Poised at the tipping point, industry pundits from virtualisation technology major VMware believe that today, anything is possible, virtually. With 100% of Fortune 100, 98% of Fortune 500 and 96% of Fortune 100 organisations across the world using virtualisation, VMware has a strong story to tell.
“Virtualisation can do many things for customers. The main issue that IT faces today is the fact that too much of its efforts are spent on just the plumbing and keeping the lights on. We have to enable customers to move resources to focus on things that will help IT create competitive advantage and turn IT into a service,” said Paul Maritz in his keynote address to 4700 attendees from across the world and EMEA. So the choice, according to Maritz is to focus on three areas – efficiency, control and choice.
This is exactly what he believes the VMware roadmap will offer customers and its strategy is to look at three key areas – Virtual Data Centre OS (VDC-OS) that will serve as the foundation for the cloud, vCloud initiative that will focus on choice and cloud federation and vClient – offering the desktop as a service.
“One of the key attributes of virtualisation is not to help customers use hardware resources better, but to encapsulate existing applications, wrap up the complexity and package the elements in a flexible, non-distruptive way. Virtualisation therefore becomes a natural insertion point for security, policy and other control issues,” Martitz said.
Having set the context, IT management therefore becomes critical and VMware is looking to reinforce its ecosystem of partners including systems management vendors like HP, Ca to partner in delivering the value of virtualisation to clients.
“We need to start managing IT in a way that is beneficial to the end customer and I see virtualisation as the only real solution to do that, irrespective of the vendor it comes from,” he emphasised.
Rolling out vSphere
At the show, VMware announced that it will now begin the full roll-out of its vSphere range of products through 2009 that will serve as the next generation platform for virtualisation, making it the key substrate for the infrastructure.
Of particular interest is VMware’s vSphere Architecture that will provide customers with policy and platform aggregation and VMware vCentre Suite, an extensible management suite that will allow users to provision themselves and their requirements.
On the client side, VMware will focus on its client virtualisation offering as part of the centralised management suite.
To further enable client side virtualisation, VMware also announced an alliance with Intel to partner with the latter’s VPro technology and jointly offer customers the benefit of VMware’s View family of client hypervisors and Intel’s VPro technology with its desktop management capabilities.
Sitting on the cloud
Warning customers about the risk of checking their information into clouds that they cannot later check out of, Maritz said the company’s vCloud initiative is all about giving customers choice. “We want to enable the build-out of broad ecosystems of both internal and external clouds allowing people to move things seamlessly in and out of the cloud environment,” he said.
Currently, the company globally, is working with a number of service providers to roll out the delivery of a vCloud-based service model. The VMware vCentre Suite together with the vSphere range of products is expected to enhance cloud enablement.