Virtualization Pro

Feb 23 2009   5:51PM GMT

VMworld Europe kicks off with Partner Day: Cloud interoperability, VDI, vSphere

Gabrie Gabrie Zanten Profile: Gabrie

After much anticipation, VMworld 2009 in Cannes has finally begun. After talking about it for days, seeing lots of blogs from people planning to visit VMworld, we’re finally on the go.

Andy Hunt, Vice President for the EMEA Partner Organization from VMware kicked off partner day today, which traditionally is the opening day for VMworld. He welcomed us all and thanked us for coming to VMworld despite that poor economic climate. He was very happy to see about 1,500 visitors at partner day, and was happy to announce that there should be about 5,000 visitors at VMworld in total.

Next to take the stage was CEO of VMware Paul Maritz. Maritz explained that VMware has a budget of $515 billion dollars for research and development (R&D) and that the team of engineers in VMware’s R&D department is larger than any team he has ever worked with while working for Microsoft.

This may sound like a typical blanket statement, but keep in mind that Maritz has worked with Microsoft for 14 years where, amongst other functions, he has been Vice President of the Platform Strategy and Developer Group where he oversaw the development and marketing of System Software Products (including Windows 95, Windows NT and Windows 2000).

Maritz also showed us that in today’s world, IT departments use 70% of their budget to just keep the lights on —  a mere 30% is used for research and competitive development. VMware sees potential to move that 70% around, and is focusing on ways to reduce typical running costs so that more money is available for R&D.

The three biggest VMware initiatives at the moment are:

  1. Foundation for the cloud. This is an area where the Virtual Data Center OS (VDC-OS) will play a big role. VDC-OS will be about service and policy (namely availability, security and scalability) on one side and about aggregation (with products like vCompute, vStorage, vNetwork) on the other side. VDC-OS should become the new software mainframe.
  2. Choice and cloud federation. This is all about vCloud working on and with standards to provide high interoperability between in-house and external clouds.
  3. Desktop as a service. The key is to provision to users, not to provision devices. Depending on the type of worker, users could get a virtual desktop or a client-side hypervisor.

Maritz also announced the new name for VDC-OS. It’s officially vSphere. The name didn’t really come as a surprise because rumors have been humming for a few weeks now, but finally all those people under a non-disclosure agreement can shout it out loud:  VSphere is here! (But not entirely, the name may be official but the product isn’t here just yet.)

Three more announcements Maritz made:

  1. Collaboration with Teradici. On the desktop side, VMware has announced the collaboration with Teradici to improve the VDI protocol. Tomorrow, VMware will announce the VMware Client Hypervisor.
  2. VCenter Server Heartbeat. Maritz announced a new vCenter Server add on called vCenter Heartbeat. Through vCenter Heartbeat it will be possible to make your vCenter fully redundant. VCenter Heartbeat is to be expected in mid March.
  3. Additional security. VMware vShield zones will make it possible to deliver security and compliance to the internal cloud.

As a consultant, these are all products that I expect to see at customer’s sites very soon, and I welcome the product announcements.

These releases should give VMware a new boost in the battle for the data center. Bring it on!

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