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On the other side of VMworld ‘08

I’ll keep it short: It was a great conference, but mostly for the networking and meetings. I’ll take the negative nelly role here and say outright that when it came to the products, I wasn’t too impressed, wasn’t too wowed and wasn’t too giddy. I’ve seen a lot of great announcements, heard a lot of great talk and definitely met a lot of great people, but I haven’t seen much else that I’m really going “Wow!” over. The Cisco announcement has been a year in the coming. We heard about it at last year’s conference, and it’s still not fully released. ESX 4 … wasn’t that demo-ed last year? VDC-OS? Show me a product. I’ve sat through press briefings, product announcement, labs and seminar after seminar, and I keep coming back to those Wendy’s commercials from the ’80s … Where’s the Beef?

NEC’s got me piqued. It seems ready to re-enter the American market in a big way, reversing its trend of avoiding the U.S. as a full-systems seller like we all had monkey pox. The company also seems to have the best end-to-end VDI solution out there, extending VMware’s product on its own hardware, with multimedia and USB capabilities.

Cisco’s got me curious. I’m hoping for a product launch soon so I can see the inside of this new plug-in networking module architecture. I’m not holding my breath, however, because this has been in the pipe for a long time without much substance. True, the VMware virtual switches we all know and love today were originally co-designed with Cisco, but that just makes me wonder why there hasn’t been a formal product on the market before now.

On to the cloud. As I told the incomparable John Troyer in the podcast Andrew Kutz and I did … if your product is vapor, don’t call it cloud. Show me a Web OS client that can run virtualized apps. Show me federation over the Web with cloud services that integrate with internal services. Show me something!

The glitz was top notch. The glam was top notch. The parties — I think you see where this is going. Long story short, this conference was one about maintenance mode rather than being unveiling anything major, but it sure was fun.

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Amen Joe. Big companies short on new product announcements are big on vision (I say this as an ex-Sun employee). But there *are* such products out there... or at least products approximating what you're getting at. An example of one, plus my spin on your same VMworld observation, is at