The Virtualization Room

May 14 2010   5:28PM GMT

VMworld is turning into a cloud conference

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Public voting on the VMworld 2010 call for papers is now open, and the ballot gives us our first look at what the conference’s focus will be. Surprise, surprise, it’s cloud computing.

At this week’s EMC World, the annual conference from VMware’s parent company, the theme was “Journey to the Private Cloud.” It looks like VMworld 2010 will be even more focused on the cloud. Of the eight session tracks that the show will offer, four will be about cloud computing: hybrid and public cloud, private cloud management, private cloud business continuity and private cloud security. (By contrast, only two tracks even have the word “virtualization” in their titles: desktop virtualization and virtualization 101.)

Clearly, VMworld 2010 will mark the show’s transformation from a virtualization conference to a cloud conference.

It doesn’t mean that there won’t be lots of virtualization talk at the show. A quick glance at the presentations up for consideration in the cloud tracks shows plenty of familiar topics: “10 Best Free Tools for vSphere Management,” “Virtualizing Mission-Critical Applications,” “How to Reduce Your Desktop Attack Surface” and “Creating Your Virtual Lab in a Few Easy Steps,” just to name a handful.

In past years, these presentations and other like them would have stood on their own virtualization merits. But they’ll likely have more cloud context this year. How can free vSphere management tools turn your data center into a private cloud? What extra steps do you have to take to virtualize mission-critical apps in a private cloud? Things like that.

Cloud computing and private clouds in particular are all the rage these days, so this approach makes sense for VMware. Does it make sense for potential VMworld attendees? Probably most, but there are some who don’t like this shift. Consultant Tom Howarth, who runs the VMPlanet blog, wrote on Twitter this morning: “Seems to me that VMworld should be renamed Cloudworld – way too much focus on that for my liking.”

What do you think about all the clouds that are on the VMworld 2010 horizon? Let me know in the comments or reply to @ServerVirt_TT on Twitter.

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