VMworld 2014 San Francisco: Final Day


VMworld does something special for the Press and Bloggers, it reserves several tables near the front of the auditorium with power cords and a special WiFi feed. This makes it easy to take lousy low light photos from one’s iPhone. Having written on Day 1 and Day 2 of VMworld, on the last day we learned that attendees had attended 9,300 labs.

And they raised $248,460 through Destination GiveBack.

The last day is usually reserved for innovations, last year’s was about robots and 3D printing. This time: People Plus Machines.

Jane McGonigalJane McGonigal, Super Better Labs, Chief Creative Officer VR Game Designer and Author “Reality is Broken”

She started by sharing:

  • There are 1 billion gamers worldwide who spend 1 hour/day on a connected device.
  • Angry Birds: 300 million minutes a day = 400,000 years of vengeance
  • Call of Duty 170 hours a year/player = 1 month of full-time work every year. 1 in 4 players called in sick on launch day: “Call of Duty Flu”
  • 81% of global workers are not engaged. Gallup 2013
  • The longer you stay in school, the less engaged you become. Elementary 76%, high school 61%, college 40%
  • Kids under 18: 99% of boys vs 94% of girls play games. 92% of two-year olds play games.

She has a PhD and suspects that she’s the only one to have done 13 years of research on this topic. She believes in the future we’ll all play games.

Playing games evokes 10 Positive emotions like: Joy, Relief, Love (oxytocin — hold hands for 6 seconds), Surprise, Pride, Curiosity, Excitement, Awe & Wonder, Contentment, Creativity.

Example: Massively Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling. With 22,000 attendees connected across aisles we set a new world record for playing this game.

Playing games afford these positive emotions: games make us resilient. Set higher goals for ourselves and don’t give up.

“The opposite of play isn’t work – it’s depression” said a philosopher of gaming You must play the game itself, not just watch to get the hippocampus, thalamus and caudate activated. These are under activated in clinical depression.

Active vs. Passive

Jane wants to see more super-empowered hopeful individuals

  • Self-supression vs. Self-expansion.
  • Not feeling negative impressions vs. pursuing strong emotions.
  • Play to escape vs. Play with purpose.


James PattenJames Patten, Founder and President, Patten Studios. Inventor, visual designer, TED Fellow

Tangible interfaces. Electronically tagged pucks (objects) that talk to the computer. Example: Audio path. Our mind and hands are tuned for using tools. Physical object that represents something in the robot. These pucks can be controlled by the computer as well, as the user moves one the others move via electromagnets. Omni wheels roll well in one direction, but gain traction in another direction. An object can move without turning.

When he proposed his talk to VMworld, VMware asked “How can you touch Data?”


Datapoints appear on an X-Y graph for certain medical information about a group of patients. 31 things are known about each dot (patient). Weight-height, Cholesterol-weight. Robot can be tied to a datapoint. Another robot displays, by moving, drug interaction red dots. FOXP1, weight, and LDL cholesterol relates to a drug interaction.



Sean Gourley, Co-founder Quid. Physicist, collective intelligence researcher, TED Fellow, Rhodes Scholar

When it comes to playing chess, a human is can think 4 moves ahead, the computer can plan at least 8 steps ahead. This led to freestyle chess. 48 teams, no rules. It wasn’t Artificial Intelligence that won, but Augmented Intelligence. This could work Weather Predictions: a 36 hour forecast is more accurate than 72 hour forecast, which has improved over the years. 15Bx increase in computational speed over the last several years. 16% improvement when you add humans to machines only. What is the interface between humans and machines? Expert: Intuition. They know what to do when everything is noisy and chaotic around them. The precuneus is the part of the brain that does pattern matching. Expert chess players light up this part of the brain twice as much as amateur chess players. The caudate nucleus associated with learned response functions showed up in fMRI for best move. It takes about 10,000 hours to train your brain for chess. Or to become an expert in almost anything. Experts have a particular insight into solving problems. But it takes a long time to log 10,000 hours. What if a computer could help you do this?

