Earlier this month, San Francisco was inundated with attendees to the premier virtualization event in North America, VMworld. The conference that focuses on all things virtualization had a lot going on, especially at a moment when the talk on the street was that VMware might soon buy its owner EMC. During the five-day event nearly 23,000 people walked the halls of the show floor.

This was the first year that Axcient had a presence at VMworld. We had conversations with over 650 people, talking about IT projects and Business Recovery in the cloud. Of course there were themes that were pervasive all week – so we put together this snapshot of findings or conversations that seemed to pop up over and over again.

1. Virtualization “sprawl”
As one would expect, everyone at the event was a VMware customer but contrary to some industry stats, most companies we talked to were ~60% to 70% virtualized. The goal of 100% virtualized workloads seems too difficult for many IT organizations to achieve, especially midmarket companies where budgets and competing IT priorities come up as the main obstacles.

2. Consolidation of products
As virtualization takes hold of data centers, it’s clear that the products used to back up data are no longer as relevant. Most companies we spoke with were interested in consolidating different backup, replication, and disaster recovery (DR) products so that they could more easily manage and improve data protection.

3. Education about IT resiliency
Companies turning to virtualization in many cases try snapshotting and replication as a way to achieve resiliency and provide disaster recovery to their businesses. In many situations, secondary locations (like a separate office or even a fully dedicated DR site) prove to be extremely expensive to institute and are not scalable. When discussing their DR strategies, many IT specialists talked about how their continuing education about DR has led them to believe there is a better way to manage IT resiliency and they came to the show looking for alternatives.

4. Cloud as a major force
If there was one major voice raised among the many vendors and sessions at the event, cloud computing was the loudest. In addition to flocking to the many educational sessions about leveraging the cloud for computing and disaster recovery, attendees were eager to explore different ways they could use the cloud at their companies. As we had discussions with customers from companies of all sizes, it became clear that cloud-based disaster recovery (also refereed to as Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service, or DRaaS for short) was top of mind among IT professionals.

As we recapped the event internally, it became clear that companies modernizing their IT infrastructure with server virtualization are still searching for the best way to ensure their IT environments will remain available at all times. This is on point with what analyst firm ESG also found during recent research which was published as a whitepaper and discussed during an Axcient-sponsored live webinar. Check out the full presentation.

Watch the full presentation!esg-webinar-link