VMworld 2014 – Opening Keynote

Ch-ch-ch-changes – the theme of the VMworld keynote on Monday, August 25th 2014. Robin Matlock, CMO at VMware, opened the keynote as she did the year before. While I think it’s terrific VMware has a woman open the conference, it would be nice if she could be somewhat technical. She made pithy comments such as “change can either be a barrier or an opportunity” and mentioned SDDC, but there was absolutely no technical information for the entire 15 minutes she was speaking. She did mention a pretty cool program they are doing with paper airplanes, however. The idea is to build a paper airplane and fly it. Depending on precision and performance, VMware will donate to any one of five charities (involving children, education, environment, Human Rights, and women and girls). A great idea in my opinion. This takes place in the HangSpace, as do many other interesting things, such as vBrownBag TechTalks, various games, and blogger space.

Matlock handed the ball off to Pat Gelsinger, CEO at VMware. Again, there was a surprising lack of technical content for the first 15 minutes of his time on stage. They also both had some odd references to water, which I thought might come back in a product name or something…but it did not. Gelsinger’s them was “Go Bravely.” For my tastes it was a little cheesy but I get the idea. He wants us to let go of our old ways of administering the data center and embrace the new software defined data center. I’m all for this, and appreciate the general sentimate. However, telling a bunch of middle-aged white men to “Go Bravely” was probably not the best choice to avoid snarky twitter comments.

None the less, Gelsinger eventually got into the tech, which was much appreciated. We heard about new products coming out, including:

vCloud Suite 5.8

vSphere 6.0 Beta

vVols and VSAN 2.0 Beta – interestingly enough Gelsinger admitted to not really including the partner ecosystem when they came out with VSAN, but they are rectifying that with vVols. vVols are going to be part of the vSphere 6.0 release.

VMware vRealize Suite (operations and business in a single suite)

VMware EVO 

The most interesting announcements to me, made by Bill Fathers (EVP of Cloud Services at VMware) were about VMware’s answer to cloud, or vCloud Air (nee vCloud Hybrid Services). There were several announcements for new vCloud Air Offerings such as DevOps Services, DataBase-as-a-Service, Object Storage, Mobility Services, and Cloud Management. Cloud is becoming less about picking t-shirt sized compute and storage and more about what kind of professional services you can get out of it to truly run a production data center and I think VMware is embracing that.

Overall, not a horrible opening keynote, but it would be great to either have more hype or more tech (perhaps even both). It was just a little blah this year.

Stay tuned for more from VMworld, and remember to “Go Bravely” into that good night.

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