Ok, here we are… it’s been three years since VMworld 2019 and we are back next week in San Francisco at the Mascone Centre. But we are not attending VMworld… we are now entering the multi-verse era of VMware Explore! This is going to be a really interesting test of the new post pandemic waters for VMware. Not only have they changed an iconic and beloved industry event name, but they have purposely gone to some great lengths to paint VMware Explore as a fresh new event… ergo, this isn’t your pre-covid VMworld!

The content catalog for the hybrid in-person, virtual has been live for a while now and once again, There are 913 sessions across the thee day event with only 121 being listed as “Online Sessions” That total number is significantly up on last year… and actually more closer to the last in person even in 2019. Once again, as I do every year I like to filter through the content catalog and work out what technologies and trends are getting the airplay at the event.

By going back since I first started doing this annual blog you can see the catalog evolve with the times… certain topics have faded away while others have grown and some dominate.

The makeup of the content catalog is a good indicator of VMware’s forward looking direction. This makes for interesting comparisons between previous events and VMware eye the future.

The catalog is formatted very similar to last year, with sessions now being able to be filtered over the days of the event…. still, the best was to organise your catalog is via the Filter Search.

Session Breakdown and Analysis

By digging into the sessions by searching on key words alone, the complied list below gives us a good idea as to the session themes being targeted this year. As usual, I have two numbers… the first being this years number of sessions, with the second in brackets being last years number. If there are no bracketed numbers, then i’ve added the search to this years analysis.

So things once again have shifted and what I see as a trend is that multi-cloud is 100% where VMware are looking to re-focus their efforts moving forward. Kubernetes and Tanzu are obviously central to that strategy as applications more decouple from VM vSphere infrastructure, but we still also see a lot of sessions around VMware Cloud and VMware Cloud On X. NST-v is officially now dead while vSAN has less focus as a name, but I still feel is core to VMware’s storage/ransomware/DR plays. The multi-cloud push also is reflected in the numbers of times AWS, Azure and more prominently GCP appears.

VMworld is no more… this is VMware Explore and these are the analytics of the numbers from the sessions… I’ll give some thoughts on the event in retrospect and moving forward in another post later on.