Top 10 Executives from VMworld

More than 70 people were interviewed on theCube this year at VMworld. Here are ten executives who we talked with over the past four days who caught our attention.

Tarker Maner, CEO of Wyse Technology: One of the great characters to appear on #theCube. Maner is one of the “new generation” of CEOs we see who fully understand what this post-PC era means.


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Steve Herrod, CTO, VMware: Herrod puts an emphasis on networking and security as key themes and the role of virtualization in the post-PC era. Bert Latimore’s post about Herrod’s interviuew included this snippet:

“VMware is by necessity changing how security works,” Herrod said. Physical security is based on putting “bumps in the wire” such as firewalls at the boundary between the public and private network. But a virtualized environment has by its nature no places to put these border guardians. “So vShield is about recognizing a more mobile world.”


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Jim McNiel, CEO of FalconStor: Backup is broken and storage-as–a-service and back-up-as-a-service is the fix. Tape has a specific application and returning data to active use you need a snapshot and repletion technology. That is why backup is broken. A theme: backup data as it is collected in a virtualized environment. To back it up in massive chunks just does not work.


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David Flynn, CEO of Fusion-io: The past year was a whirlwind for Fusion-io, culminating with its IPO this past spring. This year, it’s still the Wild West in the flash world where the company roams. Rich Boberg of IO-Turbine joined Flynn. Fusion-io recently acquired IO-Turbine.This is heady stuff with discussions about hypervisors for multiple sources of data and how that compares to hypervisors for virtualization which is all about compute. This worth is worth listening to twice.


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Tom Georgens, CEO, NetApp: Government business has slowed this year but in Asia the growth is phenomenal. NetApp has recently been expanding its overall business. Georgens explains the approach and how it compares to companies that are growing by expanding its portfolios as opposed to seeking affinity businesses that complement the core product.


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John W. Thompson, CEO of Virtual Instruments: Thompson starts off by talking about how the economics of virtualization are proving to be true. The entire stack is being virtualized. The concept of virtualization is not new but the idea of apply it to all the tiers is a new phenomena. But it does create challenges, in particular with performance and high availability management.


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Jayshree Ullal, CEO of Arista Networks: She said the cloud is going from hype to real deployments. The company has had the vision of building purpose built networking software for the cloud with hardware built over it. Today, Arista has deployments all over the world. She says private cloud has taken off first but today the public cloud provider is as important. These providers are looking at scale, power and footprint.


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Chris Hoff, Security Expert, Juniper: Hoff is one of the leading influencers in the security field. One of the most memorable moments of theCube came when Hoff talked about compliance getting in the way of innovation.


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David Wright, CEO at SolidFire: The company was born out of Rackspace where Wright saw the challenges in providing storage in a cloud environment and everything that is expected in the cloud. Wright says SolidFire is focusing on the services provider market. He saw that there were companies building large capacity storage systems for service providers but there were not many building primary storage and not much new stuff coming in the space. There was a new approach needed. The goal was to focus on performance.


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Scott Genereux, CEO, Nirvanix: Genereux discussed the value of the hybrid cloud to customers and why storage needs to extend beyond the data center. Genereux appeared on a panel, discussing cloud computing.


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Pat Gelsinger, President and COO, EMC: Gelsinger is a frequent guest on theCube. Kristen Nicole posted about Gelsinger’s view about virtualization as now a de-facto aspect of the enterprise:

“We think about VMware as the new data center operating system–the assumed layer of the infrastructure of IT is transforming,” he goes on, speaking of his expectations for the coming year. “It really has become a defining element of the IT of the future. It changes everything–what administrators do, application environments–we’ve tipped over.”


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Services Angle

Services were a main theme at VMworld. Every layer of the enterprise stack is getting virtualized. This creates a need for services in such areas as storage and data backup. These will be continuing themes this year as the enterprise adapts to a post-PC world.

About Alex Williams

Alex Williams is an editor for SiliconAngle and lives a charmed life in Portland, Or.