VMworld 2014: Two Days In and Much to Think About

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I love VMworld. At other conferences like CiscoLive, EMCworld, TechEd, etc., you tend to see a more narrow focus on the target market of the parent companies of those conferences. VMworld is like the Switzerland of tech: everyone is here. In my opinion that makes it the most important conference to attend for folks focused on virtualization, not just for the technology, but for the people you meet and breadth of ideas you get exposed to.

vmworld_pillarSo far, there’s no shortage of ponder-worthy moments this year at VMworld, and they fall under a few broad categorizations:

Nature’s Wrath

Kicking off on a more serious note, early attendees got more excitement than they bargained for when a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck at 3:30 a.m. Sunday. Fortunately, there wasn’t any serious damage in San Francisco, but Napa was hit hard and declared a local emergency with over 70 folks injured and many gas leaks reported. Our thoughts are with those affected.

Acquisitions

Being a fan of desktop virtualization, the first thing I got excited about was the acquisition of CloudVolumes by VMware late last week. VDI tends to be a complicated nut to crack, so to get started a lot of customers will deploy full desktops and give users admin access to ease the transition. While less complicated than designing a floating pool architecture, it has many drawbacks. To compound issues, VMware has not had a super solid profile management solution to date to enable mass adoption of floating pools. CloudVolumes gives VMware a future product integration with Horizon that will make designing and implementing a proper stateless desktop solution much less of a heavy lift. I’m also looking forward to see how they plan to offer Mirage along with CloudVolumes.

Then there’s the other kind of acquisition. That is, attendees acquiring any manner of goodies from everyone present at VMworld. Stop by booth #1629 and you’ll find yourself the owner of a generously comfy new pair of “Control Freak” socks, and potentially a camera-enabled drone. For the drone, we’re doing daily drawings 15 minutes before the expo closes, and you must be present to win, so get to the booth!

Awesome Talks

I was completely blown away by session TEX1492 IO Filters: Adding Data Services to ESXi, given by Alex Jauch (@AJauch). This hugely informative (and technical!) session centered on the new vSphere APIs for IO Filtering (VAIO) in vSphere 6, which creates an IO filtering framework allowing customer-provided filters to process a VM’s IO to its VMDKs. This has deep implication for providers who would have looked to write kernel mode drivers to implement things like distributed caching layers or data services. Check out my full notes from the session if you want more information.

Events

thirstybearparty.jpgHere’s one for the books, and if you weren’t there, one worthy of a mark on your 2015 calendar: The Annual Craft Beer Tasting Party by SolidFire drew over 500 people Monday night, and was a total blast.

Announcements

Such as our very own! Bright and early this morning, SolidFire announced a second Agile Infrastructure solution: SolidFire AI for Virtualized Infrastructure. Through a pre-validated design, the SolidFire AI solution for VMware speeds deployment of the Next Generation Data Center, accelerating the path to an IT-as-a-Service environment. By maximizing inherent architectural functionality to provide scalability, consolidation and automation, enterprises can easily and efficiently accommodate the demands of mixed workloads from a single storage platform.

… And More Announcements

Other notables include:

That’s it for now. Check back soon!

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Posted in Agile Infrastructure, Events, VMware.