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VMworld Attendance Down; Cloud Up

(Blogging from San Francisco) -- VMworld Day 1 Randoms:

Paul Maritz announced at the keynote that attendance was 12,448. That's down from the record 14,000-plus last year, but not as steep a decline as I might have expected. In the recession, I've heard regularly of shows that were down 30 to 40 percent and more. In all, it shows that virtualization is still a thriving technology, and folks are still passionate about it.

The emphasis on the cloud permeates everything here this week. But how many IT shops are investigating the technology and have a plan in place to start using the cloud? I know it's big in some industries, but on the whole, I'd be surprised if IT admins are that willing to give up control of a potentially significant portion of their infrastructure. I'd love to hear your feedback on this; I'm at kward@1105media.com.

Interesting nuggets from Maritz' keynote this morning:

  • He said that VMware had 1,500 engineers working for two full years on vSphere; that equates to more total man-hours put in on that project than worked on any single version of Windows during Maritz' time at Microsoft in the 1980s.
  • There have been an average of 20,000-30,000 downloads of vSphere per week since its introduction.
  • Maritz said vSphere's performance has been ramped up to the point that it can handle more than 350,000 I/Os per second. That means, he said, that there's nothing that can't be virtualized anymore.
  • There was a huge emphasis on partners during the keynote, and a special session for journalists that followed soon after. A parade came through from companies like Verizon, AT&T, HP, IBM, SpringSource and many others. VMware is quickly building a huge cloud ecosystem.

The Exhibit Hall feels just as stuffed as last year. More cloud computing vendors (of course), more desktop virtualization companies (of course). My favorite gimmick so far: the caricature artist. I'd be afraid to get my caricature drawn -- it might look like me.

Posted by Keith Ward on 09/01/2009 at 12:48 PM


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