Every year the VMware User Group (VMUG) Leaders meet out at VMworld to give feedback to the executives and to discuss what is happening within their groups. We had a great turnout this year and spoke about returning to our roots of remaining a premiere technical group.
If you are not part of VMUG, then go out to www.vmug.com and sign up. It is free to join and you can gain a lot of knowledge around VMware products along with making deep connections within your own community.
During the leader lunch I was honored to receive the VMUG President's award for the work I do with the VMUG groups in New York.
Day to general session began with Pat Gelsinger introducing Michael Dell for some Q&A time, discussing things like improved support and reducing hold times.
Together they introduced a new product called VMware Skyline, which allows customers to install a collector in their environment that uses machine learning to analyze their environment. This will allow for a more predictive support for customers and VMware stated that they are "Committed to be the best technology partner" to their customers. The product alerts on deviations from best practices, based on the VMware Validated Designs. Currently, the offering is available to customers with premier support with production support coming later next year.
The next announcement for the day was around the partnership between VMware, Pivotal, and Google Cloud. Pivotal Container Service (PKS) which delivers Kubernetes containers on VMware vSphere and Google Cloud Platform.
The companies are combining some open-source products providing a commercial offering. Google will sell this as part of the Google Cloud Platform along with Pivotal, VMware, and Dell-EMC who owns Pivotal.
Google brings Kuberbetes an open-source container orchestration tool. Pivotal adds the PaaS with Cloud Foundary and VMware adds a management layer. All of this based on Kubo, an open-source container management product created by Google and Pivotal. WMware adds the management and security with NSX which is built for application security and integration with PKS.
VMware was also announced as a Platinum member of Cloud Foundary. Taken from their website, "The Cloud Foundry Foundation exists to drive the global awareness and adoption of the Cloud Foundry open source project, to grow a vibrant community of contributors, and to create coherence in strategy and action across all member companies for the sake of the project. We will do this by marketing the economic and technical activity of the entire Cloud Foundry community; governing with fairness, energy, and optimism; and growing a massive ecosystem based on application and skills portability."
Sam Ramji, Google Cloud VP of Product Management was introduced to discuss the new offering in which he stated that when he was running the Cloud Foundary Foundation he saw cloud foundary as the easiest way to get containers into production.
VMware then discussed how this offering along with VMware Cloud Services will bring together Analytics, Automation, Logging, Monitoring, Operations, and Security allowing customers to deploy to any cloud, any platform.
NSX became part of the days discussions and in the first general session, VMware mentioned how NSX would be the glue holding all the offerings together and even went as far as to state that NSX is the new hyper-visor. NSX is tied into all their offering allowing for consistent networking and security for applications running natively and in public clouds.
After a demo, VMware moved into a massive announcement of products:
VMware Cloud Services
Wavefront delivers radically new metrics monitoring to help cloud-scale companies improve the performance, availability and customer experience of their digital services. When combined with vRealize Network Insight and vRealize Operations, digital enterprises will gain a complete view from network to infrastructure to applications.
Workspace One Intelligence
With Workspace ONE Intelligence, IT admins have the power to leverage a single data lake that captures data from the entire digital workspace environment—from the device to the apps and the identity of each user. With one data lake to pull from, Workspace ONE Intelligence can provide IT admins with unified visibility over the entire environment and enable deep insights that enable data-driven decisions from a single source of truth.
App developers can now derive context within their apps and surface intelligent actions and notifications across many backend business systems through preconfigured or custom-developed services with less than 250 lines of code.
Pulse Iot Center
Functions as a Service (FaaS)
Serverless computing is becoming increasingly popular to create micro services without needing to worry about how the functions are orchestrated or scaled. This frees developers to think more directly about what is important to them, delivering value to their customers and business.
In general, the following attributes commonly describe serverless or FaaS:
VMworld 2017 kicked off with Registration in the VMVillage, located in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
This included receiving the VMware swag, backpack, and of course the badge that is required to attend the event and enter the sessions.
