Here I will explain a summary of days 1 and 2 (November 4th and 5th) of VMworld Europe 2019 from my perspective.
So, the first official day is on Monday (November 4th) where there aren’t many people like the next day (the second day, Tuesday 5th) but anyway there are many activities to do!
This time I was awarded a blogger pass, hence, I will have the honor to be with other bloggers at VMworld while enjoying some privileges like having a reserved seat in the general session, stay with other bloggers or join some special events.
The Community: vCommunity
I think that for almost everyone that is involved in the vCommunity, VMworld means vCommunity but why?
Easy, is the main event where you can meet again your friends, make new ones and have fun with them! By the way, vCommunity means virtual community and not VMware Community 😉
This year, I was able to help as a Champion for the Tech Level up Project which is the one who made The vTrail Map (A community guide for your virtualization journey)!
On Day 2 we started the vBrownbag Tech Talks at the VMware Community booth from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Ariel Sánchez, Alastair Cooke and me recorded around 15 sessions where many people from the vCommunity among other companies that showed us their community programs, new features, versions, etc.
Although I was “anchored” at the VMware community booth recording people with the mixed audio and all of the vBrownbag members helping the presenters (and recording as well), it was so nice to spend time there with lots of new and old people from the community.
Also, I learned from each session that we recorded. If the topic is a bit interesting for me, it was great to hear about it and even ask the presenter.
Here you have a picture of me while I was recording my friend Jorge de la Cruz!
There was a second run scheduled for November 6th but I couldn’t attend so I assume that it wasn’t done.
So, a run for me in the morning and at night…soccer, no, vSoccer!
Jorge Torres organized a match between friends within the community and it was fantastic. We rent a field and after the match, we had a light dinner with some finger-food, omelets, etc. I absolutely recommend you to join the next one!
Another amazing event from the vCommunity (organized by Fred Hofer). This is always done on the second day (November 5th) before the general session. There is a special place where we have a great breakfast and if there is a sponsor (Runecast) you will have it for free 🙂
But the main point here is, meet new people, talk with them and have a nice breakfast before going to the conference center!
From November 25th to January 10th, you can apply to be a vExpert 2020 through many different paths and you must do it if you think you contributed to the VMware community.
What is a vExpert?
It’s an award that VMware gives to individuals who have contributed (a lot) to the VMware community.
Only the contributions over the past year are evaluated, therefore, it is a program that requires constant dedication every year by being an evangelist and advocacy of VMware products.
vExpert is not a certification! It’s an award that is given to individuals and not companies so, companies must not claim that title.
Why become one?
vExperts who participate in the program have access to exclusive benefits. One of the challenges that you will see is, the journey to be and to maintain it. As I will explain later, being active in the community (through different ways) is the key to become one!
At VMworld there are some exclusive gifts, access and parties that are only accessible to vExperts but, interacting with the community will be always your best gift in my opinion.
Here is a list of some of the benefits:
Join the private Slack channel (which is quite active!).
Permission to use the vExpert certificate and logo on your website, social media, etc.
Private forums on communities.vmware.com.
Private webinars with VMware partners as well as NFRs.
Evaluation licenses (1 year period) for many VMware products for your home lab!
Blogger early access program for vSphere and some other products.
Your profile will be listed in a public vExpert online directory.
Access to vExpert parties and exclusive gifts at both VMworld events.
Preferent seating at VMworld Keynotes.
Being a VMware vExpert is not a sprint and it doesn’t consist of making the greatest amount of blog-posts about VMware.
To become a VMware vExpert, you must be active in the community: This can be achieved by knowing and replying to people on Twitter, writing blog posts about VMware technologies, reply to the VMTN forums even if you don’t know the exact answer.
Assisting or presenting to VMUG events is one of the best things you can do, not just to know people, promote yourself and learn new things also because you participate in the community and let yourself know.
To apply just do it here and list all the contributions from this year (2019).
If you still have doubts, you can reach your local vExpert PRO, which will help you with your submission. I can help you if you need some guidance or need any advice, just reach me on Twitter!
Once you apply, your submission will be evaluated and once the applications are closed, the vExpert 2020 will be awarded.
By being part of the community and involving yourself more in evangelizing VMware products through posts, VMUG events/UserCons, VMTN forums, etc. you will have a high chance of being a vExpert.
Remember that in only will count the contributions from the previous year (2019 in this case) so, if you are not one know, don’t worry, apply if you think you contributed enough to the VMware community.
You didn’t contribute enough or nothing this year? Set yourself a goal and make it happen for the next year!
