Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

Category Archives: VMworld Europe 2009

VMworld Partner Day wrap-up


I take back what I said earlier about lack of technical track & content – whilst it wasn’t quite up to the list of previously announced sessions there was enough good stuff with information that is relevant to VMware partners with both a technical & competitive slant.

I still have my concerns that tomorrow is going to be rammed with the number of people expected, best get in early if you want a seat.

Waitlist queue for AppSpeed session - did get a seat though Lunch hall - 45mins after it opened

There was a fair bit of mud-slinging at Microsoft & Citrix from the ThinApp and View camp but I’ve seen similar from the other side so I think that’s just business as usual, whilst a nice thought – it would be better to have more of an independent view on the matter and I note Brian Madden has a session about VDI vs.TS and he’s always been pretty objective about that sort of thing  – I’ve seen him at BriForum in the past.

Afternoon sessions were interesting, covering the upcoming AppSpeed product (‘#include <subject to change, your mileage may vary type disclaimers.h>), which is borne from the B-Hive acquisition last year – I’ve been looking forward to this as a result of early demo work I did on the B-Hive product, the upcoming vCenter integrated product is likley to support a good set of DB & Web applications as well as Exchange – I for one would like to add my vote for RDP/ICA coverage in future releases, VMware have noted this is in the pipeline for future releases, there will be a further beta programme later in the year and it looks very promising – almost a killer app for virtualization projects as far as I can tell (more information later in the week from the public sessions).

Microsoft were hosting some drinks this evening and had some interesting discussions with the AppV/HyperV guys, they have a stand in the solutions exchange and are worth checking out, IMHO if only for the AppV stuff,  it’s an excellent product and IMHO better positioned for the enterprise environment and can service offline scenarios much better than VMware ThinApp (despite the mud-slinging that went on today)

fbpicI spent a bit of time preparing the ioko stand in the vCloud pavilion, I’ll be on the stand tomorrow during the lunch break and the evening session with TechHead. Confusingly, and some would say tactically we are both called Simon in real life but if it helps, I look like this. Don’t let that put you off – or the fact that there seems to be some concrete attached to my head in the photo ! :)). 

imageWe’ll be there with some other ioko colleagues for the welcome drinks, please feel free to come over and say hi, we have a presentation on the stand around our cloud reference architecture and customers. I would be happy to talk anyone through it and our practical experiences implementing this cloud thing (we were doing it long before it was called “cloud”).


The solutions exchange is huge.. far bigger than I had expected, drop by the Dell stand for the biggest flat-screen TV you have ever seen!

Hands-on labs are looking good – dual screen setups and thin-client devices.

IMG00170  IMG00172

Here are some pictures from the Solutions Exchange as it’s being setup

IMG00174 IMG00175


Right, early start tomorrow (or later today, it’s 1am local time)… more live posts from the keynote – here’s hoping for some major product announcements from VMware to counter the recent MS/Citrix ones.

VMworld Partner Day – Keynote


So things have kicked off here in Cannes for VMware partners of which my employer is one, the first session is the keynote/general session – covering general product announcements, some sales woop-de-woop and details of upcoming partner programmes.


Despite the “current economic climate” (a phrase which has been used at least 100 times already today, and it’s only 11am) there VMware are still seeing a strong demand for product and services and the VMworld event itself, this isn’t surprising (to me anyway) as I’ve long seen VMware’s key message as “do more, with less” which is what you need if you are tightening the corporate belt.

There are 1500 partners here today for partner day and they are expecting 4,600 delegates for the full conference which starts tomorrow; it’s already pretty heaving on the 1st floor balcony and I think tomorrow might be pretty crammed – best try to get to sessions early.

I’m not sure what happened but when I signed up for partner day originally there was a full-on technical track for today, which was my main reason for attending – this seems to have vanished without a trace and the remaining sessions are a mix of sales/business/competitive and partner sessions with what look to be some high-level tech session later today – this is a bit disappointing and I’ve not seen anything in the run up to say this was going to be the case, ah well I’m sure there will be some useful information anyway.

