VMworld 2011 Day 3 Highlights

There was no keynote today in VMworld. But to me, it is a pretty insightful day. It started with a one great conversation, followed by two case study sessions. And I am going to make three prediction for next year’s VMworld at the end of this blog.

One great conversation

During the breakfast, I met a a couple of guys who have been doing customer implementation for all their careers. They gave me a few very insightful views. First, although there are thousands of metrics that one can measure in IT environment, there are a few of them that are critical and cover 80% of the whole IT picture. The problem is that most IT staff are overwhelmed by the number of metrics and have a false security because of that. A good performance tool should reduce the noise and give them the right and a small set of KPI’s that let IT truly understand what is and will be going on so they can act.

The other lesson I learned from this conversation is that the line of business(LOB) needs to know these KPI’s as well. So,  one, IT can establish service level agreement and, two,  LOB can understand and drive the IT supply by business demand. A simple but rich, an interactive but not overwhelming dashboard and report on both service and infrastructure performance will definitely help.

Two case study sessions

After that I attended two case study sessions and heard real world stories how people build a cloud and what kind of challenges they are facing. The cloud infrastructure is complex. One principal these companies all agreed is to keep it simple. That’s why the fabric infrastructure is playing important role in building the cloud. It also requires the management tool to be simple, which means to hide the complexity under the hood and only give relevant and key information to the user.

Another principle mentioned is to make it scale. This means to scale not only internally – cost and infrastructure – but also externally – allowing cloud end users to scale their demand.

In addition, they all mentioned the “noisy neighbor” problem. VMware is handling it within the VMware ESXi host. But what about higher abstract levels, such as clusters or heterogeneous pools which can across multiple hypervisors, physical, or locations?

Three Predictions, but wait…

Before I put my three bets in, I wanted to mention that it is my 3rd day in a row that I totally relied on my iPad without touching any PC and PC apps remotely, for my work and for my personal use. I am not a fan to use your PC apps in your mobile devices. The PC apps are designed and optimized for PC – large screen, high resolution, mouse, and keyboard. Do you see any of these in your tablet? Think about this, why people developed the GUI-based PC apps, not just simple port those text-based apps  from “dumb” terminal era? The same reason is applicable here when you have a totally new form factor (10 inches screen, lightweight, etc) and a new way (finger) for users to interact with their apps.

Ok, enough for this, let’s talk about my predictions for next VMworld.

Three Predictions

1. At least 1/3 of IT management vendors will have a solution solving cloud specific challenges – shared pool, large scale, highly mixed and dynamic workloads, etc. Customers are already asking for it and vendors will have cycle to produce the solution by this time next year.

2. Many customers, specially those earlier adopters, will have passed their day 1 – building the cloud, provisioning, etc. They will look into day 2 – operations, optimization, etc.

3, Temperature outside the VMworld building will be 30 degree lower than this year. I am very confident this is a sure bet.

For me, I have being chanting “cloud!” for a year since my last break. Now it is time for me to see the real cloud. The difference is that, this time, there will be no internet, no phone, and no PC (yes, I will carry iPad)  for a couple of weeks. All I will see is ocean, sky, and, of course, cloud.

Bye Bye VMworld…

And Hello …

Photo used under Creative Commons from tata_aka_T. Will replace by my photo when I come back.

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