VMworld 2011 Won't Lack for News

Nearly all of the major IT systems makers and dozens of smaller companies will be launching new products -- or at least new versions of products -- at the show, which is expected to draw about 30,000 attendees.

As has been the case for the last half-dozen years, VMworld-the 2011 version of which opens Aug. 29 and continues through Sept. 1 at the Venetian and Wynn hotel convention centers in Las Vegas-is going to be about as newsy as any IT show in the world this year.

Tickets for attendees are going for as much as $2,200 for the four-day conference and expo.

Tier 1 IT providers such as Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, EMC, NetApp, Symantec, Accenture, Brocade and VMware itself will be providing most of the headlines.

Dell has decided to announce some new cloud-related news at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce event in San Francisco. IBM and Oracle (with a competing hypervisor, this is no surprise) are quiet on the VMware front.

Lesser-known companies such as NEC, NTT America, Datalink, Wyse, Tintri, Nexenta, Savvis, Cleversafe and Eucalyptus are among those that will release new products or have some other tale to tell.

Overall, the conference focuses on the latest virtualization IT along with strategies to help organizations add private or hybrid cloud computing to their current systems. The central news that affects most everything else is that VMware's vSphere v5.0, which was announced back on July 12, will be made generally available Aug. 29.

Underlying News: vSphere v5.0 Goes GA

vSphere 5's newest spin is that it now has the ability to allow virtual machines to use a whopping 1TB of memory running 32-way symmetric multiprocessing. Conference planners have scheduled about 150 sessions devoted to how to manage all that power, deploy and secure the new version of the system, and use it effectively with existing IT hardware and software.

With v5.0, vSphere's high-availability architecture has also been upgraded for better scale-out ability. Storage distributed resource scheduling (DRS), profile-driven storage and automated host deployment are also new features in the software.

The theme this year is "Own It. Your Cloud." Keynote headliners will be two of the usual VMware suspects, meaning CEO Paul Maritz (Monday, Aug. 29 at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time and 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30) and CTO Steve Herrod Thursday, Sept. 1 at 9 a.m.).

Topic tracks include: Cloud Application Platform, Business Continuity, Cloud Infrastructure: Management and Operations, Security and Compliance, Virtualizing Business Critical Applications, vSphere, End-User Computing, Partner (for VMware partners only; held at the Wynn), and Technology Exchange for Alliance Partners.

Here's a grid schedule for all the events, both social- and business-related. Good luck on deciding an agenda. And here is a link to the overall content catalog.

Oh, yes. The Killers are performing Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. at a big party for all attendees.

Here is a list of frequently asked questions. If you cannot attend, you can monitor the show via live Webcast here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...