I am attending the VMware VMworld user conference held at Moscone Center in San Francisco, with 22000 other participants. 

Overall the keynote was a better rounded event than last year’s – we had Matlock open, Gelsinger leading through most of the keynote, intersected with Bill Fathers talking about hybrid cloud and Eschenbach closing with customer interviews and stories. From the topics it looks like tomorrow’s keynote will feature VMware’s End User Computing (EUC) products prominently.

  • VMWare keeps working for the install base. It certainly is good when vendors keep supporting the install base and create value for the existing customers. But the risk for VMware and its customers remains that they are making legacy more efficient – not disrupting themselves for the future. The risk is the self-fulfilling prophecy of two parties reconfirming what they know each other for and do well – virtualization of the compute load. And to give VMware credit – they keep trying and moving the customer base along – with new innovation and products. What I wonder though is if the average VMworld attendee thinks more of on premise data center or more hybrid or compete public cloud when they hear about the software defined Data Center, or technologies like NSX.

    But then I can imagine an IT decision maker to give the new EVOrail offering a try – an easy pilot into the brave new SDDC world. My largest concern on EVOrail is why it (initially) is limited to 16 cores only. Promise to dig more on that limit during VMworld in the next days. 



Gelsinger on one platform for any App vision


  • VMware becomes more standard friendly. Both the announcements of supporting the OpenCompute specification and playing along with OpenStack are key moves by VMware. And while the OpenCompute support maybe self-serving for a software company that has a natural incentive to lower hardware costs, the creation of a ‘single’ stack, single pane of glass over both the on premise compute load and a cloud (here OpenStack) based load – is very valuable for customers. Now if they could move load to where it is more cost efficient, either tactically or strategically across the hybrid cloud – that’s where the value is. And of course the hard work. But as I keep blogging and saying – no one understands enterprise compute load better than VMware. How to leverage that insight and keep growing as an enterprise is what the team around Gelsinger needs is figuring out. 


Father walks through 5 Services of vCloud Air 


  • Hybrid Cloud progresses. When it comes to hybrid cloud, it is Bill Fathers time. The biggest grade of success for the effort in my view remains the data center roll out speed and resulting capacity, and Fathers said that VMware is rolling out at the speed of one data center per month. But then it lacked specifics – and we need to learn more during this VMworld. What is clear is that hybrid cloud is the opportunity where VMware wants to work and works with the partner ecosystem. The challenge remains if partners can and want to muscle the CAPEX needed for that game.

    The other interesting announcement by Fathers was the announcement of (finally) value adding services to vCloud Air – with the usual suspects of database (e.g. MS SQL Server), block storage (to be announced with EMC), mobility (Airwatch), cloud management and of course – DevOps.


Gelsinger 5 Takeaways



A good start of VMworld that only scratched the surface of the many announcements (check them here) - we will have to learn more before writing our event report - for now we share our first impressions, which are positive and cautiously optimistic. 
P.S. Not so great seating - pardon the bad quality of the pictures, wanted to share them nonetheless.