Live blogging the VMworld 2009 keynote

Hello all! I'm sitting in the VMworld 2009 keynote at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Hello all!

I'm sitting in the VMworld 2009 keynote at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Updates below in reverse order. Refresh for the latest.

9:23 Well, I guess that's about it for this keynote. Nothing big. Gabe and I will both be running around the expo hall today with our cameras looking for interesting desktop stuff. I know they have the client hypervisor and software PC-over-IP available for demo, plus who knows what else?

9:17 Back to Paul, who's talking about... SpringSource?!? Wait, what? You mean we're done with desktops? No real info on PC-over-IP? No mention of the client hypervisors or View 4?!? I'm so sad......

9:16 Chris was using the software PC-over-IP, so it's real enough.. No real info on it though.

9:15 TELUS has 1,000 desktops. Wow this PPT is super boring. I don't blame the folks for leaving I guess.. We're watching a PPT from 1997 about the benefits of thin client computing.

9:14 Chris is running his PPT from a View session. Dunno where the View host is (either in the show datacenter or back in Canada). But man.. people are just streaming out of here. Desktops can't get no respect!!

9:13 Paul's talking about PC-over-IP. Bringing customer Chris Renter from TELUS on stage to talk about it. How much you wanna bet he only talks about hardware-based PC-over-IP.

9:13 Why are people walking out? This is just getting good!

9:11 Whoa.. Insight Manager for VMware View. Announced today. Unknown availability date. But full environment management for View, vCenter, and HP hardware through a single console. Kinda cool (not withstanding my management console rant from about half an hour ago).

9:10 Building this out in HP's Global Solution Centers. You can visit and kick the tires. We'll do this for a future BMTV episode!

9:08 Wants to break through the Dam of Complexity of VDI. HP is introducing a View reference architecture. iSCSI SAN. Driving down the cost and taking FC out. I still shudder at the thought of "SAN" and "desktop" in the same sentence.

9:07 Steve Dupree from HP is now on stage to talk about storage for VDI and desktops

9:07 Talking about desktop storage, and how we can't just go from cheap desktop storage to expensive datacenter storage.

9:06 Over one million View desktops deployed. I don't think they've revealed this number before? He says mostly for regulatory and compliance reasons. But to get to the next million, they need to focus on cost. Amen brother!

9:06 same messaging as before. We need to switch to manage users, not devices. View will have a common framework to manage thin clients and laptops.


9:05 Announcing the vCloud API, a collection of APIs to allow integration for app uploads, automation, operations, catalog mgmt, etc. They've submitted this API for standards orgs.

9:02 Paul points out that ANY OS that VMW supports can work with vCloud Express. I guess that means you mean to bring your own licenses? That's a big difference between this and Amazon. (Well, I guess since there are many providers, some might have options with Windows licenses too.)

9:00 Engineer Bruce is back on stage to show the vCloud Express demo. This is one from Terramark. He's showing how easy it is..

9:00 New program: vCloud Express. For quick/easy/down-and-dirty VMs. The key is simple and cheap to compete against Amazon Web Services.

8:59 Oh, this is vCloud? Cool.. didn't know what that meant before.

8:57 talking about how important it is to be able to check apps "out" of the cloud instead of just checking in and getting stuck. Ohhh!! So this is the "freedom" in the "hello freedom?" I still think my apps would be locked into a VMW-based cloud, but VMW will be nice enough to let me move my apps in and out of ANY VMW-based cloud. :)

8:55 Introducing (in the coming months) the concept of the "Virtual Datacenter." So all these VDCs eat out of the same physical pool. And then VMW will work with the service provider community so that external clouds could also service these things, so customers could just slide the VDC from internal hardware to an MSP (err, I mean "external cloud,") but this is all managed through the same single pane of glass. The DC should be a construct that's separate from hardware. This is pretty cool.

