vmware

VMworld 2012

VMworld 2012

I’ve just returned from VMware’s VMWorld 2012 and had a great time. Some extremely interesting announcements from the General Sessions.

Nicira

Obviously, the acquisition of Nicira is very interesting. There was some virtual pearl-clutching going on during the session by Cisco in my opinion. Nicira isn’t going to impact Cisco this year, but the following years might be of significant concern. While many feel networks cannot be fully virtualized I would disagree. The virtualization of networks will allow more appliances that can connect directly to circuits and internally provide storage, network, compute and other resources that I can’t list just yet. This is just my opinion but if I was a betting man, which I am not, I would certainly believe that software networks will have a much greater impact going forward. VMware certainly hopes so, having just spend a lot of money on this company.

Obviously I’m not the only one who feels this way

Mirage
 
Most talks were suspiciously silent on VMware View, the desktop virtualization product. However, Mirage (Wanova) was recently bought and some slides listed View / Mirage. Mirage is a product that has some great features. In a nutshell, it syncs a laptop or desktop back to the datacenter allowing restores and the ability to layer personalization and apply it to a different OS (upgrading to Windows 7 from XP). In fact, the upgrade was discussed and shown by Vittorio who then proceeded to break his Lenovo and show how restores could be accomplished.
Here’s the real issue with this though, applications are the issue with Windows XP upgrades and that point seems to be a bit lost. Sure, if we just used web apps and Office upgrading to Windows 7 is simple and Wanova (I mean Mirage) would be perfect (I’m ignoring the cost completely). However, one critical app is all it takes for an upgrade to be impractical. I know companies who put off installing service pack 1, 2 or 3 for XP (within the last 3 years!) because of app compatibility issues (or at least that’s what was claimed!). Mirage seems like a great product but don’t kid yourself, a Windows 7 upgrade to XP requires a good look at your applications. You could look at some software like Lakeside to do this and I would heavily recommend it.
vCloud
 
Of course we’re going to here about the internet, I mean cloud, in any conference today. vCloud Suite is a great idea to encourage users of Enterprise Plus to do more with it. From experience, I can certainly tell you that many users of Enterprise Plus do not use any advanced features on it (or maybe one). vCloud upgrades are great and I’m eager to see the integration of Orchestrator, Director and the new DynamicOps included.
Horizon
 
Horizon was announced as a platform for tying all applications together including XenApp. That was good to hear although saying Citrix felt as if you were saying “bomb” in an airport at this thing. One guy was all over Twitter just for wearing a Citrix backpack (there were a few of them). I like both but left my Citrix backpack at home…but I digress…
Horizon is eerily similar to CloudGateway Enterprise (Citrix). And both are fantastic products. I’m not going to get into all the details right now but I would recommend taking a look at them both. Both are designed to manage your credentials for SaaS applications, such as Salesforce.com. So you could terminate an employee and remove access through AD and in turn, when you hire one, the account is provisioned automatically. Although SAML has been around, I think people are still wowed by this stuff as they are by adding the word “cloud” to a product (which is really a must now if you think about it!).
vSphere
 
vSphere is adopting a new web interface and it’s long overdue. Also there was talk of the appliance being more stable although the scalability numbers were a bit short on detail. vRAM entitlements are now removed so a big thank you to Microsoft is in order 😉
Teradici RDSH
 
I was expecting to hear much more about this and almost thought I missed it (maybe I did!) Anyway, Teradici has announced this as specified here. RDSH, or the ability to present a desktop that really is a Server desktop, is a great move. What is also possible if this works, is utilizing AppBlast to present the application to the end user (this is strictly my imagining, Teradici has not claimed to be doing this nor have they told me they are planing it (otherwise I’d be breaking some rules here!)). Now, this product is in Beta stage and at least a few years from being a strong competitor to XenApp if it works. However, it is a step in the right direction and I eagerly look for more developments on that front.
Well, there was more but that’s my summary of VMworld for now. I thought the conference went very well and it was exactly what I was hoping for. I think my coworkers set the bar too high though as I had attended Citrix’s conference at the same location earlier this year and they have perfected a few things simply by repetition. For vmworld, this was my first and I would like to mention the MagicalYak’s wish list for changes at Vmworld2013
  1. The lunches were so bad! I would rather have had good pizza than bad food in an expensive box served by way too many people. I heard everyone complain about the quality of food, how it’s pulled away immediately so people are racing to jam it their bags. Also having people outside was not a good idea. What if it had rained? Have food served in ALL buildings and use buffet or stations to serve it. It’s not that hard and you won’t have people reminding you they spent thousands to be there and are getting served bad food.
  2. The Labs need work. I flew in Saturday to do them Sunday. I got there around 10:30, doors opened at 11am and I waited and waited in what I call vPrison. This dark room was a holding pen where you couldn’t leave. Once my badge is scanned, I should be able to walk around and be given an estimate of when the lab is ready. Give me 10 minutes to make it there and if not, back of the line. Instead, I was told to stare at a list of names that didn’t move and 3 hours later, I get called. My lab doesn’t work so I spent 4 hours 30 minutes in Sunday not to do a lab. My pregnant wife who asked why I had to leave Saturday wasn’t happy either. Use a phone call/email/txt to alert me so I don’t waste my time in there. I will say that lack of communication (everyone denied an issue at first) was a big problem but things did get better. The labs weren’t bad (get the lab guides into PDF, a scroll within a scroll format was bad)). Also, knowing you’re releasing them online at some point is great!!! I wish you told people that (even if it’s a while from now).
  3. Use social media to also distribute PPT slides immediately when sessions begin. Let the presenters update up until the start of the session but have a site for each session for the slides so we’re not copying them down instead of listening.
  4. Lastly, go back to Vegas please!!!

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