The Future is Hybrid: VMworld 2014

This time of year is always an exciting one for me.  No, it’s not that I love summer or can’t wait for the start of hockey season (ok maybe that last one is true).  For me, late August always means it’s time for one thing: VMworld.

VMworld is VMware’s annual conference where they bring together the best and brightest in the virtualization industry to share knowledge, discuss new features, and introduce the world to new products or technologies.  The first VMworld I attended was back in 2005 where the attendance was only 3,000 people.  At VMworld 2014 they’re expecting over 20,000 people which is a testament to how much this industry has grown.  This year will be my 8th VMworld and I couldn’t be more excited!

vmw2014It’s exciting for me because this is the first year I’ll go from being an attendee soaking up information to being a presenter who gets to share.  I’m presenting a session called, “Virtualizing Active Directory: The Right Way!” that goes to my roots as someone who believes in virtualizing business critical applications.  I’m co-presenting this session with Deji Akomolafe from VMware, another seasoned expert in virtualizing business critical apps.  Our session was originally scheduled to just run once, on Thursday the 28th at 10:30am, but demand was so high they’ve added another spot for us on Monday the 25th at 1:00PM.  If you’re at the conference, feel free to come by the session or stop me in the halls and say hi!  Or bring your copy of Virtualizing Microsoft Business Critical Applications on VMware vSphere or VMware vSphere: Performance to my book signing in the VMworld bookstore on Tuesday the 26th at 12:00PM.

Virtualizing Microsoft Active Directory domain controllers, and business critical applications in general, is near and dear to my heart.  I firmly believe that there are almost no applications left that can’t be virtualized, and this session gives me an opportunity to share my experiences and help others become successful.  Business critical applications have become, for the most part, the last applications and servers that are still physical for many organizations.  Getting as to close to 100% virtualization as possible is an important goal to strive for.

Why is that important?  Another firmly held belief of mine is that virtualization is truly the on-ramp to the cloud.  By virtualizing even your organization’s most important workloads, you take one step closer to a future state where you can start taking advantage of cloud computing in your organization.

Of course, simply having a virtual infrastructure doesn’t mean you have a cloud.  Having a true hybrid cloud involves additional components to facilitate automation, orchestration, and to provide users with that service catalog where they can consume IT resources on a self-service basis.  Virtualizing you organization’s servers makes it easier to start layering in those cloud components, and once in place you’ll want even your business critical servers virtualized so you can start taking advantage of what a true hybrid cloud has to offer.  A great use case for combining business critical applications with a hybrid cloud is Database as a Service (DBaaS), which I talk about in a previous blog post.

Speaking of hybrid cloud, EMC will be demonstrating the EMC Hybrid Cloud (EHC) solution this year in our booth.  If you’re just hearing about EHC, take a look back at my three part blog series on EHC (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) to get a primer for what’s in store for EMC at VMworld.  It’s a very exciting time to be at EMC as we focus heavily on EHC, enabling our customers to adopt a true IT as a Service model and change the way they run IT.

Even though this is my 8th time attending VMworld, I’ve never been more excited.

I can’t wait to present my session on virtualizing Microsoft Active Directory domain controllers and help organizations successful in their virtualization/cloud journeys.  And with the hybrid cloud being such a big focus, it’s really a fun time to be at EMC.

If you’re walking down the halls at VMworld and happen to see someone who looks like former VMware CEO Paul Maritz, stop him and say hi.  It’s probably me!

About the Author: Matt Liebowitz

Matt Liebowitz is the Global Cloud Platforms lead for the Dell Technologies Consulting Services Portfolio.  He focuses on thought leadership and service development for multi-cloud and cloud platform related Consulting services. Matt was named a VMware vExpert every year since 2010 and is a frequent blogger and author on a wide range of cloud related topics. Matt has been a co-author on three virtualization-focused books, including Virtualizing Microsoft Business-critical Applications on VMware vSphere and VMware vSphere Performance. He is also frequent speaker at the VMworld and Dell Technologies World conferences.