Category Archives: Tech

VMworld 2011: Steve Herrod’s CTO Keynote

Steve HerrodVMWORLD 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

Or…

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,

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2011: Paul Maritz’ CEO Keynote

Paul MaritzVMWORLD 2011: PAUL MARITZ’ CEO

Factoids

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,

BillPetro.com

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,

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2011: Las Vegas

VMWORLD 2011: LAS VEGAS

This year’s event kicks off in the Venetian in Las Vegas. Is it like Venice in Italy? Yes, but somewhat more hermetic.

The venue is huge and more extensive than in years past with expanded conference facilities and enlarged Hang Space and the Blogger’s Lounge.

Initial registration featured about 45 minutes in line though the check-in process was efficient — there are that many people here. And for those standing in line VMware employees were supplying beverages.

I look forward to seeing old friends, making new ones and reporting the latest trends from the breakouts, keynotes and exhibition floor. This year it kicks off in the morning not with the usual keynotes but with break out sessions and hands-on labs with topics across the board. Then the late afternoon begins the general session keynote followed by the Solutions Exchange Welcome Reception.

Keep you web dial tuned right here for all the news about the cloud. Also, you can follow my latest tweets @billpetro, or twitter.com/billpetro

Thanks for coming along,

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2010: Partner Super Session

VMware PartnersVMWORLD 2010 PARTNER SUPER SESSION

Each year, the Partners of VMware are treated to a sneak peak at some of the announcements coming this week. Below I will not share anything that hasn’t already been since announced or is not already publicly available.

First speaker was:

Carl Eschenbach, EVP VMware

He spoke on the theme of this years show:

Cloud computing is real, but you have to go down virtual roads.

1) Industry is changing

2) Transform

3) Leverage

Year in review:

– Launched new products. VMware vSphere 4.1
– Updated Systems and Tools – Partner University 2.0 in 9 languages
– Enhanced Partner Network

Jeff Casale, SVP GM Americas

Jeff is a recent acquisition for VMware from EMC, where he was for 16 years. He’s been at VMware only 45 days. His first impressions:

  • Major land shift in cloud computing.
  • The “Foundation” is virtualization.
  • 3k partners here.

What he’s heard so far:

– He’s hearing clear alignment and that VMware listens.
– Sees great speed and velocity.
– Customers say VMware under-promises and over-delivers.

Results:

3,500 Partner Competencies in 2010, 111k Certifications in last year
85% of VMware’s revenues through Partners

$20k license sale = $300k solution sale for Partner.

Next up was

Paul Maritz, CEO VMware

During 30 years in the industry, he’s seen two major transformations:

– Started at Intel with microprocessors
– 1996 Microsoft client server
— What’s the 3rd transformation?

While Paul can be forgiven by being a decade anachronous about client server happening at Microsoft in 1996 — we saw it at Sun in the mid ’80s — his approach is compelling.

He describes the work at VMware:

New technologies and business processes. Half a $B in research. New functionality and taking capabilities down the price curve as competition increases.

Next up:

Rick Jackson, CMO

The trend is: IT as a Service (ITaaS will be discussed in the 2nd day’s VMware keynote)

IDC reports that we’re past the tipping point: 2009 now more applications deployed on virtual servers than physical

IT production (cost efficiency) -> Business production (Quality of Service) -> ITaaS (Business agility) via Cloud Computing Infrastructure.

With open standards and freedom of choice, ITaaS = Optimizing IT production, for business consumption.

This means: existing apps, new enterprise apps, SaaS apps

The New Stack:

Cloud Infrastructure and Mgt, Cloud App platform, End user Computing (not desktop-centric)

Examples:

– VSphere, vCenter, vCloud Director, vShield — 27% CAGR

– Spring, vFabric, Hyperic — 39% CAGR

– View, Thin App, Zimbra, Horizon — 40% CAGR

IT market : 3.1% growth
SW : 3.8% growth

Next is:

Vittorio Viarengo, VP End User Services

View 4.5 is shipping this month with offline, follow me, and mobile mode.

Desktop -> interaction going to devices, computing is going to DC (VDI), computing/apps going to the cloud.

Indeed, 75% of computing is moving to cloud.

VMware intends to Modernize Desktop:

Better experience: beyond PC, simplicity, instant gratification, multiple devices

Project Horizon will be a new approach to end user computing: what user gets, where, with how much security.

