VMware reaches for the sky, um, I mean the cloud

May 4, 2009 at 11:06 pm Leave a comment

Sandra Glaser Cheek

Sandra Glaser Cheek

I recently attended VMware’s well-attended Partner Exchange conference in Orlando, FL. The primary focus of the event was to introduce how VMware partners can take advantage of new VMware technology to help start moving customers to the compute cloud – more specifically the internal or “private cloud” The company also unveiled new partner initiatives aimed at making it easier for solution providers to work with its technology and the next generation partner program.

Rick Jackson, CMO of VMware, kicked off the conference by talking about VMware’s primary focuses:

1. Get customers 100 percent virtualized. This includes introducing them to the newly announced vSphere product line.
2. Working with partners to help customers build cloud infrastructures.
3. Virtual desktops – “a necessary component of getting customers into a 100 percent virtualized environment.”
4. Working with reseller partners, solution providers and technology partners, to manage virtual platforms.

Tod Nielsen, VMware’s new COO followed with a presentation of VMware’s vision of cloud computing. And it’s not the big external clouds you would expect – Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. VMware believes that there is a place for all business, large and small to have their own data centers. And that these businesses will likely utilize external clouds to outsource some needs, but there will also be a need for a private/internal cloud. “At the end of the day, what customers want are internal clouds, which have similar tools and resources as those available on external clouds… and they will want a private cloud which allows them to have internal clouds while, at the same time, taking advantage of external clouds.” The vSphere suite of extensible management products was next unveiled.

This new product line makes it possible to build both internal and external clouds. VMware is referring to vSphere as a “cloud OS”. It is a platform that aggregates and manages underlying resources to provide performance, integrated availability and reliability with dynamic scalability.

Partners were also advised to prepare for the imminent wave of virtual desktop deployment – There are about 500 million desktop PCs currently deployed in enterprises worldwide, he said. “And I have yet to meet an IT staff that likes them,” Nielson commented.

However, the key to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is to provision users with the right configuration, security, applications, etc.; not just provisioning of desktops. “Then whatever device the user wants to use, they can use.” Throughout the rest of 2009, VMware plans to introduce a number of components related to VDI, including template-based centralized management, technology to take advantage of higher-bandwidth WANs, and new ways to improve the performance of high-definition video, Flash and 3D graphics over a LAN.

VMware estimates that by 2012, their virtual desktop business will be as big as their virtual server business.  While VMware is still in the early stages in talking about the cloud, they are betting big with this comprehensive set of solutions for the cloud. And, at this conference, they planted their stake in the ground.

The partners that I spoke with gave the event high marks and felt that VMware’s message was right on target in terms of how to help partners increase the performance of customers’ IT infrastructures while cutting costs. There was the general feeling that VMware is still the virtualization leader and has developed the right strategy to help customers move into the cloud – the private cloud, that is.

Also See: VMworld 2009: Ahead in the Cloud

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Entry filed under: Live from Events. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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