Looking from the outside in at VMworld

This year due to circumstances beyond my control I could not make it to VMworld – San Fran.  So as the title suggests here is my view from the outside looking in like the rain soaked man wishing he was in the restaurant, a cliché from so many 30’s films.

Unfortunately I have no real opinion on the Solution Exchange or any of the sessions, I will have no visibility of those until they are released, but I do not doubt that they will be of the utmost quality, the only disappointment I have is that as usually there were a distinct lack of third party sessions and community lead sessions, that said it seems that the vEXPERT community did hold a number of successful but unofficial sessions in the hang out areas.  I hope that these are available somewhere.

As with all prior VMworld’s the official opening was with the first Keynote speech I watched this online, I must say one of the first things that surprised me was that Paul Maritz has been CEO for 4 years and a lot has happened in that time, Virtualization installation have moved from niche to mainstream, and but I do still take offense at his statement regarding Cloud being mainstream, I am still hearing a lot of confusion from my consulting clients about the cloud message. There are a awful lot of customers out there that are still confused about Cloud, and this even includes VMware employees, as evidenced by Massimo Re Ferre’s post “Cloud and the Three IT Geographies”.  This is quite understandable as the term Cloud is confusing and in the real world, IE a world not centered on Virtualization or even IT, Clouds are to be avoided.

I personally like VMware’s focus on the term Software defined datacenter this is a much more sensible marketing term for the direction the Datacenter is moving, I prefer this term much better than Cloud.  As I have already alluded I never been comfortable with cloud, it has always sat badly with me as a technical term, to me and the vast majority of the general public a cloud is something to be avoided, and the bigger the cloud the more I and the general public avoid them as we really do not want to get wet.

The software releases did not wow me, like a major release would, this year like all even yeared conferences seem to be about evolution not revolution. Then again this is always the case with a dot revision.  Cloud Suite is just an evolution and merger of various technologies into a single SKU, and I just cannot get worked up about VMware Horizon, all I see is Citrix Web Interface circa 1998 and project octopus is just a glorified Dropbox.

VMware a currently in a flux, they are at the end of the Maritz era and waiting to start the Gelsinger era and I think that this permeated the feel of the conference, people are waiting to see how the ship now moves, will there be another major culture change, Gelsinger is a time served EMC’er, Maritz ex Microsoft, also this is a planned transfer of power unlike the one that brought Maritz to power.

That said all thing being even I do think it was a successful if lack luster conference.

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