VMworld 2011 Day 1 Highlights

The highlight of day 1 of VMworld 2011 is VMware’s CEO Paul Martiz’s keynote. He talked about a brief history of IT and claimed that we are in the 3rd revolution – “Cloud Era”, following Mainframe era and client/server era. He mentioned several interesting data points. For example, over 50% of workload today are running in virtualization environment. We don’t know how this data was measured. Many felt that we are not in that level yet. Nevertheless, it won’t be controversial to say that a significant portion of workload today, especially majority of new workload, are running in the virtualization.

During the keynote, Paul announced several new versions of VMware product, including View 5.0 and vFabric Data Director. However, since VMware announced vSphere 5 and updates of several other products, including vCloud Director, a couple of months ago, there is no new big splash. Paul mentioned a new “vSphere Infrastructure and Operations Suite”, which is essentially a new suite packaging of vSphere, vCD, vCenter Ops, etc. One thing that is worth notice is that there is no new vCenter Ops announcement. Paul mentions that VMware is taking the approach to release the suite as a whole. He casually mentioned that it could a 5.1 suite release next year.  During the speech, Paul revealed that VMware is working on a virtualized mobile phone. It is an interesting concept. But I did not fully comprehend why it is important and how it could be used in IT. We were promised to see the demo in tomorrow’s keynote.

I also attended several sessions, mostly around operations. I felt that vendors are generally behind the curve. Cloud washing is still popular among vendors. “Virtualization + Automation” is still the message to sell cloud IT solutions. But audience are keeping asking questions for specific cloud challenges. How do I manage my shared pools? How do I deal with transient and mixed workloads? It’s my guess is that vendors know those distinct cloud challenges. But it is just that not many vendors has produced a purpose-built solution yet.  The customer, in this cycle of IT revolution, understands the value and meaning of this new era much faster than any revolution we have seen before. This phenomenon is largely contributed by massive knowledge share through web 2.0 and social media. For vendors, whoever can quickly build a truly cloud focused solution could win the market.

Tomorrow will be a long day, I will check around to see who has the solution now that can address directly cloud specific problems (hint, thinking about “shared pool”).

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