August 09, 2018

VMworld 2018 Q&A: VMware Talks Turning 20, Hands-On Labs, New Trends, What to Expect and More

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The world's largest virtualization event, VMworld, is right around the corner, taking place August 26th-30th, 2018 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center.  The event is always jam packed with incredible information coming out of the keynote presentations, from the large number of breakout sessions, to the expo hall which is filled with awesome vendors and solution experts from around the world.  And we can't forget about the fan favorite -- the VMworld Hands-On Labs.  

To find out more ahead of the show, I reached out to the folks at VMware. 


VMblog:  What inspired this year's "Possible Begins with You" theme for VMworld 2018?  What does it mean to VMware?

VMware:  This year's theme, "Possible Begins With You" aims to inspire our attendees to realize that they are empowered with the necessary tools to have success on their digital transformation journey.

VMblog:  One of the great things about VMworld is the ecosystem that shows up.  How many exhibitors are you expecting this year?  What's the total exhibit space?  How many first time exhibitors are there?

VMware:  This year, we're expecting nearly 200 exhibitors onsite, spanning industries such as Cloud, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, Cloud Management and Services, Network Virtualization, Unified Endpoint Management, and emerging trends including edge and quantum computing, the Internet of Things, 5G and artificial intelligence.

VMblog:  Over the years, the ecosystem seems to shift a bit, with growth spurts in certain sectors of the virtualization and cloud markets.  Any surprises this year?  Have you noticed a growth in certain types of exhibitors/sponsors this year from the previous year(s)?  (i.e. containers, hyperconverged, etc.)

VMware:  We definitely have seen growing number of exhibitors coming through this year focused on private vs. public vs. hybrid cloud, as well as a clear emphasis on hyperconverged infrastructure. We also anticipate emerging technologies like AI and machine learning to be hot topics this year. 

VMblog:  Is there anything new that stands out for VMworld 2018 compared to previous VMworld events?

VMware:  Our focus this year is focused on how "Possible Starts With You" and equipping attendees with the tools they need to enable digital transformation. We have dozens of sessions focused on providing information on how attendees can make that a reality in their day-to-day jobs. 

Further, this year's event continues our tradition of offering attendees unparalleled access to the latest product innovations, face-to-face time with the top industry leaders and IT executives, and hands-on experience with VMware products. 

VMblog:  Last year was an amazing number of attendees.  How many are you expecting this year?  And what is it that keeps people coming back for more year after year?  What's been the key to success for VMworld?

VMware:  This year we will open our doors to 35,000 attendees worldwide at VMworld 2018 US and VMworld 2018 Europe. VMworld is a great opportunity for IT professionals or anyone involved with or interested in the tech community to come together and talk about today's biggest technological issues, the incredible potential of emerging tech and what we can expect as we continue to innovate in this space. 

VMblog:  VMware was founded 20 years ago in 1998.  How is the company celebrating this major milestone of turning 20 years old? 

VMware:  Attendees will see our celebratory 20 year anniversary infused throughout the conference. This is an incredibly important milestone for the company. We have accomplished so much and VMworld is the perfect venue to celebrate with our customers, partners and employees.

VMblog:  What have been VMware's biggest achievements in the past 20 years and what is the company looking forward to in the next 20?

VMware:  Over the past 20 years, VMware has grown from five technologists working in a small apartment, to a leading innovator in enterprise software. From our first product Workstation 1.0 in 1999 to our first VMworld in 2004, the dawn of the virtual desktop in 2009, and acquiring AirWatch in 2009, to today, where the company's compute, cloud, mobility, networking, and security offerings provide a dynamic and efficient digital foundation to over 500,000 customers globally, VMware technologies have fundamentally changed IT, and with it, the nature of work. Now VMware and its customers are ready to keep growing and innovating toward better computing for the next 20 years, and beyond!

VMblog:  Can you give a brief overview of what Hands-on Labs is and what purpose it serves?  And why do attendees love it so much?  No matter how large you make it, these things fill up quick.

VMware:  The VMware Hands-on Labs demonstrate the value of VMware solutions in real time. Hands-on Labs enable users to quickly preview new products and features from a live cloud based environment, without a hardware or licenses. Attendees can explore a wide range of today's most exciting topics with a VMware-provided machine or your own device, all with product experts on hand to provide one-on-one guidance.

VMblog:  Is there anything new and exciting going on behind the scenes for the popular hands-on-labs this year?

VMware:  With our customizable hands-on learning paths, every year attendees can experience something new. We'll have self-paced labs, expert-led workshops and Hands-on lab tours to offer a flexible and consistent way to consume labs that match your interests and experience level. Attendees can also earn CloudCred points for taking labs, visiting HOL Connect and interacting with product experts, and win prizes for each level of achievement. 

VMblog:  Are there any new trends in the industry that people should be aware of or should keep their eyes and ears on the lookout for anytime during the show?

VMware:  Attendees should be on the lookout for breakout sessions on emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, IoT, blockchain, edge and quantum computing, 5G and more.  

VMblog:  VMworld always proves to be a good time no matter where it's hosted. This year, it's once again in Las Vegas.  Can you provide any additional details about this year's party?

VMware:  VMworld Fest is a must-attend party and always a high point of the VMworld experience. After a busy week on the show floor, attendees can get together and celebrate over some food, drinks, and great music! This year, VMworld Fest will take attendees around the globe to four unique environments in one night - tropical, desert, aquatic and jungle. Musical stages include jazz dueling pianos, The Purple Experience (Prince cover band), San Francisco native DJ Chris Clouse and main stage headliner, Royal Machines, "Rock's Greatest All-Star Band"!  

VMblog:  I always like to find out, did you receive any attendee feedback from last year's event that you've incorporated into the show this year?

VMware:  Last year, it was clear that attendees wanted to hear more about our cloud strategy and the investments we're making to grow that part of our business. Cloud will continue to be a major focus for our sessions at this year's conference.


If you haven't already, don't delay and register and join VMworld 2018 for what will surely be an amazing experience. 

David Marshall

David Marshall has been involved in the technology industry for over 19 years, and he's been working with virtualization software since 1999. He was able to become an industry expert in virtualization by becoming a pioneer in that field - one of the few people in the industry allowed to work with Alpha stage server virtualization software from industry leaders: VMware (ESX Server), Connectix and Microsoft (Virtual Server).

Through the years, he has invented, marketed and helped launch a number of successful virtualization software companies and products. David holds a BS degree in Finance, an Information Technology Certification, and a number of vendor certifications from Microsoft, CompTia and others. He's also co-authored two published books: "VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center" and "Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" and acted as technical editor for two popular Virtualization "For Dummies" books. With his remaining spare time, David founded and operates one of the oldest independent virtualization news blogs, And co-founded, a publication dedicated to Cloud Computing. Starting in 2009 and continuing all the way to 2016, David has been honored with the vExpert distinction by VMware for his virtualization evangelism.

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