Just on the eve of VMworld 2010 – San Francisco, Microsoft decided to take a pop at “virtual giant” VMware.
VMware seemed to take NO notice of the letter – which is perhaps the best way of dealing with this kind of issue. If a vendor goes negative and you engage with that negativity, they have in small way won by setting the agenda on their terms…
Anyway, I was asked by chums at TechTarget to write response. I was surprised by the letter because recently Microsoft had taken a more nuanced and subtle position on virtualization than they had previously.
After the CTO Party I bombed back down to the hotel. Got out of my “conference” wear (scruffy trousers, polo shirt and walking shoes), and got me “going oot togs on, like”. I must have been moving like a daemon as I passed Andi Mann of CA Technologies on the way to the hotel – and he was already on the way to the CA Circus. I managed to get there before him – but I guess because I can shower, shave and get dress in under 5mins, and jumped in taxi right away – that explained it. I was determined NOT walk as my feet were turning into over-rip bananas by this time!
I was hoping to catch-up with some of my fellow TechTarget chums there. But there place was so big I managed to miss them for a whole hour. I assumed they hadn’t arrived as some of them had “BOOTH DUTY” and didn’t leave the Bella Convention Center until 7.30. So thought by hanging out near the reception I could catch them. Turned out there up in the gods at the back of the Circus and I hadn’t spotted them. DOH!
I did finally bump into the gang – and we enjoyed some dwinks and the circus performance – So you know the circus is indoors – looks and feels something like Moulen Rouge on the inside – and is a modern circus. So no tortured animals, just the audience (joke!). Actually, the performers were very good – only trouble is the lighting and spotlights made my photos look bad.
I was very relieved to find that the TechTarget folks hadn’t eaten as I was starving – so we headed off to Pizzeria to chow down…
At about 6pm I had an opportunity to meet the CTO of VMware. Steve Herrod. I’d just come off the back of doing a video with Simon Seagrave of TechHead.co.uk where oddly we both got chatting about blogging, twitter and social media.
I’m afraid I didn’t really take a huge advantage of my time with Steve Herrod. In truth I’m deeply shy, retiring and modest bloke (stop laughing!), over which I overlay a bluster of confidence and self-opinon. So I didn’t really know what to say the guy, and I was bit anxious I didn’t make a tit of myself by putting my proverbial foot in my proverbial mouth. So I should have taken the opportunity to sparkle with my wit and wisdom…
Anyway, Steve did say he reads my blog which I was quite bowled over by – I didn’t think my kind output reached the higher-ups. Plus I was conscious that as CTO he must be very busy guy, and he probably meets a truck load of people like me at events like this. Nearby was Scott Davis of the Desktop team at VMware. I collared him at the last CTO party in effort to get some oversight on my recent View 4.5 Guido. I’m hoping to get some feed back from his guys, so I can do some bug fixing and adding of additional content.
Of course my friends on FaceBook have already said that the photo is spoof. That the CTO is a cardboard cut-out, and that my hand looks like I’m trying to make sure the poor guy doesn’t run away!
Day one of VMworld 2010 Copehagen – kicked off with a keynote comprising of Paul Martiz and Steve Herrod. I got priority alumni seating so I was down at the front. It was pretty much the same keynote I’d seen at San Francisco. It was interesting to hear it again, to pick out the fine detail – in the sense that I sometimes think there are coded messages in these keynotes.
So the thing kicked off on the humorous cloud video thing – it was kinda of based on in jokes surrounding the Matrix movie. To be honest that went over my head at SF, and then again at CPN. I haven’t seen the Matrix in years, so didn’t get all the references!
VMware’s CEO Paul Martiz repeated the data about how the number of VMs were exceeding the number of physical machines (PMs) – according to IDC data. The important thing to remember here is that IDC data is about NEW servers, and reflect the fact that many customers have adopted a “virtualization first” policy… what that data doesn’t show is the TOTAL market share of VMs to PMs – which according to Gartner has remained stubbornly about the 25% mark. This was brought to my attention by Andi Mann (@andimann) now of CA, and a former analyst. I’m not sure why the Gartner number has stayed around this mark for so long. I’m no statistician but maybe its the rapid rise of new adopters that skewing those numbers – but heck you’d think they’d take that into account?
Paul Martiz also went on to restate the declining roll of the operating system as it no longer controls the hardware. This has been an ongoing theme since I’ve been coming to these events. As I sat there listening I wryly smiled at the powerpoint slide. The powerpoint said “OS no longer controls the hardware” – and the arrow on the box pointed directly at a Microsoft Windows VM. Perhaps I’m reading to much into this but – was that a gentle nod to how VMware think the role of Microsoft, and its operating system is about control. And that what VMware are doing is attempting to loosen the strangle hold of one of their competitors?
