Virtualization in the Big City

By Kent Christensen, Practice Director

In the last couple weeks, VMware started the spring 2011 tour of VMware Forum events. These are regionally focused one-day “mini VMworlds.” In Washington DC on May 3, they reportedly drew 1,500 attendees, and 1,350 came to the event in New York last week. Attendees not only saw the latest in VMware messaging, but also a myriad of partners that were showing off complementary solutions.

Datalink had a booth in New York and will also sponsor and speak at several other events this spring. Traditionally, I have seen these events as a chance to visit with everyone in a city who has or is thinking about VMware as a strategic solution. I attended New York to get a firsthand view on how the VMware conference theme “Your Cloud” is resonating with the virtualization “man on the street.”

I was pleasantly surprised. Typically at these events, you need to sort through job seekers, “consultants,” and tire kickers to get a few thoughtful engagements about really strategic virtualization initiatives. Maybe New Yorkers are more sophisticated, but I did not need to look far to have meaningful discussions about initiatives that leverage virtualization and cloud computing to dramatically transform IT in the organization. Many attendees were there on a mission to find ways to:

  • “Take virtualization to the next level and include new applications and use cases.”
  • “Investigate how to leverage the public cloud for a major initiative.”
  • “Fulfill an initiative to create private cloud services by _____.”

While we are having these conversations daily with IT and C-level executives at many of our current and prospective customers, it is unique to get that deep at an event like VMware Forum. Many of the conversations lasted 10-plus minutes (an eternity at a tradeshow), and resulted in the gathering of white papers and case studies, exchanges of cards, and promises to catch up later when we all have more time.

“My Cloud,” however you define it, appears to be heating up in many East Coast organizations. Now off to California to get a temperature on the West Coast.