VMworld 2012: First Thoughts and Observations

Now that VMworld 2012 is well under way I wanted to share some of my first thoughts and observations about the conference.  At the start of the conference, during the first General Session, the virtual passing of the torch from the outgoing CEO, Paul Maritz, to the new incoming CEO, Pat Gelsinger, took place with Mr. Gelsinger getting the opportunity to say hello to a crowd of around twenty thousand people that are present at the show. I would like to salute Mr. Maritz for the great job he has done during his tenure as CEO of VMware and I am looking forward seeing the direction Mr. Gelsinger will take now that he has the reigns.  On an interesting note, Mr. Gelsinger was one of the keynote speakers at VMworld 2007 when he was at Intel and one year before Mr. Maritz took over as VMware’s CEO.

Walking the expo floor, I was a little amazed at the amount of different storage products and services that are present this year. In every aisle of the expo floor you will find a new device of some sort in all shapes and sizes of SSD storage. With all the “flash in a box” products, competition in that space is getting very fierce, but I have to wonder if these “proprietary” solutions will pass the test of time when technology like Fusion-IO leverages the ability to use any and all back-end storage flash array. Along with that and coupled with their software defined storage via Fusion ioTurbine virtualization caching software to provide a very robust solution.  Fusion ioTurbine now also features a new plug-in for VMware vCenter which allows IT administrators to centrally and transparently manage ioMemory which can dramatically improve the control over the virtual environment. With their new products and the new partnership with NetApp, Fusion-IO will be a company to keep an eye on going into 2013.

I had the opportunity to talk with Jerry Chen of HyTrust and he filled me in on a new feature of the HyTrust Appliance which is well worth mentioning.  HyTrust now has the ability to require secondary approval before certain actions can be performed.  Different use cases that Mr. Chen shared with me range from deleting a virtual machine or deleting a Datastore as an example.  Before the actions are completed a workflow is started that will require secondary approval from a pre-configured person and/or group before the deletion can happen which has the potential to greatly reduce the types of mistakes or “resume generating events” that we all try to avoid at all costs.  Each year HyTrust keeps getting better and better and continues to be a company to keep an eye on.

This is just the start of the show and with over twenty-four rows of technology in the expo floor I still have a great deal of new things to see and check out before the end of VMworld or before my legs and feet go on strike from all the walking. We will see which comes first.

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