VMworld continues to be a fantastic industry trade show, and it acts as a central rallying point for the IT community. Many of the attendees share that VMworld is the only event they are able to attend during the year, and they tend to use the time wisely by attending sessions, going to popular hands-on labs, and browsing the expo floor.
VMware uses the event to launch products and to share its vision with IT. This year's highlights are:
- vRam - In case you haven't heard by now, no more vRam licensing. VMware claims this is due to customer feedback, which I believe, but I also suspect that increased competition in the market and the timing of Microsoft Windows Server 2012 had as much if not more of an impact on the elimination of vRam. It's also worth noting that packaging and pricing have changed, and vCloud Director has slid into some of the lower-end packaging.
- CEO - Out slides Maritz and in comes Gelsinger. VMware employees really like Maritz and some are a bit apprehensive about the move. Gelsinger is taking over as CEO at an interesting time in the company. VMware has to ready themselves for increased competition and will find themselves having to go win business as opposed to being the only game in town. The company will also have to demonstrate diversification and how they plan to build and grow a revenue stream with its end-user computing and application business units. If you believe Gelsinger can succeed here, VMware has a massive upside ahead.
- Certification - I have said it a few times that VMware customer loyalty is imperative to its growth, and they have announced new cloud-focused certifications to continue to educate and arm customers with certification in arrears where the industry lakes experience, expertise, and proven value.
- Horizon - Whether it was planned or not, VMware attendees walked out of the day 1 & 2 keynotes with end-user computing being the highlight. Few companies in the industry have the opportunity to pull off what VMware aims to do with Horizon. Being the central broker for apps and desktops delivered to a variety of devices is an optimal strategy, and one that aligns with mega IT trends. For what VMware lacks in product maturity, they make up for in partnering with technology vendors and building excellent joint go-to-market products and campaigns. The VMware Rapid Desktop Appliance is an excellent example of this.
Software defined everything was also a key theme, but I'm not sure I am in love with the term. Does this mean that we now should refer to server virtualization and hypervisors as software defined servers?
VMware puts on a great show, with excellent attendance and fantastic use of time to capture the state of the IT industry under one roof.