End of August I attended VMworld 2013 in San Francisco, it was already the 10th version of the annual VMworld US event. Back in 2004 there were 1600 attendees, this year there were 23000 attendees, really an amazing number. When I first attended VMworld, back in 2006, even Microsoft had a booth at the Solution Exchange; I think they gave up a few years ago.
Looking back at the event I was impressed with all the new stuff at the Solution Exchange but also a bit disappointed with the keynote from VMware. The Solution Exchange was packed with Storage related vendors and startups, FusionIO, PureStorage, Tintri, Nimble, Atlantis, FlashSoft, PernixData, Nutanix etc. The newcomers are really upsetting the traditional storage market but at the same time they are ripening fruits ready to be picked by the big traditional storage vendors. The traditional “Exceptional Margin Companies” will do their best to keep their stuff “Enterpriced”, there is a lot at stake.
The Keynote was done by Pat Gelsinger, the VMware CEO, he announced the new vSphere version 5.5 but the talk of the town was not about new vSphere 5.5 features, vSAN and NSX took the stage. My disappointment lies in the fact that vSphere 5.5 does not bring much new stuff, I will not list the new stuff in this blog, read the What’s New PDF on the VMware website. The CEO also announced vSAN but only as a public Beta, the official release date is planned for the first half of 2014. I was disappointed because the product was already demonstrated at last year’s VMworld. I expect it to pop up in vSphere 6.0 no earlier than August 2014 at VMworld US.
The second star of the show was NSX, this is the ESX of networking, it is not part of vSphere, it is a separate product. It virtualizes networking the way ESX virtualizes CPU and RAM. It is a combination of technologies from Nicira and VMware, Nicira was acquired by VMware a year ago. NSX is expected to be available in Q4 2013.
All and all it was fun to be there at the heart of the virtual community and follow the technology that very much changed the (IT) world in the last decade.