Customers Not Turning Away
Still, customers don't seem to be turning away from VMware, despite the growing number of options on the market. In a 2007 study of worldwide virtual machine software by IDC, VMware held a 76 percent market share. However, the numbers came in before the release of Hyper-V by Microsoft this year.During his talk, Maritz is expected to focus on what VMware will do to make its virtualization technology the cornerstone of the new effort to build out the infrastructure of cloud or grid computing data centers. This seems to show that VMware is looking enhance virtualization from a mere hardware consolidation tool into a technology that allows for much greater automation, high availability and management of assets, both physical and virtual. Gordon Haff, an analyst with Illuminata, said VMware is still a leader in virtualization when it comes to server consolidation, but that competition from Microsoft and Citrix will force the company to make changes. Martiz's keynote will shed light on what direction the company will go now with Greene and Rosenblum gone from the scene. Cloud computing is just one aspect of what VMware has to tackle. Another challenge is determining how the company will work with EMC now that Greene is gone. "One of the questions for VMware, as for a lot of these ISV infrastructure providers, is how do they play in a cloud world given that people like Google effectively roll their own from open source?" Haff said. VMware also showed a major shift in strategy in July when Maritz announced that it would start shipping a version of the company's hypervisor, called ESXi 3.5, for free. This, along with security features and new innovations for virtual desktop infrastructures of VDIs, is expected to dominate the talk at the VMworld conference.
Now, new CEO Paul Maritz, a former Microsoft executive who was heading up EMC's cloud computing division when he was appointed to his new post, and his keynote talk at the 2008 VMworld conference in Las Vegas, which kicks off Sept. 16, is expected to be closely watched by industry insiders and customers to take the pulse of not only VMware but where x86 virtualization is headed in the next 12 to 18 months.