Live from VMworld Europe 2008: Day 1

Posted by Staff   |   Tuesday, February 26th, 2008   |  

As announced, is here at VMworld Europe 2008 in Cannes to live blog during the opening keynotes for the first two days.

Diane Greene, VMware Founder and CEO, is on stage.

She starts introducing the virtualization phenomenon, the VMware historm, results and technology evolution, along with some major customers case studies (today the company has more than 100,000 customers worldwide).

To further validate the customers portfolio, Greene calls on stage one of the biggest case study: British Telecom.
BT deployed VMware technology over 11 datacenters (+900 platforms) worldwide and it’s using it to re-provision workloads across the globe, to delivery virtual desktops to travelling users, to achieve automated disaster recovery.

The approach taken so far seems to assume that the European audience is pretty new to virtualization and still needs basic evangelization.

Greene is back on stage.

She reveal a reliability record achieved by one customer: no reboot for ESX Server since 1461 days.

She now moves to the green hype, describing how Europe has a chance to go greener with VMware.

And finally she (briefly) mentions the four products announced and re-announced yesterday: Lab Manager, Stage Manager, Lifecycle Manager and Site Recovery Manager.

No details or demos are provided about them. Diane Greene prefers to move on and call IBM on stage, describing a performance record achieved with ESX Server 3.5, IBM System x3850 M2 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007.

Two things are very ironic about this part of the presentation: the first is that Exchange Server 2007 is not yet officially supported on any virtualization platform by Microsoft (and nobody is mentioning this), the second one is that VMware and IBM are talking about virtualizing a Microsoft product and there’s no sign of Microsoft involvement anywhere.

IBM also announces that the new VMware ESX Server 3i is supported and embedded in the BladeCenter HS21.

Greene is back but just to call HP on stage.

HP describes the synergy between VMware VirtualCenter and HP Insight Control management solution (like IBM also HP pushes blads on screen). A DL 380 G5 with ESX Server 3i, managed by the two products, is demoed.

Could VMware invite IBM and HP on stage without also calling Dell (which is also one of the earliest VMware investors)? Obviously not, so Dell comes on stage as well.

(at this point the keynote turned into a major showroom for the biggest OEMs)

Dell announces full support for ESX Server on every server that VMware HCL currently supports (including blade systems). But the biggest point is that Dell now allows customers to download and buy ESX Server directly online (the VMware Sales Channel will not answer well on this).

Diane Greene is back on stage for the last part of the keynote.

She now pushes for the VDI initiative and introduces a new feature: the Scalale Virtual Image technology.

A demo is provided: VirtualCenter GUI now includes a Scalable Image Management console which is able to creates tents of virtual machines in seconds using the well-known linked clones technology that VMware already offers in Workstation 6.0.

Specifically, Greene shows how patching the master image implies that each single linked clone copy inherits the last patches without any additional effort.

Greene closes talking about the just acquired Thinstall technology. This is the very first time that VMware pushes on stage the application virtualization technology they just adopted.

A final demo showing a virtualized version of Microsoft Visio running from a USB key ends her keynote.

That’s all for today. Tomorrow’s keynote will be delivered by Mendel Rosenblum, VMware Chief Scientist, and will likely cover some new technology enhancements coming from the company.

Update: VMware published the recorded videos for this keynote. Watch it here.

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