VMware Explore EU: Session Preview


Its that time again, just 6 weeks until VMware launch the new annual event in Barcelona. The session catalog has been announced and its full of great content, but with 100s of options, which sessions stand out for me?

If anyone has followed my blogs for the past few years, you’ll know I was a huge fan of VMworld. The event name has changed, but the exciting sessions, and format is still very much alive with over 350 sessions over 4 days. I’ve put together a selective few sessions as I do every year that really excite me, whether it be a particularly exciting topic, or someone I know produces a fantastic session time after time.

Before I get going – lets do some housekeeping. VMware Explore Europe is in Barcelona, Spain from 7-10 November you can register for VMware Explore here. If you’ve not been before there are hundreds of sessions, lots of opportunities for networking with your VMware team, as well as like-minded businesses and a huge expo hall full of vendors to engage with. Having been a couple of times as a customer, its hugely valuable no matter your job title. Whether you’re a developer, an infrastructure engineer, a head-of or a CxO – there’s something for everyone.

General Session

The Multi-Cloud Universe: Bold Innovations and Insights to Accelerate Your Business [GEN2906EUR]

The opening keynote at a VMware event is pretty awesome in all fairness. You get to hear the announcements and get a real insight into what is happening in the tech world, from industry trends to hearing from businesses outside of VMware as to how their multi-cloud journeys are going. Raghu, VMware CEO and Sumit, the VMware President will be the speakers for this, so you’re hearing from the top dogs. This, for me, is a no brainer to join

Tuesday, 8 Nov @ 09:00 – 10:30 CET

Solution Keynotes

Explore VMware Cross-Cloud Services [MCLK2539EUR]

This session is another not-to-be missed. Pretty much the all-star lineup here, Amanda Blevins VP & CTO for the Amercias, the ever popular Kelsey Hightower, Principle Engineer at Google Cloud alongside Richard Munro and VIttorio Viarengo. This will be a great opportunity to understand how multi-cloud and modernisation work together through kubernetes, modern infrastructures to improve customer experience and drive innovation.

Tuesday, 8 Nov 11:00 – 12:00 CET

Multi-Cloud: Realize Your Strategic Vision by Reducing Complexity [MCLK2482EUR]

The VMware Cloud platforms are now another year older, which means another year of maturity and another year of innovations under it belt. Migrating from legacy aging infrastructure on-prem or colocated can be pretty daunting (believe me, I’ve done it) but the tooling VMware have developed makes this much less-painful and post-migration how easy is it to manage going forward.

Tuesday, 8 Nov 15:30 – 16:30 CET

vSphere+ and vSAN+: The Enterprise Workload Platform to Power Your Next Evolution [CMK2208EUR]

vSphere+ and vSAN+ is pretty exciting with what VMware are doing with cloud-management of on-prem infrastructure. (For more info, see here). Alongside the new updates to vSphere 8, around DPUs and GPUs it should be quite a compelling session for those businesses looking at what value the cloud could offer to their on-prem workloads.

Wednesday, 9 Nov 13:30 – 14:30 CET

Breakout Sessions

10 Exciting Things to Know About VMware Cloud Flex Storage [CEIB1327EUR]

If you don’t know what Cloud Flex Storage is then definitely attend this. If you do know what it is and are pondering this session, definitely attend this! In all seriousness, this gives a nice tech deep dive showing its capabilities and use cases.

Wednesday, 9 Nov 12:00 – 12:30 CET

60 Minutes of Virtually Speaking LIVE: Accelerating Cloud Transformation [MCLB2804EUR]

Yet another all star line up for this. If you’ve ever spent time on any social platforms, or a VMUG then you would have heard of William Lam, Duncan Epping, Frank Denneman and John Nicholson. Virtually Speaking is a podcast that has been putting technical content out every week discussing everything VMware, and this is a live session with the 4 gurus discussing cloud transformation both operationally and technically – it should be awesome.

Tuesday, 8 Nov 14:00 – 15:00 CET

A Step-by-Step Demo to Set Up a Pre-Production Test Environment in 30 Minutes [NETB2238EURD]

Demo-heavy sessions like this are great in person at events like this. Being able to see how to get from zero to running containers, secured by a WAF with observability of all components automated using Ansible and Terraform. To do this in 30 mins will be quite a feat – and will show the simplicity of use, but the feature rich product portfolio. Will be something I’d love to try myself afterwards!

Compelling New Innovations from the VMware Office of the CTO [VIB1542EUR]

One of the highlights of VMworld events in the past, was sessions ran by the Office of the CTO Research and Innovatation team who focus purely on invention and innovation across all tech. Chris Wolf heads this team up, and its always exciting to see what technical demos and breakthroughs they share. This is another of those don’t miss sessions!

Tuesday, 8 Nov 11:00 – 12:00 CET

Elevating Employee Experience and Security for your Hybrid Workforce [EUSB4004EUR]

Hybrid work is here to stay, no matter if you are working from home, the office, a coffee shop, airport or anywhere else. In such cases, it becomes imperative that you provide the best user experience for your employees to be efficient and secure. Spencer will talk through how using Workspace One can help with this new working pattern, keeping your teams productive wherever they are.

