Jim Nickel, an ESTI Consulting Services partner and vSphere 4 VMware Certified Professional, recently attended the 2011 VMware Partner Exchange conference in Orlando, Florida. The Partner Exchange allows VMware partners to gather together and hear VMware's plans for the upcoming year, experience new technologies and offerings, and hear from key decision makers within VMware.
Jim described the experience as being invaluable. From tidbits and small tweaks to announcements of whole new product lines - the knowledge available at this conference was amazing.
Breakout sessions covered a wide variety of topics including VMware View (desktop virtualization), VMware ThinApp (Application virtualization) and VMware SRM (Site Recovery Manager).
One of the best rated experiences was seeing and using the 'Hands On Labs'. This was VMware using their own products to showcase and demonstrate their own products. It consisted of a room of over 400+ thin-clients utilizing VMware View to connect to virtual workstations located in California. Each of these was able to use a completely virtualized environment to execute a lab and each one demonstrated a different VMware product. There were 29 different labs available from each workstation. This was virtualization inside virtualization! Once a user disconnected, his/her virtual environment was reset via VMware Snapshot technology back to a starting state ready for the next user. It worked very well and the potential application for use in a training or educational situations was revealed.
Jim was also able to attend a VMware Design boot camp which provided insight into VMware's design methodology, criteria and best-practices approach for designing a VMware vSphere 4 virtual datacenter architecture. The primary tools covered in the workshop included VMware ESX/ESXi 4 and VMware vCenter Server 4.
VMware also announced a few new items during PEX. VMware View 4.6 (desktop virtualization) was announced which includes enhanced performance and several new features including a Security Server which you can place in a DMZ and allow secure direct internet access to your virtual desktops. VMware is also going further into the 'Cloud Computing' environment using a product called vCloud Director. This tool allows you to facilitate the construction of your own Cloud or to configure a 'pay for space' situation a Cloud hosting provider. A Cloud is defined as a collection of resources (CPU, RAM, Disk) which is abstracted from the end-users perspective and could be located anywhere. Thus your infrastructure can leverage cost savings by utilizing the same resources for multiple services and also be located in multiple locations.
Please contact Jim Nickel directly if you want a personal report on the PEX conference, or are interested in any of the current or new VMware offerings. ESTI is an authorized VMware partner and has certified resources available to sell, implement and configure VMware products.