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9th VMworld Draws 20k Attendees, Crowd of Vendors

It's hard to believe they wrapped up the 9th annual VMworld conference in San Francisco last week. It seems like only yesterday I sat down with Diane Greene, VMware's co-founder, at a LinuxWorld conference to talk about a then largely misunderstood technology that she, her husband, Stanford professor Mendel Rosenblum, two graduate students (Edouard Gugnion and Scott Devine) and a friend from Berkeley (Edward Wang) had unearthed from the mainframe midden and re-imagined for x86.

This year's show drew an estimated 20,000 attendees and took up all three wings of the Moscone Center. But more remarkable to me was the number of third-party vendors working booths and making announcements at this sprawling event. Here are a few of many highlights I could have mentioned (and would have if they gave me more space in this blog). Some were big news, while some you might not have noticed, but should have:

- Cloud and virtual infrastructure control company HyTrust, for example, unveiled version 3.0 of the HyTrust Appliance -- which is a good example of VMware working with third-party vendors to move virtualization into the enterprise. HyTrust provide policy management and access control to virtual infrastructures. As the company's president and co-founder, Eric Chiu, explained it to me, the HyTrust Appliance (which is virtual) "enforces policies on the control plane of VMware-based virtual infrastructure and provides the visibility required for security and compliance."

"If you think about VMware, it's a new operating system for the data center," Chiu said. "We provide security and compliance controls around VMware's vSphere, in particular around the management and administration. So you get this fine-grained authorization; any time anyone is managing the environment, technically they're going through us."

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company also has one of my favorite slogans from the show: "Virtualization Under Control."

- Zend Technologies announced a partnership with show organizer VMware that integrates the vFabric Application Director with Zend Server. By integrating Zend's PHP-based Web-app server with VMware's cloud-enabled application provisioning solution, the two companies aim to make it easier for enterprises to deploy and manage their virtualized PHP apps to public, private and hybrid clouds. The Cupertino, Calif.-based provider of is the creator and commercial maintainer of the PHP dynamic scripting language and various frameworks, solutions, and services supporting it.

The companies noted in a statement that a "key" to this integration was a set of portable deployment blueprints that Zend created by working closely with VMware. "The blueprints feature a reference implementation that codifies the best-in-class standards of Zend Server for private, public and hybrid clouds," the companies said. "By creating the blueprints, Zend and VMware have made it easier for users to create a self-service interface to provision PHP applications."

- ServiceNow, a provider of cloud-based services that automate enterprise IT operations, announced the addition of end-to-end lifecycle automation for managing VMware virtual machines (VMs). The new capabilities in its cloud-based software are designed to manage the VMs "from creation to retirement," the company said.

"Until now, VMware has provided utilities for provisioning a VM and retiring one, but everything in-between and beforehand has been missing," spokesperson Caitlin Regan for the San Diego-based company said in an e-mail.

Company founder and chief product officer Fred Luddy lead a session at the show entitle "VMs Rock. But managing them on behalf of other people … sucks."

- Seattle's ExtraHop Networks, a provider of network-based application performance monitoring (APM) technology, launched version 3.7 of its Application Delivery Assurance system at this year's show. The new version introduces features that have not been available in the ARM market before, including:

Advanced Web Payload Analysis, which makes it possible for companies to manage all mission critical APIs; Precision Syslogging, which allows orgs to log critical events and metrics that hadn't been available for analysis by log aggregation solutions; Flex Grids, which provides a way to create versatile reporting summaries of user-specified metrics across devices, device groups and apps; and Dynamic GeoMaps, which shows worldwide activity and metrics based a translation of the IP address to a geographical location.

The ExtraHop folks pointed me to a blog post on their site about Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant for APM report. Worth a look if you're following this market.

- Savvis, a provider of cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for the enterprise, unveiled a new cloud ecosystem program, with which the company aims to "deliver greater flexibility in the cloud computing environment through collaboration/partnerships with innovative cloud technology providers."

I'd swear I heard "cloud" and "ecosystem" more often at this show than "virtualization." But the Savvis news is worth noting, if for no other reason than the lineup of participants. Among the participants in the newly launched Savvis Enterprise Cloud Ecosystem Program, the company lists BMC Software, ServiceMesh, Rackware, Compuware, DataGardens, Racemi, RiverMeadow Software and ScaleXtreme.

Under the auspices of this program these companies are making their offerings available to Savvis clients. In return, they get complimentary access to the Savvis Symphony Virtual Private Data Center (VPDC) for API integration and testing. The company describes the VPDC as an "enterprise-class virtual private data center cloud solution." Participants also get direct access to Savvis' product management and engineering teams. They even get to use Savvis' sales and marketing resources.

Savvis is owned by Monroe, La.-based telecommunications company CenturyLink. 

- If there was a buzzphrase at this year's show, it was VMware's "software-defined data center." Network solutions provider Brocade offered a variation on that theme by unveiling its ADX Series of application delivery switches, which are part of its "software-defined networking (SDN) vision, strategy and innovation roadmap." The switches are designed to deliver highly scalable VXLAN (Virtual eXtensible Local Area Network) gateway services for virtualized cloud networks developed in partnership with VMware.

- VMware announced at the show an expansion of its VMware Ready for Networking and Security Program, which the company describes on its Web site as "a partner-focused initiative to integrate third party networking and security products into the VMware vCloud suite. One partner taking advantage of that expansion is F5 Networks, a provider of application delivery networking solutions. The company announced plans to integrate its BIG-IP products using the new program. BIG-IP is a suite of app delivery services designed to work together on the same hardware platform or software virtual instance.

- MokaFive, provider of a desktop-as-a-service platform, demonstrated a new product capability at the show. Dubbed Trickleback, it's a cloud sync capability designed to leverage commercial cloud-storage providers (Amazon S3, for example) to provide customers with "secure, encrypted synchronization of data across all of their computers and mobile devices." It works with both the MokaFive Suite, which includes tools that allows users to create, run, distribute and manage VMs called "LivePCs;" and MokaFive for iOS, which provides secure access to corporate files from an iPad.

Posted by John K. Waters on September 4, 2012