Tuesday, 8 Nov 15:30 – 16:30 CET

Factory of the Future – Is VMware Disrupting Manufacturing? [VIB1842EUR]

One thing that I have found really intriguing since joining VMware is seeing the different challenges and solutions in different industries. Manufacturing has a lot of unique challenges and seeing how VMware can help modernise OT (Operational Technology – using hardware and software to control industrial equipment) is super interesting. I’m fortunate to work closely with Alexandra Baleta too, she is our industry expert and she knows her apples – this will be a good one!

Thursday, 10 Nov 09:00 – 10:00 CET

Formula 1: No-Limits Engineering Delivered at the Edge by VMware and Lenovo [CEIB2262EUR]

Edge computing is growing, and its growing fast as technology advances providing more compute and storage in a smaller footprint. Formula One teams demand huge compute power to run real-time data to make quick decisions on the track, and some of their environments are tough (think Bahrain temperatures…). This will be a very interesting session with Lenovo showing how Edge computing provides huge value around a race track.

Tuesday, 8 Nov 15:00 – 15:30 CET

How Google Cloud VMware Engine Accelerates Your Cloud Journey: Everything You Need to Know [CEIB2728EUR]

If Google Cloud is your cloud platform of choice but you love VMware, then Google Cloud VMware Engine is your nirvana. Much like VMC on AWS, GCVE gives you the full VMware stack but in GCP’s datacenters and is super simple to lift-and-shift your VMs. This session talks through everything you need to think about when moving to GCVE, and should be pretty thought provoking.

Tuesday, 8 Nov 14:00 – 15:00 CET

Kingston University : Customer Journey with HCX [MCB3058EUR]

I’ve added this session in for 3 reasons: firstly HCX as a product is pretty unbeatable at moving workloads seemlessly. And when I say seemlessly, I mean without having to change IPs, and without downtime. Secondly, Emily Granacher is someone I work with really closely at VMware and she is pretty awesome – so make sure you don’t miss this! Lastly, there is nothing better than a genuine customer story and Kingston University are no doubt going to smash this out of the park.

Thursday, 10 Nov 12:00 – 13:00 CET

What’s New in Anywhere Workspace [EUSB2295EUR]

I can’t talk about a VMware event without a mentioning a ‘What’s New’ session, and EUC at VMware is not given the airtime it deserves. Don’t worry though Shawn Bass, CTO of EUC at VMware will make sure it does giving the latest features and innovations with Workspace One.

Tuesday, 8 Nov 11:00 – 12:00 CET

CXS Theater Sessions

Multi-Cloud Adoption Framework: Moving from Chaos Cloud to Smart Cloud in 5 Steps [CXS2947EUR]

Having been on ‘that’ side of the fence, I know how challenging a move from on-prem to cloud is. Believe me when I say the migration of the workloads is just the start of it. Governance, processes, security all play a huge part and are arguably more difficult that the data move itself. Thankfully VMware have put together a session for exactly this, essentially talking you through multi-cloud adoption and the VMware Well-Architected Framework. Also, one of the speakers is no less than Oz Masfary, so you’ve kinda gotta tune in to this right? 😉

Tuesday, 8 Nov 15:00 – 15:45 CET

VMware {code}

Automating your home with GitOps and Project Keswick [3013]

Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of talking to to, or sitting in on one of Alan Renouf‘s sessions will know how engaging he is. He works on some of the coolest solutions that I’ve seen in the past few years and he’s written a book no less! In this session he talks through how you can put a USB key into a home lab server and watch how his automation builds an edge compute platform using an Office of CTO project called Project Keswick. This won’t be one I’ll be missing!

Wednesday, 9 Nov 15:00 – 15:30 CET

VMware {code} Intel NUC Home Lab with Smart Sensors [CODE2769EUR]

This is another one for you folk who love a home lab, and also are interested in the Intel NUC platform. You can essentially build a super-low-cost VCF platform for ‘messing round’ with at home with surprising ease and Eric Neilsen Sr. Director of Social Media at VMware is going to take you through a hands-on session on exactly how to do this alongside showing you how to connect GPIO/I2C sensors. Anyone who participates in the session also gets a free sensor that you can use with your NUC to do a bit of desktop automation. This should be really fun!

#90DaysOfDevOps – The DevOps Learning Journey [VMTN1979EUR]

If you haven’t heard of #90DaysOfDevOps yet, then where have you been? Its the brainchild of Michael Cade, Global Technology at Kasten by Veeam and he’s been publically sharing his journey into the world of DevOps. He’s created a huge amount of content on Github and on his YouTube channel and for anyone wanting to learn a bucketload of new skills, from Linux to Kubernetes this is a must!

Monday, 7 Nov 13:00 – 13:30 CET

Other ‘Sessions’

The Party [ACT3036EUR]

This probably doesn’t need much of an intro. Nobody does parties like VMware so you’d be mad to miss this!

Wednesday, 9 Nov 19:00 – 21:00 CET

If anyone sees any additional sessions which are awesome – send me a DM cause I love a good learning session! And as always, if anyone wants to meet up at Explore, I’ll be there so would be good to grab a coffee!

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