Computational => Subconscious. Build software to do this.



Sean’s company Quid builds software to augment this part of the brain. Augmented Intelligence allows us to better navigate a complex world. He took all the articles on “Space Industry” from a Google search, and found through the Quid engine that it wasn’t just about NASA. Rather, through their engine they could find clusters of information around other topics. Indeed, Satellites seems to be the most often talked about topic for the “Space Industry” on the Internet. This is a map that a space expert might draw.

It reminds me of psychohistory suggested by Isaac Asimov in his Hugo award winning trilogy “Foundation.” In the story, the mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept of mathematical sociology. Using the laws of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale. This may be a start to that kind of Augmented Intelligence.



See you next August in San Francisco for VMworld 2015.

Thanks for coming along.


VMworld 2014 San Francisco: Day 2, The Details


Following on the announcements of Day 1, three VMware executives filled in the details.

Ben FathiBen Fathi, VMware Chief Technology Officer

Ben started the morning with Destination Giveback, a charitable effort that involves flying paper airplanes as a part of the donation. No ice involved.

Recapped the previous day’s comment: The Brave Will Thrive. EVO and EVO:RAIL, the OpenStack distribution, the renaming of vCloud Hybrid Services to vCloud Air, the renaming of vCAC and vCOPs to vCloud vRealize.

In contrast to the World of Silos


Ben posited:

The Power of And



Around OpenStack, Ben said the best way to run it is on VMware

Ben then brought up the topic of Containers. Where do Apps run? VMs or Containers? In concert with Google and Docker a new approach: Containers without Compromise:

One platform for Apps, envisioned via Open Container API:

Open Container API

Sanjay PoonenSanjay Poonen, VMware EVP and GM, End-User Computer

Sanjay was the next speaker. He’s always sharp in his delivery and cogent in his messaging.

Sands ResortHe began with the metaphor of the Sands Resort in Singapore. I’ve been there, and it’s stunning. Sanjay pointed out that it took years to build the tower infrastructure, but atop the resort is a fabulous swimming pool. VMware wants to build three towers.

Desktop, Mobile, Content

Desktop Mobile ContentHe talked about his end-user computing vision. Secure virtual workspace for work at the Speed of Life. Music and movies is in the cloud: iTunes and Netflix. From phones to cars all heterogeneous.

Workspace services: social, identity, gateway, catalog.

Desktop: Horizon with unified VDI and App Publishing. Desktop-as-a-Service, Real-time App Delivery, Rich User Experience.

Nvidia Grid + Google + VMware. He showed Horizon on Chromebook with Nvidia graphics.

The newly announced Airwatch acquisition involves device management and app management.


Sanjay showed off what’s going on with SAP Mobile, the company where he was previously head of the Mobile Division.


Raghu RaghuramRaghu Raghuram, VMware EVP, Cloud Infrastructure & Management Business Unit

Raghu talked about NSX claiming 150+ customers, and Cloud Management with vRealize.

He expanded on the announced EVO: RAIL and EVO: RACK

VMware Integrated OpenStack, VMware builds its own distribution of OpenStack. Claims the best way to run OpenStack is on VMware via VMware Integrated OpenStack (vSphere, NSX, Virtual SAN) and OpenStack-Aware Cloud Management (vRealize).

Partnering with Canonical, HP, Mirantis, Suse.

vMotion: latest vSphere has Cross vCenter vMotion: load balancing. Long Distance vMotion can migrate app coast-to-coast. NSX supports this.

Cloud-native apps are built with services or micro-services. Allows for faster iterations. Developers use containers (since 10-15 years) in BSD Jail, Solaris Zones. Docker has made a ubiquitous packaging for this. Containers Without Compromise is VMs and Containers working together. Google kubernetes (helmsmen) works with Docker.

Project Fargo: makes VMs faster, smaller, quicker booting

Simone Brunozzi, VP and CTO Hybrid, talked about Hybridity.
For details on the last General Session of VMworld click here.

