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Top 6 VMworld Takeaways

VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas can only be summarized this way: It's The Godfather of all IT conferences. With an impressive 20 thousand-plus attendees (and there may have been more, had Hurricane Irene not interfered).

The dominant subject at VMworld was vSphere 5 and the products that hover around it, from SRM to vCloud Director, vCOPs and others. By the time I got to Las Vegas, I was honestly already ready for vSphere 6. The reason for that is, I had been playing with the vSphere 5 beta for months, then started blogging about it in detail here on VirtualizationReview.com and then David Davis and I did a marathon one-month recording of the new TrainSignal VMware vSphere 5 training (shameless plug).

Now, hopefully you have been following my feature countdown and you know I still owe you all one last blog with my top two features. We'll hold off for next time. Today, I want to tell you briefly about some of the end-user computing announcements made at VMworld and in the coming weeks, I will offer some details on them. By order of importance, here are the announcements:

#1. VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP) has now been renamed Horizon Mobile and this is by far the best announcement, a hypervisor for mobile phones. Today, it only supports Android and allows IT to deploy a Type-2 Hypervsor to an existing Android phone that is preconfigured with all the enterprise applications, settings and features. Furthermore, it allows IT to now monitor and meter how much the user is using the enterprise VM and can now build expenses and allowances based on how much the enterprise VM was used from a data perspective. This will change everything.

#2. Project Octopus is AWESOME! A Dropbox-like solution for the enterprise, the idea here is to have your files synced and accessible from any device, anywhere. The difference here is, instead of having it unmanaged, Octopus will allow IT to set policies, run reports about which files were uploaded, downloaded, where you can and cannot access this data from, etc. What we have here is a decent balance between the consumerization of IT-style services that we have grown to love and the IT policies that are needed to protect the business. Since IT will be transparent in its enforcement, this is a huge win-win.

#3. Project Horizon is being touted as a universal broker that can connect VMware View, Horizon Mobile and Project Octopus. The idea here is now we have all these solutions, so how do we bridge the gap between them, how do we connect them so they make sense, integrate and work together rather than being separate islands? The answer is the universal broker that would allow the same user logging into View to get their files and would allow that same user to also get their files on their mobile devices using Octopus.

#4. ThinApp Factory will automate software packaging. Think of it as a P2V except for applications: Instead of sequencing, ThinApp Factory will analyze the application, then will convert it into a ThinApp-virtualized application. This is huge because it is simplifying the process. Hey Microsoft, can you please wake the hell up and innovate just a bit? You have had Softgrid, I mean App-V for how many years now? Why, oh why, did this technology not come from you?

#5. ThinApp Factory is also supposed to connect to or convert Citrix XenApp, Remote Desktop Services (RDS), and App-V. I think they meant View will now support connectivity to these systems but I will verify that.

#6. AppBlast, which will allow the ability to deliver applications remotely and seamlessly using any browser, was the WOW demo in my opinion. AppBlast will be based on HTML 5 and what they showed us looked very similar to what you would see from a Citrix XenApp application. The difference: AppBlast will be embedded in a browser, with no plug-in needed. Now what I don't know yet is, where is this application coming from? Where is it hosted? What remote protocol is being used, if any? How does it scale? Those and about a hundred other questions I'll be try to get answer to from VMware in the coming weeks and months.

That pretty much sums it up for me from an end-user computing stand point. I will elaborate more on all these points as I gather more information.

In the next few weeks (or sooner), I will also be blogging about the Best of VMworld: Vendors, a list of the most interesting vendors I saw out there with their cool technologies. In the meantime I would love to get your feedback/comments on this blog, so share 'em!

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 09/01/2011 at 12:49 PM


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