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Live from VMworld: Short on New, Long on Vision

(Blogging from San Francisco) Big announcements were in short supply at this morning's keynote session at VMworld in San Francisco. Instead, CEO Paul Maritz laid out a roadmap discussing the evolution of virtualization, and peeked into a cloudy future.

Maritz, whose coming-out party was at last year's watershed VMworld show in Las Vegas, spent the first part of his presentation discussing the functionality of vSphere -- much like he did last year.

The past, present and future of virtualization was part of a mosaic Maritz described as the "Virtualization Journey." It starts with vSphere, the underlying infrastructure; continues with vCenter, the management product; moves to vCloud, which is concerned with both internal and external clouds, and bridging them; and ends with VMware View, the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) product that Maritz envisions as a technology that presents a user's desktop environment on any endpoint device, whether a thin client, laptop, cellphone and so on.

Maritz then spent a lot of time discussing the SpringSource acquisition, and how it will fold into the overall cloud services strategy.

Overall, the keynote was as anticlimactic as any I've heard. The only product announcement was vCloud Express, a service offering more for non-enterprise businesses that need an economical and speedy way to add cloud abilities to limited datacenter.

Perhaps that should be expected, though, since all the big announcements -- vSphere, SpringSource, etc. -- were made weeks, months and up to a year ago. It's never a good sign for a keynote when the speaker spends a half hour reviewing the announcements that were made at the same conference a year ago.

The high point of the keynote wasn't even given by Maritz. COO Tod Nielson opened the festivities with a short presentation at which he noted that VMware is in 96 percent of the Fortune 1000. VMware's effort got that percentage up to 97. Neilson got a big laugh from the crowd when he listed the names of every company in that category that did not yet have VMware installed.

Posted by Keith Ward on 09/01/2009 at 1:23 PM


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