Next:

Peter Castaldi, Principal – Kovarus

Customer testimonial

Then,

Doug Smith, Global Channel Chief

Talked about Lighthouse Projects – beta competencies for Partners. 3,500 Partners achieved Competency. Solution Enablement Toolkit (SET) provides Sales and Marketing tools, Infrastructure tools, lab tools, Solution tools.

Example: MS Exchange on VMware Competency in the Infrastructure Virtualization area.

All in all, a great kick-off to the week in San Francisco for VMworld.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

How to Raise Your Visibility on the Web, Part 2

How to Raise Your Visibility on the Web, Part 2

We’ve talked about how getting your own domain name can give you immediate exposure on the Web in my previous article, for my friend who wants to use the Internet to find a job. It’s a first step, that provides the virtual equivalent of an online resume. Now, what’s the next best way to “get your name out there?”

2. Get on the major Social Networking Sites

They’re no longer considered “greasy kid stuff” and recruiters and employers are searching some of them. I’ll mention just two, to keep down the noise level, and the activity required to get value from them.

It’s the “buttoned down” version of social networking. It’s no-nonsense, professional, and has a relatively good signal to noise ratio. It’s been reported that most executives from Fortune 500 companies network here along with over 30 million other members. It works on the premise of “6 degrees of separation” — that through six levels of connections that you have in your network, you likely know someone who knows someone else… who knows Kevin Bacon, or that hiring manager at the company you’re interested in. You create a “profile” which is essentially an online resume, which features your distinctives and job history. This profile is found at www.linkedin.com/in/YourName. See mine by clicking the link above.

So, in my case for example, I have over 500 direct, or first-level connections, that ultimately connect me through their connections, to over 6.5 million professionals. You can recommend people you are connected to, and ask the same in return. Similarly, you can connect to organizations, companies you used to work for, or your old school — as a way of networking with people you know with the intention of connecting to people you’d like to know. LinkedIn has also added your company and industry news, notifications of who your contacts have connected with, and other more popular “social media” features that include suggestions of contacts and job postings you might be interested in. The “Q&A” feature allows you to ask questions of subject matter experts, or to offer answers from your own experience.

While not as robust as Facebook, LinkedIn also features “groups” that you can associate with, if the moderator of that group approves you, that include discussion threads. These appear as “badges” on your profile. They may be associated with your company, alumni associations, your industry, or your interests.

Very recently, LinkedIn has added an “application” platform to their stable of services, not unlike MySpace and Facebook before them. Initially they offered less than a dozen, but among them is the ability to add a feed from one’s blog or Twitter feed.

TIP: Fill out your LinkedIn profile as completely as possible, listing all past companies, schools, and associations. Then you’ll be notified of new members from those organizations, as they join LinkedIn. Also, LinkedIn offers job agents that look for job openings for you, based on filters you set up. Some job listing are only offered on LinkedIn, or appear on LinkedIn first.

Check out an excellent article on Mashable called How to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn.

Sure, it started at Harvard as a virtual whiteboard for student’s dorm room door, but it has evolved, and is now the fastest growing social network with 120 million members. And not just among college students. While the largest demographic is 18-24, the next largest group is not teens, but 25-35. And many articles on Business Week have discussed how the 35-and-over crowd is flocking to Facebook as an augmentation to their business networking.

For example, many companies and brands have “Groups” on Facebook. Some have a variety of different groups around special interests, products, and issues. Groups allow association, photo sharing, discussion threads, etc. But “Networks” are a bit different. You can join your company’s network if you have an email address like YourName@company.com. Similarly, you can join your school’s network if you have an email address like YourName@school.edu. Finally, you can join a network associated with your city or geography, if it is part of your profile’s address.

Facebook offers a very rich set of “applications” that permit everything from tie-ins with other services to various “tag-you’re-it” games. While some might be considered a bit adolescent, others are very useful in connecting to job opportunities. It is said that there are some 280,000 applications in use among all Facebook members.

TIP: Not only fill out your Facebook profile completely, listing schools and professional associations, but check out some of the applications for ways to connect to more people you know, or might like to know. Be careful of privacy settings for each application however, as some of them reveal parts of your profile that you may not be aware of when you turn them on.

