Mental Ward

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VMworld Wrap: Day 2

LAS VEGAS, SEPT. 18 -- Day 2, for me at least, was more about VMware defining its vision, which CEO Paul Maritz laid out in the first day's keynote. CTO Stephen Herrod went into greater detail about the three new initiatives -- virtual datacenter OS (VDC-OS), cloud computing and VMware View, the next generation of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

The reality is that nothing VMware announced is "new", in the sense that we haven't seen it before. The idea of VDC-OS is to make the entire datacenter -- not just server components like CPU, RAM, and so on -- a big pool of resources, all tied together by this umbrella technology. That includes network and storage components.

There are many companies, of course, that offer storage virtualization, and a number that offer network virtualization as well (and VLANs, as you know, have been around forever). I like the idea of one general coordinating all that, and that's what VDC-OS promises to be. Not new, not earth-shattering stuff. Pretty low on the "sexy" scale. If you think about it, though, VMware has never been a sexy company. It's really an engineering outfit, and even though a new release of VMware Infrastructure is exciting for IT admins and the like, it's not like a new iPhone coming out, or even on the level of the new Chrome browser. Those are things everyone can immediately understand and relate to. Nonetheless, it's a strong step forward, and ultimately moves the bar higher for Microsoft. VMware obviously wants to keep its multi-year technology lead over Redmond, and has done that.

I've talked to lots of VMware employees this week, and many have remarked with chuckles over Microsoft's pledge to have Live Migration available in 2010. "Yes, we're glad they'll have our 2006 technology available by the beginning of the new decade" is the sentiment.

Didn't hit the Las Vegas Speedway event Wednesday night. I had every intention to, but the lack of sleep over the last several days started to catch up with me. I went back to my hotel (Hard Rock), ordered a pizza, dialed up "Iron Man" on the 42-inch HDTV in my room, and had a grand old time until I fell asleep at about 9:30. I did miss going 140 mph in a car, but "Iron Man" and pizza is a pretty good substitute.

One more note about Microsoft: some bloggers have noted that it was giving out $1 poker chips at the show, along with a slogan slamming WMware as being a bad deal. At the Maritz press conference Tuesday, a reporter brought the chip up and asked Maritz about it. He recalled his time in Redmond, when he was the No. 3 guy, and companies would pull the same kinds of cheesy stunts at Microsoft shows. He said he saw it then as a type of "desparate" tactic to get attention, and he still feels that way, even when it's Microsoft doing it. It's hard to disagree with him.

How was your Day 2? Let me know.

Posted by Keith Ward on 09/18/2008 at 12:48 PM


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