This blog continues coverage of the VMworld Europe conference and exhibition and features info from VMware CEO Diane Greene.
Here’s a potted history of virtualisation technology as VMware sees it, to provide a marker for where we are now.
1 – SEPARATION: the process of being able to test for all possible system configurations before deployment.
2 – CONSOLIDATION: after separation, the move to server consolidation can happen.
3 – AGGREGATION: this is the point at which a virtual data centre is built to run services as per the requirements of the system. (British Telecom was present to give a short presentation on its work building 11 data centres where it has apparently seen a 50% reduction in the cost of physical servers.)
4 – AUTOMATION: this is the day-to-day operation of a self-managing data centre.
… and finally (and this is where we’re at today).
5 – LIBERATION: this is where data is utilised from the ‘greenest available resource’ and workloads are moved around (globally) to make sure this happens on the biggest and best scale possible. In Greene’s own words this type of technology is an, “Early step towards cloud computing.”
GREENE GOES GREEN
Greene also spent some time talking about the environmental aspects of virtualisation as the opportunity exists to reduce server power consumption. VMware’s “green calculator” claims to be able to calculate a server’s CO2 emissions - and equate the power consumption savings through virtualisation - to the number of cars taken off the road or tress planted. Whether companies will actually do this (until they see the value in putting out a press release to say they have gone green) remains to be seen.
This conference is directly billed as business-focused - but it has a decidedly technical slant too, as VMware TSX Europe, the company’s annual technical symposium, has been incorporated into the show. When they’re not outside the Palais des Festivals conference centre rasping on an unfiltered Galois, customers, partners and developers themselves are dipping from one session to another.
On the hardware side, Dell took the stage to announce that it will ship VMWare will all PowerEdge servers from April this year.
In a Q&A session with press and analysts Greene declined to comment on virtualisation security concerns as Dr Mendel Rosenblum VMWare’s chief scientist was currently on a plane on his way to the show for tomorrow’s keynote.
Time for lunch – only in France is Grand Marnier a condiment rather than an after dinner liquor.