As my supply of koozies has dwindled over the long hot Texas summer due to natural attrition (dogs making up for a neoprene dietary deficiency, unrecoverable loss while boating, etc.), my mind naturally turns toward VMWorld 2012.  What better place to restock the supply and maybe even increase our USB memory stick inventory (which also suffers from gradual attrition). But as I sipped on a Coke that was rapidly approaching room temperature and scanned the VMWorld schedule, a few other questions came to mind that I’m looking forward to addressing at the conference in San Francisco.

  • Will it be all about the Cloud again this year?
    • Much of the noise VMware has made over the last year has been around expanding their cloud capabilities – in particular some of the more complex requirements of private clouds.  Will that focus continue and what does that mean for customers that haven’t yet bought into all the Cloud hype and are more interested in improvements at the infrastructure layer for their base virtualization implementations?
  • How will VMware’s effort to add “software defined” network and storage to their arsenal of virtualization capabilities play out?
    • Given the acquisition of Nicira how far will they get with the technology and what will be the approach and timetable for improving their integration with the rest of their portfolio?
    • How related will “software defined” storage be and what will it mean for parent EMC?
  • Will VMWare View be able to improve the ROI of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure enough to accelerate adoption?
    • In my discussions with customers a surprising number are either seriously thinking about VDI or doing initial testing and implementation in a small portion of their desktop environment.  But none that I have talked to are talking about full scale replacement of all their desktops.  Largely this is due to the difficulty really demonstrating a clear ROI and lingering technical concerns over such a critical shift.
  • What will be the big new news in the general sessions?
    • We all know that this is the place for the company to get maximum bang from their announcement buck as much of the IT community is watching – like an Apple show, VMware is expected to make some kind of splash every year.  I’m looking forward to seeing if they have anything big up their sleeve.
  • Does vCenter Operations Manager get even bigger and more complex or does VMware do any work to make adoption simpler.
    • At SolarWinds we make our living out of making IT solutions, including VMware monitoring, that are simpler and easier to use, it will be interesting to see if vCenter Ops tries to follow suit. 

  I’ll be posting regular blog updates from here at VMWorld, stay tuned for the answers to these and other burning questions.