I've been watching things finally quiet down from VMworld 2009 and have some of the trends and summaries I have seen. Some of the trends are interesting, some not so much.

Twitter really started the first time last year with following @vmworld. This year the # was all the rage. As long as you followed #vmworld you could see everything folks were talking about. Two good # that were fun this time around were

  • The #vCloud - Take a Drink game.
  • #VMworld3Word - 3 words for folks at VMworld.

I full expect this to only grow next year.

The Virtual Datacenters @ VMworld
Pretty impressive seeing the big one riding down the main escalator at the Moscone Center. Watch as they build it. 776 VMware ESX Servers, 37 Terabyte internal RAM Memory, 6208 Cores and 348 TB of Shared Storage. Wow. Then the talks were how performance wasn't there initially as the various engineers worked hard at resolving it. Things were running good by Tuesday Night/Wednesday morning. The one thing that many of us talked about was how the big data center just looked lopsided. There was 3 server style racks to each Storage style rack. The ratio just looked odd to most of us.

Next year I full expect to see one single big data center instead of having small, medium and large ones. I'm still hoping to get some answers from folks from my initial blog entry.

Booth Babes
A lot more booth babes this year. I'm not terribly excited about this. Sure the eye candy is nice. I'm going to talk with engineers, developers, product managers after wading my way through some marketing folks. In general if a show is all about the Marketing/Booth Babes (and Guys) then the vendor floor has next to no value for me.

Keynote Lukewarm
Both Keynotes this year didn't seem to really talk about all the cool stuff coming. Not sure if this is a new leadership approach or just not much going on this year with the financial slowdown or not. vCloudExpress stuff was nice though I expected to see more "You Gotta Check out the PCoIP stuff we are doing" and "This is mega cool".

Vendor / ISV issues
Lots of chats were around the general feeling of hostility coming from VMware to ISV discussions. Some talk about the rules limiting what Citrix/Microsoft could do and be demoing and shown at the conference. (Most of the talk was they deserved it for the stuff pulled last year. Some was a let down that we couldn't see what they were doing.) Some of the talk was interactions with ESXi and what was/wasn't allowed to compete with VMware's own offerings. The quote that I heard that best describes it was "Is VMware turning into the Microsoft machine now?"

Less Swag, Less People
My guess is the aim was 15k+ people and about 13k came versus last years 14k limit at Vegas. There was less swag which wasn't surprising since the financial changes in the past year.

I have never seen more iPhones in a single place than in San Fran which was easily 1 in 10. Then when I went into the Moscone Center for VMworld it was easily 1 in 5. Crazy nuts what people were doing with their iPhones. I was introduced to a good 4 dozen apps that I've never heard of and now have a good solid set of reasons to get an iPhone.

The other fun was the discussion around the iPhones as a conversation starter of "How many bars do you have?" Depending on the day and time you'd have anywhere from 0 to 3. The lucky person was one that could actually hold a phone conversation while in/near the Moscone Center with their iPhone. Service from AT&T was less than ideal .

Better Bag
The VMworld given bag went back to the style of a true backpack instead of the messenger style. Personally I like this as my VMworld 2006 with the same style is starting to get a little well used by now.

Live Blogging
This is a skill I am not sure I have though I've learned quite a bit by watching, reading and learning how to properly live blog. If I look to do this again next year I will need to do some reading on different successful ways to do this kind of blogging. I tried 2 different methods with varying success in my book. For those of you that read through some of my Keynote Live Blogging posts.. I do apologize and promise to do better.

Overall a good conference again for the time spent with some quality people from VMware, NetApp, Cisco, HP, newScale and all the other individuals I talked with. I look forward to next year. See you all there.