2009 In Retrospect

Quite a bit has gone on in our industry in the last year. While this is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all that has occurred, we hope that we have captured the important events that have shaped virtualization and cloud computing.

  1. VMware not only shipped vSphere, but largely proved that it was a virtualization platform capable of running many more business critical and performance critical applications than any other virtualization platform (including ESX 3.x)
  2. VMware shipped View 4 with PCoIP support signalling VMware’s seriousness in competing with Microsoft RDP and Citrix ICA/HDX.
  3. Microsoft shipped Windows Server 2008 R2 with a new release of Hyper-V that included live migration, and started the process of attacking VMware’s market share from below, in the smaller Windows only accounts, and in the test/dev environments in larger accounts where VMware got its initial start.
  4. Red Hat shipped KVM, and started to make some serious traction in its own installed base with KVM based virtualization solutions.
  5. Microsoft and Red Hat, finding themselves mutually threatened by VMware, teamed up to cross-certify their solutions (a classic case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend).
  6. Oracle bought Virtual Iron and then killed it. Oracle tried to buy Sun and is as of this moment still trying to get past certain anti-trust objections on the part of the EU.
  7. Citrix has appeared to have largely given up the effort to market XenServer to enterprise accounts – deciding instead focus upon its cloud efforts through the open-sourcing of XenServer and upon XenDesktop and the forthcoming XenClient offerings that are a more natural fit with its application delivery message and business.
  8. Veeam released a major new version of its backup solution, which both promised and delivered a radical improvement in backup speeds due to integration with a new VMware vSphere interface for backup.
  9. Desktop Virtualization of the centralized variety achieved a relatively small number of full scale production deployments, but got on the top of the todo list for 2010 at many accounts. This was primarily due to the increased maturity in the offerings from VMware and Citrix.
  10. Despite the progress from VMware and Citrix on the centrally hosted variety of desktop virtualization, we are still waiting for significant progress from the large vendors on the front of client side virtualized desktop and laptops. Virtual Computer is really the only game in town on this front at the start of 2010.
  11. The accounts with the largest production deployments of VMware began to test and bump into the limitations of vCenter as the sole management solution for the environment. Vendors like Hyper9, Embotics, Fortisphere, Platform Computing and Surgient stepped into the breach with capable enterprise scale solutions that provided not only increased scalability, but also management functionality missing from vCenter.
  12. Along with the increased scale of VMware environments in production, and the increased number of business and performance critical applications running in these environments, came a need for more robust performance management of the infrastructure and the applications. Veeam and Vizioncore updated their resource monitoring offerings. Akorri achieved significant traction with its infrastructure performance management solution which focuses upon infrastructure response time as the key metric of infrastructure performance. On the applications performance management front OPNET, BlueStripe, New Relic, Optier, Xangati and VMware (with AppSpeed) all delivered solutions that significantly address the performance management issues of running business critical applications on a virtual infrastructure.
  13. Three vendors, Platform Computing, Fortisphere, and Hyper9 started to combine virtualization management functionality with monitoring functionality with the intent of allowing enterprises to segment applications by performance requirements and to then assure that the most important “tier 1” applications received the resources they needed to meet their SLA’s and that they operated in a isolated and configuration controlled environment conducive to meeting these SLA’s.
  14. Enterprises came to understand that virtualization represented a new set of vulnerabilities that had to be addressed by a new set of security solutions. Vendors like Catbird, Altor, Reflex Systems and Hytrust stepped up to the plate and delivered a set of solutions tuned to meet these needs.
  15. Liquidware Labs pioneered a new business in the area of tools for VARs and Solutions Providers to assess candidate desktops for migration to a VDI environment, assist in the migration of these desktops, and provide ongoing operational management of these desktops once virtualized.
  16. The business of managing user customizations to desktop environments became product category on its own. AppSense continued to build out its revenue share leadership position in the space. RTO Software did licensing deals for its Virtual Profiles Solution with Symantec and VMware. Unidesk, Wanova and Tranxition entered the market with new and creative solutions. RES restructured the company, hired a new President of the America’s and is preparing for a major push in North America.
  17. I/O Virtualization became a category of very interesting solutions from vendors like Xsigo.
  18. Virtual Instruments made a successful business out of identifying SAN port congestion and SAN port over-provisioning as a high ROI initiative for very large enterprises with rapidly growing SAN and storage needs.
  19. Scott Lowe went to work for EMC
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