8:53 New service called "VMware Go," which is like IT-as-a-service. They're trying to reach the people who are downloading the free ESXi. They want to find out what customers are trying to do with ESXi and build that into a platform. (In other words, they want to monetize ESXi.)

8:52 Shifting gears, now on to SMB. VMware "Essentials" product is like "IT-in-a-Box." Starts at $166 per socket.

8:50 Demoing vCenter Chargeback, which I haven't heard anything good about, but this is kind of out of my area of expertise. (Of course that doesn't stop me from commenting on it. :)

8:49 Watching Lab Manager demo. I do like the concept of having complete lab environments with multiple configured VMs that you can just clone with one click.

8:47 Talking about VMware AppSpeed, which can dig into the apps themselves to understand them and do cool vCentery things with them. Now engineer Bruce is on stage to demo some of this, first talking about VMware Lab Manager.

8:44 Ok, so I'm not a "management guy," so I might be off-base here.. but they're talking about how vCenter can send info to the IBM Active Energy Center (or something like that), and how they can share and stuff. But man... there are just so many moving parts here.. Can you imagine running all these management systems? I think you'd spend more watts running those than you would just not knowing!

8:42 Paul: "Obviously there's a huge fixed cost here." IBM Guy: "Yes there is." :)

8:41 Cool, you can also see the power consumption of each VM.

8:40 Talking about "utilization per watt." This is pretty cool. Imagine the conversation in a few years.. instead of "how many desktops per core" or "how many users per server," it will be "how many apps per watt."

8:38 Tom Brey, some IBM dude, is now on stage with Paul. All IBM servers have power meters in them now, which is exposed to vSphere / vCenter so VMW can know how many watts the physical hardware is consuming and trace work done back to watts consumed.

8:36 Ok, so we laid that vSphere foundation. Now what? First is management. Today they're introducing a family of products that focus on specific tasks in the datacenter, rather than generic catch-all products.

8:34 I like the concept of the switch or the firewall being a VM too, so if you migrate a VM or app from one datacenter to another, the networking and security infrastructure can go with it.

8:33 Fault tolerance is literally a check-box, it's that simple. Cool, but scares my inner consultant.

8:31 Talking about the platform, how there's nothing that can't be virtualized today, they're working with the storage vendors, network, etc.

8:27 "When you virtualize, the savings is not the capital expense, but rather the money saved through the simplicity of operation." Umm yeah, with VMware you're sure not saving on capex. ;)

8:25 vSphere is about encapsulating all the bits of IT, and once we have those capsules built, it will be easy to move them off-premise into the cloud.

8:23 Talking about where we need to get, IT-wise, and he mentioned that each step has to pay for itself. Yes! That's huge, because no one's going to spend money now to save money "somewhere" down the road.

8:20 Phew! VMware CEO Paul Maritz is now on stage. He's talking about IT spend, how budgets are broken up.. lots of charts with graphs and stuff. Glad I woke up early for this.

8:19 Watching videos about how much people love VMware. They started talking about how important VMW was for server consolidation. (true) But then all of the sudden they were talking about "private clouds?!?" Unsure how they made that jump...

8:14 12,488 attendees.

8:11 VMware COO Tod Nielsen is on stage. Oh nice, it only took him 15 seconds to tell us that he only joined VMware this past January, so he's not really one of us. Actually, he was the CEO of Borland since 2005. Wow. Borland? Seriously?!? Yeah, they impressed the crap out of me too since 2005.. bring 'em on!

8:07 The theme of the show is "hello freedom," which as Alessandro pointed out is pretty ironic given VMware's anti-competitive approach to sponsors. But now we're watching videos about "freedom."

8:03 Still waiting for it to start. I have a 220wh HyperMac external battery this year, so I shouldn't run out of power like I did last year. :)

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Brian- you rock.  As does your inner consultant.

Thanks for blogging all this.  