Thanks for coming along.


VMworld 2014 San Francisco: Day 1, The Announcements



The largest cloud show of its kind, VMworld 2014 opened with the General Session in Moscone Center in San Francisco. 22,000 attendees from 85 countries are here. The show actually opened 2 days previously, but everyone who is going to be here is at this event. Partner Day and TAM Day were earlier and last night was the welcoming buffet in the Solutions Exchange. I’ll be at the Solutions Exchange later this week demoing in the Cisco booth Platform as a Service and Cloud Management.

No Limits is the theme this year.

Pat GelsingerPat Gelsinger, VMware CEO

started with this quote:

“The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.”

This is one of the Three Laws of Prediction by Sir Arthur C Clarke, famous science fiction author and futurist.

Two years ago Pat stepped onto this stage to take the baton of leadership at VMware. This morning he uses the analogy of a “liquid world” to talk about the change in business:

  • Uber has a market cap of Hertz and Avis combined, with no physical assets.

He talked about Bravery:

  • 23andMe, DNA testing for $99… not the $100,000 that Steve Jobs paid to fight his cancer.
  • Landing on the moon 45 years ago was done with an army of people behind it.
  • VMware’s 17,000 employees who drive business enablement around the world.

Fluid, instant, choice:

  • VMware’s vision is to virtualize compute, network, and storage… with a management layer above it.


  • vCloud Suite 5.8. Version 6.0 is in beta.
  • Virtual Volumes and Virtual SAN 2.0 beta
  • vRealize Suite: new name for automation (including vCAC and vCOPs)

Hyper converged infrastructure solution: VMware EVO, the next evolution of infrastructure. This is another move in VMware’s march to the higher end of the market, and for hardware commoditization:

  • 1st member: EVO RAIL: deployment in 15 minutes, design and price predictability, one support call, designed for 100 VMs. With OEMs: Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, in spur, net one, Supermicro.
  • EVO:RACK (tech preview). At cloud scale, to DC in less than 2 hours, range of certified hardware solutions.

Pat announced that VMware is joining the Open Compute Project today.

  • More choice: VMware integrated OpenStack, now in Beta.
  • The apparent conflict between VMs and containers are addressed “containers without compromise”: Open Container API, and Project Fargo: lighter weight, faster deployment.

Partnership with: Docker, Google, Pivotal, VMware

Last year, VMware announced NSX, the networking equivalent of ESX for servers. Pat called out IT Security — SDDC and NSX offers automated security and enforcement with scale-out fire walling. NSX currently has +150 customers, +40 partners


Bill FathersBill Fathers, VMware EVP and GM, Hybrid Cloud Services Business Unit was the next speaker.


A year ago today VMware launched vCHS, now called vCloud Air.

Then promised: DRaaS, DaaS, PaaS… and ecosystem partners as well.

All accomplished in the last year, and more. But it all boils down to three key benefits:

Agility, Efficiency, Cost Savings

5 years ago in 2009: 2% of workloads were in Public Cloud, 98% on-prem.

2014: 6% of VMs in Public Cloud, 94% on-prem. Acceleration.

4 Phases of Cloud Adoption:

  • Phase 1: Experimental
  • Phase 2: Professional
  • Phase 3: Mass Market
  • Phase 4: Legacy

vCloud Air = Hybrid Cloud Platform helps move workloads between on-premises to Public Cloud, like vCloud Air, across all three continents.

September will mark the beta of vCloud Air with Government to conform to their compliance standards.

3,900 worldwide partners now with applications like:

DevOps Services, DaaS, Object Storage, Mobility Services, Cloud Management. You can find it at:



Carl EschenbachCarl Eschenbach, VMware President & COO was the last speaker.

He showcased 3 customers:

  • Medronics VP of Applications.
  • MIT Information Systems and Technologies
  • Ford Enterprise Technology Research

There were other announcements delivered, you can catch the recording at VMworld NOW

Read my articles on VMworld Day 2 and the Final Day.

Thanks for coming along.