As you may know, VMware always has a theme for each of the VMworld events and this years is "I Am". All over the event are signs stating things like "I am shaping the future", and "I am a pioneer". This theme followed into the general session for the day with a man using VR on stage to create the "I Am" signs and presenting them onto the screen. This was very interesting to watch live.
The general session opened with Pat Gelsigner giving a brief history lesson on transformation and spoke about VMware's vision of Any Device, Any Application, Any Cloud which was talked about at the prior VMworld in 2016. He spoke about how "Science fiction is becoming science fact" and that we are moving at a faster and faster pace now with an increased focus on IoT.
VMware Air Watch/ Workspace
He spoke on the core challenges related to all these new disperse technologies and how to gain a higher value for your business with VMware by embracing these technologies and utilize them for your business. Utilizing technologies like VMware Air Watch to address the mobility security concerns, application management, Workspace One for DaaS, Identity Management, and Content Management to just name a few.
Announced at the general session was new partnership with HPInc. which includes having unified endpoint management as part of the HPInc offering. The partnership will add VMware Workspace One to HP's Device as a Service (DaaS) technology platform. Workspace One, is an integrated platform powered by VMware AirWatch Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) technology, provides a holistic and user-centric approach to managing all endpoints in an organization, from mobile and desktop to Internet of Things (IoT).
At this point Sanjay Poonen, COO for VMware came on stage to talk with Jennifer Manry, Managing VP End Use Computing & Identity and Access for Capital One about modernizing devices using Horizon Cloud as part of their strategy which allows them to infuse technology to their customers.
VMware Cloud on AWS
After the Capital One presentation Pat Gelsigner came back on stage to talk about "Any Cloud". Last year, VMware announced vSphere on AWS which is now ready for prime time. This is not VMware running in some container environment on top of AWS, this is vSphere running on bare metal in AWS availability zones. Currently the only availability zone will be North America but a more global footprint is in the roadmap.
This new offering was described by Pat as "Low risk path to the cloud". This is due to the fact that you now have a bridge from on-prem to AWS through NSX and VMware Cloud Foundations to extend your production environment. This is great for increasing your agility and flexibility by growing and shrinking your environment as needed with a pay for what you consume use-case. This is also a great use-case for disaster recovery and through API and a larger partner eco system you can utilize vendors like Veeam to protect your environment.
VMware's cloud strategy is three fold; One, make private cloud easy, two deep partnerships with major cloud providers, and three expand VMware cloud parter network.
Expanded Cloud Services
Through offerings like VMware Cloud Foundations, AWS and now VMware Cloud Services, announced today, will allow customers to have constant operations across all clouds. VMware Cloud Services will bring together discovery, cost insight, wavefront, NSX cloud, AppDefense, Network Insight, and Workspace One. These seven offerings are broken into four pillars:
One of the biggest announcements that many missed today was around NSX. Pat Gelsigner described NSX as "the connective tissue tying everything together".
The idea is that NSX will be the glue that ties all of these offering together. Pat described NSX as the "New Hypervisor". This in my opinion is a huge announcement and demonstrates the value VMware is putting in NSX. This means, in order to gain true value from any of these offerings, whether VMware Cloud Foundations, AWS or containers, you will need to understand and integrate NSX into your strategy.
NSX is a transformative technology and the adoption rate is increasing. Sysco came on stage with Sanjay Poonen to discuss how NSX is transforming their industry.
Sysco is deploying micro-segmentation today and rolling out workspace one. Through VPN tunneling into a segmented workload Sysco is able to offer secure desktops and mobility to their employees.
Security is flipping the security model on its head and ensuring good over chasing bad. Pat spoke about the three strategies around:
VMware released a new cyber hygiene paper covering five pillars.
VMware also announced three new VMware NSX Guides. The Guides are authored and technically reviewed by VMware subject matter experts and serve to cover VMware network and security essentials.
