VMworld2006

Another take on Partner Day

Bob Roudebush of Double-Take posted his somewhat contrarian take on the Partner Day keynote.  I think what Bob is not taking into account is that VMware’s customers are the ones bringing us the new use cases. VDI started that way over the last year or two, and now the interest is everywhere — people are implementing virtual desktops today. It’s not really a new concept really, just a better technology platform for when the power of a full desktop, stored centrally, is needed.

Virtualization is going to grow even more in the future as
it is at some point going to be the only reasonable way to take
advantage of the performance advancements in hardware. No single
workload will be able to take advantage of the multi-core units we will
see in the next 5 years.

Karthik made the case that certain
services like availability, resource mangaement, data protection,
security, etc. can run in an OS-netural way was a VM or as part of the
hypervisor. And, in some cases, I agree this is probably an appropriate
approach. The examples he gave for these types of solutions all were
VMware-centric things like VMware HA and Consolidated Backup. This
tells me that there is some room for a partner to come in and start
delivering solutions like this to round out the story for VMware.

Lastly,
a large amount of time was devoted to new use cases. Maybe I’m a
skeptic but my opinion is that the existing use cases of consolidaiton,
dev/test and disaster recovery haven’t been exploited to their full
potential yet. And new use cases such as Remote Management Services and
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure are a bit of a stretch right now.

Comments

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  1. “Contrarian” might be a bit strong. My view of the new use cases for virtualization was less negative in its nature and really more an expression of a healthy dose of skepticism.
    If I were marketing virtualization solutions at VMware, my concern would be that, while these solutions are definitely possible, they are not complete enough to gain traction and would therefore dilute the core messages of consolidation, dev/text and DR.
    I still talk to many customers who have not adopted virtualization within their environment and are trying to figure out whether the technology is ready for them to implement. Desktop virtualization and hosted resource management, while interesting, aren’t complete solutions today. Partners are starting to deliver the pieces needed to round things out – i.e, USB device redirection, thin client hardware, connection brokers, etc. But piecing together multiple, seperate technologies to complete a whole product is not something the mainstream market is interested in.
    My point was simply that it would be a shame if someone’s first impression of the maturity and utility of virtualization came from a look at VDI rather than the tangible benefits and solution completeness that Virtual Infrastructure provides for data center workloads.

  2. I have to agree with Bob here. Things like USB device redirection, client-side printing, and connection brokering are big items that many people appear to be concerned over. This is not to say that VDI is not an impressive solution–it is an impressive solution. It just has some maturing to do yet before it will really take off in the mainstream. At least, that’s my opinion, for what it’s worth.

  3. I don’t disagree with either of you — I think VMware approached the keynotes, both at Partner Day and at the main conference, less as an everyday marketing mesage than as a strategic look forward and how VMware is going to continue to innovate for our customers. Inspiring the already-converted, as it were.
    In our mainstream, daily marketing materials, we still talk a lot about server consolidation, business continuity, and the like. (At the show, I talked to folks implementing VDI today, and very happy about it, so while it may be early days, it’s very real!)

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