So it’s the first day of the conference, and I guess the first thing were asking ourselves is now the TSX label has been rubbed out – does that mean that there will be emphasis on management speak, c-class executive concerns and lack of hard technical content. The answer to this question is not really. The event was still cosy gathering of close knit bunch of guys in Europe – just more slickly organised than previous TSX events. You can tell the VMworld team have come across and stamped the brand on this EMEA jolly. This said a great many people have said to me that they thought that the event could have been more technical. What do they mean? More VMware Engineers, and geek-speak? Well, not necessarily – but for many of us this is our 3rd or 4th EMEA event, and after Vegas in September – our 3rd or 4th VMworld. So the audience is maturing – and looking for something beyond the usual narrative of what is virtualization and what can it do for me. You gotta wonder anyone searching for answers to questions like that must have been spending sometime under a stone in a very remote place. So we do want more technical content – but we want VMware to assume the basics are in place – if they want to serious address the automation/management angle that they were pitching here in Canne.
So the key note had the usual suspects – Diane Green, and reps from DELL, HP, IBM and er someone else. Most touting their support for ESX3i. Something which they announced back in VMworld 2007 – although we still seem to be waiting for the boxes to arrive at the delivery gate. Funniest part of the vendor pitch was the DELL guy going about DELL’s DNS – Dell Natural Ability. This buzz word was able to generate a spontaneous chuckle amongst the delegates. Diane went on to some product demos, nothing deep dive as you would expect for CEO. I felt quite sorry for her, she seemed so nervous – and wouldn’t you be with everyone staring at the 100% status bar they seemed to stay on screen for that little bit longer than feels comfortable when there are couple of 1,000 eyes watching the screen. There’s been some quite uncharitable comments about the husband and wife dynamic duo which is Diane and Mendal. But you know, I kinda like it – its kind of charming and a welcome relief the slick CEO vision statements delivered in full television evangelist style (no names mentioned to protect the guilty) from the CEO. It kinda makes you think that VMware might not have forgotten that it all started out on some kitchen table in the late 90′s.