There was some interesting positioning of virtualization which I’ve not seen spelled out before – positioning it as enabling the “software mainframe”, building a large, reliable compute resource but using industry standard building blocks, reducing proprietaryness (new word I have invented) like you have with traditional mainframes (ICL, IBM, etc.) through standardisation of constituent parts (no single vendor tie-in).

in the keynote Paul outlined VMware’s key initiatives going forward;

  1. VDC-OS – foundation for the cloud; internal now, enabling…
  2. vCloud –
    • Service Provider targeted,
    • build clouds using VDC-OS tech
    • allows eventual federation
    • reduce proprietaryness (choice)
    • VMware Working with standards bodies
  3. Desktop as a service (DaaS) – programme started with VMware View and ThinApp products, 2009 full rollout of full suite
    • People stay, devices come and go
    • Current model is device centric, move to user-centric (provision users not PCs.
    • Abstract the underlying plumbing through virtualization
    • Currently centralised / server hosted only Thin-Client/VDI
      • Mobile
      • Client hypervisor – make seamless replication of environment delivery and data between server based and local and sync data back
      • VMware view – DaaS thin & thick clients with central mgmt.
      • take advantage of de-duplication
      • currently PCoIP (PC over IP – remote desktop) – blade PCs etc
      • Trickle data changes back to cloud (less device dependency)
      • possibly enable BYOPC (buy your own PC from say PC world, you get the choice, IT provide a sandboxed environment for you to work in
        • Isolation through virtualization from local OS
        • VMware would like you to install Win7 to the cloud (easy upgrades, less hardware dependencies, upgrade of lot of distributed PC hardware = resource intensive
        • users & IT are Slaves to pieces of hardware.

Interesting  item – Terraditchi (spelling?) is a hardware device that does WAN acceleration for remote desktop sessions  they are a VMware partner and are collaborating to move the implementation entirely into software –less proprietary/dedicated hardware.

Cloud is great but as I’ve talked about before its going to take time (or will never happen) for everyone moves everything to the cloud, there will always be a hybrid internal/external cloud VMware are floating the term "virtual private cloud" through vCloud to describe a federation & choice between internal & various service providers.

this allows this sort of move to be done in an evolutionary way, rather than revolutionary (i.e throw it what you have and rebuild) – virtualization can deliver benefit now (cost saving/consolidation/DR) and position you for a strategic move to the cloud in future through the federation/standardisation from vCloud/VDC-OS.

VMware also officially using/announcing the vSphere; light on details – hope there will be a big announcement tomorrow – but he did say shipping this year.

2 (high-level) product announcements today

vCenter server heartbeat SLA monitoring and HA combined (app awareness and response time and DRS/HA)

vShield zones (leveraging vSafe API to delivery security & compliance products).

VMware are making big moves into the desktop space with the View suite and there could be a good green story here, VMware’s statistics show 684M desktop PCs in the world now

By my very quick workings are @85w each = 58 billion watts )58Million KW of energy) if a thin client + share  of a central VDI datacentre  is 20w that’s a huge energy saving

With the introduction of the client-side hypervisor they mention they have the possibility to solve the problems of this scenario for offline/mobile use.

Lastly, VMware Partner University is announced, accessible via Partner central All VMware technical and sales training materials online. It has been Localised to several language and is Role based (sales/pre/post) and solution specific (VI/VDI/BC)

VMworld Session Builder/Auto-Generator


There is an automated session builder for VMworld, which lets you build up your sessions and export them into various calendar formats (Outlook, iCal etc.) I couldn’t find any navigation to this from the VMware homepage or site – but thanks to Virtual Aleph I managed to find a link, strange.

The link you are looking for is here, it does all seem a bit disjointed from the site, maybe its not meant to be released yet as Manlio says he was notified by email – but it worked for me and I have some sessions scheduled now, lots to choose from, so little time 🙂 maybe VMware will consider a 4 1/2 day format like Microsoft use for TechEd in future.

If you can’t do the auto-schedule, you may have too many sessions in your interests section, by my reckoning there are about 16 session slots; the schedule for Thursday PM hasn’t been announced as they will be re-running the most popular sessions – would expect an announcement late Weds/early Thurs on this.

