Day One: VMworld


With the curse of the even year, VMworld is hitting me again. I have to unfortunately sit this one out, so it is with a little bit of sadness that I do this rundown of the day one keynote by Pat Gelsinger, VMware’s CEO.

VMworld 2016: Day one keynote roundup

This year’s VMworld keynote started with the usual razzmatazz, but soon settled down. Pat laid out the future direction of VMware’s cloud strategy with announcements about several new products:

  • VMware Cloud Foundation™, a unified software defined data center (SDDC) platform for customers to manage and run their SDDC clouds
  • A new release of VMware vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager™ to provide VMware vSphere® users with zero-downtime application migration to VMware vCloud Air
  • VMware vCloud® Availability™, a new family of disaster recovery offerings purpose-built for vCloud Air™ Network partners
  • Technology Preview of Cross-Cloud Services™, introduced to showcase how customers can manage, govern, and secure applications running in private and public clouds, including AWS, Azure and IBM Cloud.

First, let’s look at VMware Cloud Foundation. This product appears to be more of a product rebrand from vCloud Suite than a new product per se. In fact, it looks remarkably similar to VMware EVO™ SDDC™, comprising as it does vSphere, VSAN, NSX, and VMware SDDC Manager. However, this time you can purchase the product without hardware and install it yourself.

It is the core of the VxRail and VxRack products. Will the rebrand work? Time will tell, but it does have VCE and now its parent company Dell to drive those sales. Things may be looking a little rosier this time ’round for the product formerly known as EVO.

vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager gets a refresh. Move along, folks: nothing new to see here.

VMware vCloud Availability: Considering the importance of business continuity and disaster recovery, this product has few to zero column inches. A DRaaS should be big news, but it is not. I personally am hoping to get a deep dive on this technology fairly soon, so I will revisit this in a later post. I have reasonably high hopes for this one.

And finally the big announcement, a technology preview of Cross-Cloud Services. This is the true direction of VMware. It knows that it has lost the battle to be the sole provider of cloud services, both on-premises and in the public cloud. Yes, there are plenty of SPSS providers out there, like Zettagrid, based out of Perth, Australia. And VMware does still have a presence with vCloud Air. However, the rather painful fact is that AWS and the old enemy Microsoft with Azure have stolen a massive march on it.

Cross-Cloud Services is VMware’s attempt to become the “One Ring.” VMware is definitely looking to the future with this product, past the cloud island mentality and onto the Age of Empire. It has a multicloud environment. It covers not just on-premises cloud, or VMware-based vCloud Air environments, or VSPPs running Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)–based clouds (traditional hybrid clouds), or even Pivotol’s Platform as a Service (PaaS)–based environments, but also the management of AWS, Azure, and IBM Softlayer–based environments. In fact, Softlayer is the first partner of VMware’s for this product. It is interesting that Google Cloud Platform is not on the list of supported clouds; still no love for Diane Greene.

Now, there appears to be a lack of vocal support for this product. Some VSPPs are questioning whether it is another attempt by VMware to stifle partners and competitors, and others are questioning whether there is a need. That said, here at TVP Strategy, there is no doubt but that the enterprise is moving to a multicloud environment. In fact, a significant majority of environments are already there, even if some are not truly aware of that fact.

Cross-Cloud Services, if properly managed and nurtured, could quite easily be VMware’s next ESX.

Drop back tomorrow for a review of the day two keynote announcements from the other side of the pond.


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Tom Howarth
Tom Howarth is an IT Veteran of over 20 years experience and is the owner of PlanetVM.Net Ltd, Tom is a moderator of the VMware Communities forum. He is a contributing author on VMware vSphere(TM) and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment, and the forthcoming vSphere a Quick Guide. He regularly does huge virtualization projects for enterprises in the U.K. and elsewhere in EMEA. Tom was Elected vExpert for 2009 and each subsequent year thereafter.
Tom Howarth

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