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!