There was some other phrases that jumped out to me in the keynote as well. Firstly, VMware CEO once again warned of being locked-in to a cloud platform, that once you VMs were owned by a provider it would be hard to get them back out – he talked of being “Trapped in the cloud”. I thought that was quite noteworthy – since VMware’s management platform (vCenter) only recognises their hypervisor (ESX) – and there cloud automation tool for building out IaaS based clouds (vCloud Director) only works with vSphere. There’s been lot of talk about building “hybrid” cloud model – by which VMware mean a synergy of Private and Public Cloud provision – but that hybrid talk never seems to spill out into potentially recognising that the cloud might not need to be wedded to just one vendors virtualization platform. As I put it in a tweet – “U can get trapped in the cloud, but Paul – vCD is vSphere only and vCenter is ESX only… Trapped in VMware cloud?”. Isn’t funny how 140 character limit imposes a kind of directness to one’s thoughts!!!
Don’t quote me directly on this – but I think I heard Paul Martiz talking about the days of single instance service with a single DB backend were numbers – and application developers would have to learn to design applications that scaled out for the cloud. At this point I began to think about how vCenter is single instance service, with single DB backend. Once again there’s somewhat of disconnect between what VMware preaches, and what they practise. This has been my theme for a number of weeks, and don’t worry I will soon get off my soapbox! I guess these things take time, and VMware will eventually get there with an archetecture that represents their aspirations – after all Rome wasn’t built in a day.
There was some good little bits in the keynote which I made a point of writing down. You see I think I will probably be writing some kind of “Building IaaS Clouds with VMware Technologies” book next year. I”m in the “thinking” stage about the whole thing, and walking away from the old-school analogies I had for explaining virtualization, to develop new ones for cloud computing. So I’m particularly attracted to the idea of the cloud being a building that I own and manage – and that I carve up for my various “tenants”. The metaphor is littered around the subject, but no-one has seemed to really articulated clear and elegantly (guess that’s my job then :-p) So if you think of “multi-tennacy” and stuff like that – and in this keynote Steve Herrod (CTO) made reference to “Noisy Neighbours” and “Nosey Neighbours” to describe other tenants in the cloud who piss you off with their loud music, and attempts to incept you mail – in other words the performance and security anxieties that cloud naturally bring.
VMware persist in circling around some other metaphors which I think many of my contemporaries either find confusing or laughable – and some case both. So there was a repetition of the “OS-VDC” related material – Operating System for Virtual DataCenters – was touted some years ago. Since then we have had the “Software Mainframe” and now we on to the “Virtual Giant”. Clearly, VMware are in search for a user-C-Class-friendly term that can be understood by Execs.
There was lots of tidbits too – but I’m starting to loose the will with this blogpost – But VMware demo’d the vSphere Client for the iPAD… and Project Horizon a portal that aggregates different application deliver method it to a single view. All fun stuff. I won’t be long before this kind of thing is out in the wild and I get my paws on it. Heck, it might even make me consider buying an IPAD if I don’t win one here this week that is!
For me Tuesday was all about the Solutions Exchange. I failed to make it down into the pit of vendors at SF. I was just too busy. So one of my goals was to spend the day there. I had a couple of objectives. Firstly, I had some specific appointment to make with Centrix, and F5 – I did have another meeting but my schedule overran – and I was just too late to make it.
Secondly, I wanted to quickly touch base with a number vendors who I wanted to line up for a chinwag. I was really looking at the smaller guys who are doing cutting edge stuff – as opposed to speaking to the big corp guys like Dell or IBM. Not that they aren’t doing cutting-edge stuff (sic), but I like to see what’s coming up on the horizon…
Thirdly, my emphasis was skewed by those vendors who had an iPAD draw – where I didn’t have to be at the draw to stand a chance of winning. I know I would never make it back to the Wyse booth for 6pm draw, when I knew I would be at the meet the CTO Party at the same time.
Fourthly. Swag. I finally managed to get a VMworld 2010 bag from my friend – Jane Rimmer (I think she donated her own bag!). My plan was to walk around the Solutions Exchange filling it with goodies from the vendors. My pitch was “I want swag for my swagbag”. Quickly introduce myself as vExpert/Alumni/Blogger/Author/Podcaster/Foul-Mouthed Self-Promoter. Why? Personal Greed?
Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been doing competitions recently, and that my royalties this year have been donated to UNICEF. So here’s my plan. Fill the VMWare Swag Bag. I’ve got some good quality stuff still to give away at home as well. I will be opening a raffle via which you can win Mike’s Bag ‘O’ Swag. Not decided how much a virtual tickets – bought via Paypal – will cost yet. But any monies raised during the raffle will be donated to UNICEF. The bag weighs and absolute ton, so I will probably dip into the money raised to cover the shipping charges. Stay tuned next week for the competition being opened, and video showing all the lovely loot you can win! I’m thinking I will close the draw a week or before Xmas so you can see it as a Xmas present from Mr RTFM….
So as you can tell I was working really hard on the Solutions Exchange yesterday…
That’s good news for me and everyone here – I’m really looking forward to having more time at Copenhagen to do the lab sessions… According to my contacts they have already 45 labs completed with about 150 active labs in progress….
Well, its VMworld Europe in sunny Copehengan, and NO, I’m not being ironic – as the pics below testify – its been a bright clear day here – despite the fog on Saturday.
