My VMworld 2018 Europe review and experience

Between 5th and 8th November VMware organized again the European Edition of its famous VMworld conference at the Fira in Barcelona. This time, for VMware’s 20th anniversary there were according to VMware about 12.000 visitors, which is a new record for the European version of VMworld.
Like last year I found it very interesting and informative. I learned a lot during the various sessions and in the labs. In contrary to last year I managed to get some free time between some sessions for a couple of hands-on-labs, which was really fun, as it allowed me to play a bit with a few solutions which interested me.

Due to the fact that I changed the job function recently (see my last blog post here), my focus was this year not that much on the infrastructure (except for NSX-T), but more on cloud management, automation, PKS etc.
I decided to write a small article on my VMworld experience to share the latest announcements but also to share the sessions which I personally found the most interesting in my schedule.

VMware announcements and news

VMware usually announces new versions of existing products or new solutions during VMworld conferences, and this year was no different. Here are the ones I noted down, in no particular order:

  • VMware Cloud Foundation version 3.5:
    VMware announced a new version of VCF, which comes with updated supported versions of VMware components (new bill of material), fewer hard restrictions regarding the implementation etc.
    If you’re interested in VCF, check the VMware website or the VCF session I listed in the recommended sessions section.
  • VMware Cloud PKS:
    This is basically PKS-as-a-Service, hosted on AWS but managed by VMware. Support for Azure, Google etc will follow.
  • Project Dimension:
    Project Dimension is a new VMware cloud service foreseen for on-premise hybrid cloud infrastructures, managed by an on-prem control plane.
    Duncan has already written a very good article on this topic.
  • Cloud Health:
    VMware acquired Cloud Health to improve the monitoring and resource management of the VCS (VMware Cloud Services) portfolio.
  • Heptio:
    VMware acquired Heptio (link and link), which is supposed to strengthen enterprise deployments of Kubernetes of on-premise deployments.
  • Project Hatchway:
    VMware announced Project Hatchway (link and link), which brings persistent storage to Kubernetes deployments.
  • vCloud Suite Platinum:
    vCloud Suite Platinum includes vSphere Platinum, which comes with enhanced built-in security (e.g. AppDefense) compared to the existing vSphere versions.
    More information on the vCloud Suite Platinum can be found here.
  • VMware with Amazon RDS (relational database service):
    VMware announced Amazon RDS on VMware, providing database as-a-Service for on-premise deployments.
    More information can be found here.

Amongst all other announcements, there was one interesting topic which even made it to the VMworld Keynote: The installation of a (stripped-down) ESXi on a Rasperry Pi!
The link to the session of Chris Wolf and Daniel Beveridge can be found here: CTO3509BE

The VMworld video library

The sessions at VMworld are usually recorded, and people who could not attend can view them online, comfortably at home on the couch 😉
I too was interested sometimes in two sessions which were scheduled at the same time. The recorded video sessions are a great help to catch up with what I missed.

The complete VMworld On-Demand Video Library can be found here:
NB: If you want to download sessions for offline view, you can have a look at William Lam’s blog, to read his excellent article on how to proceed.

My personal favourites

Below is a list of the sessions, which I attended myself and which I can highly recommend.

  • Architecting PKS for Production: Lessons Learned from PKS Deployments (CNA2755BE)
  • Run Kubernetes on VMware [CNA1215WE]
  • Deep Dive: The Value of Running Kubernetes on vSphere[CNA1553BE]
  • Advanced NSX Data Center: Demystifying the VTEP, MAC, and ARP Tables [NET1106BE]
  • VMware Cloud Foundation Architecture Deep Dive [PRV1933BER]
  • Architecting PKS for Production: Lessons Learned from PKS Deployments [CNA2755BE]
  • NSX-T Edge Services: Design and Deployment Options [NET1610BE]


My conclusions:

VMworld was again a well organized and huge event, with many new announcements, interesting sessions and discussions. For me it was a great success, and I’ll certainly be there again next year for VMworld 2019 Europe, which will be once again in Barcelona from 4-7 November 2019.

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