Notes from VMworld

Here are some random notes from VMworld.  Paula is also here at the event and she has posted her own view of Paul Maritz's session.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

Here are some random notes from VMworld.  Paula is also here at the event and she has posted her own view of Paul Maritz's session.

Conversation with Ed Walsh, CEO of Virtual Iron

Ed Walsh, CEO of Virtual Iron, and I met for coffee prior to the beginning of the day's events. It was good to chat with him about what the company is doing. As with prior conversations, with the folks over at VI, I was impressed with what they're doing. Their strong focus on serving the needs of SMB and those needing a simple, easy-to-manage and yet powerful solution to virtual servers, orchestration of workloads, high availability, disaster recovery and overal management of a virtualized environment.

Paul Maritz Keynote

Paul discussed the forces that are directing the decisions of organizations. Organizations are seeking ways to balance the benefits of centralized solutions with the power and flexibility of decentralized, distributed structures. So, often they're seeking to implement the best of both worlds.

He then went on to discuss the growth in the 1990s of industry standard (X86-based) servers and client server computing. While this allowed the creation of a flexible computing environments, it also created challenges. He also spoke of how Web-based computing, an offshoot of client server, simplified things by creating a somewhat more unifed client environment.  VMware entered the sceen in 1998.  He also added the appearance of smartphones and Intel-based Macs in 2000.

He then went on to present the glories of VMware's history including VMware GSX server in 2000, VMware Infrastructure in 2004. Paul pointed out that this was the point in time in which VMware grew from being a hypervisor company into a company that provided a broader array of instrastructure company.

Paul pointed out that we're moving from a device-centric world to a services-centric world. He pointed to the emergence of new application frameworks and the current craze for "cloud computing" as support for his concept.

Here's a quick rundown of Pauls vision of the future. VMware is going to focus on three areas of technology:

  • Virtual datacenter OS (VDC-OS) for the internal cloud that allows efficient and flexible use of applications and resources. VMware wil be evolving their infrastructure to support both existing and future workloads. This requires the creation of a new software platform. VMware is posing a new layer of software that can create an elastic, self-managing, self-healing software platform that will sit between the workloads and the underlying hardware.
    • This will be made up of application vServices for available, security, scalability and infrastructure vServices-vComputer, vStorage, vNetwork.
    • Announced collaboration with Intel to create vCompute - new Intel Xeon 7400 systems, Intel Nehalem Systems, and future Intel systems.
    • Announced collaboration with Cisco called "vNetwork" to enhance workload mobility and to simplify management and create virtualization-aware networks
    • Announced vStorage disaster recovery collaboration
    • Paul asserted that operating systems (Windows, Linux and the like) are of less importance in this vision. They just become part of a virtual appliance. With that in mind, Paul mentioned alliances with IBM SAP and Novell to create a standard for the creation of virtual appliances that they're calling "vApps."
    • VMware's management tools will evolve into VMware vCenter that will provide management services for application management as well as infrastructure management.

  • vCloud edition to reach through the firewall and federate with the clouds
    • Discussed the problems with today's clouds: not compatible, requires application modification and they're proprietary and not interoperatble. VMware is working with 100+ service providers to create a set of federated cloud "vServices."

  • VMware View™ to create people and infromation centric view of applications and data.
    • We've got an idea - let's link access virtualization, application virtualization and processing virtualization to deliver a more integrated solution. Let's follow the user regardless of whether they're using a thick client, thin client or even a handheld device.

Midday update

I spoke with Noah Wasmer, Product Manager at VMware,  about desktop virtualization technology. We both agreed that we're moving into the next generation of "desktop" usage. People are increasingly using a number of devices to access the applications and data needed for them to be productive. The device they use may change from time to time throughout the day. They might be using a thin client, a laptop, a desktop or an intelligent handheld device.

A group of technologies including access virtualization, application virtualization and processing virtualization (don't know what these are? see Sorting out the different layers of virtualization to learn more about the Kusnetzky Group model of virtualization technology) are needed to provide people with a desktop "experience" without necessarily also requiring that they have a desktop computer.

We agreed that these technologies need to be integrated in a way that allows these people to move form place to place, from device to device, from network to network without having to know or even be aware of what type of technology is being utilized to create this experience.

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