VMworld is one of those conferences that you really feel like a rookie the first time you go. It is such a huge event.
Last year, the event attracted about 12,000 people. The VMware team expected to attract 14,000 people for this year's event. When all was said and done, the user event turned industry conference attracted more than 17,000 people. A total of 85 countries were represented. VMworld will continue Oct. 12-14 in Copenhagen.
The conference is vast. It can be more complicated to understand virtualization then figure out where to go at Moscone. We spent a good part of our time talking with people on the show floor. In particular, we had the chance to talk with three service providers: BlueLock, Savvis and Hosting.com.
BlueLock is a pure-play cloud services company. It is one of three North American service provider selected as a vCloud Datacenter provider. BlueLock is a good example of a company that provides a hybrid cloud environment. It connects a VMware customer's data center with the BlueLock public cloud.
It is smaller than many of its counterparts. It sees itself as more service oriented than the larger players in the market.
BlueLock serves small and mid-sized companies. BlueLock executives said most smaller sized companies are willing to put its mission critical applications into the cloud. Mid-sized companies are less willing to use the cloud for mission critlcal apps. They still use it primarily for functions such as test and development.
Savvis comes from a hosting background. It plays a natural role in the VMware ecosystem. It has traditionally been one of the heavyweights of the hosting world.
At VMworld, Savvis said they talked with a number of customers interested in hybrid cloud computing. They said that customers still want choice and wish to take incremental steps in adopting it.
"There is a big interest in the cloud - the underlying issue - IT infrastructure costs a lot," said Brian Doerr, CTO for Savvis.
Takeway from Savvis: Like a lot of hosting services, Savvis is sensitive about keeping is legacy business intact while offering cloud computing as a leading edge service. Question remains about how conservative a managed hosting company should be with the rapid adoption of cloud computing but Savvis seems committed to it over the long run.
Hosting.com launched a virtual appliance that is packaged with Sharepoint 2010 and a virtual machine deployed as a virtual cloud. Hosting.com claims it is a first for Microsoft. Using the appliance, customers may run multiple applications in a VMware environment.
In addition, Hosting.con announced that it was offering the Zimbra appliance for email and collaboration.
All three service providers show different approaches to the market. BlueLock is the purest of the bunch with a dedicated infrastructure for cloud computing. Savvis is a longstanding player in the hosting space that offers cloud computing but is also very much dependant on its traditional core business. It can provide hybrid cloud computing but it's part of a broader offering. In other words, it's not the core mission of the company to provide cloud computing services. Hosting.com provides cloud computing services but for this year' event is focusing on appliances for virtually hosting applications.
It is the service providers who will play an important role in implementing hybrid clouds. They are ones to watch as a bellwether of adoption.