Maximize Your IT and VMWorld: a hybrid approach to a new chapter in IT
One of the most fascinating elements of the new chapter in IT history that virtualization represents is the degree to which companies who are essentially competitors, or who have long-held alliances with others, actually work together in an open forum somewhat reminiscent of the open-source code communities that gave birth to products like Linux. There is no naiveté in that statement; obviously, every company is in it to make money for its shareholders, investors and employees, however the degree of collaboration demonstrated by many of the industry’s biggest players is impressive.
This is something that Chris Carrier, Director, Alliance Marketing at VMWare, understands well. He is involved with maximizeyourit.com, a joint venture between Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), Intel and VMWare, intended to help companies and organizations understand the ideas behind the Software Defined Data Center and Intelligent Storage; in other words, to help prepare them for transition to the private cloud.
The goal of maximizeyourit.com, he says is twofold: first to generate awareness and comfort with the concepts of cloud and virtualization, and second to obviously demonstrate the capacity of its three founding companies to assist and oversee their clients’ transition, and to ease that transition from the traditional “building block approach.”
He has always been impressed, for example by the capacity of HDS to support its powerful assertion of 100 percent uptime. “HDS was very insightful when they built their service line, and now they have a product that supports the statement of 100 percent uptime.” He adds, “many companies are tentative about making a statement like that, but They do not regret putting that out there.”
It is this type of innovation and initiative that seems to attract proactive companies, whether as co-developers of a solution, or as clients. “We do get partners that step up and bring a lot to the table,” he says, “there is a culture of encouraging initiative.” In other words, Carrier states, “companies are betting their future on the products of other companies.”
CloudTweaks asked Chris for a short state-of-the-union summary; where are we right now, and where are we going with all this technology? He responded, “we have finally crossed the threshold where cloud is a reality. The majority of companies see it as a reality.” What he sees as the next chapter basically involve more steps towards making infrastructure invisible. He uses the phone as an example. In the days of the rotary phone, everything was visible. For example making a long distance call involved the assistance of an operator who set up the call, and in some cases scheduled it for a later time. Now, he points out, we have become so comfortable with picking up a smartphone and stating, ‘call Jimmy’ that most of us have forgotten about the infrastructure underneath, to the point that we seldom even memorize phone numbers anymore.
Carrier sees this new chapter as being rife with healthy challenges. Numerous add-in companies, for example, experts in security, or compliance, will work with clients in a more open way to help them to prove they are compliant and ready for business. There is a tangible sense of overall collaboration; even vendors that compete are working together to push innovation further.
Naturally, in line with his role at VMWare, Carrier is very pleased with this year’s event. It is seeing representation from all segments of the economy and many areas of the world. “People are paying the attendance fees because they are seeing the value of the event.” Indeed this is corroborated by any random sampling of tweets sent by attendees – VMWorld 2013 has provided a great deal of practical knowledge for IT people to chew on and learn from, rather than just product displays. “People,” he says, “are talking tech.”
CloudTweaks asked Chris about the 90-10 ratio of male to female conference attendees as an index of gender representation in the IT world. He recognizes that there is a significant imbalance, but has seen, in his years both at VMWorld and previously, a slow change as more women enter into the industry.
Carrier is interested to see how the VMWorld Conference in Barcelona will compare in terms of acceptance and innovation in the “old world.” He says that this event, as well as the regional events held in the South East Asian/Pacific rim areas will help demonstrate to those organizations that are still on the fence that virtualization and cloud technology is now a true reality.
The VMWorld2013 San Francisco event runs through August 29, and the Barcelona event runs October 15-17. Both events can be followed through the hashtags #VMWorld and #VMWorld2013.
By Steve Prentice