VMworld 2013 San Francisco: Day 4, Makers and Shakers


For the popular Innovator’s Day at the end of the VMworld Conference…


Jay1Jay Silver, Founder and Director Joylabz, and Maker Research Scientist at Intel Labs.

Jay went to Ken Burns’ place in Massachusetts and went on a nature awareness walk. He had a guide, but Jay didn’t see anything new… so he went to downtown Boston and did some urban discovery. Another student licked his finger and stuck it in the air all around the area… and noted wind patterns that led to a vortex at the center.

“If we can see the invisible, can you change it? Can you make the world a construction kit?”

He attached a “squeaky set” sound sensor to a pencil and after spreading the graphite on a paper found you could play music. Ditto with water on a surface, or water pouring from a tap. Or copper stripes on a one’s body that when you hula hoop across it, makes music.

jay2The crowd loved his example of using a MaKey MaKey via USB to a bananas that act as forward and back arrow on a MacBook laptop. Or the same with Play Doh. Or making pianos out of stairs, or even dogs. Or a child with MS whose dad made controllers for him out of gloves. Or a musician who makes drums out of eggplants.

“What happens if you drop an M&M on an escalator and then add a roll of Chap Stick?”


keller1Keller Renaudo, CEO and Co-Founder Romotive

Robots are what science fiction has been teaching us for a hundred years. In movies: C3PO from Star Wars and Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, but can they be made real and accessible?

Others like Asimo by Honda came out, but he had a hard time with stairs.

Robots are science meets the real world. Mobile phones cannot move. What if we could make cheaper robots, that use the software on your mobile phone?  It would be 100 times simpler than previous robots that are only available in big companies or university research labs. It’s here with Romo, which will be sold under $150.

Meet Romo

Romo, uses computer vision and a simple visual programming language — you can program him to turn and bow. Kids who cannot read can program it. Romo is WiFi capable with other iOS devices, and you can see through his eyes, like Skype on wheels. He can flip himself over if he falls. You can change Romo’s firmware from the iPhone. You can update the software on the iPhone. Goal: build a community of hackers who create innovation for Romo.

With no experience in robotics or creating a hardware company, and being poor, they went out to Kick Starter and got orders that went out to 1,300 requests. But they ended up shipping 2,000 units.

Mission is the next step. It’s an interactive story line. The goal is for Romo to compete in an intergalactic space race.

“People tend to overestimate effects of technology in the short term but underestimate the effects of technology in the long term.

“All Robos come in Peace.”



Bre Pettis, CEO, MakerBot

Inventer and open source guru. Made the MakerBot 3D printer. In 2007 a 3D printer cost $100K. So they made a cheaper one.

“Innovation through absurdity”

“It builds up layers of plastic one at a time until you have an object. Even the first one sole out immediately. We drank way too much caffeine and we ate 2 cases of ramen developing it. Don’t do that.

pre2“We’re now on our 4th generation: MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner.  Previous models turned 3D designs into a physical object. The latest model: lasers point, I’m talking “lasers”, at a physical object and turn it into a 3D design. These come off our assembly line every 2 minutes, no screws on the bottom. Finished it 2 weeks ago, announced it 10 days ago. Ship at the end of Sept/early October.

pre3“My friend saw a cool fish head he saw on a lamp post in Paris, and now it’s turned into a plaster replica. We do this in Brooklyn.

“Go visit Thingiverse.com to see if someone else has already created something you couldn’t make yesterday.

“PLA is a natural plastic made from corn. It’s like “kittens” for architects, they can build anything. Head of NASA:JPL said “You’ve got to come see what we’re doing with MakerBot.” Yeah, I can make some time for that.

“It’s very iterative and you can make multiple prototypes/day rather than one a month.

“Lockheed used it to save 6 months/$1M on the next Hubble telescope.

pre4“A guy in South Africa lost fingers in an accident and decided to remake his fingers. A child in South Africa was born without fingers and could not afford a $10K prosthetic. So MakerBot made it with $500 worth of materials.

