Cisco CEO to deliver VMworld keynote

VMware just published list of keynote speakers for upcoming VMworld 2007 conference.

As expected first day VMware President, Diane Greene, will welcome over 10,000 attendees in Moscone Center, while her husband Dr. Mendel Rosenblum, company’s Chief Scientist, will close the event last day.

But a completely unexpected guest will perform second day keynote: John T. Chambers, Chairman and CEO at Cisco.

Chambers presence possibly means announcement of a major partnership between VMware and Cisco, which may be related to network equipment virtualization or endpoint security support.

Many customers in these years prayed to have capability to use virtual machines as routers inside VMware virtual networks. So far this has been impossible: despite Cisco proprietary IOS relies on standard x86 hardware, it still requires a dedicated EEPROM to work, which VMware doesn’t include in its virtual hardware set. Maybe Cisco is now ready to virtualize its hardware equipment.

On the other side VMware may have a deal in place with Cisco about its Assured Computing Environment (ACE) product: Cisco endpoint security solution called Network Admission Control (NAC) may work with VMware ACE as an endpoint security agent, eliminating any need to install more software inside host or guest operating systems.

In any case a partnership between VMware and Cisco may greatly enhance virtual infrastructures capabilities.