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Another vForumAU has come and gone and upon reflection it was possibly the best event I’ve attended since my first one back in 2011. This year the venue for vForumAU was Luna Park Sydney…partly due to the redevelopment of the Sydney Exhibition Center but chosen ultimately as the venue to Celebrate the 10th Australian vForum by the VMware ANZ team.

Prior to the event I held a lot of concern around the choice of venue, but I found myself commenting throughout the event that it ended up working brilliantly as a venue. My reservations where based around attending with Zettagrid as a Gold Sponsor wondering if we could get value out of a venue that may distract attendees due to the party atmosphere. In truth the opposite happened and not only was the Solutions Exchange filled for most of the two day event…overall there was a buzz around the venue. From an exhibitors point of view the feeling was that the relatively close confines of the Solutions Hall created a VMworld like environment and the sessions where well attended.

From a delegates perspective having been to VMworld (and tracked Barcelona Online) the content was nothing new for myself and a wider group of vExpert/vChampions …the only real new news was the worst kept secret in VMware ANZ circles around the Q1 2015 Launch of a vCloudAir Zone in Australia…and while the news about vCloudAir coming to ANZ wasn’t new I was a little surprised that the first site would be in Melbourne and not Sydney.

While I have mixed feelings about vCloudAir landing one thing I am glad to hear is VMware continuing to mention Service Provider Partners in the vCloudAir Network as viable and trusted alternatives to those that don’t see vCloudAir as a fit…again, the level of partner support VMware shows puts to shame Microsoft’s Azure strategy/reality both globally and regionally. I will be interested to see how vCloudAir goes against Azure and AWS over the next 12 months…the value proposition is fundamentally different and suits the majority of the Australian Market who have current investment in vSphere and ESXi.

The Solutions Exchange dominated by VMware Ecosystem Partners and once again new age storage dominated the floor. In all honesty the choice we have at the moment for storage is fantastic and its an exciting time to be vetting storage solutions with vendors. Zettagrid was the only Hybrid Cloud IaaS Provider in the room which was interesting, though there where a few other providers of managed cloud in the Cloud Pavilion…certainly the usual crew of providers where not out in force this year…not sure exactly what to make of that, but as someone who works for the most credentialed VMware Service Provider in Australia I’ll take it!

Apart from the above the two days was spent networking and mixing with members of the VMware Community and fun was had at the Party on Wednesday night…Luna Park made the event fantastic and for a moment there where a number of grown up nerds where taken back to their respective childhoods as you can see from the pics below.

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Overall a great couple of days which was bookended by a brilliant vChampion Briefing Session where we where lucky enough to have Kit Colbert talk EUC futures and also had sessions on NSX by members of the local NSX Team and Ray Budavari. As vChampions we do get spoiled a little by KJ, Grant and the Team but the spirit and passion of the group to evangelize the technology is how we can repay VMware.

Though others might think we see the world through vRose Coloured Glasses the reality is there is no better Virtualization Stack from a maturity, reliability and innovation point of view…People commenting on VMware’s relevance diminishing due to the rise and rise of PaaS and other Cloud Technologies may need to step back and spend the time looking at what’s about to drop over the next 12-18 months…It’s going to be a great time for the industry and I’m going to enjoy the ride.