This year the VMworld organization organized a ‘VMworld Unplugged’. The idea was to let the attendees ask questions to a panel. The members of this panel were: Paul Maritz, Maritizio Carli, Tod Nielsen and Steve Herrod.  You could ask questions by microphone or send them before the session.

There were a couple of very interesting questions. Below is small selection of those questions.

Q: What is VMware going to do to keep ahead of Microsoft
A: Paul: “Competiton is good, it keeps everbody honest”. vSphere is a ahead of Microsoft, but that’s no reason not to do your best. If you’re procrastinating you’re gonna loose in the end. The focus should be customers, not the competition and how we can beat them.

Q: When client virtualization available for laptops
A: Steve: 1st version available ASAP, most likely 2009. After that the product evolves into the technology it has to become.

Q: How much vSphere gonna cost
A: ‘not much’

Q: When will be vSphere will be released
A: no date can be given yet. When it will be announced it will be a max of 30 days before shipment.

Q: Do you have any comments on the move from Citrix to make XenServer for free
A: Paul: when you give something away for free it most of the time is not a sign of strength. The funding for R&D has to come from some place. VMware does deliver ESXi for free, but still has committed itself to put lots of resource into R&D. In the next six month we will pump $ 0.5B into R&D. This kind of funding is hard to do with free products.

Q: What are VMware’s actions to push parties like Oracle to support VMware as platform and on licensing
A: The support for VMware by Oracle is just an evolution of the support model now in place. Every software vendor has to go through this change. The market will change and demand for more support on virtualized hardware. The same goes for licensing. The ‘old’ model for licensing based on CPU sockets doesn’t hold up in virtualized environments. Even VMware has to consider it’s licensing model. It has to change but it just takes time.

Q: Will the official traning materials be translated into oterh languages?
A: Translation and localization is high on the prioritylist. More and more localized training material will appear.

Q: Can you tell something about the rumors about Cisco wanting to buy VMware?
A: Paul: No comment.

Q: Why vCenter heartbeat if you have Fault Tolerant?
A: FT is designed for hardware failure. 60% of the install base of vCenter Server still is physical. No with heartbeat you can create a high available vCenter server on physical hardware.

Q: There’s the Intel-VMware initiative for clientside hypervisor, but what about AMD?
A: AMD still is in the game. We just want to support both sides and get the best out of both worlds.

Q: Is there or will there be a migration path from XenServer to VMware?
A: The only way this is possible at the moment is by VMware Converter.

Q: The unavailability of a longterm roadmap makes it hard for businesses to create an internal roadmap based on this. Will it change in the future?
A: Paul: We do see this as a problem. This has to change in the future. One of the things could be an annual release model. At this time it is impossible because of internal matters.

Q: What is the future of the Service Console?
A: Service Console will be downloadable as a special virtual machine. It already is in the form of vima

These were not all questions, but all I could remember and write down in time :-)