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A Brief Time-Out at VMworld

Maybe it was the uncertainty of long-time leader Paul Maritz leaving and being replaced by new guy Pat Gelsinger as CEO. Maybe it was everybody taking a deep breath and assessing the current state of their virtualization and cloud journeys. Maybe it was the daunting prospect of implementing VMware's vision of the Software Defined Datacenter when so many customers are still trying to virtualize their traditional datacenters.

After all, despite the company's singular focus on all things cloud, VMware has to date only implemented some 100 private clouds among its customer base. That's not a number to discount, but it's not one to celebrate either, and VMware officials recognize how far it still has to go before private and hybrid clouds become second nature to the vast IT community out there that is destined to deploy them.

Whatever it was, everything just seemed a little flat yesterday, despite the open jubilation over the demise of vRAM pricing, and the introductions of VMware Cloud Suite and vSphere 5.1--two products that offer valuable functionality up and down the customer base from SMBs--who will benefit from VMware vSphere 5.1 Essentials Plus--to a select group of high-end enterprise customers who are always champing at the bit to implement cutting-edge technologies such as vFabric and the open PaaS vFoundry. Their enthusiasm is not hard to understand, when you consider how vFabric and vFoundry have been developed in close cooperation with VMware's crack team of vSphere engineers.

Even CTO Steve Herrod, who usually emanates confidence and optimism, seemed to be going through the motions while describing the bountiful benefits of VMware Cloud Suite--"the first solution for the software-defined datacenter"--and vSphere 5.1--"the proven platform for any application." By the time he finished his comments at the end of the Day 1 keynote, attendees were streaming out of the room.

Maybe the low-key feeling that pervaded the first day of VMworld can be attributed to how much VMware has proven since Paul Maritz energized the company when he came on board as its leader in 2008--but how much more there is to prove in the coming years.

We're not talking about a malaise here. VMware is far too dynamic and talented to be bogged down in anything other than the briefest of pauses as the industry it has been leading so successfully looks inward before continuing the journey that it will only enhance what VMware has accomplished, and what it has yet to realize.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/28/2012 at 12:48 PM


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