N Timothy Aho


Great liveblog format, enjoyed it :-)



What a joke on the Desktop side, clearly an indication on their investment in this space. I agree SAN and HP = Stupid high costs, they just don't get it. It's what happens when I guess when a storage daddy is telling you what to do with Desktops. RUN.........


First of all thanks. While live blogging and Twitter isn't quite the same as being there, it's a great help for those who can't make it.

Reading it through left me thinking:

So that's it? VMware have given up on the desktop?  

I don't get it.


My comment is: No Comment.

It speaks for itself.


Wow - what a hater you are. I too was at the keynote and it was much more inspiring then you state. If you were listening, they laid out new thinking and a future for computing. Albeit, with killing us with the new cloud buzzword. VMware hasn't given up on the desktop they are reinventing it, even better. What agenda are you pushing here - you couldn't have been at the same event as I was. Oh, and people were leaving to get the best seats in their next sessions starting at 9am - wish I left too because it was standing room only at the follow-on sessions if you stayed for the whole keynote...


I like the additional management tools, especially the HP Insight integration.  However it would have been better if they described if they could integrate into SCOM for a true single pane of glass management experience.  I do not like the way VMware push their management package rather than VMware say "we integrate with SCOM, or CA Unicenter etc".  If they pushed this more then I would be excited.

The power consumption part is something i have been looking forward to for a fair while.  That is exciting, and the app-speed stuff is just awesome. You should have put more on about App-Speed.

In relation to reinventing the desktop from phgd...  how often have we been doing that :)  Every company is reinventing the desktop which is a better way than the other companies.    I am sure I remember a Metaframe XP session I went to said exactly the same thing and it caught on for how many years now....


Why do people think I'm "pushing an agenda" just because they don't agree with me. You can like it if I don't. That's cool with me.


Brian does have an agenda, Desktop and Application virtualization, which I think is great. It's very telling when the CEO of VMware makes -ve comments on Desktop Virtualization in his earnings call and then gives a lame ass presentation at a his keynote for this area of focus. It shows how much investment is likely to be put into this area. Just look at Spring source. They are now a Java app cloud company going head to the head with MS with Azure. Of course we will continue to hear marketing fud today from them, but what have they really got? Are they going to say View4 is going to rock the world with ThinCRAP...... a joke. Forward the clock 3 years, do you really think Microsoft is going o give them any chance to own anything at the Desktop? What happens when MS says FU and only puts Callista in Hyper-V. HELLO! MS is going to just the Desktop to F VMware in the datacenter in any way it can. It's a Microsoft Desktop and to fight them is like jumping of a cliff and hoping to come back as a higher life form. I think they get that and hence why the comments from Paul and a move to use Java to attack .NET in the cloud, a smart move by VMware. This is why I RUN from all things VMware and Desktop/Windows apps, it's fud, although I enjoy watching the space emerge.  Looking forward to the Brian's coverage today, keep pushing your Desktop and Application Virtualization agenda :-) And of course thanks for doing this Brian!


Desktop virtualization is small fries. It's just one of the battles VMware is fighting. If you rise above the 50,000 ft level, it's all about the control of the x86 data center, a battle VMware is fighting with Microsoft. VDI is a benefit that virtualization brings - even small players like Citrix and Quest are in the VDI game. VMware vSphere abstracts the massive and costly complexities of the x86 channel - many vendors, no real standard, etc, etc, and allows the IT consumer to just deal with vSphere. All other vendors have to work with vSphere to stay in the game. If Vmware is successful than it will become "the next Microsoft". I believe it will but of course there are other opinions out there. Server hardware will become a commodity, just as all the other components of IT, which will be accessed via vSphere. Isn't it an awesome concept?


Citrix is not that small or "tiny" (as Paul said, @Gabe) compared to VMware -

5040 Citrix employees vs. 6700 Vmware's

1.575B vs. 1.913B in revenue

And don't foget about the comapnies different oreintations, one is desktop dedicated and one wants to be the new MS...