So I’m finding the choice of food, shall we say interesting. If you’re not used to the American ‘breakfast’ then you might need to shop around yourself, here I was hunting for some fruit:
First up today was the Keynote with Steve Herrod and today was all about End User Computing. There were a lot of bloggers in the community lounge, so I figured it would be good to watch it in there where it would be live streamed on the big screen.
One of the major announcements was Mirage from the Wanova acquisition. There was a demonstration showing how it would be possible to access a Windows desktop in different scenarios, moving from a Windows laptop to a View desktop from a tablet to an offline copy on a Macbook with Fusion.
Something I found really interesting was a demo of Project AppShift. If you’ve ever tried accessing a Windows desktop from a tablet device and attempted to use some of the small menus or buttons it can be quite a challenge. What VMware are attempting to do here is bringing the tablet style interface of gestures and easy to use touch icons, layered on top of a Windows desktop. This looked like a great way to make this style of access much more productive.
People talk about the year of VDI and when it will happen, well it certainly seems to be the year of the Suite. Announced was the Horizon Suite. This suite combines some of the upcoming Horizon products such as Projects Octopus and Appblast, currently in alpha, beta by the end of the year. The first surprise was the announcement that the Horizon Management Suite will be able to manage Citrix XenApp published applications. So if you have existing applications published via this method you will be able to integrate them in the way you deliver other applications via the Horizon Suite.
We also had some more details around Horizon Mobile. Previously we have only seen this demoed for Android devices. This time we saw a demo if the approach on Apple IOS. A different approach has been taken here and instead of a full VM, the corporate applications are delivered to the iPhone ThinApp style.
Certainly lots of interesting things coming for End User computing and a lot more than just virtual desktops.
I headed back to the community lounge to see the vExpert roundtable summary of the keynote.
The rest of the day I spent a lot of time in sessions, a quick summary of a few of them:
Directions on End User Computing
More info on the Horizion Mobile Suite and some details of integration with vCloud Director and View.
PowerCLI from Bare Metal to the Cloud
A really interesting session with Alan Renouf, Eric Williams and Jake Robinson demonstrating some ways to integrate PowerCLI with Cisco UCS and vCloud Director.
Tech Preview of Multi-CPU FT
A long waited view of a much anticipated feature, Multi-CPU FT. FT is a great feature for giving extra availability protection to VMs, but it is currently restricted to single CPU VMs. In this session we saw a live demo of a multi-CPU vCenter VM stay running after a host crash of the Primary VM. I think a lot of people are looking forward to this making it into the product and hopefully it is not too far away now.
Tech Preview of Virtual Storage
I was curious about this one after it was mentioned in the keynote and it was a very popular session. Essentially this feature combines local storage from hosts in a cluster and distributes VM data around it. There was significant backing from Cisco UCS about how they might take advantage of this and also a curious spot from an HP 3Par guy who said they were working with VMware on this, but it was difficult to see where they were coming from as a SAN point of view, since this was around local storage.
After Sunday’s experience I dared to venture to the labs and this time had a much better experience. I went for the BYOD version and had no queue (yay!). It was sure nice to sit in a comfy sofa to take a lab! It did take a little while for the lab to start, but I didn’t experience any issues apart from that.
A guy sitting near me was experiencing a lot of issues with his lab and there still seemed to be a lot of empty seats for the traditional labs, yet a fair amount of queuing outside for those. As I left the area another guy also walking out was complaining that he’d waiting 15mins for his lab to spin up after starting at the desk. I’m not sure if these are isolated incidents, but I haven’t heard as many good reports about them as previous years.
To finish off the day I headed to a PowerShell meetup arranged by Alan Renouf. It was great to meet other people who use PowerShell and PowerCLI and see what they were doing with it.
Photo kindly taken by a guy from Google who walked past and had never heard of PowerShell, so we educated him :-) A gaggle of (PowerShell) geeks?