VMworld Europe 2009 wrap-up

vmware logo

No matter if the stage is in US or in Europe, the new VMware CEO Paul Maritz has the same message for his audience: VMware believes in cloud computing and believes that its virtualization technology is the only way to go there.
So if you already read the VMworld 2008 wrap-up that virtualization.info published at the end of September, you already know pretty much everything.

Anyway, compared to his US keynote, the European version of VMware message sounded a little more concrete, articulated and aggressive.
Paul Maritz already spent six months at VMware and seems now ready to take some risks:

Like for VMworld 2008, the second day keynote, performed by the always great Dr. Stephen Herrod (CTO and SVP of R&D), reaffirmed the omnidirectional expansion of VMware.
During his keynote Herrod mentioned almost every new product that will come with vSphere 4.0.
The one-hour long overview painted the company bigger than ever, ready to slam its competitors with a massive product portfolio.
Inside the corporate data center or across solution provider clouds, on mobile phones or business laptops, this company wants to be there.
And it’s doing everything possible to provide all the tools that a customer may ever need so that he doesn’t desire to go back to the physical world.
Because of this, the overall impression is that VMware is a juggernaut that will morph, sooner or later, into the fifth biggest infrastructure management company.

As expected, nobody discussed the EMC/VMware/Cisco merge that is so much rumored.
If Cisco has something to announce, it wants the biggest stage it can have.

Another topic that VMware continues to not discuss is its interest for the SMB market.
When the company executives discuss, for instance, about long-distance VMotion as an area where VMware is actively researching, it seems pretty clear where the focus is.
And of course this major hole in the VMware strategy allowed customers and partners to fervently discuss the announcement of XenServer for free.
Citrix may give away its enterprise-class hypervisor with VMs live migration, resource pools and more, but most customers are waiting for a rich ecosystem around it.
And the partners are carefully evaluating what to do: on one side VMware continues to eat its partners (the just announced vCenter Server Heartbeat is a good example), on the other side if Citrix is really going to increase its market share with this move it may open new profit opportunities that cannot be passed.

A last, interesting thing to note is how many stealth startups were present at the conference: the economy may be awful, the venture capitalists may be more cautious than ever, but the virtualization industry continues to be the most prolific segment of the IT these days.
In the next months a new wave of companies will come out, cooperating and competing with VMware.

If you missed VMworld Europe you may want to see the tens of videos that are available online here: