Party Like It's 1999

by Amy Newman

VMworld 2008 has the bling, but at this point are the riches realer than the subprime mortgage market?

VMworldLIVE From VMworld

The alcohol is flowing, the sushi spread is endless, the t-shirt and other trade show swag is streaming in full force. Favorite find: a Rubik's Cube. Thank you, CommVault!

If that isn't enough, consider this: No free Wi-Fi in my room. Instead, an Ethernet cable and a (gasp) $10 charge to connect. As a consolation, I have a big, honking fax machine/scanner/copier on my desk. I can't even remember the last time I used a fax machine.

Much as I appreciate the laptop bag from VMware and the BPA-free water bottle, there is a surreal edge to it all. The financial markets are in near meltdown, more than one attendee expressed concern about whether he would have a job, never mind a job in which he could pitch virtualization.

Despite the facade of riches, some say rumblings of concern from the exhibitors on the show floor can be heard. The exhibitors here are, by and large, VMware partners. Many have based their businesses around VMware's products, filling gaps that VMware now is expanding its offerings into and thus moving onto their turf. If VMware executes as it intends, these gaps may not exist in its ecosystem by the time the next show rolls around.

Despite this backdrop, in the midst of the glitz and glam there is substance to be found on the show floor. More than 200 of VMware's partners were on hand to show their wares. Many took VMworld as the opportunity to unveil new products or plans for new products.

Vendors large and small from Citrix to Neterion to VMlogix Pillar and NEC had news, most of which was fairly substantive, an unusual occurrence for any trade show. There was so much in fact, that it would be a Herculean task to wrap it all into this column. Instead, look for coverage in future columns, as it will now doubt find its way here.

Interestingly, not all announcements were about VMware. Marathon's big news for example, was about how it "cemented our relationship with Xen and solidifies what we first fruits of partnership announced back in May," CTO Jerry Melnick told ServerWatch.

NEC's big news was its new server, which is basically born to be virtual and takes advantage of the Intel's new Dunnington processor.

Sometimes a picture does indeed speak a thousand words. Here are some images from the show floor.

I Love VMworld Snitch
Feel the Love

The VMware Company Store (seriously)
And if You Do, Be Sure to Shop

While VMware served up smarts at its Genius Bar, Xen offered its version of a restful respite.

The VMware Genuius Bar
Smarts to Go, Please

Xen's Booth
Or Perhaps Some Xen Reflection

Microsoft was not to be left out. While its booth seemed the usual fare, the casino chips it passed out claimed going with VMware would be a gamble.

Microsoft's Booth
Microsoft's Presence Was Anything But Virtual

Other vendors on hand include:

NEC's Mike Mitsch With Loaded Server Rack
NEC General Manager Enterprise Services -
IT Platform Group, Showing NEC's Latest Offering,
the Express5800/A1160

Neterion's latest offering aims to improve I/O at the hardware level.

Neterion's Solution
Neterion's 10 GbE Adapter With IOQoS Technology

Emulex is bringing Fibre Channel Over Ethernet to virtualization

Xen's Booth
Emulex's Fibre Channel Over Ehernet
Converged Network Adapters in Action

Amy Newman is the managing editor of ServerWatch. She is currently attending VMworld and enjoying wandering the show floor talking to vendors. She is also in search of two penguins to continue a goofy little family tradition.

This article was originally published on Thursday Sep 18th 2008
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