VMworld 2013 Day One

This is my first VMworld so some of the goings on are new to me – and I haven’t been to an event in the Moscone in a long, long time. My first impression – there are a LOT of people here. It took 20 minutes to leave the hall from the keynote – that’s how big it is. 22,000 people!

The keynote was done well as was the separate day of analyst specific meetings. Pat Gelsinger announced a good bit about the software-designed data center. NSX which my colleague Bob Laliberte is covering, was one big piece, of course, and has evolved since last year. You can read vmware-networking-update-from-vmworld-2013/index.html" target="_blank">Bob’s thoughts in his blog.

The most interesting things I learned yesterday had to do with VMware’s restructuring, the shift in message, and of course my #1 interest – all the cloud news.

On the restructuring front – it seems VMware is organized around 3 major segments: SDDC (Software-defined Data Center), vCHS (vCloud Hybrid Services), and EUC (End-user Computing).

  • SDDC: Of course the SDDC is the meat of the company’s revenue stream with 40M VMs under management over 500K customers.
  • EUC: End-user Computing includes some great products in the Horizon Suite (Mirage, View, and Workspace) as well as Personal Desktop (Workstation and Fusion).
  • vCHS: Of course since I’m most interested in the cloud stuff – the vCHS announcements were the big news to me. The first big part of the news was the addition of Savvis to the VMware Hybrid cloud. Savvis will provide in several of their facilities a VMWare Certified Hybrid Cloud that is built and operated by VMware and sold by VMware and partners.

The public cloud story is definitely evolving for VMware with the vCHS components and the existing VSPP (VMware Service Provider Program) which includes special licensing agreements and an ability for customers to move licensing from on-prem to off-prem. Add to this the Savvis partnership and I’m sure many others to follow – this is going to become a good way for VMware to win customers and evolve them as part of their hybrid cloud plans. There is a lot more coming in the future in this space and I’ll be talking about it as we are allowed to.

Now there are a few things that come to mind that are not quite totally clear. One that keeps coming up is the question of how does VMware not cannibalize their partners who are service providers. At some level the VSPP and some new stuff that they are planning should help mitigate that. I also think that their offering VMware certified cloud services is a good thing for the enterprise. Back in the 90s Sun had a program for MSPs called SunTone that was designed to do something similar. If a provider was SunTone Certified it meant a customer could trust that the provider had been audited for DR, security, etc., practices to ensure a trusted experience for Sun’s customers. Same kind of thing only in the cloud age. It will help those on the fence find a way to safely and securely engage in hybrid services that allows customers to scale and use on-demand services in a homogenous experience.

The bigger questions are – what is the reference architecture? What does the run book look like? What are the escalation procedures? What are the exact trade-offs in the two price options offered?

In terms of the overall announcements – the SDDC story continues to unfold and I’m sure we’ll hear more over the next few months. I want to know more about how the technology enables their vendor partners. I also want to know why security was scarcely mentioned – this is the one thing that really seemed like a big hole in the messaging and capabilities announced. Oh and I can’t forget to mention that Pivotal will run on vSphere 5.5 and vCloud 5.5 as well. This seems like a layup announcement but to me is one of the most important from a thought leadership perspective and is truly important to make all this IaaS capability relevant to the enterprise.

More to come as we learn more this week. I’m enjoying the experience, the support from the VMware AR team, and all the walking I’m getting to do!

Topics: Networking Cloud Services & Orchestration