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VMware: The Vision Thing

Las Vegas, September 16 -- Arriving in Vegas yesterday, the first thing I did at the hotel was to have a long slow gulp of Fiji water (it was 98 degrees at touchdown) and the second was to fire up my laptop so that I could take in VMware’s slew of announcements. The piece de resistance of course was the unveiling of the company’s Virtual Datacenter Operating System (VDC-OS).

Trying to unravel this one will be interesting to say the least. (Hint: it's not really an operating system.) There’s not a whole lot new here at least conceptually. My take at this juncture is that it’s essentially more detail and some incremental forward movement on what VMware calls the "data center of the future" and Microsoft calls "Dynamic IT", a complex construct that's all about automating VM-based processes and making them “elastic, self-managing, and self-healing” to use VMware’s terminology. The telecom’s like to use the term “the intelligent network”. Think of this as the intelligent data center.

Nothing wrong with the vision of course or even that VMware is trying to articulate it. But the question is can VMware or any other supplier for that matter deliver on this within the time frame we are led to believe it will take place? Guess what, it’s not around the corner folks. Anyone who has studied the somewhat abstruse (and slightly scary) field of complex adaptive systems knows about how hard it might be to achieve a goal like this. Whether data centers, already burdened with increasing cost and complexity can get to this state of machine grace without creating even more complexity in the short term is another story.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 09/16/2008 at 12:49 PM


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