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As is the case with many IT vendors, VMware executives are spending a large portion of their waking hours thinking and talking about cloud computing, according to VMware CEO Paul Maritz.
"We're not immune from cloud fever -- we also tend to use this term a lot," Maritz told a crowd of some 19,000 attendees Monday in a keynote address at the opening of VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas.
That VMware is consumed with all things cloud at the moment isn’t surprising: The company launched vSphere 5 earlier this week and is working on synchronizing future releases of products in its cloud infrastructure stack, which include vSphere, vCloud Director, vShield, vCenter Operations and vCenter Site Recovery Manager.
Maritz called vSphere 5 a "major achievement" for VMware, one that required more than one million hours of engineering and two million hours of quality assurance testing. At the core of all this work, Maritz explained, lies VMware's guiding principle of building automation into its products to increase operational efficiencies.
"This type of software has to become just like hardware," Maritz said in the keynote. "Infrastructure is not interesting to organizations -- people want to forget about it."
One thorny issue that's driving data center costs is the difficulty of correlating management of compute and storage resources, said Maritz. He said VMware has been working closely with the storage industry to address this issue and automate storage management in vSphere 5.
One topic Maritz didn't touch on in his keynote was the controversy that erupted in July after VMware introduced vRAM based licensing. The hubbub subsided in early August after VMware raised vRAM allotments and capped the amount of vRAM that customers pay for in a single VM, but some companies -- Microsoft, especially -- have continued to focus on the costs associated with the new vSphere pricing structure.
Meanwhile, virtualization keeps chugging steadily along. Maritz pointed to recent industry figures that show that there are now more server applications running on virtual infrastructure than physical infrastructure.
Currently, a new virtual machine is 'born' every 6 seconds, a rate that outpaces the actual human birth rate in the U.S. And with 5.5 vMotion instances launching every second, there are, at any given time, more VMs in motion globally than actual aircraft, Maritz said.
Next: How Applications Are Evolving For The Cloud