For me, being a vExpert gave me, not just licenses, gifts, etc. but many new friends of the community and a better knowledge of VMware products and culture.
VMworld 2019 Europe is almost here! And I made a local guide with tips about transport, restaurants, places to go, etc. to ensure you can enjoy more your experience in VMworld.
This event will take place from the 4th (Monday) to 7th (Thursday) of November at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain.
VMworld is always an amazing opportunity to learn from all the events that will happen there like the Hands-on Lab, Breakout sessions, General sessions, etc.
Also, it is a great way to connect with a lot of people from the community, vendors or other persons that you are interested in.
People are really friendly so, don’t be shy (you can try first on Twitter!) and try to speak to members from the vCommunity. Besides, be sure to meet the vBrownbag team in the VMTN Tech talks area 🙂
If you are interested in attending this amazing international event and enjoy many other advantages, you can register here.
In Spain, tipping is entirely optional and it’s not very common so, it’s up to you if you want to leave a tip in case the service was exceptional or you think it deserves it.
In restaurants, shops, etc. the VAT tax is included. Therefore, you don’t have to worry to calculate an extra amount of money.
Also, once you pay with credit card (VISA branded cards are the most used here) they will make you enter the PIN code of your credit card (a bit different than the US).
I know it’s late but, hotels near Fira are nice and a bit expensive. The best zone I think it is near Sants where there are cheaper hotels, nice transport connections, and great ambient.
The official language in Barcelona is Spanish but most of the population speak in Catalan. Saying that, don’t worry if you don’t understand some signboards from the street or public places.
There are 3 different train services: Renfe (Local Train), TMB (metro/subway/underground) and FGC (Regional Train).
Renfe and TMB are the most used because they have more combinations than the FGC and also better schedules. So, basically, you will see in this guide mentioning train for Renfe and metro/subway/underground for TMB.
Coming from the airport
Once you land at El Prat airport, there are a few ways to go to the city of Barcelona:
You can take a taxi (expensive but more convenient for people with less time or when the hotel is located in an isolated area). It will costs between 20-30 € from the Airport to Sants (always depending on the traffic). Put the hand luggage on the taxi trunk costs an additional euro.
You can use the app myTaxi to order one. Uber and Cabifiy are not available in Barcelona.
Use the L9 Sud line, this is the Metro (subway/underground) service and can be combined with other lines (like L5 at Collblanc stop for example) within the same ticket.
This metro service is more frequent than the train service and it costs 4.60 €. This can be the best option for most people because you can use the same single ticket to go to other places by combining lines.
By bus (Aerobus):
The least recommended option as it will be crowded but it depends on your preferences and where do you want to go.
The Aerobus will take you to “Plaça Catalunya” (Catalunya Plaza) but it costs a bit more than other services (5,90 € at the moment), you can review more information in this link.
If you plan to visit Barcelona, consider buying a T-10 ticket (which includes 10 single tickets or 10 journeys) as it will save you half the price of many single tickets. This T-10 card can be used for many people as you want so, consider it if you are a group.
T-10 cards are sold by zones (because they have other public services integrated), as you are going to stay in Barcelona, you only need 1 zone. Price for a T-10 1 Zone card is 10.20€, versus buying 10 single tickets (1 zone) will cost 2.20 € x 10 = 22€.
T-10 tickets can be used on any public transport (bus, Metro, Renfe and FGC services) with some exceptions covered here:
You cannot use the T-10 ticket from the airport on the Metro Line L9 Sud. This means the T10 ticket is not valid at the stops Aeroport T1 or Aeroport T2 on the airport metro link.
The Metro (subway/underground) is your best choice whatever you stay in Barcelona if you want a cheaper, frequent and reliable service.
With the metro (remember the name) you can travel through lines at the same cost. The main stops to consider will be Fira in L9 Sud, Plaça Espanya in L1/L3 and Sants-Estacio in L5/L3.
The fastest way to VMworld?
The closest stop to the VMworld event isFira in L9 Sud or theEuropa-Firastop which is another stop from the L9-Sud line that also combines with another train service(FGC trains) which is a different transport service than the metro and it has different stops.
If you stay near Sants, the Sants-Estacio stop in L5 will be your choice. Then, in Sants-Estacio station take the L5 to Collblanc stop and after that, change the line toL9 Suduntil you arrive at Fira stop.
You can see in the following map the VMworld precinct highlighted in yellow and the closest stops (marked in blue): Europa-Fira stop which combines FGC and Metro services and, Fira stop at L9 Sud.
