The VMware User's group, popularly known as VMUG is a free event. The founder, Dan Sullivan, says he's modeled it on DECUS. It's an opportunity to learn about what VMware is up to and to meet the people and vendor partners who make it happen. This note records the gems I found when I attended.
Solution Providers: The Vendor fair was populated mostly by "Solution Providers" -- firms that collaborate with a client enterprise on utilizing Virtualization in deployment of IT infrastructure or applications. Some providers offer their own hardware or software, but the majority are basically consulting firms.
I expect that, as the understanding of applying virtualization becomes more widespread, there will be a shake-out and lots of these firms will go out of business. But for now, there's a lot of demand, and a lot of companies interested in meeting that demand.
Cloud Computing: I believe the single most important gem gleaned from VMUG was VMware's definition of Cloud Computing: A platform for hosting applications where you don't care if the resource is in-house or outsourced. An application can move dynamically between in-house and outsourced resources.
This resolves a heretofore open issue in Cloud computing: Dealing with migrating off an outsourced resource. Service level agreements for cloud resources currently do not cover data loss. There have been documented cases of negative business impact when an outsourcing company fails. With VMware, the application flows seamlessly to or from outsourced resources. When your application is too big for in-house IT, grow it out. When in-house catches up or if a need arises, pull it back.
Thin Client: Currently enterprise desktop computing is dominated by networked desktop PCs. The build-out was based on an assumption that the desktop leaf-node would always be the fastest growing source of computing power and a presupposition that a central service could not scale across the wild swings in load from large numbers of clients.
Also, early adopters on desktop leaf nodes drove adoption of new applications and technologies because cost of entry was low for proof of concept. Buy-in from enterprise leadership could be gradual.
Desktop computing in the enterprise often involved a notion of desktop computer as status symbol. More important people had beefier CPUs, fancier graphics, and bigger disks.
VMware Client comes on the scene at a time when the game has changed in all three areas: VMware demonstrated to Central IT and enterprise leadership a central server model that scales to smooth out big swings in load and offers a lower total cost compared to an enterprise built from nodes that are rarely fully utilized. VMware speaks from a position of crediblity when it it invites an enterprise to give thin clients another try. The former prestige of a desktop computer may be giving way to the prestige of a fancy smart phone, and the necessity of demonstrating "getting with the program" of austerity measures.
I thought Moore's law was always going to favor the desktop leaf node. Now I see a chance for a significant displacement of the previous build-out of heavy duty desktop systems with virtualized thin clients served from a central server to smart phones and inexpensive desktop terminals.
Combining the VMware Cloud model and thin client model enables individuals craving control within a virtualized enterprise to get it. The VMware Client has an off-line mode where you can pull your application into a leaf node such as a laptop you take off the network. Just as an enterprise can pull an application in from an outsourced resource, an individual can pull a working environment in from Central IT or the Cloud.Computing is going to change. It is about to become both more centralized and more widely distributed. The leadership position enjoyed by the current mix of vendors is going to change. Get ready!
© 2009 William D. Cattey ALL rights reserved.
Last updated: $Date: 2009/08/03 20:19:21 $ by $Author: wdc $.wdc