Caveat 1: Though social networking is popular in the US, ironically, we lag in the usage of this kind of technology worldwide. The leader in this is Asia, with South Korea being one of the top users, in much the same way as it is with SMS or “text messaging” on mobile phones.

Caveat 2: The current Social Network Sites (SNS) are growing at different rates. While Friendster was popular years ago, it was eclipsed by MySpace. Though MySpace is still quite large, Facebook, at least in the US is growing faster. But these are all, for the most part, “walled gardens”. While there is some openness to their APIs, most of the social currency that one invests in the site remains with the site and is not portable to other sites. I expect that this will evolve until social networking becomes a “feature” of most Web 2.0 experiences.

Opportunity 1: Many people use several Social Networks to build out their “social graph”, how they’re interconnected with others. The two I’ve mentioned are by no means the only two, nor are they the most popular, but in terms of raising your visibility for employment by “getting your name out there,” they are perhaps the best available… for free. Other popular Social Networking sites include Flickr, YouTube, Orkut, Bebo, Hi5, Ning, Xing, BigTent… the list goes on.

Opportunity 2: As mobile devices evolve, these Social Networks become alternatives to older Web 1.0 technologies. For example, the iPhone has applications for both LinkedIn and Facebook that are sufficiently mature enough to be useful. LinkedIn becomes the professional address book and Facebook becomes the alternative to email and instant messaging chatting.

How will this raise your brand-name awareness? Increasingly, HR professionals, recruiters, and hiring managers are scouring all possible online resources to learn about potential employees. LinkedIn and Facebook are the two most popular locations for employers to find out about people, and vice-versa. Many employment consultants recommend maintaining a current LinkedIn profile.

Beyond the personal, major US online retailers are using Social Networking Sites to promote their brands.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

How to Raise Your Visibility on the Web

How to Raise Your Visibility on the Web

Recently, a friend of mine who is doing a job search asked me:

Bill… Petro… dot com, how did you come to get a .com after your name, and more importantly, how could potential employers find me more easily on the InterWeb?


And well he might ask. Aside from using your own private and personal networks to find employment opportunities… if you want to jumpstart your presence on the Web, here is a list of things you might do to increase your visibility, and enhance your brand appeal on the Web.

I’ll describe these in descending order, with the most impactful, and least time intensive first.

1. Get your own domain name

2. Get on the major Social Networking systems

3. Get deeper and wider to make your name more pervasive

First, let’s start with the easiest and most immediately impactful thing:

1. Get your own domain name

There’s nothing more powerful than having a “dot com” after your name. This was the first thing I did back in the mid ’90s and I called it then “the personalized license plate for the Internet.” There are several immediate benefits to this:

  • It’s easy to explain to people where to find you on the Internet. If they can remember your name, they can remember where you are.
  • Conversely, it’s a easy way for people to remember your name. When I introduce myself as “Bill Petro dot com” it’s novel and memorable. However, people have asked me if I’ve legally changed my name.
  • It increases likelihood of your name showing up on search engine hits.
  • You’ve now got the equivalent of an online resume!

This domain can be “hosted” by an number of companies, rather inexpensively, requiring only an additional annual registration fee to hold your name. Most hosting companies (Internet Service Providers) can handle both of these for you. On the Internet, names are “first come, first served” so act early and often. If YourName.com is not available, try some of the following:

  • Your-Name.com Not as good, but at least it’s a dot com.
  • YourName.net A popular alternative, though dot net is usually an ISP.
  • YourName.org Typically a non-profit name, but at least you get your name in lights.

Some register all the popular domain endings for their name. This is a good way to protect your name if you can afford it, and many big companies have done the same. But this is not the only way to leverage “YourName.” Will discuss more in my next article.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2008: a Veritable Verdant Venture (Green)

TIGVMWORLD 2008: A VERITABLE VERDANT VENTURE

“Green, that’s what it’s all about,” Larry says as he shows me the eco bag that TIG is handing out at the VMworld 2008 show. Many of the booths say “Green IT” right on their signs. Virtualization can contribute to Energy Efficient IT in a number of ways, not the least of which is consolidation and containment of servers, thus reducing power requirements, but also the associated savings in data center cooling.

From the initial registration for the conference, there has been an emphasis on Green. During the registration process, there is a discussion of transportation options to Las Vegas and their carbon footprint implications.

