VMworld Europe 2013. For me it’s all about the Community

3 minute read

This year edition of VMworld Europe 2013 is gone. For second time it was held in Barcelona, one of most beautiful cities of Spain, and for the second time I was there to enjoy a great week… and what a week.

If you weren’t under a rock during last week you are probably aware of the announcements in the cloud management space, with new upcoming releases for vC Ops, ITBM and vCAC just to name some. Or the announcement of VMware NSX going GA and the tech preview of vSAN.

Regarding the announced vCAC 6.0 the attendees had a glimpse of its awesomeness in the Hands-on Labs since the HOL-SDC-1321 lab was based on 6.0 Beta bits. vCAC 6.0 was also featured in a very well executed keynote by Kit Colbert and our EMEA CTO Joe Baguley on Wednesday morning, showing from all the new features in the portal to the integration with VMware vCHS and other public cloud providers.

I am genuinely excited about this new vCloud Automation Center release and will come back with more articles about my experience with it in the future. In the meantime my friend and colleague Omer has done a nice article in his blog Elastic Skies about what’s new.

But that’s only one side of the coin, for me the most important aspect of VMworld is the Community. This is the only time of the year I have the opportunity to hang face to face with many of the people I already consider my friends, this is I’m not sales, marketing or social media, I am a consultant as you all know and that means that I’m always in the field doing engagements for customers and having lots of fun of course but that leave me no time or even the chance to attend tech conferences… besides VMworld :-)

And this year has been AWESOME!

I had again the opportunity of attending several parties. Parties are always sponsored by several companies, like Cisco, EMC or Simplivity, but in some of them the sense of community is omnipresent.

Take the vRockstar Party for example, held on Sunday evening at the Hard Rock Cafe. That really was a community event, the perfect moment to share a few beers (more than a few actually ;D) a good conversations and strength your friendship with the other members of the community. Or the GeekFest on Tuesday night, again at the Hard Rock and sponsored by EMC, Cisco and VMware. Oh man that party was really great with amazing food and beer and many many friends from all around the world there.

But for me the best example this year was the #BeerTweetup organized by Hans De Leenheer (@HansDeLeenheer) and sponsored by Simplivity. IMHO that was a true community event, no marketing, no vendor swag, just good Belgium beer, great talking and good company.

But hey it wasn’t all about the parties, at least no during the night you know, seriously parties are amazing but it was the only part of the fun. During all day, for three days, some of the most active and prominent members of the VMware community were spreading the word in the Community Lounge. I’m taking about the guys of #vBrownbag or James Bowling (@vsential) and his Operation: Through my eyes series of videos or Craig Waters (@cswaters1) who interviewed many other vExperts for his blog.

Also for me this VMworld has been very special since I had the opportunity to contribute to the community besides of this blog, and of my awesome drinking skills of course ;D My friend Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja) finally manage to got me into her video podcast Engineers Unplugged, Amy and his team really know how to bring social media and community to a different level. As my “opponent” I had Matthew Yeager himself (@mpyeager) from EMC and we had tons of fun recording it and talking about cloud management, APIs and the Software Defined Datacenter. As soon as Amy gets the video up in the show YouTube channel I will feature it here.

My final though is if next year you have the opportunity of going to VMworld, either US or Europe, take it and show up in the community lounge to have some good conversations with the great people there, show your support to that people, get into the parties and enjoy the conference. You won’t regret it, surely I didn’t :-)