Day 3 is my last day at VMworld 2009. This day went really well but somehow, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed when compared to previous VMworlds, but more on that later.
First, there was Stephen Herrod’s keynote today. Certainly, Stephen is a great speaker and it was interesting than the previous keynote. Still, it had the same issues as Paul’s keynote, which is that much of the content was shown before or not really new. They talked about PCoIP, with the Teradici protocol in software (at least they actually showed the software this time). However, much of what they showed in relation to desktops, View, and employee-owned IT has been done by Citrix before, some of it years ago. It might be cast as new, with a new name or term, but the basic concepts and end user results are already there with Citrix and even with the new Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2.
Then we saw the big mobile demo. There was a tweet a couple days back, hinting at a big deal between VMware and a phone company. Didn’t happen. It was very disappointing. They showed a Visa app, running on Android, on top of Windows CE. Cool concept but showing Android running on a old, Windows CE build is not that neat. Where was Windows Mobile 6, Blackberry, or iPhone? Sure they support ARM but what about next gen chips like the nVidia Tegra or Qualcomm SnapDragon? Also, what was up with that phone. At first, I thought it was a toy. It was the size of a netbook. If you have a full size tablet stylus for a “phone” demo, something isn’t right.
Next, there was a big discussion of how long VMware has had VMotion (6 years), all these stats, how mature it is (we get the message, you’ve had it while). I think the big question is why, after 6 years, is VMotion still tied to HW only. They showed off “future” integrated with Disk IO. We can do all that and more, with the PRO feature of VMM. At MMS 2009, we showed physical hardware failures and CPU power usage driving Live Migrations. With our inbox and partner solutions, we can do Live Migrations based on HBA congestion, application parameters, and even service level monitoring.
That’s the key to really using Live Migration/VMotion. VMware can talk all day about app level insight and what they will have in the future. We’ve been doing that for longer than VMware has had VMotion and we’ve already linked it to Live Migration, something they aren’t even talking about.
I did go to the open Q&A with Paul Maritz and company. Someone asked the question about the restrictions on Microsoft and Citrix. Tod Nielsen responded that while it was perceived that VMworld was an industry event, it really never was. He said it really is a show about VMware and they can set the rules of what people can see. It was a really fair, reasonable response. I just wished they would have cleared up that “mis-perception” months back, so everyone was on the same page.
This all relates to my final point, which was really my first point, on being a little disappointed in the show. This is my first VMworld as an attendee. I was always a speaker. Going to actual sessions, I really never actually saw a demo. Most of my sessions were people reading Powerpoint slides to me. I even had one session where the demo was a very long video and the speaker just narrated the video. Often, when an important point came up, the speaker would say “I don’t want to go into details” and I wanted to scream “Please, I want more details”. There was just too much sales pitch, not enough actual technical information. I know this wasn’t all sessions but it was for me.
And this leads to my biggest disappointment. In the past, when we were sponsors, Microsoft would get a session to present the Microsoft story. it’s always been VERY well attended. What was really great about it was most of the audience were not familiar with Microsoft Virtualization and they got a great starter on our products. We could then follow-up one on one to answer questions. This year, we had to the first level conversation in the booth only. Then, you add on that there are comparison sessions without equivalent sessions from the competitors. All in all, I really think it really makes it hard for customers to really learn about everyone’s products and how they compare for themselves.
My question to everyone is did you miss not having a Microsoft or Citrix session? Would having a session help you learn more about Microsoft Virtualization? If we can’t do a session at VMworld 2010, where would you want to see a session on Microsoft Virtualization? A Microsoft show? A Citrix show? A new, independent show?
Let me know by comments here and by my twitter (@edwinyuen). I also want to thank all the hundreds of new followers on twitter. I appreciate your time and good luck on winning the ZuneHD. I wish I could win it myself. Have a great show and keep following me on this Blog and Twitter. I promise to keep it informative even after VMworld.