You can see them from VMware's site here.
Through these pillars VMware can secure infrastructure products like:
Today VMware announced Appdefense. AppDefense is a product that will help increase security for your application(s). However, it uses a different approach compared to traditional security products which often work with a definition of threats that is used to compare live systems against.
If the definitions are not up to date either locally in your environment or they have not been updated by the vendor, your system(s) (applications and operating systems) are at risk.
AppDefense is learning the systems of application and operating system behaviors and takes actions when the behavior deviates from a normal state. It is more about whitelisting good behavior instead of focusing on just blacklisting bad behavior.
You can view a demo of AppDefense below.
VMware also announced a new partnership with IBM around security offerings like AppDefense and IBM Cloud. This will allow IBM customers to utilize a more secure cloud infrastructure by bridging the tools from IBM like QRadar with VMware security products.
To finish up the general session, Sanjay spoke to the top spending and priorities from CIOs in 2017. Here is the list:
As you can see cloud computing is top priority and customers are looking for strategies to transform. Sanjay spoke that the road to digital transformation includes security, desktop, mobile, data center, and cloud. Modernizing our data centers with products like VMware Cloud Foundations, Integrating Public Clouds with the AWS offering, Empowering the Digital Workspace with Workspace One, Air Watch, and Transforming Network and Security with offerings like NSX and AppDefense.
Lastly, I'll end the blog mentioning the hands-on labs. I always find it interesting to see what labs users are taking and as a reminder, these labs will be available to you from the hands-on labs website here.
And of course a hall crawl of the VMVillage. Cheers!
If you are looking for a free ticket to the US VMworld 2017, then look no further. There are several sponsors that are offering a chance to win free tickets. VMworld US will take place in Las Vegas, August 27-31!
More to come!
The VMworld Content Catalog is now available to view. You can see it here and whether you’re a registered attendee, or looking to see what’s on the schedule, the Content Catalog will help you get an idea of your schedule!
The catalog is for getting an idea of the tracks and session types you might find interesting but you cannot create you your schedule yet. The schedule builder is where you will build out your schedule, hence the name, but this will not be available until July.
I have gone through the list and there is plenty to keep you busy but I thought I would offer some recommendations that are broken down by Market Segment.
200 to 40,000 VMs in 24 Months: Building Highly Scalable SDDC on Hybrid Cloud: Real-World Example
This session will provide a technical in depth review of how a real world large scale enterprise customer successfully designed and built a highly scalable hybrid cloud environment with the capability to scale up to 40,000 workloads in a short period of 24 months.
Accelerate the Hybrid Cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS
VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS) brings VMware’s enterprise class software-defined data center software to the AWS cloud, and enables customers to run production applications across vSphere-based private, public, and hybrid cloud environments. Delivered, sold, and supported by VMware as an on-demand service, customers can also leverage AWS’s breadth of services including storage, databases, analytics and more. With the same architecture and operational experience on-premises and in the cloud, IT teams can now quickly derive value instant business value from use of the AWS and VMware hybrid cloud experience. Learn how VMware Cloud on AWS can power your business!
Automating Disaster Recovery Operations in the SDDC with SRM, vRealize Automation, and NSX
VMware Site Recovery Manager is the industry-leading solution for application availability and mobility across sites in vSphere-based private cloud environments. In this session, SRM Product Management together with Product Engineering will deliver a technical deep-dive on the benefits and integration capabilities in using SRM and vRealize Automation together with NSX. We will demonstrate how vRA natively utilizes SRM to allow customers to access Disaster Recovery protection services at time of workload provisioning and how Disaster Recovery operations are accelerated using NSX.