Upon arrival, the notebook that attendees received comes with a pen made from recycled cardboard and a wooden clip.

Timbuk2BagIn the VMware Store on premise, there is a Timpuk2 messenger bag for sale. It’s a special limited edition of 75, made from the recycled banners from last year’s VMworld 2007 in San Francisco, available in blue, black, orange and green. The beanies are made from recycled cotton, and the polo shirts from recycled polyester. No new polyesters need give their life to make a new polo shirt.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2008: Day 1 Keynote

Paul MaritzVMWORLD 2008: DAY 1 KEYNOTE

Following yesterday’s opening event, both the Technology Exchange and Partner Day, the conference started in earnest today with a keynote by Paul Maritz, VMware President and CEO.

Paul is quite an articulate speaker, sounding both like a savvy businessman and an erudite professor. For many, his accent is difficult to place, is it Australian, South African? Turns out he was born in Zimbabwe, next door to South Africa, but he went to school in Cape Town, South Africa. Someone remarked that he pronounces some words like Sean Connery. Paul did work at University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Sean Connery grew up in nearby Edinburgh, Scotland.

Back to the keynote, Paul amplified many of the concepts introduced and announced yesterday, specifically by drawing on the past to explain where VMware is going in the future. I found the history a good review of many of the events I’d witnessed in my own long career with computing, and a fascinating basis for describing where he sees the company going, as well as a foundation for the many announcements this week. How did he do this?

Two Models

He went back to the ’60s and ’70s (mainframes) and outlined the contrast between the Centralized vs. De-centralized models of computing. While he did not say so, the industry has swung between them several times over the last 30 years. He pointed out that we initially saw mainframes in the early days, and the proliferation of PCs in the ’80s. The early ’90s saw the rise of x86 Servers as well as the rise of the Client/Server model.

A Third Alternative

He quipped that it’s ironic that he is now profiting from his previous sins in promoting the Client/Server model, which got us into a world of hurt so that we now seek another path, the best of both the Centralized and the De-centralized models. The advent of the Web in the mid-’90s offered the promise of this. He paid tribute to the founders of VMware, who started the company ten years ago back in 1998.

VMware’s Initial Offerings

He described VMware’s early efforts with both VMware Workstation (on the client, or De-centralized side in 1999) as well as the early VMware Server (GSX, on the Centralized side in 2000.) He pointed out that many other companies are currently virtualizing on the Centralized (server) side, but reminded us that VMware has done both sides, but raised the bar in 2004 with the introduction of VMware Infrastructure, a higher level of abstraction than either Server or Client side virtualization.

Paul pointed out that the “Best of Both” on the Web is now more promising with a variety of new (Web 2.0) technologies like AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML), Ruby on Rails, and Python. 2007 saw the launch of VMware’s Fusion, virtualization of Windows on the Macintosh and the popularity of Cloud computing.

It’s The Platform

At this point, I reflected that during my career I’d seen software engineers write to whatever the leading “platform” was at the time. In the ’80s it was Unix, and particularly SunOS (Solaris). The virtuous cycle had the platform supporting applications that led to more volume… which made the platform more viable. With the rise in popularity of Windows, it became the platform of choice. In the mid-’90s it was Java, with the promise of “Write Once, Run Anywhere” across a variety of devices. But last year, it became clear to me, especially following VMworld 2007 in San Francisco, that VMware was becoming the “platform”. Both the Press and the Analysts “got it,” and Wall Street saw a huge jump in VMware’s stock price following the ESXi announcement and others.

The New Platform

VDC-OS So, what’s the new “platform”? Paul explained the Virtual Datacenter OS, or VDC-OS. It is a way to support a variety of current popular “platforms” line .Net, Windows, Linux, Java, Software As A Service… with Application vServices that provide Availability, Security, and Scalability. This rests upon Infrastructure vServices called vCompute, vStorage, and vNetwork… as well as Cloud vServices. These in turn live on either the On-premise cloud, or an Off-premise Cloud (for additional resources.) Meanwhile, all of this can be managed by vCenter (the rebranded Virtual Center management framework) which handles both Application Management at the top end and Infrastructure Management at the backend.

To this end, many announcements fit into this new, higher level of abstraction. Once again, VMware raises the bar.

Thanks for coming along,

BillPetro.com