VMworld 2011: Recap Day 2

6a0128779ad48c970c0153912ecb8e970bAnd the hits just keep on coming from VMworld.

Day two kicked off with Steve Herrod’s keynote, and he introduced a couple new VMware projects.  Appblast, which allows you to start a Windows App on any HTML 5 client, ThinApp Factory, which scans your local device and lets you ThinApp the applications that can work with Horizon (and the demoed Horizon mobile) and Project Octopus which looks to be a VMware integrated “dropbox-like” service for the enterprise.  All of the demos were well done, and you can see VMware pushing ahead in their “post-PC” agenda with each one.

There were also a number of “technology previews” that were done during the day that really interested me.

  1. Expanded “Project Lightning” Demo: At EMC World, we were introduced to this project, with the idea that sometimes it’s beneficial to get the VM workload as close to the compute resources as possible.  There are a couple startups out there that are doing more or less the same thing, and so this part of the concept was pretty straightforward: put a PCIe-based flash card in the servers, “enable” it in vSphere, and then vMotion the workload to the card.  Simple.  The other side of that coin, when it’s beneficial to move the workload closer to the storage was demoed yesterday, showing how you can move a workload closer to the storage in order to alleviate I/O or latency bottlenecks.I want to be clear when I say this, because I’m not sure that a lot of people understand the implications: We saw vSphere running on an Isilon node.  We saw the complete merging of the hypervisor and the storage array, and since almost every EMC storage array also runs on Intel processors, it’s not hard to start connecting the dots there.  I may be wrong, but I’m not sure that there’s any other enterprise storage vendor out there who’s tried this and shown it publically.  Think about the implications there…
  2. Our first ever look at “Avamar vCloud Protector” in public.  This really makes my Service Provider brain go a little crazy, so expect to see a blog post strictly about this preview.  Finally, a completely integrated, vCD-enabled, customer facing portal that allows for data protection classes-of-service, self-service backups AND restores using the only product on the market that can do change block tracking (CBT) at the native vSphere block size for both backups and restores.  Very exciting for all of the service providers who are struggling to make a legacy backup platform work in a cloud services environment!
  3. vShield5 and RSA integration being shown, demoed and talked about.  This is another place where the work between EMC and VMware is really paying dividends for the customers.  Part of the reason I’m excited about this is going to be how it plays into the new VSPP licensing model.  Since service providers are getting the full  version of vShield Edge for free as part of the program, they have a very, very short financial runway to travel in order to add the RSA DLP functionality.  This is something that Cisco needs to be paying very close attention to, since their version of the vShield Edge appliance (the virtual ASA firewall) is still a good ways out on the roadmap.  If VMware can seed the SPs with vShield Edge and then start rolling both compliance and multi-site functionality into it, Cisco may lose the war before they ever join the battle.  I don’t care how much more functionality you have, service providers typically won’t say no to free provided the product meets the needs of the customer.

6a0128779ad48c970c014e8b228753970dThe night ended with the EMC Customer Appreciation Party at the Surrender nightclub over at the Wynn hotel.  Holy cow, what an event.  My hat is off to Chad Sakac and his team for putting together an incredible way to say “thank you” to customers and partners.

Two days down.  Two more to go.  Red Bull to the rescue!