Build enterprise class secure and scalable Hybrid IT solutions with VMware and HPE using HPE Simplivity and HPE ProLiant platforms
To build enterprise class Hybrid IT environments, users seek improved operational efficiency and automated policy-based provisioning to unify virtual and physical environments and deliver a cloud-like experience. Key areas of focus to deliver XaaS (Anything as a service) are: workload & data mobility, security & compliance, performance, ease of management being a few. In this session, you will learn how to build scalable Hybrid IT solutions and integrate your virtual and physical environments. We will discuss how HPE SimpliVity’s Data Virtualization Platform (DVP) can optimize data efficiency and migration between datacenters or clouds. You will also learn how to leverage tested blue prints to build private clouds leveraging existing datacenter investments and new technologies by integrating virtual and physical environments efficiently.
Deploying vSAN with VMware Private Cloud
VMware's internal private cloud is responsible for providing cloud infrastructure required by various groups within VMware to quickly deploy their workloads for production and development/test. It's required to provide enterprise-class reliability, availability and the ability to scale to thousands of VMs. This private cloud utilizes the full SDDC stack and vSAN is the software storage subsystem within the stack that provides infrastructure storage to the VMs/workloads within this cloud. This session will describe in detail the architecture of VMware's private cloud and will explain how vSAN is able to help the storage scale to support thousands of VMs including the benefits archived so far. For customers planning to deploy vSAN or SDDC stack in large-scale cloud deployments, this session will provide great information to get started.
A Base Design for Everyone’s Data Center: The Consolidated VMware Validated Design
Would you like to build a true software-defined data center (SDDC) but not sure if you have the resources for it? The team will explain new advances in the VMware Validated Design (VVD) that allow scaling options from moderate data center deployments of a handful of hosts, that if required can grow to a deployment used by some of VMware’s largest customers. Build your next data center with confidence and deep integration across VMware’s full SDDC stack. The new Consolidated VVD, known as the “1-pod” option, means organizations of any size can take advantage of cloud scale operations and management. We’ll dive into what makes this unique, how to scale and grow, and the design objectives and design decisions that will make you successful.
Deploying Security in a Brownfield Environment
This session will cover how VMware NSX can be deployed in an existing data center environment to address security use cases. The focus of the session will be on operationalizing the NSX distributed firewall and service insertion, best practices for creating a distributed firewall policy, and guidelines for migrating from an existing physical firewall to NSX. In this session, you will learn about how some of the new NSX 6.3 security features such as Application Rule Manager and Endpoint Monitoring can enable you to move your existing data center to a zero-trust model.
How to Upgrade to vSphere 6.5 with Zero Downtime
VMware IT upgraded its infrastructure of 140+ VMware vCenter servers, 3000 VMware vSphere servers, and 220,000 virtual machines from vSphere 6.0 to version 6.5, along with VMware NSX, VMware Site Recovery Manager, VMware vRealize Automation, VMware vCloud Director, and storage and backup solutions. We will review use cases for NSX, Site Recovery Manager, vRealize Automation, and backup solutions that are integrated with vSphere. We will also discuss the product deployment sequencing required before upgrading to vSphere 6.5 along with our challenges and some lessons we learned. We will discuss the architectural and technical considerations of one of the largest deployments of vSphere. Finally we will reveal how we automated much of the upgrade using the new upgrade APIs.
Manage Health, Performance, and Capacity in Your Data Center Using vSphere with Operations Management
VMware vSphere with Operations Management is the world’s most trusted virtualization and management platform and delivers unprecedented availability, efficiency, and performance for infrastructure and applications. It is designed so you can deliver value to your business from day 1, get better insights into your IT environment, and improve efficiency with automation while you retain control. During this session, we will provide details on how you can benefit from vSphere with Operations Management and why you absolutely, positively, must have it. We'll also give you a demo of the latest features and capabilities through various scenarios and use cases.
