Scheduled meetings, hallway meetings, random meetings of chance, checking in on the Mrs. to make sure Baby Mini-G is still holding to his schedule (t-minus 5 days-ish). Quite the busy vmworld 2010, and that was just the first official day.
Tuesday’s keynote was a great introduction to VMware’s long term vision to the new three layer stack of IT in the cloud era of computing. The even better part of the keynote was the announcements of vCloud Director, vShield, and Project Horizon. Personally these announcements are so important because I can now start talking about all the things that I have been working on with customers and these products for the past 6 months. (Its hard to blog about things that you can talk about publicly!)
My clients have been working with early releases or discussing these products for a while now and have created quite the excitement. vCloud Director truly enables IT organizations to offer IT infrastructure as a service to their internal customers. What is most exciting about this is how quickly this is taking hold within organizations. I spent an entire day last week with one client working though data center strategy…they are at stage one of the journey and are planning their strategy with their sights not just to get to stage two, but clearly on reaching stage three of a cloud enabled data center.
The most interesting aspect of that particular client’s mindset is that they realize that the technology is easy, but the Three P’s (people, process, and politics) are the hardest part. This Is where the value of understanding other people’s lessons learned while traveling their own journey of virtualization to the cloud is so important. This is also where involving people from across all organization (servers, storage, networking, and now security) is so important. To achieve real tangible results for the enterprise, cultures and behaviors have to change as much as the technology. This isn’t just in the virtualized infrastructure layer but across all three layers.
VMware isn’t the only company that has multiple SaaS apps that are now critical to the operation of the company. Every company out there has multiples of these and CIOs know that (just maybe aren’t publicly acknowledging it because of the control issues this represents for them). Another client of mime has a very progressive view of this with the understanding that their IT department needs to become the coordinator of services for their internal users, regardless of those being internal or external services–that or run the risk of loosing all value to their internal users. This client is not fighting the flight of apps out of the data center but are embracing it; leveraging it to drive down operating costs and use the opportunity it presents to expand their internal employees expertise out into the public cloud and SaaS offerings to both keep employees engaged as well as provide the strategic advantage to the internal business unit customers by helping to negotiate the best deals with SaaS vendors.
This is where Project Horizon is such an invigorating solution for them. The whole problem of SaaS entitlement and reconciliation was something that many IT departments were struggling with. How do they give access to apps, both SaaS and Traditional, to their end users regardless of their device that end user need to run that app on (physical laptop, virtual desktop, employee owned, and mobile). In addition, why does thee need to be a different solution for those SaaS and Traditional apps? Control without restraint is the key to empowering business and workforce of today.
One client of mine who got an advanced look at Project Horizon saw it as a way to possible cut off one to one and a half years of development time and expense of an internal solution they were developing similar to Horizon. And that is without the uniform cross platform nature that Horizon delivers today to allow access to entitled applications from the locations and devices that users demand.
Of course the irony of the day wasn’t lost on me yesterday morning. For now it is still about the device and not about me; as I couldn’t watch the vmworld Keynote live on my iPhone while riding the train into San Francisco…becuase the streaming service required Flash. After all, this is about the journey to the cloud…we’re not there yet.