Well, last night we had a great party. We did meet with some other colleagues and customers/friends in the evening.
This morning we woke up and…the weather was excellent here in Cannes! We (Geert Verbist over at virtual-scene.info, Guy and myself) attended the general keynote and some sessions.
For the first time (well, that is not counting partner day) Paul Maritz actually used the term vSphere to describe what will be the VDC-OS of the future (this will be the name of the ESX/VI 4.0 suite of products that will be released in the first half of 2009). The 2 main keywords of this VMworld: VDI/vClient solutions and the internal/external (v)Cloud/VDC-OS
Next, I attended a great session on VMware with NetApp integration. The things these guys are doing (combined with the next-gen vStorage API) are just amazing. Soon we will be able to offload all Snapshot/Clone/Thin Provisioning/… tasks to our storage. At last! What used to take minutes (as in: deploying a template is just a copy operation of a .vmdk) is now done in seconds! Needless to say the demo’s were quite impressive.
Oh yes, did I mention Multipathing in vSphere? I didn’t? Well, listen to this: it will be possible to configure the optimal path to your san (using vStorage API) with just 1 click of the mouse: “Apply optimal path configuration” (or something like that, I don’t remember the exact command). Gone are the days of manual multipathing. Anyway, I hope all other vendors will follow NetApps example and integrate all these nice toys in their products.
Next up was the first 3rd party vNetwork Distributed vSwitch: Cisco Nexus 1000V, a (software) plug-in to ESX that creates an advanced vSwitch version built on Cisco NX-OS. We will finally see a managed vSwitch on ESX with full configuration, monitoring and security options! The VEM (Virtual Ethernet Module, or the vSwitches themselves) are managed by a VSM (or Virtual Supervisor Module, a VM or hardware appliance that manages all VEM instances and that tightly integrates with vCenter).
Don’t worry: if the appliance fails, all configuration states are unchanged until the VSM is revived/restored. You can manage the switches as you can manage a “real” Cisco switch. As this is a distributed switch, you must only create it once per cluster. So adding a new ESX host will be a breeze(oh yes, did I mention host profiles ;))
Another session that got my attention was the one about SRM design best practices. Glad to here we already set-up SRM by the book.
Last (but definitely not least) we checked out a session from the (in)famous Brian Madden himself: VDI versus Terminal Services. In his (controversial) typical way he compared VDI to TS as being both SBC (server based computing) with the same problems/advantages since Citrix launched WinFrame (now called XenApp) for NT 3.51 in 1997.
His conclusion: with TS, you currently get more bang for the buck (or should I say more users per server?). HOWEVER: if you see how fast the VDI space is growing and the fact that there is tremendous competition amongst Citrix, Quest and VMware he predicts that by June 2010 all major problems with VDI as such will be gone. We’re thinking graphical enhancements (Terradici, HP RGS, ....), more users per server, thin provisioning on your SAN, etc..). Yay to TS! Yay to VDI!
Next up: the VMware Benelux party with 250+ Benelux people. Happy times and kisses from Cannes and see you tomorrow!