#16 Newsmaker: Grant Aitken of VMware Canada

The general manager of this virtualization vendor’s Canadian operations was our number one newsmaker in 2008. He’s fallen down the list, but that doesn’t mean Grant Aitken and VMware have stopped making news. It just means that virtualization has become mainstream, thanks in no small measure to VMware’s leadership over the years.

All of VMware’s product releases and developments this year centred around two key trends: the development of the hybrid cloud, and virtualization and consumerization driving the “post-PC” era.

The messaging for partners at the VMworld user conference was that virtual machines now outnumber physical machines, and that means changes for device management and application delivery. IT can no longer manage the device. VMware wants them to manage people, releasing several offerings to help.

Among them is VMware View 5, a desktop virtualization and management tool, with improvements that include support for 3D graphics, unified communications integration and virtual desktop personalization. VMware Horizon was also updated to extend its identity, policy and entitlement engine to virtualized Windows applications.

VMware also spoke about its vision for the hybrid cloud, which leverages both public and private cloud infrastructures and allows for seamless data flow between the cloud and the data centre. Aitken said if they haven’t already done so, partners need to fully develop their own strategies to help customers move to the cloud.

“The recurring revenue model of services on demand is driving a lot of activity with end-customers,” said Aitken. “Partners need to have some offerings in that space.” On the channel front, VMware’s new global channel chief Scott Aronson told partners he wants to make the vendor easier to work with easier quoting, streamlined contracting and investments in training.

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