A (real-time) blog from VMworld Europe

Originaly published at ca.com/blogs on October 12 2010, 03:56 AM

This is a live blog, so appologies apologies for typo’s and possible other errors.

This morning 6000 people streamed into the Bella center in Kopenhavn to see the VMworld opening keynote. I’ll cover the new items compared to the event in San Francisco. According to VMware’s CMO virtualization is about efficiency (utilization), reliability but foremost about Agility. Business’ more and more rely or even consist completely of IT and if IT is not agile neither is the business. Paul Maritz opens by sharing some statistics: the number of X86 deployments on virtual infrastructure has now superseded the deployments on physical infrastructure (now, of course, most of these physical deployments will still exist tomorrow (on their way to becoming legacy) while the virtual ones may be gone tomorrow). More statistics: there are now more than 10 million VMs growing at 28%. There are more copies of Windows and Linux on virtual machines than on physical machines. Maritz called the virtualization layer the “new infrastructure layer,” making it very clear VMware is creating the new platform (some might say the new Windows).

According to Maritz, this new infrastructure will be very much about automation and management, with automation going first (management is the necessary evil, the value add comes from automation). This new infrastructure is not just about compute power, but also about storage and networking, but the biggest change will be in security. Security also needs to leave the physical realm and move into the virtual realm with security focused on logical boundaries instead of physical boundaries. Getting security right will be very important to enabling this innovation and agility that virtualization promises. Onto private and hybrid clouds and a new way to “purchase infrastructure”. Hybrid clouds is (as described in this blog earlier) defined by VMware as running VMware in your own data center and running VMware in the data center of your service provider(s). Personally I think the world will be a bit more hybrid and so should be hybrid clouds. But it is interesting to see how hybrid is rapidly becoming mainstream (despite apprehensions about security).

Next: Applications. Maritz feels that virtualization is only used to re-host 15 year old (often still batch oriented) applications on a new infrastructure, it will not add the agility the business is looking for. So the new agile world will require new applications build on a new (development) platform. And – no surprise here — Maritz sees a big role for Java running on the Springsource framework (again my expectation is that reality may be a bit more hybrid). And just like the virtualization hypervisor layer, these development frameworks isolate the application further form the hardware and make them more portable. By developing in springsource or similar platforms — like ruby on rails — application portability again becomes a possibility or even a reality. (Had not heard about this Holy Grail for a while, but do remember — and have lived through — the 4GL era, where 4GL tools basically ran your application on anything that came with a plug. Somehow Java killed that movement, but it seems to be making a return as development frameworks that can run on many PaaS platforms (like Google Appworld and Force.com.)

In record speed Martiz went on to Rogue IT a.k.a SaaS applications. He mentioned that 15 applications in VMware somehow made it into the door of VMware and how internal IT is left holding the bag and expected to support them in a compliant and secure manor. Maritz compares this to the entry of rogue PCs and departmental servers entering companies in the ’80s. The observation is correct and it is a real challenge. Maritz feelds IT needs to focus on delivering applications and not on managing and monitoring devices (we see the same challenge and feel that adopting a supply chain approach is the pragmatic answer to this, as opposed to a more traditional manufacturing/factory oriented approach).

At this moment Maritz hands over to the CTO to discuss some of the innovations VMware is working on in its product stack, he starts with the core: Vsphere (called “The virtual Giant” on the slide).

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