Greg Knieriemen hits the nail on the head with this choice statement in a recent blog post:
VMware is raising the stakes significantly and the once "play nice with everyone" vendor is quietly drawing battle lines with virtually every other vendor in enterprise tech.
VMware has successfully danced along the line of simultaneously nurturing its partner ecosystem, which brings extra value to its products, while expanding its own products--but that's starting to change. For example, VMware acquired Nicira, which put its relationship with Cisco at risk. In 2010, it acquired EMC Ionix, which gave it a management platform that competes directly with products from Global Alliance "fremenies" like HP and IBM. Depending on what VMware announces next week, it may start dancing away from its ecosystem partners--and that could have a big impact on the IT industry.
Outside of VMware, there will be a number of other announcements from vendors exhibiting at the show. VMware may talk about SDN, but I know that a number of networking vendors are making SDN announcements and demos in products that will be available later in the year. There's more than one way to do SDN, and networking equipment vendors are going to want your attention. That's always exciting to see, and I'm going to catch as many as I can.
New storage products and technologies are always in demand, and VMworld will have no shortage. Expect to see product launches and enhancements in server-side caching, cloud storage, storage management and inline, with the rumored Avamar features in vSphere, backup and recovery products.
There will also be a number of other product launches around cloud computing systems both at VMworld and by other vendors trying to steal the spotlight. I know a few companies will be announcing cloud platforms as well as management applications and other products that augment and compete with VMware's cloud offerings.
VMworld is shaping up to be a good show, and there's lots of speculation around what the company is going to announce. And, of course, let's not forget the sessions running all four days. I'm going to attend a few sessions on SDN and software-defined storage in between meetings and the show floor.