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VMworld 2012 started with movie-like introductions from partners like Cisco, EMC, and HP.  Approximately 20,000 attendees gathered to a very dramatic kick-off with drums, lights, smoke, and mirrors (well maybe not the smoke and mirrors).  Paul Maritz was up first and spoke about his journey with VMware, from 2008 to today.  He has the honor of watching over the company that developed the foundation for most virtual installations and clouds.  Paul spoke about business transforming from paper-centric to PC and now from PC to cloud.  His final vision, as CEO of VMware, spoke to the continued consumerization of data.  He posed the question:  How do we make IT more agile and efficient to deliver tomorrow, presenting a relevant user experience, wherever, whenever, and in-context?

Paul introduced Pat Gelsinger and handed over custodial responsibility for the VMware ecosystem.  Pat introduced Paul as a board member and spoke of their relationship.  As Paul stepped down, he received a moving standing ovation from the audience.  Pat spoke of the great disruption and spoke his vision of having 90% of the datacenter virtualized, including business critical applications, over the next 4 years.  The vision is elegantly simple:  build a completely software-defined-datacenter.  That was defined as:  All infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service, and the control of this datacenter is entirely automated by software.  While it's not complicated to do some of that today, it is complicated when you toss the word "all" in.

Then came the big announcements (what you've been waiting for):

-  vSphere 5.1, the 9th major release from VMware.  It supports a monster-monster VM - up to 64 vCPUs, 1TB of RAM and tested at more than 1 million IOPS (not per-host, but per-VM!).  Pat developed the tic-toc model at Intel, so I think we'll see that from VMware going forward.

-  vRAM is OUT!  VMware is simplifying licensing - it's priced per processor, with no RAM or core limitations.  This almost got as large of an ovation as Paul received.  I suspect there will be other subtle announcements through the week too, of particular interest to the SMB space with Essentials+ licensing.

-  Enhanced VMotion:  No shared storage requirements for VMotion!  This specifically addresses challenges in the SMB space and abstracting storage overall (expensive flash EFDs too).  VMware is looking to treat DASD as a "first-class citizen".  On the array front, VMware is working with storage vendors to develop vVols instead of LUNs; making storage more VM-aware.

-  vCloud Suite:  VMware vSphere (network/security functions, storage, availability), vCloud Director, vCenter and vFabric (purpose built for cloud-era computing).  It's the foundation for software automating software and includes federating pools with other pools (vCloud Connector), providing the most comprehensive, highest-performing could platform with proven reliability.  There was a very impressive demo of Project Serengeti for Hadoop(bid data).

-  SDN / vXLAN:  VMware just completed the acquisition of Nicira last week.  As expected, VMware had live demos and talked of how this is a critical piece of the overall cloud vision.  Nicira is unquestionably the leading SDN, integrated with OpenStack.  VMware reaffirmed commitment to theOpenStack community and OpenSource at large.  vXLAN is on display at several vendor booths, covering offloads, gateways, and management capabilities.

After major/specific product announcements, they demoed some really interesting analytics for cloud, based on tags and social media patterns/engines.  Imagine an automated Twitter feed, from your infrastructure, with the front-end of Facebook.  Really innovative for capturing problems and trending.

Overall it was an impressive introduction and the largest VMworld ever.  The attendee count of 20,000 is spread across the entire Moscone complex and exudes of excitement for making cloud computing a reality.

Member since: Jul 25, 2012

Long time user and evangelist for virtualization and VMware, now working for Kelser Corp. This Blog highlights topics of interest, from the SMB space all the way to Enterprise. vExpert 2013, VCAP5-DCA/DCD, VCP5-DT, Citrix CCA, HP ExpertOne

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