This is the 4th VMworld conference that I'm attending representing Microsoft. And it's the first time I've heard/seen acknowledgment from VMware that if virtualization isn't everywhere (which it's not) then management of the non-VM layer is important.

This acknowledgement came via HP and their participation in the Day 1 keynote. VMware realizes that a highly instrumented and automated VM layer only isn't the path to the evolving datacenter (or even server room). There will be apps/workloads that need to be monitored, configured, deployed and backed-up. There will be operating systems to run those apps and ISVs are going to keep coding their apps for operating systems for some time now. And what if the workloads on that server are actually desktops? There also will be power supplies, fans, etc., that require monitoring - even in an IT shop that's 100% virtualized (Diane's dream). And so HP talked about HP Insight Manager working in parallel to Virtual Center.

Interestingly enough, the topic of physical and virtual management came up in the booth today, too. A couple gentlemen from a systems integrator asked me about plans to work with VMware and they asked about our product roadmap.  I explained to them that much of our work with VMware has been to define and develop specs for industry standards, primarily in the DMTF. This is important work to ensure interop and portability. But we're also an ISV partner of VMware, in that we've licensed VI3/Virtual Center APIs in order to manage ESX Server in the next version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager. And by manage, I do include Vmotion. A customer with Virtual Center and Vmotion will be able to consolidate their management tools (and views) into System Center so they have a single pane of glass. Customers feel a pain (financial, admin, etc) having many different management consoles. Rakesh blogged about our plans for managing ESX Server here.

I'm looking forward to Mendel's day 2 keynote.