PrettySmallThings.com sells doll furniture… but it was designed by a set designer on Broadway who designs sets with MakerBot.

“I started as an artist, saw every piece of art in Seattle. Shared photos of what he’d done. Worked for Make magazine. I developed the Cult of Done Manifesto. It’s self-contradictory as most manifestos, my “a ha!” moment was that everything is a draft. I conclude my manifesto with “Done is the agent of more.” (Someone said “I’m so glad you don’t work on airplanes.”)

“Beautiful Objects + Sharing + Iteration”

Is this “The Next Industrial Revolution?”

Thanks for coming along,


VMworld 2013 San Francisco: Day 3, the Gadgets


During this week amongst 22,500 geeks it was noticeable how many devices I saw, especially mobile devices. Here’s the quick breakdown…

Cell phones:

  • iPhones by a vast majority, mostly iPhone 5s.
  • Androids as the largest minority, mostly Samsung Galaxy 3 and 4.


  • iPads by a vast majority, with some iPad minis.
  • Androids in the minority, including the smaller Nexus 7 size.


  • MacBooks were a surprisingly significant fraction
  • PCs of all flavors
  • Ultra thin laptops running Android or Windows 8, including the Microsoft Surface, were more prevalent than in the general population


With a tech show that talks so much about mobile, cloud, VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) it is not surprising to see so many different devices, especially non-traditional laptops.

Every person here had at least two devices, a laptop and a cell phone, but many had a third, a tablet. Is the future a single converged device, or more likely, being able to access common data, and perhaps a common environment, from multiple devices?

Thanks for coming along,


VMworld 2013 San Francisco: Day 2


In Day 2, the focused moved to details of the big announcements from Day 1, including NSX, vSAN, and a bit on automation.

Carl Eschenbach, President and COO, VMware

Carl started with the observation of “More attendees than expected this year, 22,500 attendees rounded up to 23K, making this the largest IT Infrastructure event of the year”. Wikipedia reports that the 2009 Oracle OpenWorld had 37,000 attendees, but let’s not quibble.

He recapped yesterday’s announcements: vSphere 5.5 & vCloud Suite 5.5, NSX Network Virtualization, and vCloud Hybrid Services, Cloud Foundry on vSphere — through partnership with Pivotal — and Virtual SAN.

3 Imperatives for IT Infrastructure:

Virtualization extends to ALL of IT

  1. IT management gives way to automation
  2. Compatible hybrid cloud will be ubiquitous
  3. Done with the Software-Defined Data Center as the Architectural Foundation.

To show IT as a Service in action…

He demoed vCloud Automation Center (formerly acquired Dynamic Ops technology), showing costs for different cloud options — Private Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and Windows Azure.

…showing self-service, transparent pricing, governance, automation.

Then he demoed vCloud Application Director that showed the provisioning of a multi-tiered application.


Then followed a discussion of NSX network virtualization with its APIs to L2 switches, L3 Routers, Firewalls and Load Balancers. vSphere Web Client showed these workflows.

Switching with NSX moves the switching intelligence into the hypervisor layer. Routing with NSX is similar, and eliminates “hair pinning” of a packet, moving the routing intelligence into the hypervisor layer. VMware claims that studies show that 70% of traffic in a data center happens between VM. Ditto network security and fire walling.

A video was shown of of WestJet, the Canadian airline, discussed how they use NSX for their network virtualization.

Going further vMotion moved a VM from one vLAN to another vLAN with NSX visible in the vSphere Web Client.

Summarizing, Carl pointed out that NSX delivers:

  • Speed and efficiency
  • Same operating model as compute virtualization
  • Extends value of existing network infrastructure

Switching gears to application dependencies of storage, Carl insisted his customers have requirements around: time to market, predictable performance, certain SLAs, and managed costs. VMware Virtual SAN moves Direct Attach Storage (from a host), including Flash storage, to be used in virtualized environments. This allows setting the data storage policy and having it move with the VM.