Last year VMworld provided a free metro card; As I don’t know if it will be the same but if you are aiming to visit Barcelona and visit other places, consider to buy a T-10 travel card (10 single rides) which is multi personal and quite cheaper than buying 10 single tickets.
Events around VMworld
Fred Hofer has a magnificent post where it summarizes all the events and parties that will happen on these dates, check it here
I organized the vFit runs, review my post for more detailed information
In my case besides the vFit event (Monday and Wednesday morning), I will attend the vSoccer event on Monday night and vBreakfaston Tuesday.
Outside VMworld (Sightseeing)
Here is a summary of the places that you could visit if you come to Barcelona:
La Sagrada Familia
Probably the most iconic building in Barcelona. It is an unfinished church designed by Gaudí, an architect who made many iconic buildings here in Barcelona.
The most famous pedestrian street of Barcelona, you will see many kiosks and artists there while walking in the middle of the city. Note: Keep an eye on your belongings if you are watching an exhibition as pickpockets could be near you.
La Font Màgica de Montjuïc (Magic fountain of Montjuïc)
This fountain is amazing at night. You should check the exhibitions scheduled with lights and streams creating shapes. It is located near the Veeam party that will be on Tuesday so, maybe you can go earlier and check it out!
A gorgeous park with some designs from Gaudí and other architects that are interesting. You must buy a ticket in order to gain entrance to the Monumental Area (where you can see some monuments from Gaudí).
A famous building designed by Gaudí also named “House of bones”. Look at the facade which is something that you probably never seen before with the sculpted stonework, the windows or the painting. It is also a museum where you can visit (you need to buy a ticket) the inside of this building.
The Olympic port of Barcelona (since recent events in the past months, I will avoid going at night)
It is one of the most exciting leisure and touristic spots throughout Barcelona, with a wide offering of shops, clubs, and restaurants. It’s the gateway to the Barcelona beaches and also there is the Barcelona zoo near to it.
In general, avoid going alone in the night, especially in “Las Ramblas”, “El Raval” or near “Olympic Port of Barcelona”.
Also, avoid the neighborhood known as “La Mina” which is farther from Barcelona but it still accessible by Metro.
The food in Barcelona is nice and some of you probably know it.
Let me suggest a couple of restaurants near Fira Gran Via (VMworld):
Gran Varela: A restaurant with great food (especially octopus). Also, the wines are great!
In Gran Via 2 (a shopping center pretty close to Fira Gran via) I can suggest you:
A great Japanese (Udon)
A good Italian (La Tagliatella)
Beers and tapas (Cañas y tapa)
Restaurant La Vid: A nice restaurant where you can try local food like the bread with spread tomato, the Spanish omelet, or the ham! This is also the restaurant that will be hosting the vBreakfast event on Tuesday morning.
The best places aren’t near Fira Gran Via but if you want to try better food, here are a couple of restaurants that are really nice:
Bacoa Burger: Amazing and customized burgers, also hand-made fries and sauces.
König: Amazing restaurant where you can try almost everything: tapas, amazing beer, flatbread, and many other options!
La Bella Napoli: Not many choices on the menu in this Italian restaurant but the food quality is amazing.
Yes! I am happy to announce that the vFit event will happen also at VMworld Europe this year!
Eric Wright (@discoposse) is the creator of this event and you can check how it went at VMworld US here! I love his idea of engaging folks who attend tech events to do some exercise at tech events and why not at VMworld Europe?
Enjoy a run with our great community outside VMworld. You can meet people, share a great moment to run outside the event centers and enjoy the city of Barcelona.
So, this year in Barcelona I will be the organizer for the #vFit event and I hope you can join me and other community folks in the 2019 #vFit runs at VMworld Europe.
Anyone can join this event to run with a group of community folks at approximately 6.21min per km / 10min per mile. May be a second group if enough walkers join, we will discuss it once when we meet there.
The meet up for the runs will be at the exit of Europa-Fira station: https://bit.ly/354kRsN There are two exits at Europa-Fira (showed in blue), you must go to the one which has 3 “big” buildings. Our meet-up will be at the red circle that you can see in the following map: Here you have a Google Street View just in case you’re not sure if you picked the correct exit: https://bit.ly/30N3o4x
So, as said we will have the meet up at the red circle that is in front of one of the Europa-Fira exits.
Usually, this is a daily run event but, as I am the one organizing it, I can’t commit to doing a daily run because I have other duties to do at VMworld.
Therefore I decided to do 2 runs and the time of each meet up is:
Monday, November 4 – 06:45 AM CEST
Wednesday, November 6 – 06:45 AM CEST
On Wednesday many people will be crashed by Tuesday parties however I will be there anyway!
