VMworld  2017 Las Vegas

The great and the good of the virtualization world have once again descended on the City of Sin to worship at the altar of VMware. Yes, VMworld is behind us again. TVP Strategy is well represented there this year by our CEO, Edward Haletky, and our analyst Stephen Beaver. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to cancel my participation this year.

So, what is new? Well, first, to quote VMware CEO Pat Gelsigner, we need to “Realize What Is Possible.” I was wondering how I was going to work that into a sentence. That must be worth at least a line in buzzword bingo.

Pat, in his opening keynote session, mentioned that we are moving from a position of science fiction to science fact. It may seem to be like that, but let’s have a look at reality. The first-day keynote is traditionally about how well VMware is doing, shouting out a few key wins or milestones, and today was not different. VMware Cloud suite now supports vSphere 6.5U1, vSAN 6.6.1, NSX 6.3.3, and Horizon 7.2. Finally, after a gestation period that an elephant would be proud of, VMware on AWS has now entered availability. Even though the availability is a bit of a damp squid—currently VMW on AWS is limited to the western US—this is a very good move for VMware. Its customers can now use the technology they are comfortable with in their private arena natively in the globe’s largest public cloud provider. Even though it is currently limited to a single region, it will not be too long before the product is rolled out to other regions both inside and outside the US. What is interesting, and appeared to be mentioned as a bit of an aside, is that AWS is only the start. VMware is intending to move its cloud service to Google and Azure. In fact, VMware already offers a service on Azure, namely Horizon Cloud.

The bigger news was the introduction of AppDefense. This is a VMware second move into the security place and a product that VMware has been working on for some time. Pat stated that AppDefense provides a new approach to cybersecurity by “ensuring good.” According to VMware, the product implements a three-part strategy that captures, detects, and responds to threats. There will be more about AppDefense in a later post, but at a high level, it leverages vSphere, NSX, and other third-party products and processes to automate the necessary threat responses, whether blocking the process or traffic, creating a snapshot of the issue for forensic analysis, or suspending or shutting down the end point device. Pat wrapped up the VMworld keynote with a bit of opportune bragging that the Red Cross, which is currently heavily involved with the issues surrounding Hurricane Harvey, is utilizing VMware’s products to provide applications access on any accessible device.

The VMware Integrated OpenStack product has moved to version 4.0.

HP is partnering with VMware to add Workspace ONE/AirWatch on HP Inc.’s DaaS—that is, Devices as a Service, not Desktop as a Service, just to confuse the matter further with yet another “-aaS” acronym. HP also muddied the water with a repurposing of UEM, known previously to all as User Environment Manager but now, according to HP, Unified Endpoint Management. Annoying marketing, but the message, once you get past the acronym wrangling, is actually interesting. More to come in a later post post VMworld.

There was also an announcement of a partnership with Adaptiva to deliver large Win32 applications over AirWatch MDM. This is actually a much bigger deal than it sounds. Currently, you have only been able to deliver relatively small applications. It will be interesting to see how customers take to having to pay an additional license cost to a third-party vendor for this service. Personally, I feel that it would have been a better option if VMware had licensed the product and offered it directly. A single throat to choke is always a better option than an operations manager—less chance of vendor finger-pointing.

New and more in-depth Apple integration with AirWatch and integration into Google’s Chrome Device Management console give ChromeOS support. VMware is truly delivering on its “Any Device” message—Windows 10 configuration via AirWatch and Workspace ONE from an app to a DLL, peer-to-peer package distribution rather than hub-and-spoke.

Updates to JMP (Just-in-Time Management Platform). Workspace ONE intelligence, a deep insight into every possible metric that may or may not be of interest, automating the quarantining of a WannaCry-vulnerable device to noticing that an application update is not deploying in a timely manner and automatically taking remediation steps. This all makes for an interesting demo, but it seems very similar to Citrix’s recently announced Analytics Services. Is this just a case of “us too”?

At VMworld NVIDIA announced a tool to measure the user experience of a Windows 10 user. It will be interesting to see how this is different from Login VSI or Liquidware or any number of other players in this space.

The monarch is dead; long live the monarch. VMware announces yet another cloud program: VMware Cloud Provider Program, a replacement for VCAN.

The network business service team were not left out. These are the NSX-based announcements: NSX-T2.0 multi-domain networking, automation with OpenStack, Kubernetes via Pivotal Container Service.

And finally, the storage division announced the HCI Acceleration Kit, which allows enterprises to deploy vSAN for under $25K per site for ROBO on single-socket hardware.

That was quite a few announcements from VMworld. I am tired, and I’m not even there.

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