This year has come with a lot of challenges. Within my own life, I went from traveling and meeting with customers, to working 100% from home. Who would have imagined that 6 months ago we would have said that everyone was going to work from home. Personally and professionally, we had to find new ways to deal with the challenges that Covid-19 presented. We had to change the way we live, connect, do healthcare, learn, and work.
I learned a lot about who was prepared and who was not prepared to have a workforce at home. I was able to witness how the educational systems, hospitals, government, and businesses were affected and, in a lot of cases, not prepared.
We learned the importance of building agility into our business with a need for companies to adapt to an ever changing world landscape that may be unknown. Digital transformation is at the heart of it all with the ability to connect "Any App, on Any Cloud, on Any Device".
Pat Gelsinger, CEO for VMware, spoke about their strategy which is shaping the future of digital and is focused on a, "digital foundation for an unpredictable world". VMware delivers this through five critical building blocks.
The first of these building blocks is App Modernization with Tanzu. The second is Multi-Cloud with the VMware Cloud portfolio. These form the core stack. Next is Digital Workspace which drives employee engagements. The Virtual Cloud Networking portfolio is next which becomes the backbone and last is Intrinsic Security which is being architected into everything VMware builds.
This VMworld was packed full of announcements that demonstrate VMware's continued drive toward innovation and the ability to remain leaders in technology. Allowing their customers to build agility into their business while remaining secure all while facing ever increasing acceleration in their business is key for VMware.
The industry has come to a consensus: Kubernetes is the best tool to automate how we build and run containerized applications. It has become the de facto API for a multi-cloud world. VMware is working to make Kubernetes Enterprise consumable. This is where we have seen a focus on products like Tanzu which was introduced last year.
VMware is also embedding Kubernetes into their flagship offering with vSphere which was previously called Project Pacific. This was a complete re-architecture of VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF). This offering is available today and provides a powerful and consistent experience for developers of both containers and vms running with a common operating model.
VMware announced Project Monterey which a further re-architecture of VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) from the hardware in partnership with NVIDIA. It leverages a new hardware technology called SmartNIC which offloads networking that traditionally would task CPU cycles.
There are several key advantages to this:
VMware is focused on the Multi-Cloud journey which a lot of customers are embarking on. VMware is breaking down the barriers between clouds and enabling customers to run, "Any App in Any Cloud" while maintaining operational consistency all while maintaining security and resiliency. Customers should have a consistent and well-integrated set of tools and processes.
VMware has more than 15 million enterprise workloads that are running in the VMware Cloud and now extends across all the major hyperscalers. The latest addition being Microsoft with VMware's joint solution on Azure. The Azure VMware solution also integrates with Microsoft Office 365 and other native Azure services. This offering is now available in North America, Europe and Asia.
There is now a production VMware footprint in every major public cloud:
VMware also spoke about the new VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery for AWS. This enhances the already VMware on AWS offering bringing on-demand Disaster Recovery as-a-Service (DRaaS). This is a "pay when you need" DRaaS and combines efficient cloud storage with IT management. This is being enabled from the recent acquisition of Datrium.
Of course the cornerstone of VMware's multi-cloud strategy is VMware Cloud Foundation. VMware Cloud Foundation brings together compute with vSphere, storage with vSAN, networking with NSX-T, and management into a single integrated stack.
Virtual Cloud Networking
VMware's CEO Pat Gelsinger is predicting that enterprise 5G will displace Wi-Fi globally. VMware has co-innovation with leaders in 5G like Dish and Comcast. All of them leveraging VMware's Telco Cloud. Pat Gelsinger also stated at VMworld that, "VMware is the operating systems for 5G."
The partnership with VMware and Dish is delivering the first 5G, Cloud-Native Radio Access Network (RAN) which is bringing 5G speed and performance to a large US population.
NSX, which is at the heart of the Telco Cloud, is the network powering many businesses and the multi-cloud offerings. VMware has over 17,000-plus NSX customers around the globe. This number also includes 91 of the Fortune 100.
There are four dimension's to the Virtual Cloud Networking:
With todays diverse and increasingly distributed workforce, we see new security, scale, and performance issues arise. Not to mention the challenges we face within our own data centers and multi-cloud. VMware announced VMware Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) Platform. This platform takes advantage of VMware's SD-WAN to bring VMware SASE Platform and security services closer to the end user.
VMware SASE Components include:
VMware announced its new partnership with Zscaler to rapidly and securely deliver business applications and services. Zscaler, together with VeloCloud combine cloud security and SD-WAN to enable secure local internet breakouts..
