It's trade show season. This week is Demo and TechCrunch. Next week, "Virtually Anything Is Possible" for VMware. Virtually anything is indeed possible with 14,000 attendees and more than 200 sponsors and exhibitors expected to descend on Sin City for VMworld 2008.
VMworld last year bid adieu to the Moscone Center in San Francisco in favor of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Now in it's fifth year, the show has become akin to the LinuxWorld or Comdex of yesteryear. No small feat for a vendor-sponsored show.
Despite VMware's recent troubles and directional bumbling, attendance is up 30 percent this year over last. VMware clearly remains a force to be reckoned with. With several major announcements planned, including new virtualization capabilities and product direction changes, it will be interesting to see how much of an imprint the vendor places on the show.
And in a metaphorical stop-the-presses moment, as this column neared completion, InternetNews reported, "Mendel Rosenblum, who co-founded the virtualization software firm in 1998, is leaving his the role as chief scientist." Rosenblum is married to Diane Green, who left the company in July.
This follows last week's resignation of Executive Vice President of R&D Richard Sarwal.
Looks like the company will be getting an infusion of new blood.
VMworld may be the virtualization conference of the year, but virtualization is far from a one-vendor show anymore. VMware is obviously not an unbiased sponsor. Nor is it in the trade show business. The attention given to interoperability will be interesting to watch and will likely play a role in determining whether the show remains in the big leagues.
If you won't be at the Venetian next week but don't want to be left in the virtual dust, be sure to check out the Webcasts VMware will be offering. CEO Paul Maritz's keynote, scheduled for 8 a.m. PT on Tuesday, September 16, and CTO Stephen Herrod's keynote, scheduled for the same time on Wednesday, will be available for viewing online.
Even more important, be sure to check ServerWatch regularly for coverage of the sessions, keynotes, expo floor coverage, interviews and updates on the general buzz.
The buzz is already being felt throughout the industry. This is one case where what happens in Vegas will not be staying in Vegas.
The Virtual Blade Battle Heats Up
Not everyone, however, is waiting for the big show to announce product.
This blade, however, carries a $4,999 price tag, and is being marketed to SMBs.
Before you jump on what looks initially like a bargain consider that virtualization is still a developing technology. Dell is not known for its innovation, despite its claims that the server was built from the ground up with virtualization in mind.
If you're still not convinced, think about how many tries it took for the OEM to get a sustainable blade out there.
Amy Newman is the managing editor of ServerWatch. She has been following the virtualization space since 2001.