VMworld: VMworld 2007 Keynote

Welcome to my coverage of the VMworld 2007 keynote. We’re expecting interesting things today, announcements that will change the landscape of enterprise computing on both technical and business process fronts. Should be interesting. I’ll be updating this post, liveblogging style, as we go.

7:57 AM – Waiting to start. Loud rock music playing for the nearly 10,000 attendees. We’re in Moscone South, halls B & C. A big thanks goes out to John Troyer and the rest of the VMware Communities team who have set up tables with ethernet, power, and other friendly bloggers. :-) VMware rivals Apple in rabid fan base and it’s those guys who keep it going. If you’re out at VMworld 2007 stop by the VMware Communities booth in the Solutions Exchange.

8:07 AM – A theatrical performance on stage, with violinists. Lots of ETC Source 4s and Martin motion lights above the stage making them look cool. A video playing behind them showing the benefits of VMware and welcoming us.

8:09 AM – Karthik Rau. Four years since first VMworld. New things, multicore and 64 bit changing things. Network and storage boundaries blur. Virtualization moving from a tactical solution to the foundation of enterprise infrastructure. Thanks for coming to VMworld. The conference is for you, to share, to hear the thought leaders. 10000 attendees, 147 exhibitors. Introduces Diane Greene.

8:12 AM – Diane Green. Welcome. South hall widest aspect ratio room in the world. :-) Four years, even a year ago, this wasn’t an industry like it is today. Maybe due to IPO, thanks all the partners and customers.

Complete infrastructure refresh with virtualization. Better way to provision, DR, save power, etc. Saves lots of money. Allows people to save money and use that for rebuilding data center. Lots of new products.

Things are being optimized for virtualization. Processors, system management, applications even are getting tuned and optimized for virtualization. Great time to be in the industry.

8:15 AM – Stops to clear up the distinction between the hypervisor and the operating system. Also clears up that a hypervisor is not “virtual infrastructure” by itself. Infrastructure is everything else around a hypervisor.

8:17 AM – Explaining VMware’s hypervisor. Footprint of OS to support it (RHEL 3) is 2 GB. Hypervisor is 32 MB. Announcement of ESX Server 3i. Embeddable, OS-independent. “Absolutely no tie to an OS.” Easily installed, configured. Easy to deploy, easy to manage.

Working with hardware vendors. First to ship is Dell. Mark Jarvis from Dell to talk.

8:20 AM – Mark Jarvis. The demo is so easy that he thinks executives can do it. Challenges Greene to operate the Dell equipment on stage.

Dell system can take 2x the RAM, 4 I/O channels, new AMD Barcelona CPUs. In Dell 2×50 format. Designed for 40% better performance and 25% less power consumption. Diskless. ESX Server on flash in the hardware.

Demoing VirtualCenter. Greene adding a VM to VC (neat to see a CEO doing it), booting it on the server that they just fired up.

Standard interface that hardware partners can use to manage the hardware. “Health Status” in VC. Greene: “I didn’t think I had to think during this demo.” Laughter. Can manage the hardware now through VC.

8:25 AM – Video from Michael Dell (Dell), Bill Zeitler (IBM), James Mouton (HP), Barbara Schadler (Fujitsu), Yoshikazu Maruyama (NEC). They all said they’re ideal for VMware, think 3i rocks, drive value, yay.

8:30 AM – Video from beta customers. Faan Deswardt of Wyse. Kevin Hickman (Chevron), Peter Amstutz (missed it, sorry). Dramatic effect in security, virtualization operations, way easier for remote administration. Stop thinking of hypervisor as software, but more as a component of hardware.

8:32 AM – Greene. Working on standards, OVF, with XenSource and Microsoft, for virtual machines. Submitted it to standards bodies. Management of VMs is the challenge.

Site Recovery Manager: difficult to set DR up, terrible to test. Built a workflow around DR, integrates with vendors replication products. Example of this is Bowdoin & Loyola, doing DR for each other.

Virtual Desktop Manager: become a workspace to be accessed from anywhere, any form factor. Mobile workforces, distributed, seeing big advantages to virtualizing desktops.

8:35 AM – Virtual appliances. 600+ virtual appliances. Bea with a thin OS. McAfee moving infrastructure into appliances.

Energy savings. Everybody needs to save energy. EPA report mentions virtualization. PG&E gives rebates to customers for virtualization (and many other utilities doing the same).

Conclusion: hardware more virtualization enabled. Automatically handle faults, disasters. Simple provisioning, simple management. Automate your data center. Major steps to realizing the vision of virtualization. Thank you.

8:40 AM – Greene introduces Intel Pat Gelsinger, Senior VP of Intel. Recent investment, tremendous value.

9:41 AM – Pat Gelsinger. Alphabet soup of everything Intel is doing to help (I/OAT, etc.). Collaboration on standards, vSPEC, VMmark.