Customers are struggling with building a consistent security posture for applications and data across the multi-cloud and the edge. VMware answer is to build security intrinsically into the infrastructure.
Offerings like the VMware Carbon Black Cloud which has been integrated natively into vSphere with security visibility built into VMware vCenter. This provides visibility and threat remediation. As part of the VMware tools there is no need for agents.
VMware is offering a 6-month unlimited free trial of VMware Carbon Black Workload Essentials to all current customers with vSphere 6.5 and above, as well as VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0.
As we have all experienced with Covid-19, the digital workspace has taken center stage but according to Brain Madden, "Still not the year of VDI".
VMware's flagship offering in the digital workspace, is Workspace One. Workspace One delivers what customers are looking for from a digital workspace experience, fast access to applications and intrinsic security.
VMware is bringing together VMware Workspace One, VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, and VMware Carbon Black Endpoint into a new offering called Future Ready Workforce Solution.
The VMware Carbon Black Cloud integration with Workspace One leverages behavioral detection to protect against ransomware. Along side this is VMware Workspace Security Remote which provides endpoint security for physical Mac and Windows 10 devices. It includes analytics, automation, device health, and zero-trust.
Of course what would VMworld be without entertainment and there was a plethora of it. Staring with the VMware User Group or VMUG. They brought plenty of interaction between peers with a totally virtual experience. Immersed in a virtual USERCON there was plenty to explore and do. They also had a band play.
Veeam brought their epic VMworld party to the virtual landscape with none other than Shaquille O'Neal the DJ Diesel! I had no idea he was a DJ.
The VMworld concert was held by the legendary Grammy award winning John Legend from his home. I wouldn't call this a concert and honestly it wouldn't have made a difference if it was pre-recorded. He is an amazing artist but this was far from the concert experience.
Overall, this was an exceptional Virtual VMworld. As an added bonus this year, the food was much better and I was able to bring along my family.
VMworld 2020 has finally arrived. The general session and keynotes kick-off today, September 29. This years event is completely virtual and online. There will be a lot of areas to focus in on, like app modernization, multi-cloud, virtual cloud network, digital workspace, intrinsic security and telco.
Know before you go (Virtually)
Here is some advice and things to look out for this VMworld 2020!
Everyone knows that due to covid this event like all others will be held online. The premier pass for VMworld 2020 has sold out, but you can still sign-up for the free general pass. There are a lot of sponsors this year including, Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft, and IBM.
The content catalog has been live for some time now but once you are registered and schedule your sessions you can then go into the "My Calendar" section and download the calendar to your desktop as a way of reminding you. You can also download the VMworld 2020 app to your phone. This servers as a great way to stay connected and find peers.
I am predicting that there will be a lot of announcements and focus around three key areas for VMware this year.
VMware Cloud Foundations
VMware has built the modernized and unified platform for building cloud platform for managing VMs and orchestrating containers, built on full-stack hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) technology. A single architecture that is easy to deploy, VMware Cloud Foundation enables consistent, secure infrastructure and operations across private and public cloud. Increase enterprise agility and flexibility with the hybrid cloud that delivers it all.
We are seeing this offering continue to expand past the initial inception of on-premise environments and VMware Cloud on AWS (VMCoAWS). Now we are seeing this ever growing and expanding technology being deployed inside Microsoft Azure, Google, and also with Dell Technologies around their offering for Dell Technologies Cloud Platform (DTCP).
VMware knows that not all workloads are equal and require different strategies to fit the need. This is where VMware Tanzu comes in. VMware Tanzu is a suite of products and solutions that allow customers to Build, Run, and Manage Kubernetes container-based applications.
VMware has a focus on embedding security into their products and has developed a strategy for leveraging infrastructure and control in real time—across any app, cloud, or device so that you can shift from a reactive security posture (chasing bad) to a position of strength. At its core, intrinsic security is built-in, unified, and context-centric.
Intrinsic Security is comprised of several products to date.
I hope that everyone has a great VMworld this year. For myself I am a bit saddened by the lack of human interaction and face-to-face time but this offers new ways to connect and learn from home.
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 to help you get an idea of the tracks and session types you may find interesting. This year with two ways to register for VMworld, free and a paid for, there will be differences in what you can register for depending on whether you chose to pay for the online event. There is also a schedule builder is where you will build out your own schedule; this will be made available to those that have registered for VMworld.
I have gone through the list of tracks a and courses both from the free and paid registration options and there is plenty to keep you busy, however, I thought I would offer some recommendations: