VMworld US 2015 Day 1 Recap

Welcome to The Virtualization Practice’s week-long coverage of VMworld US 2015. Tune in all week for our daily recap of the major announcements and highlights from the world’s premier virtualization and cloud conference.

VMworld US 2015 began yesterday at the Moscone Center in temperate San Francisco, home to the conference for the last four years. VMworld is billed as the largest virtualization and cloud conference in the industry, and attendance at the conference continues to support this. Sunday is always an interesting day for VMworld. VMworld has corollary events, like TAM Day, Partner Exchange Boot Camp, and such, running on the Saturday and Sunday immediately before the conference. The main event, though, begins at 4 pm on Sunday with a reception in the Solutions Exchange, the vendor showcase, and arguably the main floor of the conference space.

It used to be that all vendors in the virtualization space announced products, new versions, and enhancements the week of VMworld. The last few years have been different, though, with many vendors choosing to release or announce well ahead of VMworld. Some have said that this is a sign of VMworld’s becoming less effective as a conference, but I see it as a healthy sign of a mature ecosystem. First, there is so much noise during the week that it’s easy to miss an announcement. Second, the large ecosystem players, including Atlantis, Veeam, Puppet, and others, can generate their own buzz without the help of the VMware mothership. And that’s good, because as these players increasingly extend themselves into competitive spaces like Hyper-V, OpenStack, AWS, etc., VMware is more likely to intentionally turn down the focus on them.

The Calm before the Storm

Sunday at VMworld is also a time of opportunity for others to give side presentations, taking advantage of the free time many attendees have before the opening of the main conference. One big player that has emerged is VMunderground. Famous among VMworld attendees for their exclusive parties, the VMundergound folks have created a series called “Opening Acts,” featuring panels of speakers throughout the afternoon. Their speaker lineup is amazing, with a well-rounded mix of industry leaders, vendors, and outspoken users. Panels are centered around topics like storage, networking, infrastructure, automation, data protection, and even careers (yet another sign that this industry is growing up). These aren’t normal IT talks, but more moderated Q&As, with ample time for audience members to ask questions and grill the panel on the differences between Silicon Valley and the rest of the IT world.

Soft Opening

For the past few years, VMworld has been starting the conference off with a welcome reception in the vendor showcase. I liken this to the “soft open” a new restaurant or retail store does, letting attendees and exhibitors ease their way into the full conference experience with some appetizers and a beverage in hand. It’s a nice nod by VMworld and VMware to the ecosystem partners who round out a virtualization and cloud experience for users. This year The Virtualization Practice has quite a number of our sponsors and partners exhibiting, including:

  • Atlantis in booth 523, makers of Atlantis ILIO and Atlantis USX, unique products to use memory and flash to dramatically speed existing storage solutions for both VDI and server workloads.
  • Cirba in booth 611, creators of powerful virtualization and cloud reporting tools for capacity, performance, SLAs, and compliance.
  • HotLink in booth 803, with extremely powerful software to let you manage non-VMware hypervisors and clouds natively through vCenter, just as if they were VMware ESXi.
  • HyTrust in booth 422, automating cloud security at all levels with its powerful and flexible CloudControl and DataControl software.
  • Intigua in booth 437, whose software lets administrators virtualize and manage other in-VM agents and management tools flexibly and seamlessly.
  • ManageEngine in booth 429, with a wide range of products to help IT track, manage, deploy, and decommission devices and services.
  • Puppet Labs in booth 502, the gold standard for OS-level configuration management.
  • SIOS in booth 1946, with its iQ IT operations analytics platform that makes it easy to gain actionable, usable insight into your virtual environments.
  • Splunk in booth 2135, the gold standard for IT operational intelligence.
  • TeamQuest in booth 323, makers of holistic and vastly cross-platform IT service optimization software, helping IT reduce risk and cost.
  • Veeam in booth 913, the bar by which all other virtualization backup platforms are measured.
  • Virtual Instruments in booth 2117, makers of the powerful and all-seeing VirtualWisdom analytics platform.
  • VMTurbo in booth 505, creators of innovative and powerful cross-platform virtualization and cloud tools that bridge the gap between technical implementations and business needs.
  • Zenoss in booth 2525, with software and solutions that improve service quality and lower costs of operations through analytics and service impact and event management.

Throughout the week, we’ll be following these and our other sponsors and their recent and current product announcements.

Join us again tomorrow morning for a recap of Monday’s announcements, a synopsis of the VMware keynote, and highlights from the day.

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