There was a running joke with everybody that came by the VMware booth at Oracle Open World this year.
"Wow, Oracle really doesn't like you guys!""What did you do to get back here?" "Are they trying to hide you?" "You guys have been literally put in the corner!"
The VMware booth was literally in the back corner of the expo floor at OOW 2011. Some of this was our fault for deciding to go with a smaller booth this year, but I think some of it may have to do with something else.
There were still lots of customers that came by and we had tons of discussion around running Oracle products on vSphere. This year it seemed like there were more customers who were already running some or all of their Oracle databases on vSphere which was great. I also spent some time explaining the concepts of virtualization and specifics about vSphere to customers who were new to the ideas which was also great.
From what I heard, talking to various speakers at OOW that I know, Oracle requested that all references to VMware be removed from their presentations and replaced with generic references. But the speakers would go ahead and say "VMware" during the talk.
The final VMware highlight for me came during Larry Ellison's keynote on Wednesday afternoon. He announced the new Oracle Cloud and gave a lengthy demo. While announcing the Oracle Cloud he spent a fair amount of time describing why it was good. You could take most of the statements that he made about the Oracle Cloud and put them directly into a keynote from VMware's Paul Maritz. The Oracle vision for cloud and the VMware vision for cloud were similar in many ways. Larry even used Paul's line about the Hotel California for proprietary clouds - VMs can check in, but they can never leave. Larry, of course, never directly referenced VMware in his keynote, but the similar hybrid cloud strategy was definite.
So while Oracle preferred that VMware not be mentioned or seen at OOW, in reality VMware was everywhere.
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