My Collective Thoughts about VMworld 2016

It has now been a couple of weeks since VMworld 2016 came to a close in Las Vegas, Nevada and a few weeks before VMworld EU 2016 goes to Barcelona. That has given me some time to ponder my collective thoughts about VMworld 2016 and reflect on what I saw, as well as what I heard, during that week in Vegas. I have to say, my biggest takeaway was that 2016 was the year when VMworld seemed to have more of a vibe about network and storage virtualization.

In my opinion, VMware NSX is currently one of the technologies in VMware’s portfolio for which the year over year growth is gaining greater acceptance. VMware’s partners and customers have had some time to familiarize themselves with this new technology, and the product has had some time on the market to mature. In addition, the tiered pricing structure that VMware has starting offering has helped spike interest in the technology. According to people I spoke with at the conference, the main use case for VMware NSX is microsegmentation. They also noted a growing interest in the network automation and virtualization capabilities of the product.

VMware VSAN is the next product in VMware’s portfolio that has seen a lot of interest. VMware has reported a greater than 200% increase in year to year growth for recent quarters. There is overall interest and growing demand for hyperconverged infrastructure. I have heard from more than a few people that the plan at their place of employment is to use the refresh cycles as well as net new purchases as the start of a transformation into a hyperconverged infrastructure.  Flash drives and flash arrays are quickly overtaking conventional hard drives as the storage media of choice. As a matter of fact, I have been hearing that at some companies, 10K hard drives are no longer an option. That leads me to wonder just how long 15K hard drives and conventional hard drives will remain as viable options. I believe the answer is “not that long,” but only time will tell.

Unless you have been living under a rock since the end of the conference, you have no doubt heard that Michael Dell finally closed the deal in the acquisition of EMC and VMware. In hindsight, it really is not a surprise that Michael Dell didn’t just make an appearance, but also took the time to present his thoughts on the future of EMC and VMware. He took his opportunity to speak to all of the attendees to lay out the plans for the future of VMware as part of the Dell ecosystem. Dell reassured the crowd that his plans are for VMware to remain independent and separate from the rest of Dell’s portfolio, with some expected changes in the choice of some of the hardware provided for products like VCE VxRails featuring VMware technology. This should come as no surprise, considering Dell’s primary business is its hardware. This appearance was meant to ease the nerves of the VMware community as well those of the VMware investors.

Moving over to the keynote speech by VMware’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger: Gelsinger laid out his vision of the future regarding global cloud adoption. He laid out a timeline from what he believes was the birth of the cloud up to the year 2030. Here are the highlights of his vision:

  •   2% of workloads in public cloud in 2006
    • 7% public in 2011
  • 2016: 15% public cloud, 12% private cloud
  • 2021: 30% public
    • 14% SaaS
    • 16% IaaS
    • 20% private
  • 2030: 52% public cloud, 29% private cloud
    • Hosting market is $60B
    • Will be $110B in 2021 
  • 2016: crossover time for when more people want data centers managed by a 3rd party
  • Top 5 industries moving to the cloud:
    • Tech vendors
    • Communications
    • Resources
    • Banking
    • Manufacturing
  • Average enterprise has:
    • 8 cloud services
    • 175 3rd party apps (SaaS)
    • 8 security solutions 
  • 80% of all workloads are virtualized

That was quite a vision that Gelsinger presented. I just have one issue when laying out a vision that covers that much time, especially when it comes to technology, because as we all know, technology moves at the speed of light and things can change very quickly. However, all in all, I think I can go along with the timeline laid out, with one exception. I believe that quite possibly by 2030, 52% of workloads will be in a private cloud and 28% in a public cloud. There will likely be more companies interested in investing in a private cloud than expanding into the public clouds. I think the price comparisons between private and public are going to get to a point where it might make more sense to maintain control and stay private. After all, it appears that Michael Dell would agree as he moves companies private.

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