VMware Explore EMEA – Review and Outlook

VMware Explore 2022 has come to a close. Four days packed with information, conversations and activities. Now it’s time to pause and take a recap of the last few days. I won’t go into technical innovations, products or announcements here. I will write separate technical articles for that and there is also the VMware Explore Video Library with numerous videos including a recording of the General Session and many of the Breakout Sessions. Instead, I would like to go into things that I liked very much and also those that have potential for improvement. Not all points concern VMware itself – in many cases they are things that were good or not so good at the sidelines. Perhaps it will inspire some readers to consider a visit to VMware Explore in the future.

A Plus – VMware Explore 2022 on site in Barcelona

The fact that after two cancelled VMworlds (yes, World) an on-site event took place again is a big plus. No matter who I asked in the last few days – everyone was tired of the virtual meetings and was looking forward to the personal contact. From this perspective, VMware-Explore 2022 was bound to be a success.

A Plus – Public Transport

The Fira is located just outside the city center. So for those who have accommodation in the center, there are twice daily trips by public transport. Barcelona’s metro system is well organized and the trains run at a tight schedule. I rarely had to wait more than 5 minutes for a connecting train. The tickets are cheap and VMware gave out cards of 10-rides at registration. But you have to ask for them. Even if you buy a 10-rides ticket for the Barcelona city area yourself, it currently costs less than €8. This has even become a little cheaper compared to 2019.

The transfer to and from the airport is also cheap and reliable. A special airport bus runs at short intervals between the terminal and the city center (Placa Espana and Placa Catalunya). Pro tip: Buy a return ticket straight away, it’s cheaper.

Attention. After midnight, many lines close down. So night owls should have some cash ready for a cab, or plan a long walk to the hotel.

Blogger Program with Potential for Improvement

There were only 15 blogger passes in total, which is very few if seen in terms of the entire EMEA region. This also hit some of my fellow bloggers who had been providing excellent VMworld contributions for many years in a row and now surprisingly missed out.

At this point I would like to thank Elisabeth Kefal, who included me in the official program in the follow-up.

To clarify, this is not a full travel package. All bloggers always finance flight and accommodation on their own. Only the admission pass to the VMware Explore is sponsored by VMware. So costs can only have played a minor role.

After all, it’s the bloggers who have a deep reach into the community in their respective countries and beyond. I don’t like the word “influencer,” but it does come pretty close to the role of tech bloggers. Let’s call them “community networkers.” They are mostly the same people who are active in the VMware User Group (VMUG) and maintain close contact with the user base there.

The current practice should be reconsidered here. Instead, it would be nice to prioritize inviting bloggers in the future who are not only seasonally active during the 4 days of VMware-Explore, but who keep the community together all year round and constantly deliver valuable content.

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VMware-Explore EMEA is back

It was almost exactly three years ago that IT experts from all over the world met in Barcelona for the VMware IT trade fair, which was then still called VMworld. Due to the pandemic, the following events in 2020 and 2021 had to be canceled and held virtually instead. Certainly an alternative in times of emergency, but no substitute for the on-site event. Lectures and presentations are only a small aspect. Much more important, on the other hand, is personal contact and networking.

Fira Gran Via Barcelona

VMworld is now VMware Explore

This year’s event is a new beginning in many aspects. The rebranding may be subject to controversy. VMworld was a constant term within the community and many are still having a hard time with the new brand. That VMware-Explore is a new beginning can also be seen in the visitor numbers. While there were more than 12,000 visitors in Barcelona in 2019, the organizers expected only about half that figure in 2022. Also from the experience from the North America event in San Francisco which remained far below expectations. Surprisingly, demand in the EMEA region is high and instead of around 6,000 estimated attendees, there are over 7,500, not including VMware employees.

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VMware Explore 2022 – Join us on-site in Barcelona

Early bird registration for VMware Explore Europe is open. From November 7-10, 2022, the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona will once again open its doors.

As you may have heard, there is a name change. VMworld will now be called VMware Explore. Hopefully that’s the only change, because VMworld has been the epicenter of the vCommunity for years and the bond that holds the community together at its core.

Live again at last

I am very happy that for the first time since 2019, this event can be held on-site again. The pandemic forced us to suspend events like VMworld for two years and replace them with virtual events. It was good to have this possibility of virtual events and the organizers tried their best to provide the community with information. But after two years and hundreds of virtual events, we’ve all grown a little weary of virtual events. This is why the term “zoom fatigue” was born. There’s a big difference between attending a session live and watching a recording.

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VMworld 2019 – Summary

VMworld EMEA took place for the 16th time and already for the 8th time in Barcelona. A new visitor record was set. Over 14,000 visitors came to find out about new products and trends. In the General Sessions, CEO Pat Gelsinger, COO Sanjay Poonen and Ray Farell drew a picture of the corporate strategy. VMware’s vision is becoming increasingly clear: Any cloud, any device, with NSX as the neural system and vSphere as the foundation.

The focus on containers and container orchestration was already apparent last year. So it is no surprise that Kubernetes was one of the main focal points of this VMworld.

Tanzu Mission Control

Tansu (yes, with “S”) in Japanese refers to an antique mobile piece of furniture. A chest or cabinet. Also, in the Swahili language, the term tanzu means “branch” or ” twig”.


Project Pacific

One of the most important announcements was Project Pacific. This is nothing less than a complete redesign of the vSphere platform, which should be able to run native Kubernetes workloads in the future. Project Pacific merges the vSphere and Kubernetes platforms. Customers who have already invested in their vSphere infrastructure in the past will be able to leverage this investment to run Kubernetes clusters in the future without making new hardware expenditures.

A deeper look into Project Pacific is outlined on the vSphere Blog entitled “Project Pacific – Technical Overview“.



The acquisition of VeloCloud, whose products are now being integrated into the VMware portfolio, was announced back in 2017. VeloCloud connects enterprise sites to a virtual overlay using virtual or physical appliances via broadband uplink or MPLS. Unlike many other over-the-top (OTT) providers, VeloCloud operates a global points-of-presence (PoP) network. Within a region, SD-WAN nodes connect to each other via these PoPs.


In June 2019, VMware announced its intention to acquire AVI Networks. VMware is thus closing a gap in its NSX portfolio. With the acquisition of AVI-Networks, enhanced load balancing capabilities can be integrated into NSX-T.

Carbon Black

The acquisition of Carbon Black by VMware was completed shortly before VMworld EMEA 2019. Carbon Black develops cloud native cybersecurity solutions. This technology can now be seamlessly integrated into many VMware products.


The acquisition of Pivotal by VMware has not been completed as of this date. Pivotal was founded as a spinoff of Dell and VMware. Pivotal’s core product is Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF), a cloud application platform that enables developers to manage applications instead of infrastructure. Pivotal Cloud Foundry is a container-based open source cloud-native platform promoted by VMware Tanzu.

Pivotal’s solutions will be at the center of VMware’s Tanzu product and service offering, which is designed to help customers develop, run and manage their core applications with Kubernetes.

vSphere7 will be launched later

Many visitors had eagerly awaited the announcement of vSphere 7. However, we still have to wait a few months until the next major release will be released.

VMworld 2020

The next VMworld EMEA is scheduled for November 9th to November 12th 2020 in Barcelona.