Yesterday afternoon, the Solutions Exchange area opened. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen more people and more vendors/booths in a single event. Walking around, it seems that everyone hires professional EmCees (masters of ceremony) to work their booths. Magicians and gimmicks are at a high level. The Blue Cat booth is doing the same thing as last year, but better. One vendor has a phone booth-type set up where you can get in and grab cash blown around by a fan. Crazy! I was a little tired and hung out with the good folks at Veeam for a while at their booth.
This morning is the big keynote – this room is huge and the people are filing in steadily. The keynote started with a video about what the cloud is, and immediately fired a joke at Oracle. We are all dumb terminals in the cloud! The cloud is a collective of vast resources, and catching pizza matrix-style. We were just informed that there are 17,021 registered attendees at this year’s conference! CMO Rick Jackson opened the keynote and described the hybrid cloud used this year, since there is no data center on site as there has been in the past. He also spoke about the value of the VMware User Group and promoted joining one. Rick then moved into the slogan for this year, which is “Virtual Roads. Actual Clouds” and spoke about the phases of virtualization: IT Production, Business Production, and IT as a Service. Paul Maritz, VMware President and CEO, took the stage next. Thankfully, he moved into theory instead of practice quickly and it seems he only gets 20 minutes to speak. He discussed infrastructure as a means to and end and asked if old apps on new infrastructure is enough? There will be a new focus on how applications are built going forward so that they will better support a virtualized environment. For example, application platforms are now popping up everywhere—iPhone, iPad, Droid, Blackberry—so applications must be able to adjust and adapt. He brought up “the new stack”, which is new infrastructure, applications, and end user access. Steve Herrod followed and picked up where Paul ended. Steve is a little more energetic than Paul, but I find myself still wishing Carl Eschenbach would speak. Steve highlighted some features of vSphere 4.1, initially about “elastic resource scheduling” and why we would need additional vMotion capabilities. Steve announced the VMware acquisition of Integrien to help “manage the virtual giant.” It looked cool from the screenshots, complete with traffic light red/yellow/green graphs and granularity into VMs, but I wonder how this places partners like Veeam? IT as a Service (ITaaS) should move toward a Service Catalog, similar to an app store so you can get what you want, when you want it, and then only have to pay for what is used.
Now – REDWOOD….otherwise known as VMware vCloud Director is available today. Also announced was vShield Endpoint , vShield App, and vShield edge to offload virtual machine security. Endpoint is the anti-virus portion of it….seems cool. Symantec Endpoint Protection’s initial release made me really leery of the word “endpoint”, so I hope this is better. We then saw a quick demo of the vCloud Director and went into vFabric. Cloud portability is key! The next big announcement is that View 4.5 is coming in a few weeks. We’ve been waiting for this one! Local mode is the new offline desktop.
Stay tuned for the next installment…