VMworld 2011 has finally arrived as the expected crowd of about 20,000 arrived in Las Vegas for the event. The temperature is a broiling 110* and sunny. Today is Monday August 29, and the official start of the conference, but the vExperts had the opportunity to attend a special briefing, before the show, that focused on VMware’s vision for the future. Following the briefing, there was a couple of options for the evening from the vDodgeball game to the warm-up party. I attended the vmunderground warm-up party as a service (WuPaaS.Next) at the Nine Fine Irishmen Pub. These guys have been throwing the pre-party for the last few VMworlds and what started as a tweet-up as turned into a major event in itself. So popular, in fact, that all the tickets were gone in seconds. Big thanks to Theron Conrey, Sean Clark, Rich Brambley and Brain Knudtson for making this happen. The turkey legs they served were fabulous.
I was lucky enough to get through the registration process before the word got out that registration was open and was in and out in 5 minutes. My VMworld alumni status had to be tweaked to get access to the Alumni Lounge. It seems that VMware uses are email address as the main search criteria and since I had used different emails over the years they had to search the database and verify my past attendance.
The conference hall itself is split into two different areas. The back area is the Solution Exchange with all the vendors that are excited to show off their technology and just as eager to scan everyone’s badges. For any of the vendors that read this post, I have one small request. Please do not start calling me before VMworld is even over. At least give us peace until after Labor Day. The front area as you walk in looks pretty awesome, for lack of a better word. VMware is calling this area “Hang Space”. There are grassy areas all over with grass benches and seats. A stage is set up for a band with a huge monitor behind the stage. There is a volley ball court, basketball hoops, as well as an extra large chess board.
While I was making my way to where the lunch was served I was pleasantly surprised to see a choice of hot or cold lunches with the hot lunch side serving some braised beef, chicken and believe it or not Ratatouille. The food always seems to be much better when VMworld is hosted in Las Vegas compared to San Francisco. Great start for the week as far as the food goes.
Tonight the Solution Exchange opens up for the Welcome Reception and our first opportunity to hit the booths and see the cool stuff. Vendors please remember my small request and I look forward seeing and talking to you all.
As a side note, I did find something that I think is interesting. During the Welcome Reception, I made a stop by Liquidware Labs booth to say hello to David Bieneman and was really surprised to see a good portion of the original Vizioncore crew back together again, along with a couple of the original PhD crew all working together again. Back in the good old days, there used to be plenty of trash talk back and forth with PhD and Vizioncore and now they are all working together.