VMworld 2019 – Session Breakdown and Analysis

Everything to do with VMworld this year feels like it’s arrived at lightning speed. I actually thought the event was two weeks away as the start of the week… but here we are… only five days away from kicking off in San Francisco. The content catalog for the US event has been live for a while now and as is recently the case, a lot of sessions were full just hours after it went live! At the moment there is huge 1348 sessions listed which include the #vBrownBag Tech Talks hosted by the VMTN Community.

As I do every year I like to filter through the content catalog and work out what technologies are getting the airplay at the event. It’s interesting going back since I first started doing this to see the catalog evolve with the times… certain topics have faded away while others have grown and some dominate. This ebs and flows with VMware’s strategies and makes for interesting comparison.

What first struck me as being interesting was the track names compared to just two years ago at the 2017 event:

I see less buzz words and more tracks that are tech specific. Yes, within those sub categories we have the usual elements of “digital transformation” and “disruption”, however VMware’s focus looks to be focuses more around the application of technology and not the high level messaging that usually plagues tech conferences. VMworld has for the most and remains a technical conference for techs.

By digging into the sessions by searching on key words alone, the list below shows you where most of the sessions are being targeted this year. If, in 2015 you where to take a guess at what particular technology was having the most coverage at a VMworld at 2019…the list below would be much different than what we see this year.

From looking back over previous years, there is a clear rise in the Containers world which is now dominated by Kubernetes. Thinking back to previous VMworld’s, you would never get the big public cloud providers with airtime. If you look at how that has changed for this year we now have 231 sessions alone that mention AWS… not to mention the ones mentioning Azure or Google.

Strategy wise it’s clear that NSX, VMC and Kubernetes are front of mind for VMware and their ecosystem partners.

I take this as an indication as to where the industry is… and is heading. VMware are still the main touch point for those that work in and around IT Infrastructure support and services. They own the ecosystem still… and even with the rise of AWS, Azure, GCP and alike, they still are working out ways to hook those platforms into their own technology and are moving with industry trends as to where workloads are being provisioned. Kubernetes and VMware Cloud on AWS are a big part of that, but underpinning it is the network… and NSX is still heavily represented with NSX-T becoming even more prominent.

One area that continues to warm my heart is the continued growth and support shown to the VMware Cloud Providers and vCloud Director. The numbers are well up from the dark days of vCD around the 2013 and 2014 VMworld’s. For anyone working on cloud technologies this year promises to be a bumper year for content and i’m looking forward to catching as much vCD and VCPP related sessions as I can.

It promises to be an interesting VMworld, with VMware hinting at a massive shift in direction… I think we all know in a round about way where that is heading… let’s see if we are right come next week.

https://my.vmworld.com/widget/vmware/vmworld19us/us19catalog

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