Quite a number of suppliers have learned that I'm planning on winging my way to Las Vegas next week to attend VMware's VMworld. Although I won't have time to speak with all of them while at the event, I have some speculation about what they're going to announce. As one might expect, this is really a laundry list of things I'd hope to see as well as some informed speculation about what we will see.
- Cloud computing − everyone and their dog are planning to announce how cloud computing just can not work without their new product or service. Considering what suppliers have approached me and the teasers they've sent, I would guess that we're going to see some interesting cloud-related announcements. I would just bet that VMware will present something that the company will describe as a "cloud operating system" or some such that works only on industry standard systems, systems running VMware's own software and not address any other hardware software environment.
- Virtual machine software - while this is VMware's bash, we've already seen Oracle try to catch a ride on VMware's bus with their announcement of Oracle VM 3.0. I'm expecting to see something from Microsoft, Citrix, Red Hat and, possibly, the open virtualization alliance to counter whatever VMware says. What is clear is that VMware is very likely to announce enhancements to their ESX Server to make it more scalable. It will be interesting to see if the company responds to Oracle's pricing structure. .
- Management - although some think that hosting many virtual machines on a single physical server creates the next generation mainframe, management is still a place in which IBM shines. I expect to see a number of announcements discussing how the supplier is making a highly distributed virtual server environment more like a mainframe.
- Security - industry standard systems being used to support virtualized workloads are a target for the black hats. The security suppliers are racing as fast as they can to counter known threats and defeat new ones. I expect these suppliers will announce new products, product enhancements and professional services that they hope will become pervasive in the world of virtualization. From the discussions I've enjoyed with suppliers, it appears that many are fighting last year's war rather than trying to think forward to what is likely to occur next.