Partner Exchange 2011 – Day 3

Partner Exchange this year had 3300 attendees (up from about 2800 last year).

Keynote on Wednesday started straight in with Paul Maritz, where he announced the Partner ecosystem account for $45 billion of revenue.  The big message this year is that when migrating to a cloud architecture, it’s important to support existing inefficient apps (crapplications as EMC’s Chad Sakacc terms it), but also creating applications that are built for the cloud.  He stated that Software as a Service is sneaking into corporate environments “into the environment in spite of IT, not because of IT,” similar to the way PCs did in the 1980s, which is clearly a call to get in front of customers to discuss a corporate approach to cloud computing.

After Maritz’s short speech “Professional summarizer” and “Chief Comedy Officer” for a day, Dale Irwin, came on stage.  He provided a very engaging and entertaining break to the typical executive speeches.  My favorite joke from his first “summary” was that there are now “more smartphones than smart people.”

Next on stage is Raghu Raghuram, Senior VP and General Manager, Virtualization and Cloud Platforms.  Though not the most engaging speaker, he shared a lot of great facts and a good vision.  Here are a few of the highlights for me:

  • Several new partner competencies, including virtualizing business critical apps
  • IT Executives are reporting that IT Management is the #4 priority for 2011, while business intelligence is the #5 priority
  • Requirements for private cloud
  • Customer facing
    • Ubiquitous access
    • Pay by consumption
    • Selfservice
    • Service catalog
  • IT facing
    • Secure multi-ten
    • SLA
    • Management automation
    • Elasticity
    • Pooling
    • Abstraction
  • vCloud Director, released in late 2010, has had the fastest unit growth of any VMware initial release, which he feels clearly proves the popularity of the cloud

In an interesting departure from their usual keynote approach, Steve Herrod was brought on stage as a guest, rather than as the main speaker.  He announced and showed the following products:

  • vCenter Operations Standard, which will provide management and monitoring by learning what is “normal” from day to day.  It looks like a very good interface for monitoring your VM environment, but clearly competes with several ecosystem partners.
  • vCloud Director demo (both IT and customer views)
  • vCloud Connector, available this week, provides the connectivity for migrations between the public and private cloud.

Next, Tod Nielsen, VMware’s President, Application Platform, described their vision for applications within the cloud:

  • Similar cloud push from customers for applications and application development as is being seen for the infrastructure
  • VMware currently has no less than 15 SaaS applications (SalesForce, Google Apps, etc.), all of which had little to no input from the CEO.
  • App infrastructure is a $10+ billion market
  • Four pillars of PaaS
    • Curated and integrated software stack
    • Managed and updated stack
    • Engineered for scalability
    • Developer Productivity (this is what it’s all about)
  • VMware Cloud application platforms:
    • Multi framework/language
    • Multi cloud (public, private, hybrid)
    • Run best on vSphere
  • 2.5 million developers are using the Spring framework

One really interesting product within the vFabric family discussed was Gemfire.  This product will virtualize data across different sources (i.e. databases, file systems) and provide continuous availability of this data.

Steve Herrod actually joined in the joking by describing his dog as “Not prietty, yips a lot, no bite…I named him Hyper-V”

Chris Young, the Vice President and General Manager, End-User Computing finished up the morning keynote by discussing desktops.  One chat he used was based on a question asked of CIOs: “Who will be your desktop vendor in 2010” The responses indicate that 54% chose Citrix, and 73% chose VMware.  Project Horizon should finally show up in 2011, providing SSO for SaaS and automated provisioning for new users. This will be presented as an “app Store for the Enterprise” and will provide license tracking and optimization.  He also officially announced the creation of a new certification path, consisting of three new certifications: VCA-DT, VCP-DT, and VCAP-DT.

I did make it to one session this day.  The topic was futures for business continuity.  Since the topics were all futures, I can’t share any details, but I will say there are some cool new features in the next release of SRM that will interest many of my customers, especially the smaller ones.

The rest of the day was spent in meetings with some of my company’s vendors.  There was also a bit of marketing completed for the VMUnderground WUPaaS party at VMWorld.