sell and socialise. Here are some of the parties I attended to get an idea of what’s happening out of the conference center.


Welcome Reception

VMworld itself kicks off its sales side with the opening of the Solutions Exchange by a Welcome Reception, at first glance it looks like not much has changed with the move from San Francisco to Vegas with plenty of companies eager to tell you their stories.

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VMUG Member Party

I headed to the VMUG Member party at the House of Blues to say hi to my fellow VMUG members. Michael Dell even made an appearance.

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Then more community socialising with the VMunderground Party which is the tail-end of the Opening Acts. I wasn’t sure what to expect as with what seems like dwindling sponsorship for many activities at VMworld this year VMUnderground was forced to charge an entry fee, I wasn’t sure who would make it but my fears were unfounded as it was great to see so many people and catch up with some social groupings such as fellow South Africans and parents of twins!

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I popped over to the now annual community focused #vFlipCup party which was sponsored by Actifio which I had recently written about in:

Basically a team beer drinking competition but its quite fun to at least watch!

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ThunDRstruck Party with PernixData, Zerto and Nutanix

I also went over to the ThunDRstruck party with an AC/DC theme to see what PernixData, Zerto and Nutanix had to show. This was a sort of party to celebrate Nutanix’s announcement it had gobbled PernixData.


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There’s no way I could miss going to Christopher Kusek’s #CXIParty. This was one of the original VMware community functions which has been held over many VMworld’s and having done my first Tech Field Day event with Christopher, he’s one incredible guy. The party venue was incredible over the strip.



vExpert Party

        Then off to the Vegas Mob Museum (what a great idea for a venue) for the vExpert Party. I love meeting old and new people at this function. The vExpert community has been one I’ve been luckily to be involved in for a number of years and comprises of so many friends I’ve made in the community.  CEO Pat Gelsinger was there and actually did an amazing Q&A for a good 30 minutes. He managed to field technical, financial, marketing, business and strategy questions with far more ease, humour and personality than the keynotes. I was actually quite amazed. He sidestepped questions about vCloud Air defering to the growth of the partner network and IBM Softlayer announcements. Talked about the Dell acquisition and I asked what product / service he sees needing the most work and he answered the Web Client which I should have foreseen and made him think of a less obvious choice, he did say 2017 Q3 for a fully HTML5 web client. Lots of reiteration that NSX is a massive focus for VMware.

I still think VMware has a poor cloud story but Pat can really articulate technology and strategy on so many levels, I can see why he’s the boss.

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Veeam Party

No VMworld would be complete without a Veeam Party, the company that has always been at the forefront of community and fun!. Last year at Barcelona I landed up chatting to owner Ratmir Timoshev who shortly after our conversation headed straight for the microphone and stirred things up by joking that Veeam in conjunction with the Swiss government would outbid Dell for EMC! Love private companies that can have a bit of fun with financials.

As usual they put on a stunning party.

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The rest…

There’s so much going at VMworld that I managed to bump into a whole bunch of people in the hotel and on the way back.

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VMware Customer Appreciation Party

Then it was time for the official VMware party which was held at the Las Vegas speedway. This was hugely successful when VMworld was last in Vegas in 2011. It was 30 minutes by coach away so not so convenient. They had a number of games and you could take a turn as a passenger driving in a car around the track, max speed was 90Mph which didn’t feel particularly fast on the track. It was OK, I didn’t quite feel the love for the party this year.

The bands that played were Capital Cities and Fall Out Boy.

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Coach back to the Mandalay Bay and then just bumped into the awesome group of people we consider as our community. Spoke to Stu Miniman about everything, what a great guy!

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