It's been nearly a couple of weeks since I came back from VMWare 2017, and even now my head's still spinning a bit. I'd always planned an extended trip to Barcelona, initially to take a couple of days' holiday, but in the end almost the full six-day stretch filled up with meetings, briefings and workshops.
I'm usually at major shows like VMware to get a heads up on where technology is going, and to compare notes with other data centre and network colleagues on the challenges we're facing and the solutions we've found. Typically I'm happy to spend several days at one presentation or workshop after another, but VMware 2017 was different.
As Ideal's stature grows, we're getting access to more strategic discussions, and meeting higher-level representatives from our partners. None come much higher than Pat Gelsinger, the dynamic CEO that's helping lead VMware to greater heights, and at the start of the week I was honoured to get a meeting with the man himself, courtesy of the NSX VIP partner team. I can't stress enough how exciting and cool it was to be part of a very select group of VMware partners, hearing first-hand from Pat about VMware's plans to modernise data centres, integrate public clouds, make the workspace more powerful and transform security.
These four themes are central to VMware's thinking at the moment, and they ran as threads throughout the rest of the show. Adrian Clarke has already picked up on some of the security announcements coming out of the earlier VMworld Las Vegas event - there are lots of important changes - but I was really interested in a session on NSX assessments and the vRealise Network Insight (vRNI) tool. vRNI gives you a single-pane view of workload connectivity as it spans the virtual and physical domains, showing you the hop-by-hop path across all points of the virtualised data centre.
I've come home from VMworld and straight into a particularly busy run of projects, so I haven't quite had the chance to digest everything I learned. It's not such a bad thing: my head's still full of the new ideas, possibilities and approaches of VMworld, and the exciting potential they raise for building faster, more versatile and more secure data centres.