VMworld 2017 Las Vegas

Here we are in the last few weeks before VMworld Las Vegas 2017. VMware is in overdrive with preparations, the vendors in the solution exchange are finalising their demos and pitches, and hopefully the session speakers have submitted their final proofs and are confident in their talks.

But is VMworld the conference that it was? Is it still the place to be? It is true that it is not the conference of choice for the hipsters. Over the last ten years, it has become a staple of the conference scene, but it is no longer seen as cutting edge. For bleeding edge, you go to re:Invent (AWS’s keynote conference) or maybe PuppetConf or DockerCon. These are the conferences for hipsters, the ones on which new startups are spending their marketing dollars. Given the list of announced sponsors and exhibitors, there is no doubt that VMworld is leaner and smaller than in previous years.

Further, companies that previously were platinum or diamond sponsors have lowered their investment in this year’s soiree. Cisco, for example, has dropped down from a Global sponsorship package to Silver this year. But does this actually matter? VMworld is considered to have been declining in status for a number of years, but it still draws more than 20K to Vegas. Calling it a decline is a little unfair. VMworld is refocusing, as it has suffered the same trials and misfortunes its organizer has, struggling to define itself in the brave new world of cloud, containers, and services, and languishing in mediocrity with its messaging.

VMware as a company is starting to become relevant again. The vSphere 6.5U1 release is powerful enough to count as a minor release rather than an update. VSAN is so good it is eating the lunches of the HCI vendors. I expect more causalities in this area than Atlantis. They are a true full stack provider, or a Platform as a Service.

VMware is also moving toward becoming a security vendor. Key to this are Photon, NSX, and a relative newcomer to the hive, App Defense (expect to hear a lot about this). I say “relative,” as Project Goldilocks has been whispered about since 2016.

It is true that Hypervisor is no longer sexy and is now mainstream. However, it is the cornerstone of the modern data centre, and VMware still has 80% of that in-house market space. VMware is answering the questions raised by today’s problems, and whilst it is still doing that, VMworld will still be relevant.

So, if you are attending VMworld, which of our partners will be on the solution exchange at this year’s conference?

Veeam – Continuing its long-term support of VMworld, Veeam is a Platinum sponsor

Densify – Densify (formerly Cirba) is a Silver sponsor

HyTrust – Exhibitor

ManageEngine – Exhibitor

Turbonomic – Exhibitor

As I learn their stand numbers, I will update this article.  Unfortunately, I cannot be at either of this year’s conferences, but TVP Strategy will be represented by Edward Haletky and Steve Beaver. If you see them, reach out and have a chat. Also, Edward will be participating in the following sessions as a panelist or speaker:

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