I am going to talk about my experience at a local VMUG, in my case the VMUG from Barcelona (BCN). It was my first time at a local VMUG event and this is why I decided to share my thoughts about it.
VMUG – What is?
As you probably know VMUG stands for VMware User Group. Basically, you will find an international community of people where they share their experiences and discuss things related to VMware and other technologies.
At your local VMUG, you will find VMUG members that you can meet online or in person, sponsors. There you can find many passionate people about VMware and connect with them, so I highly recommend to attend to the VMUG events as it is a great experience to learn concepts or technologies and connect with a lot of people.
There are many communities around the world if you want to find your local VMUG go and register at https://www.vmug.com/
VMUG – Why attend?
Because you won’t regret it!
I didn’t imagine that the environment and people were so good, everyone is passioned about technology, mainly VMware things, and you can hear their stories and share experiences that both probably lived in your life.
Hence, it doesn’t matter if you’re presenting or attending your local VMUG, the thing is to go there, meet people and learn about the sessions! You will find that a lot of people share some passion for VMware and technology so, don’t be shy to say hello and try to meet them.
Presenting at a local VMUG
I’ve been involved in this local VMUG for a year approximately but, I never had the chance to attend any event. Since VMworld I didn’t hear anything about a new event so, I spoke with the VMUG forum about when would be a new event and finally, it ended with myself presenting my session.
In my case, I presented a session (in Spanish) about Clones in vSphere (I’ll do a post about presenting in the near future) on March, 15th.
You didn’t expect something like my case, I was lucky to present at my first time in this event but, usually, it’s better to go there and meet the people before presenting and not in the other way.
I am glad that I finally was able to attend and meet a lot of VMUG members, you can learn a lot from people through their sessions and also make connections that will be valuable in the future.
I would highly recommend attending and experience the passion of VMUG members and the knowledge that you can gather from them.
Also, I would like to acknowledge the VMUG leaders from the BCN VMUG for letting me present and the sponsors that make it possible.
To finish these posts about VMworld 2018 Europe, I am going to summarize day 3 and day 4 together as day 4 is usually the less busy of all of them (people usually leave in the morning).
On day 3 (Wednesday), I rest like 5-6 hours (pretty normal to me) after spending some part of the night at the Veeam Party. I made it to be at the enclosure at 8:30 AM because at 9:00 it will start the second general session.
I grabbed some coffee and go to the correspondent Hall, the same as the day before.
2nd General Session
For me it was a weaker session than on the previous day but, I was great.
In the previous post, I forgot to mention the VMware ESXi on a Raspberry PI as a prototype, that Pat and Ray showed us, really cool.
vCommunity, vStreetfighter and more
I must say that I had like 4 sessions scheduled on Wednesday and I only went to a couple of those. The most of the time I was hanging with people from the vCommunity and playing also I played some Street Fighter V in the gaming area. We have a group for that, check out #vstreetfighter for some tweets on Twitter and join us!
First, let me show us a couple of fights that I had against Bilal Ahmed (I lost and I don’t how yet…). You can check here that Gregg Robertson offered a challenge against me at the gaming area.
So I was Ryu he was ken . I beat him 3 times in a row…..then we played alpha2 and I was akuma and he whooooppped my ass 🤣 I do admit there was some luck and button bashing on my part lol pic.twitter.com/XqDEBy5icI
I can’t be happier to be able to meet these persons and more that I didn’t mention or couldn’t take a photo. When you are there, the time passes by quick and because of this, I didn’t go to some sessions (I knew that I could watch them later at home).
I enjoyed having dinner with Chris a couple of times, hanging a lot in the Solutions Exchange area or with Jorge de la Cruz to everywhere.
Thank you, Fred @Fred_vBrain for doing this kind of things! In this case, Abdullah Abdullah @do0dzZZ was the host for this year as Fred couldn’t assist.
I woke up at 6 AM… a bit painful but, some sacrifices needed to be done when you are not at the office! It started at 7:00 AM but, I arrived around 7:30 AM or so.
And I arrived… a lot of people were sitting there! I had the chance met some people I already know from Twitter and others that not. We had great conversations there meanwhile we tried to eat some toasts with iberian ham and also a bit of omelet.
I arrived at the hall and sit wherever I could and what a nice session…with some announcements and great stories to hear!
Besides the newer versions of VCF, Horizon, AppVolumes and more, the more interesting for me was the acquisition of Heptio and the announcement of VMware Cloud PKS (it will be expanded to Azure in the future!).
