VMware CTO Touts vSphere 5 Advantages in VMworld Keynote

VMware CTO Steve Herrod focuses on the consistent advances in the company's virtualization technology with the recent release of its flagship vSphere 5 product.

LAS VEGAS-VMware CTO Steve Herrod used his keynote address at VMworld to focus on the newly released flagship vSphere 5 while also showing technologies that leverage VMware's leadership position in data center and desktop virtualization.

"The most exciting thing I have to announce is the largest VM to date," Herrod told the crowd of 19,000. "VMs can now be configured with up to 32 virtual CPUs and 1 terabyte of memory," Herrod continued, after first showing a video clip that played up the fact that he's made similar announcements, of significantly smaller systems, at previous VMworld appearances.

In addition to laying out the enhanced desktop, security and application virtualization products, Herrod provided a "sneak peek" at VMware Navigator, which enables operators to see what services are running on VMs. Herrod also unveiled "Project Octopus," a service that provides a file sharing capability similar to DropBox.

While much of Herrod's keynote focused on the newly launched vSphere 5 infrastructure, there were demonstrations on how vSphere enables a changed desktop experience.

Vittorio Viarengo, VMware's vice president of end-user computing, unveiled AppBlast to demonstrate how legacy applications-in this case Microsoft Excel-can be presented to an end user using an Apple iPad via a Web browser. AppBlast is a lab project and is not yet available. When AppBlast is released, it will use HTML 5-enabled browsers.

VMware Horizon emerged as a lynchpin of Herrod's remarks. Horizon is a brokering system that today connects SAS and some enterprise applications to authorized users on a variety of devices. Windows applications are expected to be supported sometime before the end of the year.

It is clear that management is taking on increased importance as VMware continues to push for wholesale data center virtualization. According to Herrod, "The majority of VMware engineers are now focused on management." Conversations with VMware executives in Las Vegas made it clear that much of the management work will focus on enabling third-party vendors to access data from vSphere.

VMworld continues in Las Vegas until Thursday.

Editor's Note:This story was corrected. The first VMworld was held in 2004. There was no VMworld 2001.