Leaving a vapour trail of shelved IT events behind it, Parallels will be staging its fourth annual industry meeting of minds this week in Las Vegas. Proof perhaps if it were needed that virtualisation is now, more than ever, a sure fire bet for software application development infrastructures in the immediate years ahead.
Not, thankfully, a chance for yet another IT vendor to ship us all off to a nice hotel and carpet bomb us with press releases. But, I've been promised, time to share some 'headspace' (did I just use a cheesy term there?) with the management board, as well as time to get my head stuck in the cloud computing round table later this week.
Press room ruminations on day zero suggest that that this week will see beta version demos of several upcoming new products, including Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.5 (for OS-level server virtualisation), Parallels Virtual Automation 4.5 (these are virtualisation management tools) and Parallels Server Bare Metal (for hypervisor server virtualisation). So I will do my best to track these this week.
In this time of economic woe and malaise, I will also try and make mention of what the partners who have braved the budget freezes to come along here have to say.
I think this could be a fun week of integrating technologies, as partners align to virtualisation management realities - in perhaps a slightly less desperate scramble than they appeared to do so at VMworld Europe 2008, which I was also lucky enough to attend.
With Microsoft's hypervisor hysteria behind us now, perhaps we can make some more informed guesses as to where monetisation strategies will lie in the months ahead. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has appeared to be a key push for Parallels in the UK, one can only imagine that this is also the case in the USA and the rest of the developed world.
Cheeseburgers & Social Networking...
I decided to get in a day early and enjoy the comparative warmth of Nevada's balmy breezes – oh alright... and to enjoy a triple Swiss 'bacon and beefaroni' cheeseburger. But this did give me a chance to properly prepare for once.
Not only does this event have a web site, a Twitter stream and general info pack in the normal way, it also has it's own LinkedIn event discussion group to exchange recommended reading ideas pre-show. I used this tool to get myself an (albeit somewhat generalised) quote from Mr John Eng, VP of marketing for Service Provider at Parallels.
“Parallels Summit 2009 looks to be the major event for the Service Provider industry. We are excited to see record attendance - we’ve got over 1300 registrations among hosters, enterprise IT, VARs/consultants, and ISVs/SaaS players - and all at senior levels of their companies. It’s going to be an international event – with over 30 countries represented as over 35% of our audience originates from outside of the United States.”
From the lines at the registration desks, the turnout looks to be as healthy as the PR people tell me it is. The statistics (and we all trust statistics don't we?) say that the Parallels Summit has doubled its attendance each year since the first annual event.
Looking back at the facts (just in case you prefer facts) from the 2008 event, last year's summit consisted of service providers, ISVs (15% of the total), media, hardware vendors and other industry groups.
It's perhaps no big surprise to hear that this year Parallels is keen to spread the virtualisation love a little further around the board room table with a stronger focus on,”Enterprise IT professionals, C-level executives, presidents, owners and partners.” Oh I get it – the guys that will agree to pay for this stuff. But I'm just being cynical here of course.
Fabulous (as it is known) Las Vegas is lovely of course, well the first seventeen times it is I guess. McCarran International Airport with its free wireless, countless bars and amusing security videos featuring ah-hem “top” performers from “The Strip” all add to the experience. But we're really not here for the bright lights. So let the sessions begin.