Every year when I attend VMworld I like to set myself a clear set of goals to achieve, without this you can quickly become side tracked and it's easy to come away from the event some what bewildered.
Last year I set out my goals or challenges in the doodle below, these included end user computing, hybrid cloud, automation and more.
This year more than ever we are actively seeing our industry change, this is shown in many ways, but no more so than the constant rumor mill of who will be buying the biggest storage vendor in the world and majority owner of VMware, EMC. If the rumours are to be believed we will learn later on this week that it is Dell's desire to purchase EMC including the majority share in VMware.
The reason we are seeing this major shift is due to the IT landscape changing, cloud native SAAS apps are becoming common place and if we aren't seeing a slow down in storage sales today we are likely to be in the near future.
We also saw a raft of releases at VMworld in Europe the majority focused in my opinion on the very largest of enterprise companies and service providers, so what does this mean for the majority of companies, the SMB and SME's around the world.
This sets out my major challenge for VMworld 2015, in the age where our data is starting to move out to the cloud, what should we be concentrating on within our our infrastructures, datacenters, departments and more.
End User Computing
I believe that in the age of the cloud for SME's and SMB's end user computing will become one of the most important areas, gone will be the days where it is overlooked for its more appealing datacentre relative and protecting and maintaining end user devices will be our focus. As someone who has wrote two books on VDI, I'm not even suggesting VDI will used, technologies like AirWatch will become the goto standard and of course physical device management and VDI / DaaS will also be a consideration. So learning all about AirWatch is my number one priority at VMworld whilst considering all EUC technologies.
Networking, Security and Data Protection
You only have to look at the recent IPExpo event to see the datacentre side of of the hall was shrinking, all the major server vendors were missing, but glance at the rest of the vendors and it was easy to see security and networking particularly wireless were doing well. So what will this mean for VMworld? Will we see an increased focus on securing our devices, VMs and cloud applications as well? We know NSX is a big focus for VMware but generally this technology is out of reach of the majority of SMB's and SME's, so will we start see this technology migrate down, be provided by others or is this the reason to move our applications to the cloud in the future?
If you are going to be a storage vendor in the SMB or SME arena today you need to offer key performance or capacity benefits and be simple and easy to manage. This has been true with storage vendors such as Nimble and Tintri and the whole hyper-converged market with people like Nutantix and Simplivity. I will be looking to learn more and catch up with people from these vendors and others to learn more about how they can help my customers.
Automation and Orchestration
If we as IT leaders for SMB and SME companies are to be competing with the cloud, we need our environments to be slick, automated and error free. In the enterprise we have seen the rise of automation tools and languages such as vRealize automation, puppet and chef, the issue is these tools often need specialist skills that aren't easy to obtain for SMB's and SME's. So who is addressing this? Are the tools I mention being or been updated to reflect a wide variety users or is it going to be a new bread of tools?
A good marker on the industry is what are the new vendors at VMworld promoting, which new vendors from last year are still around and who has moved to a bigger and better stand.
As ever catching up with friends and making new friends in the community area will be a priority. I also welome your opinion on the future of our industry as I try and Define Tomorrow.