In summary, VMware Virtual SAN delivers:

  • Simple provisioning at time of VM provisioning
  • Storage that scales with compute
  • Leverage and extend existing direct attached storage

Announcement that this technology is available for public beta at:


Shifting to mobile end users, the demo moved to vCloud Automation Center which goes to VMware View to provision a desktop, including storage tier, gold of course. Horizon Workspace shows provisioning of SaaS apps to an iPad, and logging in to the desktop from the tablet.

Discussed efficient operations and Policy-Based Automation with vCenter Operations Manager. With a popular application running, auto scaling, which was previously provisioned, is automatically remediated.

vCloud Automation Operations Delivers

  • Policy-driven, automated, proactive response
  • Intelligent analytics
  • Visibility into application health for app owner

Administrators can also take hands-on, or guided remediation, to improve storage I/O per second to increase the SLA for storage from one tier to another, silver to gold.

This delivers:

  • Broad ecosystem that improves accuracy
  • Specific recommendations to speed up troubleshooting
  • Policy-driven IT and financial governance

vCenter Log Insight does Big Data analytics to help examine storage scalability. This shows the trade-offs between cost and scale. Carl announces 5 free licenses of vCenter Log Insight by following the Twitter account @VMLogInsight

Finally, Hybrid Cloud was captured in a discussion of seamless extension of the Data Center from the private to the public cloud. Demoed vSphere Web Client in v5.5: vCloud Hybrid Services is now visible there. Public templates are visible, additionally private ones can be continuously synchronized across private and public clouds.

Carl closed the keynote in the same way as Pat did yesterday, by talking about how the audience were champions. “Champions drive change, so go drive change, and defy convention!”

Thanks for coming along,


VMworld 2011: Steve Herrod’s CTO Keynote


Dr. Steve Herrod has been called the James Bond of VMware, and he is indeed a confident and compelling speaker. He has an obvious brilliance and an easy style occasionally punctuated by humor. For his keynote he said he was going to do it with Post It notes and a Whiteboard. Of course, this was all on the big screen.

He started by pointing out that we’re moving from:

Servers -> Services

Devices -> People


Another way of putting this is:

  • Devices
  • Universal Access
  • High Expectations

…or more susinctly: DUH.

“We can Simplify by extracting data from silos; Manage secure apps, data and access; Connect my apps, my data, my colleagues.”

He then talked about Project ThinApp Factory would would encapsulate Windows apps for greater utility across all one’s devices: like Software as a Service (SaaS,) but with brokered access. Moving data services to the cloud is VMware’s “Project Octopus” seemingly an alternative to Dropbox. Interestingly, Dropbox did not have an exhibitor booth at the show, but Box.net did.

The project that got the most wow from the crowd was Horizon Mobile a way of putting upon a private mobile device (smartphone or tablet) a virtual work phone with work related apps and data — all managed by IT.

Project App Blast is the HTML5 of Windows and Mac applications run remotely. Imagine running Excel, real Excel and not a 3rd party app, on your iPhone.

There were many more things he shared, like VXLAN in cooperation with Cisco Systems. VXLAN is a way to solve a very specific IaaS infrastructure problem: replace VLANs with something that might scale better — like to over 16 million logical networks — ideal for building clouds.

Check out my tweets from the show with the tag #VMworld at my Twitter handle @billpetro


Thanks for coming along,


VMworld 2011: Paul Maritz’ CEO Keynote



During Paul Maritz’ keynote presentation, when he explained that we’re at a tipping point, he gave us the following statistics:

  • 1 new VM every 6 seconds
  • 20 million VMs worldwide on vSphere
  • A VMotion occurs every 5.5 seconds
  • > 800,000 vSphere Admins, in 146 countries
  • 68,000 VMware Certified Professionals
  • > 1,650 ISV Partners
  • > 3,000 apps

In announcing the new vSphere 5.0 he said it had:

  • > 1 million engineering hours
  • > 2 million QA hours
  • 200 new features, including storage tiering, virtual storage appliances and auto host provisioning
  • The largest VM ever, the Monster VM

