The second day at VMworld EMEA started with the Steve Herrod’s keynote speech this time focusing on end user computing a great passion of mine.
The keynote discussed the importance of flexibility and allowing the end users choice in devices to ensure they were able to be more productive.
Steve Herrod recapped the improvements in the View 5.1 release, going over functionality such as the storage accelerator and enhancements in PCoIP.
He went on to introduce the Horizon Suite, a collection of solutions we have previously seen or been aware of, but now coming together into a comprehensive suite of end user computing focused solutions.
For the first time we saw Project Octopus renamed as Horizon Data, we will also see tight integration with Horizon Application manager and this will offer the first opportunity for for us to see the HTML5 remoting technology AppBlast in action for tablet users connecting into their View desktop via the Horizon Suite. No dates were announced for the availability of the Horizon Suite but it is currently in Alpha.
The next subject of the keynote was VMware Mirage which has come from the Wanova acquisition, as we have come to expect Vittorio Viarengo, Vice President Marketing for End User Computing came on stage to show us how Mirage works from an end users perspective. The demo entailed a laptop being upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 whilst the user was still using it, a simple reboot and the laptop booted into Windows 7 with the applications and data still in place, the desktop was then moved into a view desktop when then laptop was damaged and finally from View to VMware Fusion.
I really enjoyed hearing about the announcements surrounding end user computing, it proves VMware are no longer a one trick pony in the end user computing space and that this is a serious direction for VMware.
Finally we saw a new addition to the CTOs keynote with the diamond sponsors being invited to stage for a quick fire demo, the audience were then given a chance to complete polls and vote for their favourite demo, with the winner getting a $10,000 to a nominated charity. Dell, Cisco, HP, EMC and NetApp all took part and EMC won with a VVol demo on the EMC vplex by storage god Chad Sakac. EMC will be donating the money to a down syndrome foundation in Madrid. However VMware announced they would also donate to all the other charities.
Following the keynote I spent a lot of my time in the Solutions Exchange talking to various vendors, I had a long chat with Devin Hamilton of Nimble and it was really great to see how far they have come in the last year, their team has grown substantially, they have recently announced the ability to add disk shelves to their SANs to allow not only grid based expansion but now frame based to allow you to have the flexibility to grow the environment to your needs. They have also worked with a number of partners including Cisco to have their SANs included in many of the VMware Rapid Deployment Program solutions for View. I’m looking forward to doing some blog posts on the Nimble SAN shortly.
I also spent some time with the guys from Fusion IO, they seem to be doing very well at the moment with their cards being featured in a number of solutions and reference architectures for VDI, one example of this is how it is being utilised in the Nutanix solutions. I will hopefully be working with Fusion IO to do a blog post on using their product in a View solution shortly.
I was also given the opportunity to speak with David Angwin marketing director of Dell Wyse and Rafeal Colorado Cloud Client Computer Marketing Director to discuss end user computing with Dell. Dell had a very large end user computing presence at VMworld EMEA in my personal opinion this was at the loss of the storage division who had little to no presence at the show which was a big shame especially with all the competitors being heavily represented in that space.
Dell were announcing 2 major new products at VMworld EMEA the first was its new Desktop as a Service solution now available within Europe from its Slough based datacenter, the solution is built around VMware View and pricing starts at £29 per month. I’m going to be interested to see how this works and how partners will be able to integrate with it to build complete cloud solutions for their customers, watch this space.
The second as mentioned yesterday was the announcement of the new Tera 2 thin client, the new P25 and the unfortunately named for the UK market P45 are now available, with the P25 being dual screen and the P45 being quad screen. They have also expanded support for their T50 ARM SoC thin client to include PCoIP support.
I was only able to fit one lab in today and that was the delivering optimal performance with VMware vSphere 5.1, there was some good content in this lab but I think it spent a bit too long covering the Java application that we were using to cause the problems that we were then fixing. But overall I felt I recovered ground that I had previously looked at but equally it was good to refresh these skills and there were a number of elements that I was able to take away.
The focus on the evening was a number of parties, the first being a small Xsigo champagne reception where it was good to catch up with a number of friendly faces on a balcony room near the conference centre. The second being the VMworld party making place in a transformed hall 8 at the Gran Fira venue, the party had an 8 bit computer game theme, there was pedal kart racing, costumes, retro games, pool tables and more. There was also a live band ‘black rock’ who in my opinion weren’t that good, more screaming than singing and didn’t fit well with the theme of the party, I think a good DJ would have gone down better if there wasn’t going to be a big name band. All together I did enjoy the party their was good food, a memorable theme and it was good to catch up with other VMworld attendees.