Live from VMware TSX 2007 – part 1

This morning VMware started its Technical Solutions Exchange (TSX) 5th edition in Nice, France.

Featuring over 1,000 attendees as previously announced, TSX became the biggest virtualization event in Europe, which is an impressive result considering attendees saw the agenda just two weeks ago.

In two hours four keynotes took place this morning:

Stephen Herrod, Vice President of Technology Development, spent a large part of his keynote covering VMware Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) architecture, and explaining how it could further improve in future, thanks to upcoming innovations on I/O virtualization, starting from memory thanks to AMD Nested Page Tables (NPT) and Intel Extended Page Tables (EPT).

Such innovations will eventually mitigate or completely eliminate virtualization overhead but, as Bogomil Balkansky, Director of Product Marketing, told few days ago, this will not happen before 2-3 years.

Srinivas Krishnamurti, Director of Product Management and Market Development, talked about virtual appliances benefits for customers, and how this market is expected to become standardized.

He also briefly mentioned the Just Enough OS (JeOS), the operating system based on Debian developed by VMware and currently adopted for its own appliances, like the Management Server provided with new ACE 2.0 Enterprise Edition.

JeOS is the most interesting part of the virtual appliances discussion because it provides a small system footprint and an automatic update mechanism, simplifying work for ISVs wanting to provide a secure and reliable solution.

Robert Dell’Immagine, VMTN Director, talked about successes achieved by VMTN Forums since 2004, which now reaches over 300,000 members, and about upcoming new features: a tagging system, a wiki public platform and most of all the availability for all members to have a personal blog on the VMware content management system.

Robert also briefly introduced the new VI Operations site, actually in private beta, which discovered last week and incorrectly reported as a new product: VI Ops is a new site providing suggestions and best practices about VMware Infrastructure implementations.

And finally David Day, VMware EMEA Senior Trainer, provided a complete overview of VMware Training worldwide, revealing North America has more classroom courses but EMEA features more VMware Certified Professionals (VCP).

David also provided a brief hint about upcoming chances in current exam structure and new online courses about VMware Converter and ACE 2.0 to be launched later in 2007.

Despite TSX is not a press event where new products are announced, there are three sessions which may provide attendees an insight about what’s coming next:

  • Architectural Directions for Virtual Infrastructure
  • VMware Consolidated Backup: Today and Tomorrow
  • What is the next big thing (based on attendees suggestions during the event)

More on these sessions in the next part. Stay tuned!