This Virtualization Thing Just Might Catch On…

This year VMware celebrated it’s 10th anniversary of VMworld.  I’ve had the privilege of being in attendance for six of ten, and a speaker at five of the six. Simply put, it’s incredible what’s happened over the past six years.  To review just a few on my brain at the moment:

  • Over 22,000 attendees this year, more than ever before.  It felt like 21,000 of them were in the storage business.  Think storage costs, disk IO performance, and big data are hot topics?
  • More product announcements than ever before, backed in part by numerous VMware acquisitions over the past three years. NSX, Cloud Foundry, the VMware 5.5 suite, and of course vSAN. (More to come on vSAN from me in a future post.)
  • vCloud Hybrid Service, initially backed by four data centers and provided by VMware as a Service Provider, officially.
  • vSphere Web Client becoming more and more prominent as VMWare tries to change the mind of the legacy IT guy that’s still holding onto his vCenter

B.Rab DR preso in booth

Brian Raboin, our Chief Customer Officer, pictured above in our booth, likens building a really complicated house to IaaS management models.

With all these announcements, you can understand why this year at VMworld, like its predecessors, is a blur. Years ago, I watched Paul Maritz, then CEO of VMware, set a goal to have 70% of the server installation base virtualized.  When I look back six years, dedicated servers were all the rage: physical hardware with physical device replication, firewalls, and load balancers. Virtualization was certainly used, both in the form of container-based and hypervisor-based footprints, but it was reserved for conversations about lightweight workload. Licensing concerns, security unknowns, and storage nightmares were the feature headaches of the time for virtualization.

To build on that, thinking back six years ago, here are some of the items that HOSTING worried about as an IT organization.

  • Data center footprint, power, and cooling expansion. Physical infrastructure dominated our industry, and keeping up with that growth was both fascinating and challenging for Service Providers
  • How to grow customers environments dynamically without downtime
  • 100% availability (with some physical restrictions)

Six years later, the technology world has blown Paul Maritz’ 70% goal out of the water. Today, it’s rare to have a conversation at HOSTING where we aren’t talking about the flexibility or performance of our cloud and how your missions-critical applications… and mine… are running there. So my next few posts will surround some specific technologies (shown off at VMworld) that have got me thinking about this metamorphosis. If you have any ideas you’d like to contribute, bring ’em on.


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