Case Study: Rapid City Regional Hospital Leverages VMware NSX to Provide Enhanced Security Around Their Electronic Medical Records System
The security concept of zero trust is changing the way that organizations think about protecting their data within the data center. Rapid City Regional Hospital (RCRH) is undertaking a process to switch out their current electronic medical record (EMR) platform and move towards the EpicCare EMR system. When they began planning the foundation for the infrastructure, security around healthcare records was a critical need for their business in order to protect their patient data. Using the VMware NSX platform and micro-segmentation—a technique that allows an organization to operationalize the zero-trust security posture easier and more cost effectively, RCRH was able to reduce the attack surface of their EpicCare EMR system faster and easier than traditional hardware approaches.
Deliver a dynamic virtual workspace with VMware Horizon and HPE’s Composable Infrastructure built on HPE Synergy & VMware Cloud Foundation
While advances in VMware Horizon technologies such as JMP, customers can deploy virtual desktops dynamically, there is still the need to provide this flexibility at the physical and virtual infrastructure level. In this session, we will cover technical architecture and use cases showcasing seamless delivery of VMware Horizon with VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) with HPE Synergy platform. HPE Synergy composes compute, storage and networking into shared pools that, when combined with the workload domains within VMware Cloud Foundation, can be allocated on-demand to meet business requirements. We will also introduce architecturally how customers can deploy VCF with HPE Synergy to significantly speed up the infrastructure configuration process allowing a software driven approach for on-demand resource allocation.
Implementing NSX in a Healthcare Environment
Join us as we sit down with Jason Miller from Rapid City Regional Hospital, Nick Aguilar from Nebraska Medical, and VMware NSX Systems Engineer Geoff Wilmington to discuss their experiences with deploying NSX. Learn from our panelists as they discuss how they are protecting their environments with micro-segmentation and the organizational challenges they overcame for a successful implementation.
vSAN ReadyNode and Build Your Own Hardware Guidance
VMware vSAN is a core building block of the software-defined data center and the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure. Over 200 vSAN ReadyNode options and numerous choices for building your own are available. In this session, we will provide insights into how vSAN is designed to handle different types of hardware platforms and the design principles used to qualify combinations of I/O controller, boot devices, cache, capacity tier devices (hard disk drives and solid state drives), and backplanes in the form of ReadyNode models. We will discuss in detail what you can (and cannot) change in a ReadyNode. We will talk about what new generation hardware looks like and its certification on vSAN. We will conclude by providing our partners and customers with a "cookbook" that simplifies selection of hardware for vSAN deployment.
NSX Service Insertion: Platform for Advanced Networking and Security Services
VMware NSX provides a platform for bringing the industry’s leading networking and security solutions into the software-defined data center. By taking advantage of tight integration with the NSX platform, third-party products can not only deploy automatically as needed, but also adapt dynamically to changing conditions in the data center and beyond. This session will cover the NSX Service Insertion architecture for both network and guest introspection and address the use cases enabled by this functionality.
Sharing High-Performance Interconnects Across Multiple Virtual Machines: Machine Learning and Scientific Computing Use Cases
Virtualized devices offer maximum flexibility: sharing of hardware between virtual machines, the use of VMware vMotion to handle migration and take snapshots. However, when performance is the most critical requirement there are other options. VMware Direct Path I/O delivers excellent performance, but only for a single virtual machine. Single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV), on the other hand, offers the performance of passthrough mode while allowing devices to be shared by multiple virtual machines. This session introduces SR-IOV, explains how it is enabled in VMware vSphere, and provides details of specific use cases that important for machine learning and high-performance computing. It includes performance comparisons that demonstrate the benefits of SR-IOV and information on how to configure and tune these configurations.
vSAN Customer Panel
Lee Caswell, VP of Products, Storage, and Availability at VMware, will be hosting a panel discussion of VMware vSAN customers who have successfully deployed hyper-converged infrastructure in their environment for a variety of workloads. This customer panel will help you discover why they chose VMware hyper-converged infrastructure solutions, including the factors they considered as well as how they architected their vSAN environments.
