Beyond Virtualization: VMworld 2015 Was Not Your Typical Tradeshow
As the U.S. VMworld 2015 recedes into our rear view mirror and we gear up for Barcelona next month, you might be wondering if a large trade show like this is worth attending. After my experience in San Francisco earlier this month, my answer with a resounding yes, and here’s why…
VMware proved it’s still relevant, still leading innovation
With major players like Amazon, Azure, Google, Docker, OpenStack, and other innovators entering the market, some might wonder whether VMware is still relevant. The answer, as nearly 23,0000 attendees, plus another 50,000 streaming views found, is a resounding YES. VMWare executives’ keynotes (all of which are available for replay), demonstrated their ongoing innovation and cemented the company’s position as a leader in enterprise technology.
VMware announced Project A2, a combination of AirWatch and Horizon, and support for Windows 10. We saw Microsoft’s Jim Alcove on stage with SanJay Poonen of VMware – a sight I’ll bet no one expected at VMworld!
VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger gave a visionary presentation, talking about where we have been, how we got here and what the imperatives for digital business are today – the strategic “must-dos” for business and IT leaders.
VMware executive keynotes also included:
- Carl Eschenbach, VMware chief operating officer, shared VMware’s plans to allow any IT Pro to be able to run, build, deliver, and secure any application on any device, leveraging a unified hybrid cloud.
- Bill Fathers, VMware executive vice president and general manager of cloud services announcing VMware’s new disaster recovery and SQL cloud services
- Raghu Raghuram, executive vice president and general manager of VMware’s Software Defined Datacenter Division introduced hybrid applications – applications that span local enterprise datacenter and cloud datacenter.
- Yanbing Li, VMware vice president and general manager of storage and availability demonstrated live workload migration using cross-cloud vMotion and content sync between an on-premises vSphere infrastructure and vCloud Air – the first such public demonstration in history (and it was really awesome to be there, in case you were wondering).
- Kit Colbert, VMware vice president and chief technology office of Cloud-Native Apps talked about VMware’s Photon Platform, a new VMware lightweight Linux operating system optimized for cloud-native applications
VMworld isn’t just a “virtualization conference”
As the conference agenda made clear, VMworld has gone far beyond virtualization. It’s truly an enterprise technology conference with compute virtualization as the core technology, all about improving efficiency in the enterprise with smart software. This can be done with software-defined compute (server virtualization), software-defined storage (hyperconvergence), software-defined networking (SDN), private cloud, public cloud, and much more.
The underlying theme of improving efficiency by using smart software reminded me of the famous Marc Andreessen post “Why Software is Eating the World (regardless if you’re talking enterprise or cloud innovation).
Rackspace experts spoke on driving success in the cloud, DevOps for VMware, moving on-premise workloads to the cloud and more. The recordings of these sessions and others will be available in a few weeks. We’ll update this blog post with those links when they are available.
VMworld serves as a massive tech community event
Yes, there are VMware employees delivering the latest and greatest VMware knowledge, but VMware isn’t your typical tradeshow — perhaps just as important were all the community leaders teaching and networking as well.
- vBrownbag TechTalks – sponsored by Rackspace, TechTalks started off as an alternate venue for speakers who had great presentations but didn’t fit on the already packed agenda. This year saw more than 50 — and they’re all on YouTube. I thought a couple of the best were from Rackers Michael Rice, Stop Testing Scripts in Production, and Luke Huckaba, A Distilled Site Recovery Manager TechTalk. (Note: the vBrownbag concept and associated com were started by Racker Cody Bunch.)
- Opening Acts – hosted by the VMunderground and vBrownbag groups, a series of vendor-neutral, unbiased panel discussions covering the latest in enterprise technology. They’re also on YouTube.
- VMunderground – a community gathering / party started many years ago as an alternative to vendor parties, saw more than 1,000+ attendees this year.
VMware and Rackspace teamed up to create a new interoperable OpenStack cloud platform
Unveiled at VMworld, you can read more about it on VMware’s OpenStack blog and in SiliconAngle. The partnership means if you develop applications that talk to OpenStack using an API, those applications will be compatible with the Rackspace Private Cloud and VMware’s Integrated OpenStack, no matter which OpenStack your applications talk to. VMware and Rackspace will work together in the background to ensure that this compatibility continues.
We also announced that we joined the AirVM Service Provider program, which will allow Rackspace to use the AirVM AisSembly software to deliver cloud services to Rackspace customers faster and more efficiently. Learn more about the benefits of AirSembly software here.
We also spent time at the conference educating VMware admins, datacenter managers, and CIOs about the variety of VMware-related services offered by Rackspace:
- Dedicated VMware vCenter
- VMware-Powered Server Virtualization
- Rackspace Private Cloud Powered by VMware vCloud
Have questions about VMware? Call us today at (800) 961-2888. Want to learn more about Rackspace Managed VMware solutions? Visit www.rackspace.com/vmware.
Next year, VMworld 2016 will be in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center.
See you there!