vForumAU 2016 Recap: Best Event In Years!

Last week I was in Sydney for the 2016 edition of vForumAU…I’ve been coming to vForumAU since 2011 and this years event was probably up there with the best that I have attended in that time. For the past couple of years the event has had to shift venues due to the Sydney Exhibition Center being knocked down and rebuilt and in that time the it’s been at Luna Park and Star City Casino…both of which presented their own challenges for VMware, sponsors and attendees. This years event was held at The Royal Hall of Industries in Moore Park which offered a perfect venue for the event and helped deliver on what was a great vForumAU.

Adding to the venue was the calibre of speakers that VMware ANZ was able to bring out for this years event…in fact it was the best lineup that I’ve seen or heard of outside of VMworld. We had Pat Gelsinger, Kit Colbert, Paul Strong and Bruce Davie to add to the local VMware talent and given that this event fell after both VMworld US and Europe, I felt that the content was more complete in terms of announcements, products and overall strategy and vision.

I heard Pat deliver the keynote at VMworld US a few months back and the deck was largely the same, however I felt he delivered the message better and talked to the key points around VMware’s hybrid cloud strategy a lot more concisely and with a lot more tact in terms of ensure that vCloud Air Network providers where still very much in the reckoning for VMware’s future strategy around Hybrid cloud. There is no doubt that the partnership’s with AWS and IBM has caused some unease in the vCAN but every key slide had vCAN representation which was pleasing to see.

The Cross Cloud Foundation is something also that still sits uneasily with a lot of vCAN Providers but I have to admit that the tech preview of the Cross Cloud Platform was very very slick and shows how much VMware has changed tact when it comes to playing with other public clouds. There is no doubt that Cloud is the new Hardware and VMware want to be there to manage it and offer it’s customers tools that do the same. Hybrid cloud is here to stay, and they hyper-scalers certainly have a share…however on-premises and partner hosted IaaS will remain significant and relevant for the next 10-15 years.

Moving on from Pat’s keynote there was a super session Technical Keynote that was held after lunch that featured 20-30 minutes on every new product enhancement or release that has been announced of late. From vSphere 6.5 to VSAN 6.5 and a look at NSX futures as well as VMware’s container platforms this was a brilliant couple of hours of presentations. Highlights for me was Paul Strong talking VSAN, Kit Colbert going over the various Photon platforms and Bruce Davie talking around NSX extensibility into AWS. Of note was Bruce Davie (who also presented at the main keynote) who I have come to seriously admire as a speaker over the past couple of years.

The Sponsors hall has a very VMworld feel to it this year which elements of VMworld brought to the event such as VMVillage, special lounges for All Access Pass visitors and probably the best food that I’ve experienced at a vForumAU by way of specialised food trucks bringing a wide array of foods to enjoy. Though the first day wasn’t as well received by exhibitors (AAP attendees pay for sessions, not so much visiting sponsors) in talking with some people on the booths, the second day was very busy and the venue and location had everything to do with that. Again well done do the VMware events team for bringing the event to The Royal Hall of Industries.

Finishing off this recap, once again there was great spirit and community around both sponsors and the attendees to which the venue offered a great chance to catch up socially with people from the VMware community and that fact shouldn’t be lost on the benefit of attending such an event. And while I didn’t attend the offical party I heard that it went really well and was highly entertaining with a lot of food!

Well done to VMware ANZ for putting on a great event!


As a side note, I also attended my final VMware vChampion event on the Wednesday morning where Kit Colbert facilitated an open discussion on containerised platforms and the new continuous integration and continuous deployment methodologies that are creeping their ways into mainstream IT. Again, thanks to the vChampion team!

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