Digital Workspace and Security Transformation with VMware Workspace ONE and Hybrid Cloud
Follow the footsteps of VMware’s R&D, IT, and field CTO ambassadors from the Professional Services organization to get real-life insight into how mobility and identity use cases can be successfully deployed and scaled on the hybrid cloud via VMware Workspace ONE. The VMware PS design approach covers the planning, designing, deployment, and measurement process for successful IT and business outcomes. This session is relevant to a variety of industry verticals, including but not limited to financial, healthcare, education, point-of-sale, services, high-tech, manufacturing, hospitality, and others.
Honey, Where Are My Keys? Understanding and Avoiding Common Issues with Virtual Machine Encryption
Security measures should prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing your data, so how do you avoid mistakes that could also prevent authorized users from accessing data? In this session, we will provide some key troubleshooting methodologies to help you avoid common issues with implementing and managing virtual machine encryption.
VMware Validated Designs and Reference Architectures for the Software-Defined Data Center
Now it its fourth major release, the VMware Validated Designs for Software-Defined Data Center are a comprehensive and extensively tested blueprints for building and operating an SDDC. The designs synthesize all the elements of a complete SDDC into a standardized design that delivers a holistic data center–level approach to deploying and configuring the complete SDDC. It includes a wide range of use cases, along with detailed guidance on how to efficiently operate the SDDC. Group discussions guided by a VMware expert are a good way to come together with peers to discuss a key VMware topic selected by the group. Come to this session prepared to dive in, engage, and share best practices.
Save the date for the VMUG Member Party at VMworld Las Vegas! Sunday, August 27th at 7:00pm for a VMUG Leader toast followed by the Member Party at 7:30pm.
If you missed the VMUG Member Party last year, you don't want to let that happen twice. Last years party was a lot of fun so be on the lookout for more VMworld 2017 activities coming soon!
You can register here!
VMUG has created two online communities to help keep you informed of all VMUG activities during VMworld US and VMworld Europe.
Click below to join a community to connect with other attending members, ask questions and stay up to date on all things VMUG during the events: vmug.com/VMworldUS2017
Hey Jimmy will once again be performing at the VMUG Member Party in Las Vegas. Space is limited, so don't miss out on hearing this great cover band perform all of your favorite hits.
Tell VMUG what you want to hear using #VMUGHITS and tagging @MyVMUG! Follow VMUG on twitter where you will be given the opportunity to vote for your favorite songs.
Join the industry’s top thought leaders, subject-matter experts and IT professionals at VMworld 2017 to immerse yourself in the latest in cloud infrastructure and digital workspace innovations.
Registration is now live for VMworld 2017 US.
Prices to attend are as follows and only went up in price by $100:
What is included in the registration fee?
Your registration fee for a full conference pass entitles you to the following:
This will be my second time in Vegas for VMworld and I am looking forward to returning this year. In the past I have felt as though VMware could do better with food. In most recent years food has progressed to all carb breakfasts, boxed lunches and dinners. You can review some of my prior blog posts to review for yourself.
Some of the customer led breakout sessions tend to not be very technical so beware that if you sign-up for a customer led talk that it may just be a very boring high level talk that won't help you understand the product.
Don't forget to sign-up for hands-on labs but note that these labs are available to you outside of VMworld and you can go through them at the leisure of your own home. I recently hosted an NSX hands-on labs utilizing the free online labs for my VMUG group.
Where to stay?
The event will be held at the prestigious Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center located here:
3950 S Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Other than staying at the event hotel you may want to stay in walking distance as the temperature in August can be hot. If you stay somewhere on the strip you can always take advantage of UBER. The next closest hotel appears to be the Luxor or the Delano with availability. I stayed at the Luxor last year and I did not enjoy the hotel. It is very dark and musty. I would suggest choosing another hotel other from the list below.
Hotel Lists and Rates can be found here!
Voting for the VMworld 2017 agenda is now open to customers, partners, bloggers and other VMware enthusiasts. This is an opportunity to shape the event being held again in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay.
You can vote here!
Registration for VMworld 2017 opens on April 4th!