VMware’s CEO at EMCWorld

At EMCWorld earlier this week, Paul Maritz CEO of VMware took center stage and talked about what they were doing to help customers in their journey to the cloud. From his perspective, there seems to be 3 phases to the journey but it all starts with virtualization.

When companies start down this path they often start with virtualizing stuff they don’t have to ask to get virtualized.  Such things as file and print services are first to get virtualized and generally cap out at 20% of the servers being virtualized in the data center.  This ends phase 1.

After that, it gets harder

The trouble comes when IT is considered a tax on the rest of the business.  As such, there is little incentive from any application owner/business unit to make IT services more efficient.

Then the catalyst to further virtualization often is the failure of physical infrastructure.  IT quickly responds to such problems with virtualization as a temporary solution to getting the service back online.  But as the application owner sees the speed of response and provisioning with no concurrent loss in SLAs, applications are left on virtualized infrastructure.

Once one business unit takes the plunge with the advantages readily apparent, the rest follow.  Then the data center quickly goes from 20% to 60% virtualized.  This ends phase 2.

There wasn’t a lot if discussion on what it takes to go from 60% to 100% virtualized which he calls phase 3.  But everything VMware is rolling out new these days is to make that final transformation even easier.

VMware solutions to get data center 100% virtualized

It all starts with vSphere the management interface for a multitude of VMs that now populate the data center providing resource pooling and scheduling of virtualized machines on physical server environments.

Next comes vShield that surrounds these virtual machines with a logical security perimeter that can migrate along with the VM as it moves from server to server or from the data center to the cloud and back again.

Finally vCloud Director which provides for seamless movement of VMs from private to public cloud and back again.

As proof of all this becoming more important to the data center, Paul showed a slide where more and more of VMware’s automated services are being used in their biggest customer environments. For example, since 2008

  • the use of vMotion (VM migration) has gone from 53% to 86%
  • the use of HA (high availability) has gone from 41% to 74%
  • the use of DRS (dynamic resource scheduling) has gone from 37% to 64%
  • the use of storage vMotion (data migration) has gone from 27% to 65%
  • the use of Fault Tolerance has gone from N/A to 23%

Evidently, automation is becoming more important to many VMware customers.

Application development changes as well

But the transformation of applications will be even more significant. In the past, developers had to concern themselves with the complexity of O/S interfaces, physical hardware, networking and storage infrastructure and end-user interfaces.

But today developers have moved beyond these concerns to reduce the complexity in application development and by using technologies such as SpringSource, Ruby on Rails and other development frameworks. These frameworks are optimized for development and de-emphasize the compiling and physical optimizations needed in the past that today’s hardware no longer needs.

To this approach, now VMware adds an open source project they have been working on for some time called Cloud Foundry.  To become the new cloud O/S of the future one will now need only to code to Cloud Foundry services but then can operate anywhere on any cloud compatible infrastructure. The Foundry is released with Apache 2 open source license and is available to anyone to use.  [How does this differ from OpenStack?]

End-user computing changes

The final transformation is in the end-user computing delivery platform. As Paul said, the post-PC world has arrived.  Mobile environments are becoming more pervasive and thus, deploying computing/application services to these environments are taking higher priority from the more normal desktop deployments.

To this end, VMware is working on two projects Horizon and MVP.  Both of which are attempts to create easier end-device deployment.  One capability he discussed was a virtual smart phone that can be secured and deployed on any number of mobile devices providing a standard set of smart phone services that can be used by application developers to create one app for all smart phones [at least that’s the vision].


I had taken notes at Paul’s keynote session but held off blogging about it until now as they didn’t seem to be anything specific on EMC announcements.