It was a bit of an odd day. I did a tweet-up last night at my hotel bar – present were such luminaries Bob Plankers, Gabrie Van Zanten, Kenny Colman, David Davis and Scott Herold – and although it was easy to get home to my room – I was a bit late getting up this morning!
I hooked up with some guys at the Metro – and had a great metro-discussion about virtual desktops on the way to the Bella Center. I registered for the main event, but was surprised to find I didn’t qualify for a VMworld 2010 bag. Kind of funny, as I’ve been to BOTH EU and US events since 2006, and I’ve always been able to pick up the freebie. Why was so distressed? Well, on the weekend I had this idea… Pick up a VMworld EU Bag (I already have the same rucksack from US/SF), fill it full of Solution Exchange goodies, and some books N stuff at my home-office – AND, then have a Xmas Raffle – win the bag for $1 paypal entrance. So no bag, no raffle – and no money donated to UNICEF. Anyway, I’m hope to get this sorted tomorrow before I hit the Solution Exchange.
My next little roadblock was the day itself. Normally, I would attend the VCI Day (VMware Certified Instructor Day), but as I had did that weeks ago at SF, it seemed to be overkill to do again – despite which its $200 to attend. I had planned to meet up with the guys from Xangati at the Blogger Lounge. I hadn’t counted on the bloggers lounge being in the Solution Exchange – which hadn’t opened yet…. Despite being a “blogger” I wasn’t allowed in the Press/Analysts Room. At last I found my place at VMworld EU… The Speakers Lounge. Big white sofas. So I checked into lounge – and checked my presentation out – and tried to get on the Wifi access to mail the Xangati guys my predicament. In the end I had to resort to the extortionate 3G on Roaming Rates…
ANYWAY. Despite feeling somewhat unwelcome at VMworld – Managed to make the meeting. Xangati is very interesting real-time performance monitor – which VMware are using in the Labs to monitor the VDI terminals, and the connections back to two datacenters in the US which are supporting the labs. I was impressed by the tech, we did a chat about the product/company – and I managed to get to see the live system monitoring the labs itself. That did mean being smuggled thru the Solution Exchange and Lab area that handn’t official opened. Opps!
Anyway. My main meeting was thru. I went in search of lunch. But there was no food for folks like me – and despite being a Blogger/vExpert/Speaker/VCI. Sometimes today I felt a bit of square peg in a round hole. I guess not being a partner, doesn’t really help on Partner Day right? But it was VMware who said I had to be there for Monday til Friday (as speaker) despite not really accommodating/welcoming me today.
So I gave up on lunch, and instead joined Scott Herold (now of Quest, formerly VizionCore, Formerly of RapidApp, co-author of the Vi3 Design/Operations Guide, and the Vi2 Advanced Technical Design Guide) for a photowalk of Copenhagen. 3hrs and about 10k of walking from the Bella Convention Center, to downtown Copenhagen. Fun was had by all.
On Friday it was very good fortune to meet up with one of my buddies from the North Carolina User Summit – Mr Raymond Overman. We had a good old chinwag – setting the worlds to rights on all manner of things including IT, VMware and Virtualization. It wasn’t all shop-talk. The other good thing was that I managed to get my sticky paws on two of Raymondo’s “Blues Bowls”.
When not going about virtualizing stuff where ever possible, one of Raymond’s passions is wood-turning. Check out this if you like to see some great photos. http://www.overmanshop.com/
I think they are totally unique, and original. And they are homage to those early guitars – when people were so dirt poor they had to make their own instruments and entainment. Ray brought two blues bowls with him – a 3-string and 4-string – and I was so impressed with them – I took both!
Anyway, I’m figuring that in about 20-30 years time when Raymond’s design has gone global – I will be one of this first to have the original Overman, hand-turned by the legend himself. As Ray said “From your lips to god’s ear!”
For some reason WordPress keep on bring up this imagesthe wrong way round…. Even though they preview fine on the MBP…
It’s been some time that I posted some music to my site. I’ve been listening to a lot John Lennon recently. Things are slowly picking up for the anniversary of his death – there was a recent drama about him in the period just before he met Yoko… which inspired me to go out and get a compilation of his best numbers with some live and obscure stuff too… Paloma Faith has been on my playlist as well as Plan B… and I’m looking forward to hearing Belle & Sebastian’s new “long player” which is released on the 11th October. I’m going up to Scotland to see the band play at the legendary “Barrowlands” in Glasgow in Dec. I first saw them live there, and I could easily say it was the BEST gig I have ever been to – for both music and such a warm atmosphere…
Anyway, down to brass tacks. This band are called the Jolly Boys. They look like a bunch of OAPs, because well, they probably are – they go way back and are one of the founders of the original Jamacian SKA sound. I loved this reworking of the classic Lou Reed “Perfect Day” song…
RTFM (Read the Flipping Manual!) features tips from Microsoft, Citrix and VMWare Certified Instructor Mike Laverick. When documentation is not enough (and it frequently is not), Mike comes to the rescue.