Product Announcements

Blast From The Past: Where We’ve Come From

(To mark the end of the year we are posting every day through January 1 with lighter vSphere and VMware topics. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. See them all via the “2019 Wrap Up” tag!)

We’ve made it! By the time this blog post goes live it will be 2020 in some parts of the world (Samoa!). In fact, at 8 hours behind GMT, VMware headquarters in Palo Alto, California, USA will be among the last of the world to get to 2020 (Alaska is 9 hours behind, and Hawaii and the Aleutian Islands are 10). Frankly, I hope to be asleep by the time it happens, saving my energy to watch the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers beatplay the University of Oregon Ducks in American College Football later on New Year’s Day. I hope your New Year’s Days are relaxing and interesting, too.

Windows 7/2008 LogoDepending on how you define a decade this is the end of the 2010s and the start of the 2020s. In writing this end-of-2019 series I’ve dug up a lot of old photos and screen captures, logos, and even boxes for the products. It’s pretty interesting to see where we started the decade. For example, at the start of the decade Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 were the new hotness for desktop and servers. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 was released in 2010, too, as was Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (the Lucid Lynx!).

vSphere Original LogoNone of these new guest operating systems were a problem for the newly-minted vSphere 4, released in the summer of 2009 and followed up by vSphere 4.1 in August of 2010. ESX (no ‘i’ — ESXi didn’t appear until 2011 and didn’t reach feature parity until vSphere 5). Not a VMUG has gone by this year where we haven’t heard from someone still running vSphere 4.1. While we absolutely encourage folks to stay current with patches and updates it’s also both a blessing and a curse that it’s still working for some. Imagine how old that hardware must be, though!

Dell PowerEdge R710Speaking of hardware, our partners at Dell unveiled their 11th Generation servers in 2010. Those were the venerable PowerEdge R610s, R710s, and so on. HP was still HP (they split into HPE and HP, Inc. in 2014) and they were shipping the G7 line of servers. IBM was selling the System x systems, prior to selling their x86 server line to Lenovo in 2014. Hard disks were predominantly 3.5″ in size, and SSDs were in their commercial infancy, still gaining reliability and performance. The fanciest CPU you could get in your new server was an Intel Xeon X7560, with 8 cores running at 2.27 GHz and 24 MB of L3 cache. The biggest DIMMs available were 32 GB, so while you could put 384 GB of RAM in those machines, the memory architecture caused the RAM to run at 800 MHz if you filled all 18 DIMM sockets. The price and performance sweet spot was twelve 8 GB DIMMs for 96 GB of RAM, running at the maximum 1333 MHz.

Original VMware LogoVMware has a great timeline of the company history, and it shows that 2010 was the year that the VMware Foundation began operating (see our post from two weeks ago on charitable giving at VMware!). We’ve also acquired 46 companies over the last 10 years, sneaking in the completion of the Pivotal acquisition yesterday so we can start the new decade as one. These companies bring amazing talent and technology to be integrated with in-house innovations, creating award-winning and industry-leading products like AirWatch, NSX, BitFusion, Kubernetes & Project Pacific, VeloCloud, and more. We’ve also been acquired and merged, too, with EMC and Dell Technologies. Interesting times, and throughout we’ve remained committed to our massive partner ecosystem, letting customers have the freedom to choose their own hardware and software and system designs as they see fit.

We couldn’t do any of this without our customers, though. Customers and our community inspire us, give us something to work towards, and provide us with feedback both positive and constructive, which we appreciate very deeply. Thank you, very much. Everyone on the vSphere Team enjoys talking with customers at VMworld, at VMUGs, and at other gatherings like roundtables and such. If you need anything please help us help you — please reach out. Thank you!

(Come back next year — HA! — for an SEC-approved look at what the future holds for vSphere! For more posts in this series visit the “2019 Wrap Up” tag.)

Follow @VMwarevSphere on Twitter