VMworld 2008 Wrap up

Overall VMworld 2008 went fairly well.  I had a good time and learned a bit about a variety of new areas in the Virtual Product markets.  Some new companies products trying to fit into the VDI world like Teradici‘s PC over IP technology.  Some very interesting new implementations of existing technology (probably a customer said something like.. You know I could use this, this way, and if you gave it to me as an appliance I could buy it) like Platespin’s Forge product for Business Continuity.   Finally, Egenera has an interesting product that separates out I/O hardware subsystem from the Processing system (CPU).  I did appreciate the new leadership directions of Paul Maritz and do honor the original leadership of founder’s Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum.

My basic comments boil down to a comparison between Las Vegas & San Francisco:

Las Vegas is a Party Place and not good for a serious conference.

Many of the sessions I went to were fairly empty even though there was more people at this conference (14k) versus last year (10k).   Reading Twitters, blogs and overhearing people talking about why they didn’t make sessions such as “too much partying last night”, “too much drinking”, “too much gambling”.   (And that’s even giving leniency for the day after the VMworld Party.)  It really left me wanting from the conference in the Birds of a Feather sessions and panels.

Las Vegas is the Anti-Green compared to San Francisco which is a Green Place.

In San Francisco everything was recycled or recyclable and reasonably healthy in the supplied breakfast and lunch menus.   Las Vegas had at least one deep fried or hot McDonald’s style microwaved item at every meal.

Las Vegas Sands Expo really knows how to move people.

I never felt like I was waiting and not moving to get either to my sessions or to the supplied breakfast and lunch.   When I headed in for Breakfast with the other 4k people that wanted breakfast, I’d always be moving until I got my food and sat down.   As soon as our “grouping” of people eating was done, the staff would clean it up and make it ready for the next batch.  They had people directing you on where to go, where to get your food, where to sit and where to leave.   I was mega impressed.

After saying all that, I did have a good time in Las Vegas and did meet up with a lot of developers, engineers, vendors and peers.   So all and all this was not a waste or a loss in my book.   It was a worth while expenditure of time, money and energy and can’t wait to go next year.

VMworld 2008 – Day 1

Overall the first real day here at VMworld was a good one.   I was fortunate enough to partake in the TAM day which is always interesting.  We discussed some of the newly announced vDatacenter OS, quite a bit about Site Recovery Manager product and the new directions of the VMware Desktop Manager product line.  What is interesting is that the vDatacenter OS is not really a single product line.   Its more of a framework layout.   A set of potential coming APIs that will define all the interfaces openly across all the areas (vStorage, vNetwork, vCenter, vHypervizor (not real.. Just going to the underlying level that’s missing in that main picture since its pretty much assumed and is already defined pretty well), vCloud (a standard API for a VM level component), vApps, vSecurity, ), vAvailability, vResourceManagent for example).

As I posted earlier today about the vDatacenter OS, I believe this to be the right direction.  Sitting here in my room having time to process everything I heard and some reading I’ve been doing around the blogosphere has me even more impressed if its true.  From my reading it appears that the new CEO Paul Maritz is still as sharp and on the ball as he ever was.  His insight when he took the technical and marketing direction of the Windows OS from a miscellaneous OS in a field of OSes to the single most influential OS in the world in the 90s.   Like Microsoft or hate them, you can’t discount the power Windows has in the industry.  I have no doubt that Paul was instrumental in this new higher level view of the datacenter for VMware.   Now he’s set his sights on what it will take to get VMware to where it needs to be in the industry.  Its obvious that Paul is involved with the addition of the Cloud infrastructure concept to the master roadmap.   He came from EMC as the President of Cloud Computing Division so this isn’t much of a surprise.   I understand the direction for VMware on this as many of us customers have been asking for things like this for a while.  So far VMware has done fantastic and amazing things (ESX, VMotion, DRS, Workstation, Server, OVF, Open Standards) under Diane Greene and now that Paul is in charge, here’s to the future growth of VMware.

Brand spanking new writing from VMworld 2008

Nothing like a couple of early morning sessions to kick one in the tush to get the blog up and going.

Checking out the new marketing perspective from VMware and I think they are finally at the right level.   Virtual Infrastructure was a step in the right direction about 2 years ago and now they are at vDatacenter OS or vDC-OS.   I’ve been talking about the power of being able to treat most if not all configurations as software for the past 4 years.   VMware is now accepting that fact and has most if not all the pieces in place finally with the ability to talk more closely to the Storage and Networks and Manage the environments with tools like Lifecycle Manager (Dunes VS-O).

At the end of the day I want VMware to give me the ability to provide a hardware platform (by the old definition since server virtualization really messes with that concept) that I can manage and provide to application(s).   I really don’t want another app server OS or general purpose OS.  I want something that can run those other OSes and doesn’t care what I write those app servers in, be it Linux, BeOS, MacOS, Windows, .NET, Java, etc.  I want to be able to manage that underlying service which is plenty complicated.

I look forward to posting more stuff about virtualization/layerization and in general systems administration for larger environments.