After that, I had plenty of time to meet more people and attending a couple of technical sessions.
The best time, the vCommunity
The best time of all of this is the #vCommunity and the networking that you can do. I met a lot of people there and I couldn’t be happier to have done it.
I met an amazing person and famous (amazing) blogger here in Spain, if you don’t who is, please do it! He’s Jorge de la Cruz (@jorgedlcruz) and nowadays works for Veeam. He’s just a blogger machine (I don’t know anyone who posts more than this man). In their blogs, he has information about anything! You can check it out here: https://www.jorgedelacruz.es/ and https://jorgedelacruz.uk/
A couple of selfies I took this day with some vBrownbag’s members!
A thing you can’t miss, the Solutions Exchange. A lot of partners in this Hall where you can chat with people that work in the company and have great discussions, gather some swag and maybe you can win something in the raffle (yes, a lot of companies offered free tickets and there were big prizes like a Nintendo Switch, Apple Watch, etc.) !
I was so lucky to be invited to this party and what a nice party! I only can say that there were good drinks, food and of course music! It was in a famous discotheque called Apollo.
I know it’s not the best quality but, is just to show you how it looked:
And that’s all… I had to leave “early”, around 12 AM as I had to commute by train so, I didn’t have a chance to stay and enjoy this party.
P.S.: I forgot to mention that each day there is a free lunch in a specific area where you can grab food. The lunchtime I think that I was delivered between 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Let me talk to you about my experience on my first VMworld! This is a personal experience I want to share about Day 1 at VMworld 2018 Europe.
I live in Barcelona so, I am fortunate that I don’t need to travel to go to the VMworld Europe. The only thing is to commute by train between home and Fira Barcelona (where VMworld is established).
It was Monday, November 5th, 2018. I woke up around 6 AM and took the train to arrive at 8 AM approximately.
This is how the entrance looked:
I picked up my badge (using a QR code from the VMworld app) and headed to the VMvillage (the main place on this event).
After taking some pictures… I went to take a lab at the HOL Lounge, why? Because I wanted to try new labs, there are more slots available and I wanted to feel an experience like that at VMworld. Also, you learn some coins for the VMware code ( http://vmwcc.com/).
The first day is the calm day, I mean, the Solutions Exchange (where partners have their booths) is not opened and there are less interesting sessions (at least for my self) than other days. People usually are on TAM/Partners sessions or maybe they come on Tuesday.
I explored every enclosure’s corner and checked where were all Halls (to not waste more time the next day). There was food everywhere, from sandwiches to pastries and of course coffee, you could pick it on any lounge or at the VMvillage for free.
In the middle of the VMvillage, there was a Gaming Area with a table tennis table, pinball machines, a giant table football and more things… my favourite part, the Arcade machines with a lot of games!
I was eager to meet some people I met on Twitter and of course, I did it!
The first person I met was Graham Barker @VirtualG_UK an awesome guy who which I spent some time in the beginning, now I am thinking we didn’t take a selfie…
Also, I met Angelo Luciani @AngeloLuciani, very kind guy! He takes selfies with a lot of people and always open to anyone, I chatted with him a bit and it was a pleasure.
At the end of the day, I had some workshops to attend and couldn’t meet more people (obviously some of them are busy in the first day) but this only was the beginning of an awesome journey that will start at the next day, when the action begins.
I returned home early as I had things to do and also on the next day vBreakfast will be awaiting me (at 7:00 AM).
So, the first day was a great experience, is more dedicated for the partners but maybe you can network with people that on the next days will have no time (as probably you).
Also, I’ll be at VMFest on Wednesday and maybe other parties but I can’t assure anything.
I am going every day except for Thursday that I’ll leave before 1 PM.
My schedule is built with sessions, workshops, parties (just a couple) and obviously a couple of hours of free time, to network and do whatever I want (also relax, as it seems that can be exhausting). Remember that all sessions will be recorded so if you can’t attend it, you can watch it later.
About the parties, I won’t be able to stay too late because I need to come back home and we have more days to enjoy VMworld.
If you want to talk or something (like play some video games), you can find me on Twitter (I am really active). I’ll be open to everyone in the community!
Even I know I am not a famous guy, (and don’t pretend to be it), talking with new people can be satisfying and it’s always great to meet someone new. If you are shy you could try to engage someone on Twitter and let him/her know that you are there!
As it is my 1st time I can’t give any advice on this, you should check other blogs for that.
P.S. I wanted to meet especially (among other people) Ariel (@arielsanchezmora) but it couldn’t be as he can’t assist.