VMworld's quirkiest moments

LAS VEGAS --The VMworld Conference here, attended by more than 19,000 people, is highlighting the dynamic creativity of VMware's software division managers and technical staff as they present what's in the works for virtualization of desktops, servers and their management. But that doesn't mean this show isn't without its quirky moments. Here are a few:

- The ever-appearing image of the "VMware Monster" on a screen in advance of sessions. Someone at VMware thought making this bizarre, snarling hand-drawn picture of the "VMWare Monster" would give the idea of how much terabyte-range data VMware virtualization can handle. Not exactly. More like a cross between SpongeBob SquarePants and Count Dracula.

Slideshow: What's hot at VMworld this year

- The hovering spirit of the virtual lawyer in disclaimers in product sessions, with the reminder that whatever is said at any VMware technical presentation may not actually happen. "Disclosure: Actual results could differ due to a number of factors.." "This sessions may contain product features that are currently under development" but there's "no commitment from VMware" for them, "the statement is based on current expectation" and things "may differ." Or, as Robert Baesman, group product manager of end user computing at VMware so eloquently put in before his talk, "First, let me say, anything that I say that is not history may not happen." If only our politicians were so honest.

- Part of VMware's excitement and mystique is its apparent willingness to sweep away the PC, the hardware-based operating system, the way applications have been written in the past, anything that stands in the way of a virtualized future. But the current reality is that one of its most daring products, the virtualized desktop using View, is pinned squarely to the one of the most ancient and enduring products, Microsoft's Active Directory. "View will touch Active Directory," explained Mike Barnett, VMware's escalation engineer for enterprise desktop. "The main technology we use for authentication is Active Directory," adding, "Active Directory is how View is designed to be used."

- VMware has more "projects" than NASA did during its days of early space exploration. Here's but a sampling: "Project AppBlast," "Project Octopus," "Project Horizon," and "Project AppFactory." Will also these cutting-edge technologies come to fruition? As a VMware disclaimer itself might say, results might differ.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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