Monster VM

Monster VMHere is my experience with the Monster VM that Paul mentioned. It is:

  • 32 vCPUs
  • 1 TB RAM per VM
  • 2 TB of disk

The New Era

Paul believes we’ve gone through (at least) three eras of computing:

  • Mainframe: ’70s – defined by automated book keeping. He believes we should ring fence and eventually replace this model.
  • Client/Server: ’80s-90s – defined by workstations and consumer PCs. Distinctives were GUI, C++, x86 and relational databases. These gave way to IP networks, Java, and HTML and showed us CRM, eCommerce, ERP and Data Warehousing. He’d like to modernize this infrastructure and operations to carry both existing and future applications.
  • Cloud: 21st century – billions of connected devices, HTML5, Frameworks, XaaS and real-time high-scale analytics and commerce. He wants to invest in new and renewed apps for not only corporate but consumer and mobile devices that are secure and acceptable to bridge from the existing models to new models of user access.

To get there, especially in moving client/server to the Cloud, he noted that we can’t rewrite all the apps. But he’d like to see existing compute/storage/networking virtualized to create a foundation for cloud operations. To this end he (re)annouced vCloud Operations — a Cloud Infrastructure and Operations Suite — which has been around for 6 months and is the fastest growing business unit at VMware. It sits on top of vSphere and said “It is like plumbing, but necessary.” He also discussed vFabric consisting of their recently acquired Spring Framework along with a Data Fabric. GemFire (a recent acquisition) is the benefactor of this model.

He posed the rhetorical question: “What is the new Linux, if virtual infrastructure is the new hardware?”

His answer: cloudfoundry.com, a way to “shorten the time it takes to take an application from concept, to code, to the cloud using an open platform as a service.”

In the same way that VMware as a company is going up-market with management tools and suites, they’re also going wide by attracting and retaining developers. Twenty years ago the volume “platform” was Solaris, and all developers wanted to write to it, attracting the volume of applications. Now, VMware is the volume “platform” and the company wants to create stickyness with developers.

Thanks for coming along,


VMworld 2011: Day 1

VMWORLD 2011: Day 1

Three days of breakouts, super sessions, keynotes, meetups, tweet-ups, solution exposition, and parties.

A victim of its own success

I’ve been attending VMworld since 2004, when they were acquired by EMC. Now, VMworld has grown to have almost 20,000 attendees, 6,700 of which are Partners. It has outgrown a single venue in Las Vegas, and is spread across the Venetian and Winn hotels as well as the adjoining Sands Expo and Conference Center. Next year it will be back at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Can you imagine a venue with  20,000 attendees each carrying at least 2 WiFi devices, sometimes 3: smartphone (mostly iPhones), laptop, and tablet (usually iPads)? It was like a ’60s telephone party line. The WiFi network was saturated early and often. It was hard to connect reliably, even before the event began.

This year all talks required pre-registration. If you didn’t register before you arrived, over half the talks were “sold out” for attendees. People “signed in” at the room of each talk with a bar code scanner. Well organized.

Cloud, cloud, cloud

VMworld evolves each year and seems to be in front of the curve of the latest wave of computing fashion. It has moved beyond its initial focus on Server Virtualization. This year it’s Cloud, as it has been at the last couple of years. Last year the motto was “Virtual Roads, Actual Clouds,” but this year the motto is “Your Cloud. Own It.” As we moved from Compute to Virtualization to Automation to Cloud, Las Vegas was the place to be. There are more network data centers there — due largely to the nearby availability of power from the hydroelectric operations of the Hoover Dam on  Lake Mead.

For VMworld 2009, they build a Private Cloud, in 2010 it was a Hybrid Cloud, for VMworld 2011 it is a Public Cloud using three different providers:

  • Switch Supernap in Las Vegas
  • Colt in Amsterdam
  • Terremark in Miami

This represents 200,000 virtual machines!


Thanks for coming along,


musings on current and future technologies – by Bill Petro