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image at VMWorld Europe 2009


Less than 1 week to go now until VMworld Europe 2009 kicks off in Cannes, I will be there blogging about the content and this is a quick post to let you know what I will be doing during this time.

“the tools”

I’ve been using twitter for a while but not extensively; I’ve found it useful during sessions to share information that later makes it into proper full-blown blog posts; IMHO twitter definitely isn’t the end of the blog but it’s useful for this sort of real-time event.

I have my Blackberry 8120 with TwitterBerry as my tweet posting client, Google maps to find my way around and it’s built-in camera/video recorder via Qik. plus the usual email etc.

My laptop; Dell Latitude D620, Windows Vista and Microsoft Live Writer (and tweetdeck) 3G and WLAN access (hoping WLAN will be good!) and the usual corporate application stack

I have remote access back to my home lab via an SSL VPN (I’ve got a big post on my refreshed lab in the pipeline) should I come across anything cool I want to try out.

I have a Mimo Flip camera as kindly provided by VMware, I’m no video wizard but I’ll try and post up anything interesting that I come across – and hopefully try not to be on camera myself 🙂

“the schedule”

I’m at Partner day on Monday – so will be posting anything of interest (subject to any NDA material)

I’ve not fleshed out my conference schedule yet; but will do so later and post it up; I note there is no pre-registration for sessions this year and they have the whole PM on Thursday reserved for re-runs of popular/oversubscribed sessions so hopefully that will work out.

There is also an interesting ancillary meeting with Microsoft around their virtualization strategy which I will be attending and will post what I can, if you have anything specific to ask the top virtualization people @MS, comment away and I’ll ask what I can.

Once I finalise my intended sessions I’ll post them up.

“the official capacity”

My rather excellent employer, ioko have a stand in the vCloud zone and I’ll be manning the stand occasionally with my colleague TechHead. Typically lunchtime and the end of the day – if you have something specific you want to talk to me about drop me a line at simon dot gallagher at or DM me on Twitter – I’d be happy to talk you through our managed services, my professional services team and the cloud reference architecture I’ve been developing for internal and customer use.

Zeus will also be at the event and are definitely worth checking out – indeed you might want to check out this joint case study on a project we completed to provide online video for Forumula One in record time. </plug>

“the ones to watch”

My twitter account is here, if you want to get in touch, or maybe meet-up DM me and I’ll see what we can arrange.

My Blog is obviously here and I’ve added the twitter feed to the homepage and the blog RSS feed here should you wish to subscribe

My Qik account is here, I’ll cross-post Qik links to twitter

VMWare have the virtual vmworld event here – free registration

The unofficial vmworld underworld site is here

“My hopes”

I hope for the following at VMworld…

  • No crazy queues, and large session halls (SF 2007 still haunts me!)
  • Good, stable Wireless
  • ESX4 release or public beta dates
  • More tangible vCloud technical information and roadmap
  • Some interesting discussions with the community
  • some good free stuff 🙂


1 Month to VMworld Europe 2009


It’s now almost one month until the start of VMworld Europe, this is the 2nd outing for the European event which is being held in Canne, France.

If you’ve never been to one of these events and work in a technical capacity I would heartily recommend it,with the current financial climate and awful GBP/EUR exchange rate it’s harder than ever to convince your employer to send you or to find the cash yourself, if it helps – this is a previous article I wrote about this sort of event and the benefit you’ll get from it. If you’re a VCP you also qualify for a significant discount as Mike has already covered here

I’ll be blogging from the event itself, and VMware are starting to post details of sessions here, there aren’t too many non-vmware/sponsor sessions posted up yet; hopefully that will happen soon – it’s always good to have a bit of an independent perspective and both VMware and Microsoft haven’t disappointed in this type of thing before.

I’ will also be attending for partner day and will post whatever I am able to (subject to any NDA’d material) – I’ll be following the technical track.

If you have 5 mins it’s definitely worth visiting the site – there will be lots of material posted up during the event if you aren’t able to make it in person and there is also a good community-focused site at with it’s own social network.