VMworld 2011 Roundup: Can You Read My Mind? All seem to agree virtualization’s grown up

In honor of the amazing VMworld 2011 Killers concert…

“When you were young”

Everything at VMworld was bigger than in previous years. The number of attendees rose from 15,000 last year to over 19,000.   Many new companies exhibited, with much larger booth space in the solutions exchange for the biggest companies.

And of course, the community activities and networking opportunities were plentiful. As Tony Dunn of VMWare noted on Twitter —>

“Can you read my mind?”

Everyone seemed to be on the same page about Virtualization taking over the data center (and no longer just a segment within the data center).   Virtualization is much more mature — we’ve moved beyond ‘should mission critical applications be virtualized’ to the organizational and operational challenges of environments that are already virtualized.   One of the questions we asked people who stopped by the Zerto booth was, “How much of your data center is already virtualized?”   Nearly everyone we spoke to had between 70% and 95% of their data center virtualized.

We see this as particularly significant because products like Zerto, vKernel and others are built for virtualized environments — and specifically for mission-critical and tier-1 applications on virtualized environments.   The discussion at VMworld has moved past the ‘if’s and ‘why’s of virtualization to address the ‘how’s.   How can I best accomplish data protection and recovery in a virtualized environment? How can I adapt the rest of my infrastructure to maximize the benefit I gain from virtualization?   Those were some of the key concerns of CIOs and IT managers we met at VMworld.

“Are we human or are we dancers?”

100% human! We can see how it might be tempting to use outside entertainers like magicians and booth  babes to do lead scanning at a big show like VMworld.   Without naming names, this seemed to be a growing  practice from exhibitors at VMworld, and the subject of much discussion in the VMworld blogosphere.  Truth is, I’d venture to guess that most companies using tricks for lead scanning are now finding that the  leads they scanned at the event are not from people who genuinely have an interest in their product.   We’re  pretty proud that everyone in our booth could talk about Zerto’s product intelligently, and that hundreds  of attendees who are actively looking for DR solutions came over to talk to us.   So, we may not be  dancers,  but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t have a bit of fun with our swag!   Zerto’s hyper “visors” were a big hit with the swag collectors.

“Mr. Brightside”

The true bright side of VMworld for us was meeting existing and potential customers who seem to really understand the need for hypervisor-based replication and the value we bring.   Nearly everyone we spoke to had first-hand experience of difficulty in the implementation of their disaster recovery plan.

And of course, the real Brightside, winning   TechTarget’s “Best of Show”, “Gold Award for Business Continuity and Data Protection”, and ViBriefing’s “Technology Excellence Platinum Award”.   We’re honored and humbled.

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