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VMworld 2012: Here's what you need to know

If history is any indication, VMware will likely make some big announcements at VMworld 2012. Find out what you can expect.

VMworld 2012 in San Francisco will be my fifth VMworld. While this event is completely different from VMworld 2008 in just about every way, I am just as excited about this conference as I was about that one. I have received advanced briefings from various people, but I can't divulge any of that information until it's announced at VMworld. However, I can give you some expert-level knowledge about what to expect from VMworld 2012.

VMware announcements and releases

Like Apple, VMware always does a great job of keeping secrets about what they will announce and when they will announce it. At VMworld, I suspect that VMware's announcements will be related to their vCloud flavor of cloud computing. With recent acquisitions such as Nicira (a company that will likely improve VMware's software-defined networking offerings), it makes sense that VMware will move toward its version of the software-defined data center. Edward Haletky already speculated what the acquisition could mean for VMware and the future of the software-defined data center.

More VMWorld 2012 coverage

Keep up to date on the latest VMworld 2012 conference coverage, from San Francisco.

I am hoping to see product improvements around vSphere, vCloud Director, vShield, VMware Data Recovery, Project Horizon and Project Octopus. Many also expect VMware to announce a vSphere 5.1 update.

With the CEO change from Paul Maritz to Pat Gelsinger, who will make the keynote? Will it be Martiz's last or Gelsinger's first? When it comes to the technology keynotes, Steve Herrod, VMware's CTO, is always my favorite, so I'll be sure to watch every minute he is on stage.

I'm also hoping for some kind of confirmation or denial in response to the rumors that VMware is building its own public cloud Infrastructure as a Service, dubbed Project Zephyr.

What to expect from third-party virtualization vendors

It's common for third-party virtualization vendors to save their big product releases for VMworld, and I know that will be the case for many of them this year. Look for new releases from companies such as Tintri, Xangati and Veeam Software.

VMworld 2012 sessions

As for the sessions at VMworld 2012, there was some unhappiness about the number of sessions VMware turned down this year, along with accusations that VMware is monopolizing the sessions. Whether this is true or not, there are still plenty of great VMworld sessions to look forward to.

There will be some noteworthy vCloud sessions, including "vCloud Director networking deep dive" and "VMware networking 2012: Enabling the software defined network." I'll be speaking at "VMware vCenter Operations customers come forward to tell their story."

Be sure to check out the complete VMworld 2012 content catalog.

VMworld 2012 parties

VMworld 2012 will have, in my opinion, one of the country's biggest bands: Bon Jovi. The welcome reception has been moved up one day, so the conference will really start a day early. You can find official information about the VMworld 2012's reception, hall crawl and the VMworld party at the VMworld website.

As for other, non-VMware events, the VMworld community gatherings page includes a complete list of VMworld 2012 gatherings. Additionally, if you are bringing your spouse to VMworld, make sure you check out the Spousetivites.

VMworld 2012 bloggers and social media

There will be extensive coverage from blogs and other social media at VMworld 2012, including those on On the site, there is an official list of VMworld social media hashtags and a VMworld social media homepage.

Also, make sure you follow me on Twitter @davidmdavis -- I'll be tweeting live every day from VMworld 2012!

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