Graph on CIO issues in IT, business processes as much as technology. Environmental compliance, TCO of data center, security, productivity barriers. Deliver an IT strategy to support business challenges. IT must respond to business challenges. “Foundation is economics, QoS, agility, and biz alignment”

How can Intel make trust management, energy efficiency, communications, etc. easier for organizations? Common layer is virtualization. Simple, powerful to address Intel’s six “pillars” of challenges.

Virtualization disaggregates the OS. Breaks hard binding of OS to hardware. Creates opportunity for “data center” OS in the future.

Virtualization usage models. Static server consolidation – reduce CAPEX, increase utilization. Multi-OS workstation. Dynamic load balancing – rebalance resources with demand. High Availability & DR – checkpointing, BC, automated restarts of VMs. Mainframe and legacy environments migrating to new virtualization.

Intel FlexMigration, FlexPriority, Extended Page Tables in 2008, Virtual Processor IDs to avoid flushing page tables all the time. DMA Remapping, Interrupt remapping, Address Translation Caching (Directed I/O). Replumbing everything to support virtualization. Virtual Machine Device Queues, I/OAT. PCI-SIG Single Root I/O Virtualization.

Security threats – new threats emerge as new technology is developed.
Reliability – more single points of failure. Need to work to cover those.

8:55 AM – I/O Virtualization. Trying to achieve native performance again under virtualization. Intel VT for DIrected I/O. New logic layer in the north bridge, does DMA and Interrupt mapping. Shipping in 2007. “Was a weakness in the architecture.”

VMDq – networking layer in the NIC to classify and sort packets for the right VMM. Reduces CPU and increases throughput. 2x+ I/O performance for NICs.

Energy Efficiency. IDC chart saying data centers are expensive as heck. $0.50 is for power and cooling, for every $1 spent. Climate Savers initiative. Reduce compute power consumption by 50% by 2010. 100+ companies. VMware is joining Climate Savers.

Good power management being worked on for years, at the node level. Making those capabilities more available to VMMs. Also want to extend the view of power management to the data center level. Global optimizations of energy efficiency.

Reliability. RISC vs. CISC sales. He declared the death of mainframes in 1980-something. Why is big iron still around? Long tail of mainframes. How can we accelerate the decline of mainframes? (chuckles).

A single platform failure takes out a lot of VMs. Need reliability.

New 7300-series quad socket, quad core servers. Demos a Proliant. Graph of old vs. new, new is 30% faster. Yay. Lots of RAM, lots of I/O.

His stated single takeaway point: something very powerful happening.

9:07 AM – Diane Greene introduces Chairman and CEO of AMD, Hector de J. Ruiz.

9:08 AM – Ruiz. Once or twice in a generation something is conceived that changes everything in technology. Much more with less. Shifts control from IT vendors to IT customers.

Hardware vendors – either get on board with virtualization or get out of the way.

AMD Opteron the first 64 bit CPU. vExtend technology to help with VMotion. Green Grid movement. Responsibility and opportunity to help the environment. Must make good business sense, though.

Data center power usage in 2005: 45 billion kilowatt hours, $2.7 billion. Equal to whole state of Mississippi. Aggregate power consumption doubled worldwide between 2000 to 2005.

$0.50 of each IT dollar is for power and cooling. Going towards $0.70.

Own AMD data center – consolidated 117 servers into 7 ESX servers and 2 ESX “swing” servers. 79% less power, cooling.

9:17 AM – Ruiz. 5% of servers in 2005 for virtualization. 15% in 2010. 68% growth in spending, too. Virtualization, as Malcolm Gladwell would put it, has reached the tipping point.

We must not take the future for granted. Are we doing everything to make virtualization as good as it could be?

Lots of vendors shipping 4 socket AMD systems.

9:22 AM – New news: quad core Opterons. Asks Leendert van Doorn to the stage to talk.

Their 2nd generation of virtualization support, too. Nested Page Tables (Rapid Virtualization Indexing) speeding things up. Near native guest performance. Makes virtual machine monitor code smaller, eliminate shadow page tables.

Talking about reasons to virtualize, etc. etc. Virtualization rules. You can do DR, etc. etc. Basically third repeat of same presentation, different company, same choir/audience.

Uses a virtual machine for his grandmother in Amsterdam (not a bad idea, actually).

9:29 AM – Ruiz again. Virtualization is disruptive, etc., but still young. Thank you.

9:31 AM – Rau again. Congratulates AMD on Barcelona release. Talks about vendor stuff, sponsors, press marketing blurbs read by him. Most of the audience leaving. Thanks everybody.

Moment of silence for 9/11/2001.

9:34 AM – Housekeeping. ESX 3i on USB keys for attendees. Cool. Video contest on how VMware has rocked your world. Making efforts to reduce paper.

9:36 AM – Done.

Thanks for reading folks!

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