This morning at VMworld 2008, VMware President and CEO Paul Maritz used his keynote address to discuss the history of VMware and outline VMware's future product roadmap, including VDC-OS, vCloud, and vClient. VMware expects more than 14,000 attendees and 200 sponsors and exhibitors to attend VMworld 2008, a significant increase over VMworld 2007.

Maritz began his keynote by discussing the history of VMware, noting that 2008 marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of the company. Maritz described the three principal approaches to business IT over the years: centralized, or server-based computing; traditional desktop, or client-side computing; and an integration of of both approaches into what Maritz described as the best of both worlds. Maritz stressed that VMware has segment-leading products in both client virtualization (VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion) and server virtualization (ESX Server), which prepares the company well for the future of virtualization. "We're looking at big, fundamental changes in business IT," said Maritz. "The industry is fundamentally moving away from a device-centric model into one that is application, information, and user-centric."

Key to VMware's future strategy is what the company calls its Virtual Data Center OS, or VDC-OS. Maritz said that VDC-OS will allows IT organizations to combine hardware resources (such as servers, network, and storage) into a common pool, or an "on-premise cloud." VDC-OS has three main components, including:

  • Infrastructure vServices: Allows aggregation of hardware resources into a unified pool. Resources can then be allocated to applications on an as-needed basis.
  • Application vServices: Provides for consistent security and scalability to applications regardless of what OS or architecture they're running on.
  • Cloud vServices: Federates capacity between on-site and external cloud resources. According to VMware, a traditional OS is optimized for a single server. VDC-OS is designed for an entire data center, and supports "the full diversity of any application written to any OS, from legacy Windows applications to modern distributed applications that run in mixed operating system environments."


VMworld 2008: Paul Maritz Keynote Slideshow

Maritz also touched upon VMware's new desktop virtualization strategy, focused on the vClient Initiative that is "aimed at delivering universal clients...that follow users to any end point while providing a rich personalized experienced that is secure, cost effective and easy for IT to manage." The first phase of that initiative will be part of the newly-announced VMware View product family. Maritz stressed that improving the client experience was a priority for the company, and mentioned that improved 3D hardware support and an extension of client virtualization technology to non-PC format factors -- such as mobile phones and PDAs--was also in the works.

The final piece of VMware's new product vision is vCloud, a new initiative design to provide tools, technologies, and guidelines to streamline cloud computing efforts and enable on-premise and off-premise clouds to work together more easily. “Until now, businesses have faced too high a hurdle to realize the benefits of cloud computing, including wholesale disruptive infrastructure and application changes,” Maritz said in a statement released before his keynote. "The VMware vCloud Initiative brings together industry innovators to deliver enterprise-class cloud computing for any customer and any application."

For the latest news from VMworld 2008, visit the Windows IT Pro VMworld 2008 blog.