This time of year brings a host of journalists, tech writers and industry observers out of the woodwork to make predictions about next year's products, services, mergers, failures and successes. I'm getting a bit of a head start on them all with my wish list for VMware's Fiscal Year 2012. Mine aren't predictions as much as they are a few things that I think could work for VMware in the coming year. No one knows for sure, except VMware, whether any of these items are going to exist but it will be interesting to gauge their and your reactions to them.
VMware, in my humble opinion, could cause quite a shake-up in the global IT business, if they were so inclined. A shake-up that would mean that it would become the most powerful IT company in the world. I'd also like to say that, if I were at the helm--or at least on the Bridge at VMware, my wish list would come true in one form or another.
So, here they is my wish list for VMware's FY 2012.
VMware Certified Data Centers
Wouldn't it be interesting to see a "vmware certified" logo outside of a data center? What a VMware certified data center would mean is a good question too. In my mind, a VMware certified (certified) data center is one that has been inspected by or designed by VMware for use with VMware's products, which includes anything under the EMC brand. And, yes, I know EMC owns VMware and not the other way around but you get the idea.
Certified, under the surface, would mean that the data center has the power, cooling, cabling, accessibility, security, network and backup to support VMware's solutions. Right now, companies that use VMware's products are in the old, "beat to fit and paint to match" scenario. And, up to now, VMware has tried to accommodate every situation under the sun. But, don't you think that they could better support their products if they knew what they were dealing with when you call in with a problem?
Right now, I have a VMware setup running in what I call my "garage data center." It's cool but do you think that VMware should have to support that at the same level they would support a Tier X data center that they designed or certified? I don't think so.
The certified data center would also be a selling point for shared floor data centers that lease space to multiple companies. If I'm purchasing a solution from consulting company XYZ and they're putting my services into a data center, I want to know that not only does the consultant know what they're doing but that my services are in a certified data center. I want to know that it's properly equipped to run that infrastructure the way VMware designed it to run. Otherwise, it could be in Ken's garage and who'd be the wiser?
The VMware certified data center is a good thing.
I'd like to see VMware brand its own operating system (OS). It would probably be a Linux-based OS with a selectable graphical user interface, pre-installed VMware Tools, a premium set of applications and downloadable from their appliance site. Yes, there would a server version and a desktop version.
Who better to create an OS that works seamlessly with their own products? In my mind, they would have templates for a standard set of servers and desktops but also a JEOS style template so that you could roll your own custom appliance/desktop/server, if needed.
A VMware OS would be especially important in the VDI market. VMware could deliver a turnkey solution for businesses wanting to untether themselves from traditional desktop computing. And, their Linux-based product would be the ultimate power product to make that happen. Buying a complete VMware View solution would be an easy choice for many companies going forward with a VDI initiative.
The VMware OS idea would also be extremely valuable to companies who want to setup businesses around VMware View and to provide those virtual desktops as a service.
Finally, a VMware OS would be fully supported by VMware, which would alleviate the always enjoyable intervendor finger-pointing. You could be assured that an all-VMware solution would work. You wouldn't need any third-party confirmation of it nor would you blow a lot of money on a "maybe" or "it works in our lab" scenario.
A VMware OS is a perfect solution.
VMware Support Services
When something goes wrong or when you need a solution to a problem you want to solve, who better to talk to than VMware itself? VMware often has to work with third parties to get the root of a problem. If they (VMware) had their own support services teams, VMware would be a one-stop-shop for all of your data center solutions.
I know that VMware has customer support, technical engineers and consulting staff but they are there to support their products through whatever means necessary--third parties, consultants and the odd nerd running stuff in his garage. But, the real power is in being your direct first, second and third level support. You'd never have to wonder if the computer jock on the other end of the line really knows his stuff or not--he would because he works for VMware.
I'm not trying to cut out local support folks and replace them with VMware. Don't misunderstand. But, if you're having a problem, who do you want to talk to? Would you rather speak to a product partner or VMware?
To me, a total VMware software support solution is an easy choice.
VMware To Go
Another not-so-new concept is the idea of VMware To Go (VTG)--a modularized (a plug-n-play, pre-racked and ready) VMware solution composed of a set of ESX(i) hosts, management server(s), SAN, virtual appliances, server and desktop templates--basically a physical turnkey solution for VDI, server virtualization, application virtualization or any combination of those.
The "To Go" part is from the idea that a company could basically pick and choose the components or solution from a cafeteria-style menu and have it delivered to their dock, ready to plug in. For example, a company could order a ready-made solution--say something like VDI for 100 users and receive a pre-built solution that plugs in, turns on and is ready to serve.
These pre-built solutions would also come with a block of support in the form of VMware-assisted setup time to get you up and running quickly and easily.
VMware To Go is a good idea. The only question now is, "Do you want fries with that?"
Of course, I realize that I can wish in one hand and place memory chips in the other and see which one fills up first but these are my VMware wishes for the coming year and beyond. It's possible that my aspirations for VMware and VMware's aspirations are very different.
Concerning my wish list, I'll leave you with this quote from Stephen Mitchell's The Frog Prince: A Fairy Tale for Consenting Adults:
“. . . wishes are like magnifying glasses they enlarge and focus an intention that is already inside us.”
Which of my wishes would you like to see come true? Talk back and let me know.