VMworld 2010: Virtual Roads. Actual Clouds. Amazing Event.

VMworld 2010 in San Francisco this week was an amazing event, with more than 17,000 attendees converging on the Moscone Center to share innovations, ideas and experiences with virtualization technologies. The keynotes were standing room only and even repeat sessions had lines out the door. VMware didn’t fail to excite the crowd yet again with their innovative ideas, this year focused on the evolution of clouds to hybrid clouds and the necessary infrastructure to make them a reality. The opening keynote has become a highlight of this event, one not to miss, which was iterated by many others I spoke with.

While the healthcare industry was well-represented at the event, we were excited by the variety of conversations with people from other industries such as credit unions, retailers and life sciences. People at the event showed both an enjoyment for sharing their use of virtual environments with their hunger for new innovations to improve the experience. Some key themes that seemed to trend across the event included:

  • Virtual Desktops: Some already deployed but many looking to start pilots soon, most considering View or Citrix XenDesktop
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Confusion: it seemed most every booth had ‘cloud’ on it somewhere, some not even doing real ‘Cloud’ implementations
  • Not Just Education, But Action: with more than 17,000 attendees at the event, there were 10,000+ labs completed, showcasing the tremendous interest in VMware solutions
  • Healthcare Goes Virtual: Hospitals and health networks were in full force at this year’s event as many are looking seriously at virtualization to reduce costs, improve clinician workflows and productivity, and enable higher levels of patient care

From an Imprivata perspective, our booth was packed with people eager to see demos of our One-touch Roaming for Follow-Me Desktop capabilities. We also were part of the VMware Truck tours which pulled into VMworld for a stay before heading back out on the road for its next stop. Great group managing the truck activities, and we had tremendous response to our demos there which helped draw even more people back to our booth for more in-depth conversations.

David Ting participated on a panel discussion in front of a full house, with over 200 attendees in the room! The panel discussion, Virtualization’s Impact on the Delivery of Healthcare IT Services included David James Philbin, Sr. Director Medical Imaging, John Hopkins; Scott Dresen, VP Enterprise Technology Services, Spectrum Health System; and James Fitzgerald, Chief Technology Officer, Dell Services - MEDITECH Solutions Group. This session ignited a number of post-panel follow-up questions, and the quality of conversations with those attending VMworld was both amazing and inspiring.

Last but not least, people truly loved our booth give-away, staring through the ViewMasters and saying “Wow. This is cool...” while getting a snapshot of how Imprivata OneSign complements desktop virtualization from VMware View by adding the capabilities to enable secure roaming including strong authentication, single sign-on and session management. I think people loved the throw-back toy as something different than the typically mundane booth give-aways, and who knows, may have even sparked some childhood memories.

And the closing keynote?? Well that was just amazing. If you missed it, I highly recommend you check it out if VMware makes it available after the show.