August 08, 2019

VMworld 2019 Q&A: VMware Provides Details Ahead of the Show - Benefits and Success, Hands-On Labs, Trends, Topics and More

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The world's largest combined virtualization and cloud computing event, VMworld, is coming up fast!  The event takes place August 25th-29th, 2019 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA.  The event is always jam packed with incredible information coming out of the keynote presentations, from the large number of breakout sessions, to the Solutions Expo which is filled with awesome vendors and solution experts from around the world.  And, we can't say enough about the fan favorite -- the VMworld Hands-On Labs.  

To find out more ahead of the show, VMblog spoke with VMware to dig in a little deeper as we prepare for VMware's premiere convention. 

VMblog:  What inspired this year's "Make Your Mark" theme for VMworld 2019? What does it mean to VMware?

VMware:  This year's theme "Make Your Mark," empowers VMworld 2019 attendees to learn, connect and innovate in the world of IT and business. Comprised of IT technical professionals and business decision makers, ecosystem partners and industry leaders, attendees can find the knowledge, peer network, technologies and conversations they need to enable their companies' digital transformation.

VMblog:  What is it that keeps people coming back for more year after year? What's been the key to success for VMworld?

VMware:  VMworld is a leading industry forum where IT professionals, business decision makers and anyone else can come together to learn about the opportunities to innovate and key growth drivers impacting the global technology community. Last year marked our 20th anniversary, and this year we're bringing it back to San Francisco to continue to drive show excitement and momentum.

VMblog:  At last year's event, one of the big milestones was the fact that VMware had turned 20 years old. How do you keep up the momentum and excitement after all these years?

VMware:  VMworld 2019 isn't just another IT event. It's a discovery powerhouse. At this year's event, attendees can expect to find the best information, tools and partnerships to take IT to the next level. This includes: discovering new innovations on how to transform networking and security, learning about what enhances digital workspaces to drive amazing mobile experiences, and exploring new solutions that accelerate the cloud journey to drive digital transformation.

VMblog:  VMworld has been around since 2004. Can you talk about the key benefits (to either attendees attending or exhibitors sponsoring or both) of VMworld?

VMware:  At VMworld 2019, attendees will be able to:

  • Discover new and emerging product breakthroughs, best practices, and case studies
  • Meet face-to-face with subject matter experts who bring new perspectives to pain points and opportunities in today's market
  • Engage with VMware's partner ecosystem, industry leaders, and other IT executives - a "who's who" of digital business
  • Gain direct experience with expert-guided Hands-on Labs (HOL) and VMware Certification opportunities

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

VMware:  This year, VMworld will have more than 1,000 unique sessions and labs, and nearly 300 sponsors and exhibitors, spanning key areas such as cloud, networking and security, digital workspace and emerging trends such as edge, machine learning, analytics and IoT.

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:  Absolutely. We have seen a growing increase in the number of exhibitors especially for VMworld this year - focused on hybrid cloud, hyperconverged infrastructure, and multi-cloud. We also anticipate topics like digital workspace and emerging trends like machine learning, edge and the Internet of Things to play a key role.

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 and trends focused on enabling organizations to execute digital transformation strategies. These include machine learning and analytics, IoT, edge, 5G and more.

VMblog:  One of the fan favorites, and deservedly so, are the VMware Hands-on Labs. Why in your opinion are the HOLs so popular with attendees (always booking up quickly)?

VMware:  VMware's Hands-on Labs highlight the real value of VMware's services and solutions in real time. This year, attendees can get a sneak peek and preview the latest technologies, products, and features while taking advantage of the opportunity to ask technical questions and test the answers in a live cloud-based lab environment.

VMblog:  Are there any new and interesting HOLs this year that weren't around last year that you think will be big hits with attendees?

VMware:  Attendees can choose among self-paced labs, expert-led workshops, or Hands-on Lab tours to ensure that each session is as customizable and interactive as possible. This year's HOLs will focus on accelerating the cloud journey to support the future of digital business, focusing on cloud, mobility and security.

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

VMware:  VMworld Fest, our must-attend party, will take place on Wednesday evening, August 28. This year, we’re excited to offer our attendees with an amazing lineup of musical talent, headlined by OneRepublic. We’ll also have great food and drinks, games and music. More to come on the full lineup!

VMblog:  Do you have any special tips to share with first time attendees of the show?

VMware:  Expect the unexpected! Try and absorb as much as you can - VMworld is much more than just attending speaking sessions. It's also about networking and meeting new people in the IT community, and learning more about how to drive change and impact the global technology landscape. For hands-on experience, we highly recommend booking the Hands-on Labs to experience the latest products and features. And lastly - wear comfortable shoes!

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 continue to learn more about our cloud business, roadmap ahead and the partnerships and investments we're making to grow that part of our business. We expect this to continue to be a major focus for our sessions this year.

VMblog:  Finally, for the VMware users who can't make the annual pilgrimage to VMworld, are there any resources that they can use to follow along and be part of the event remotely?

VMware:  Absolutely! On our website, we'll provide live-streaming and other videos, along with plenty of content, so that attendees can stay up to date on all news and announcements, and get to experience the full conference regardless of where they are.

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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