Take Five With Tom Fenton

5 Momentous VMworld Moments

A look back at some of the more memorable events that took place at VMworld over the years.

While I was going through my collection of t-shirts from previous VMworlds, I got to thinking about some of the big announcements made at the show. VMware doesn't necessarily always wait for VMworld to announce new changes to its product lineup, but it's often been the case that VMware has held back important announcements until VMworld, or at least expanded on recent announcements.

Here's my list of five of the biggest events at VMworld during the past 12 years. Some were announcements, others were demos or acquisitions. What they have in common is that they helped shape the virtualization landscape in important ways.

TAKE 1
Propero VDI broker, VMworld 2005. Horizon was begotten from View, which was begotten from a little English virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) broker company called Propero. At VMworld 2005, Propero demonstrated its VDI broker. In April 2007, VMware acquired Propero for $25 million and launched VMware's End User Computing product line.

TAKE 2
The Acquisition of Dunes Technologies, VMworld 2007. VMware got serious about process orchestration and workflow automation when it acquired Dunes, a Swiss software company. Dunes has since morphed into VMware vRealize Orchestrator. Interestingly, many of the original Dunes employees left VMware after the acquisition to start DynamicOps, which VMware went on to acquire in 2012. It's now known as vRealize Automation.

TAKE 3
A Demo of Fault Tolerance and Storage vMotion, VMworld 2007. When Co-Founder Mendel Rosenblum demonstrated these two technologies, which were under development at the time, the audience was stunned. The ability to power down a server that was running a VM and have another server keep running the VM via Fault Tolerance was simply amazing. Likewise, being able to move the underlying storage of a VM from one storage device to another, regardless of the underlying storage protocol, would free administrators from being tied to one storage technology or vendor.

TAKE 4
The Acquisition of Nicira, VMworld 2012. Although VMware publicly announced that it had acquired Nicira, a network virtualization company, in July 2012, VMworld 2012 was ablaze with questions surrounding why VMware would pay more than $1 billion for a 5-year-old startup with only a handful of paying customers. That question was answered when the acquisition became NSX, VMware's software-defined networking (SDN) technology, a big hit with customers and a major part of the company's direction.

TAKE 5
The EVO SDDC Announcement, VMworld 2015. In early 2015, the rumor mill was abuzz with talk of VMware jumping into the hardware game with a hyper-converged (compute, network and shared storage in the same server) appliance, code-named "Marvin." At VMworld 2015, the company refuted those rumors about entering the hardware market with its own hyper-converged server. Instead, it would be enabling their partners to sell EVO, an appliance preloaded with a VMware software-defined datacenter (SDDC) stack.

About the Author

Tom Fenton works in VMware's Education department as a Senior Course Developer. He has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 20 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 10 years focused on virtualization and storage. Before re-joining VMware, Tom was a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, were he headed their Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on Twitter @vDoppler.

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