Observations from VMworld

By Kent Christensen, Practice Director

VMworld 2011 is winding down. While it's a little late for a preview, I'll share some initial observations.

First VMworld 2011 is bigger than ever. Only hurricane Irene stopped VMworld from reaching a goal of 20,000 attendees, a 10% increase over 2010.

There are tons of announcements, news events, and external feeds on what’s happening, so I won’t try to regurgitate that now. Although, I will try to summarize some highlights in my next blog. The core of the messaging is not new. The vSphere announcements were made in July so now we're mostly getting more details.

One subtle difference is the conference theme. Last year was about “Virtual Roads, Real Clouds.” A message about the cloud that left a lot of people thinking about the public cloud and how it might impact their businesses.

This year’s key line is “Your Cloud. Own it.” While it takes a bit longer to define “Your Cloud” as a likely combination of private/internal, external, and hybrid offerings, it is much more aligned with what we are seeing customers doing − transforming existing IT infrastructures to be much more efficient and agile.

The other very important part of VMworld is the opportunity to network with our top partners and our top customers. We announced Datalink OneCallsm unified support on Monday and spent most of the day working with partners, analysts and press who applauded the initiative. We hosted a sold-out dinner for 80 customers and partner execs on Monday evening. Over the next two days, our experts met individually with customers to discuss “Their Cloud” and how we are partnered to transform their businesses.

All in all it's been a very successful week, but from the signs of it, people are ready to go home. Present company included.