VMworld 2011 Las Vegas: Day One

Today is day one of VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas. The most important part is of course the keynotes by CEO Paul Maritz and Co-President Carl Eschenbach. The following is based on my personal note and has not reviewed by anyone. All the mistakes and errors are mine and only mine.

Paul started his keynote with a slide showing that more than 50% of total workloads are virtualized. One new virtual machine gets created in every six seconds, faster than the rate of babies born in the US. Twenty million virtual machines are running on VMware vSphere with 5.5 vMotions per second. There are 800,000 vSphere administrators, 68,000 of whom are VMware Certified Professionals.

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As the cloud era unfolding itself, Paul asked the question, “how to redeploy investment to the future in a smart and orderly way?”Instead jumping onto the answer, Paul reviewed the history of computing with his own experience – he got his first job with Baro (not sure about exact spelling but it’s no longer there) doing debugging microchips after being rejected by companies like IBM in London in 1978. From there, he felt lucky to get onto Client-Server era instead of being trapped in mainframe era.

The canonical apps in mainframe/mini era is automated “book-keeping;” in Client/Server era are ERP, CRM, eCommerce, Non-Real-time Analytics;  in Cloud era are Real-time, high-scale analytics and commerce. There are billions of connected users and devices, and PCs are becoming minority.

The challenge is to bridge to the future – modernizing infrastructure and operations to carry existing and future apps; invest in new and renewed apps; bridge from existing to new modes of end-user access.

Paul reviewed each of the 3 vSphere releases at VMworld since 2008: 4.0 leading with performance and scale, VM fault tolerance, automated power management, first distributed virtual switch; 4.1 leading with performance and scale, “noisy neighbor” resource protection; Hot VM memory and CPU add; 5.0 leading with performance and scale, storage load balancing, automatic storage tiering, virtual storage appliance, automated host provisioning, very large VMs.

The newly GAed vSphere 5.0 comes with more than 1 million engineering hours, more than 2 million QA hours, 200 new features, more than 2,000 partner certifications. It enables greater automation, greater scale, and greater resiliency, leading to more apps, more efficiency, and more mission critical workloads.

On top of vSphere 5.0 are vCenter SRM5.0, vCenter Operations 1.0 (I am proud that it’s built on top of VI Java API I created), vShield Security 5.0, and vCloud Director 1.5. Paul predicted 5.1 for next VMworld for a suite of products. For SMB, he emphasized vSphere Essentials as “Datacenter in a Box.” and VMware GO as SaaS services for SMB.

After the virtualization layer, Paul moved onto the application layer around Spring and other frameworks like RabbitMQ, Hyperic, GemFire/SQLFire, and the newly announced vFabric Data Director which automatically provision and manage databases/fabrics on vSphere. The Data Director comes with a customized Postgres database optimized for vSphere. The optimization techniques will be shared with other DB vendors as well.

Around the middleware comes CloudFoundry which is an open PaaS platform that supports Java, Ruby, Node.js, Scala, etc. It will be offered in three packages: public cloud, private cloud, and micro cloud for individual developers.

On the top is the new end user access around VMware View 5.0, Horizon (single sign on for SaaS), and VMware Apps like Zimbra, SocialCast, etc.

Paul concluded his keynote by calling actions to accelerate virtualization of mission critical apps, and amplify it with IT-as-a-Service as evolutionary path to IT control, agility and choice.

Following Paul’s vision, Carl came on stage sharing customer success stories around cloud journey. IT executives from NYSE Euronext, Revlon, and Southwest airline joined Carl to share their stories.

After the keynotes, the SolutionExchange opened with reception party. The Elastic Sky band by VMware employees performed on stage just outside the exhibition. As I heard, the name of ESX was actually inspired by the band name.

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