Review of VMworld 2016 in Barcelona

The EMEA edition of VMworld in Barcelona is a wrap. This edition of VMworld is in my honest opinion one of the best until so far. And in this post I will explain why.


VMware Cloud on AWS

Anyone who missed the great announcement around the partnership between VMware and Amazon has either lived in a cave or is still using floppy drives on a daily basis. VMware Cloud on AWS is a new service that let’s you integrate your local VMware vSphere infrastructure with the vSphere infrastructure on AWS, but fully transparently. More about this game changing technology can be found on this blog post which was written by my colleague Jeffrey Kusters. Frank Denneman presented two sessions around this tech, which I found to be the best session I attended this year.

Workspace ONE

On the second day of the main conference, Sanjay Poonen took the stage for some announcements. But like last year when he was singing “EUC Will Rock You!” next to some drummers that were playing the “We will rock you” song by Queen, he had a special appearance planned. When entering the main hall where the keynote was held, a band was playing some really nice blues music. Like normal, the band stopped playing when the keynote started. But this time one of the musicians left the band to walk towards the stage. He threw off his hat and sunglasses and BAM: there stood Sanjay Poonen telling everyone that making music is still one of his favorite things in the world. A great presenter announcing great new tech.

Sanjay Poonen
In this post I explained the major EUC announcements

ITQ in the picture

As ITQ (my employer) is growing with the number of consultants, chances were big that you would have seen us dutch guys with either an orange or blue polo shirt with the ITQ logo (glasses) on it. This year we were with 26 employees, all with different goals and interests. Next to being visible through our unmistaken home and away jerseys, ITQ also came in a different picture. During the EUC keynote session by Summit Dhawan and Ian Evans, our CEO Francisco Perez van der Oord came on stage to be interviewed by Ian Evans about our unique partnership with VMware. As one of the three partners globally that have all accreditations, that was quite amazing.
In an interview with VMworld TV, you can hear him talk about the appearance on stage and our partnership (including a cameo of yours truly behind his left shoulder):

Also very impressive, my colleague Arie-Jan Bodde was interviewed by VMworld TV about his indisputed number 1 ranking on the VMware Partner University. You can watch the interview here:

Last but not least, together with Marco van Baggum and Matthew Bunce, we did an interview during the vExpert Daily about VMworld, the announcements and some tips and tricks for visitors. You can watch the interview here:

Partner Day

In the previous editions of VMworld, the first day of the event was dedicated for partners but contained mostly marketing related sessions (and so we went to the city center early to enjoy the Catalan cuisine). This year it was a bit different. The day contained more technical sessions than the previous editions and so my agenda was completely filled with good sessions and meetings with different teams within VMware (like the App Volumes and UEM teams). VMware did a really good job here and I hope they will continue this in next editions.

Solution Exchange

As always, the Solution Exchange contains a lot of vendors that are showing their products and have experts and their booth that can answer questions that you could have around these products. New this year was an area that contained all kinds of start-ups like Stacksware.
Again, good job VMware by arranging this.

solution exchange


Next to the VMware Cloud on AWS session, the “Workspace ONE, how to plan, how to start” session, presented by Brian Gammage was one of my favorites as well. We see more and more customers struggling in creating a proper business case for Workspace ONE. In this session, Brian explained what is needed before you even should start thinking of the Workspace ONE solution. The road to the Digital Workspace is a difficult one and proper planning is essential for a succesfull project.

Parties and Gatherings

VMworld is a guarantee for good gatherings and parties. A lot of vendors have special things planned and offer good food and drinks on different location in Barcelona. One worth mentioning was the VMvillage VMware Benelux party. VMware Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg) organized their yearly party in Salt, the club at the first floor of the iconic W Hotel located at the beach. The previous editions had kind-of a formal atmosphere which was fine for meeting customers and peers. But this year they did something completely different. They arranged a big factory-like location that had a great view over the harbour. Inside the factory were a lot of food trucks serving great spanish food like Paella and Tapas. Good drinks, nice music and a great giveaway made sure that even the party was over, still a lot of attendees were there. Even some global VMware employees and people from the Benelux VMware community enjoyed the event. Keep up the good work VMware Benelux!


As you may have read in this post, I have been to the US version of VMworld earlier this year. I must say that the US version has a different vibe than the EMEA version which is hard to describe. One big advantage that the Barcelona edition has is “Barcelona” itself. The city offers so much great things like the cuisine, the beach, a great nightlife and a real nice climate. With an avarage of 20 degrees celcius, you are basically constantly outside when not attending a session. Rumours are unfortunately there that this might be the last edition in Barcelona. The same rumours say that Berlin or Vienna might be the next location for the biggest virtualization event that EMEA has. Both offer a colder climate, but might be great as well for their characteristic features.

The VMworld fun is over. I got confirmation this week that the design I submitted for VCDX-DTM was approved. That means that the next 2 weeks I will be working my ass off to prepare for the defense. Keep track of my “Road to VCDX” blog series so you can follow my progress and experience.

Johan van Amersfoort