VMworld 2016 Recap – 3 main themes


By Kevin Vogl

I was one of 23,000+ attendees at VMworld last week in Las Vegas, NV. This is my 12th time attending and it was as hectic as usual, and had fewer announcements of new products than in past years. However, VMware focused on three major themes throughout the event that will enhance existing VMware environments to either simplify, expand or optimize without complicating management or deployment.

1. Cloud – It started off in the keynote with the announcement of IBM and VMware partnering for cloud infrastructure. IBM has made large investments including SoftLayer, cloudMatrix and other products to enhance their cloud environment to support VMware. What this means to VMware customers is a much simpler, more robust environment that can expand their VMware footprint without having to purchase additional hardware, storage or VMware licenses. The interface and configuration is much less complex than earlier versions of vCloud Air.

2. Hyper-Converged Infrastructure – Walking throughout the expo, there were more companies talking “hyper-converged” than ever before. Large companies like Cisco and HP have really upped their game when it comes to hyper-converged. But there were tons of smaller companies like Nutanix and Simplivity (and others) that will make deployment of a robust and resilient VMware environment much easier for new comers as well as seasoned veterans. This technology takes advantage of software-defined networking, storage and other technologies to help companies become more secure and easier to expand without having to be an expert in either networking, security or storage.

3. Software-Defined – Last but definitely not least is Software-Defined ANYTHING! The things most talked about were networking and storage. Obviously VMware has some great offerings in this area with NSX and vSAN, but they are by no means the only game in town. Cisco talked a lot about their ACI, which is their software-defined networking solutions and companies like IBM, EMC, and many others were talking about their software-defined networking solutions. Walking through the expo, I couldn’t help but notice how many storage solutions are available for VMware environment, both physical and virtual. At least 40% of all of the vendors there had something to do with storage. Flash has been the hot topic in virtualized environments over the last 18 months and has been able to solve a lot of performance problems for customers moving tier-1 applications into virtualization. Software-defined storage is the next up and coming technology that will help customers not only lower their cost of computing but give them the flexibility of moving workloads between onsite and cloud environments.

If you’re not looking into these three areas for your existing or new virtualization environment, whether it be VMware, Hyper V or any other hypervisor, you’re missing the new technology wave that can help you maximize your virtualized environment. Now is a great time to reassess your virtual environment. Find out where you need enhancement and which new technologies would be most beneficial to your existing virtualized environment. A virtualized optimization assessment would be a great way to get started and find out where you are today and where you can go tomorrow. Call 800-771-7000 for more information or request an assessment here: https://www.championsg.com/partner.php?seo_name=vmware.


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Erick Bacallao joined Champion Solutions Group in 2015 after a career of Software Development in Cuba at the National Cancer Care Institute of Cuba, followed by moving to the States with allAware.


Champion acquired allAware and its properties and Erick has utilized his extensive background and expertise in IT and Software Development to rise to VP of Product Development in less than 5 years. During this time, Erick has been involved with key projects that led to the launch of numerous products including CSP Boss, Inscape platform and 365 Productivity Insights.


Erick has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Havana. He won Gold Medals for Programming from the Ministry of Education in Cuba, and he is certainly still a Gold Medalist for Champion!


As President and CEO, Chris is responsible for the development of key strategic alliances and solution portfolio. He leads Champion’s go-to market and execution strategies for integrated offerings in the cloud, in security, and in digital infrastructure, always focusing on improving the customer experience and driving transformative business outcomes.


He also aligns key partner initiatives with company strategy and oversees corporate marketing and messaging to gain mindshare with customers and partners. It’s his vision and innovativeness that have catapulted Champion up the ranks to become a $100M+ organization—and one of the most respected solution providers in the industry.


Over the past two decades, Chris has also focused on mergers and acquisitions, as well as innovative product development. He is the original founder and an active member on the Board of Managed Maintenance, Inc., a SAAS provider and consulting firm that utilizes their award-winning One-View Portal to help the IT Channel and its customers manage their IT Maintenance.


Chris is also the original founder and chief strategist behind one of the original storage cloud providers, Storage Access / BluePoint. During the course of a few short years, he had raised $20M and took that company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It has since been acquired by Pomeroy.


In 2012, Chris led the acquisition of MessageOps and continued the product development and worldwide launch of its premier SAAS, 365 Command. Built on Microsoft Azure, 365 Command is currently managing over 1 million seats of Microsoft’s Office 365. After achieving this phenomenal milestone, 365 Command and other MessageOps O365 utilities were sold to Kaseya.


Over the past 35 years, Chris as worked tirelessly to not only advance his own career, but those of his employees. In addition to leading a $100M organization, Chris can also be found sitting with sales teams, cold calling and coaching, and validating why Champion has been listed on Best Places to Work by both South Florida Business Journal and Computerworld.

Ultimately, the success garnered by Champion Solutions Group, its associated companies, and their employees is due in large part to the leadership of its President and CEO. Perhaps the most fitting award Chris has earned is South Florida Business Journal’s 2013 Ultimate CEO Award.