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VMworld: Crystal Clear View

(Blogging from San Francisco) VMware CTO Dr. Stephen Herrod took the stage at VMworld this morning to deliver his customary Day 2 keynote. As is also customary, his presentation was more informative and entertaining than that of CEO Paul Maritz, who kicked off the conference yesterday.

Herrod focused first on the emerging desktop virtualization market, talking up VMware View, his company's offering in that space. "VMware View enables desktop as a service ... it's about your personal computing environment," Herrod stated.

The promise of View, Herrod said, was about having your desktop, including personalization information, applications and operating system, available on any enabled device. That message was the same as last year's show, but with more details available.

Herrod said that VMware has in excess of 7,000 customers using View, with more than a million virtualized desktops. Most of those are Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 7. VMware is looking at three delivery methods of these VMs: WAN, LAN and Local (including offline).

Obviously, having a desktop move with a user, and across different devices, is complicated from the administration perspective. Herrod emphasized that a goal of View is to make it easy to secure, patch and enforce policies in that scenario. "IT can wrap the same policies around the environment," Herrod said.

To make the user experience as real-time as possible, VMware is shipping its PC-over-IP (PCoIP) product "later this year," Herrod said. PCoIP is a software protocol that speeds up the delivery of the remote desktop over a network, enabling things like 3D graphics that are hard to deliver remotely today. PCoIP was developed from its partnership with Teradici.

The coolest demo of the keynote was a demonstration of the client virtualization platform (CVP). CVP is a bare-metal client hypervisor -- it shims underneath the OS onto the hardware, just like a server hypervisor. Bare-metal client hypervisors allow things like multiple OSs to be run on a single device.

The demo showed a standard smartphone running a Visa application. The phone used Windows CE as the core OS, but the application itself was running in Android. Android was also loaded on the phone, something formerly not available on phones. There were Android-only apps running on the Android desktop, while Windows CE had its own suite of applications. Very, very cool stuff.

Herrod then followed up on Maritz' cloud theme from yesterday, expanding its scope, and again emphasizing the importance of partners to build on top of VMware's vSphere platform.

I'm hoping VMware can convince Herrod to start doing the Day 1 keynote at future VMworlds.

Posted by Keith Ward on 09/02/2009 at 12:48 PM


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