VMworld 2017: SaaS Subscriptions Are the Direction Moving Forward

In my last article, I focused on the VMware/Amazon AWS announcement. One of the recurring buzzwords in most of the new announcements is “subscription-based licensing model.” The reason VMware gives for the change of direction in the way it licenses its services moving forward is “driven by customer demand.” I have not heard of any customers “demanding” this, but regardless of the reason, VMware has charted its course forward with a SaaS subscription-based service model. All of the rest of the new announcements will be based on this service model.

The newly announced SaaS subscription services include:

VMware Discovery SaaS: This service discovers or inventories all the virtual machines in both the private and public cloud space and lets you organize and group the virtual machines in a manner that meets your needs.

VMware Cost Insight SaaS: This service provides insight into the cost associated with running workloads in the public cloud space in the form of a cost calculator.

VMware Wavefront SaaS: This service is for monitoring and analytics that are specifically aimed toward companies that are developing custom cloud-native applications. It is able to present drill-down capabilities inside the graphs and charts, since the processing of the data will take place inside of VMware’s cloud in the same fashion as VMware’s capacity planning tools and services.

VMware Network Insight SaaS: I have seen two different references to this service. A press release called it “VMware Network Insight,” and a reference in a slide deck called it “VMware vRealize Network Insight” (vRNI). No matter which name ends up being the official title, this service is for providing insight, monitoring, and analytics for VMware NSX.

VMware NSX Cloud SaaS: This is VMware NSX in the public cloud, able to talk to other applications and workloads in the private cloud. Having VMware NSX in the public cloud is part of the foundation that will be needed to eventually live migrate workloads to and from the private and public cloud.

VMware AppDefense SaaS: This is a brand-new set of tools and services geared toward security of workloads. Presented as “Security as a Service,” it will utilize the hypervisor to gain insight and establish a baseline of a virtual machine application and the expected behavior of the application. The goal is to increase application security to detect infiltrations at the application layer and automatically prevent the propagation of the infiltrations until remediation can be performed.

There were another couple of announcements that do not fall under the SaaS umbrella that are worth mentioning. VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) 4.0 was formally announced at the conference. This version is based on the fifteenth version of OpenStack (Ocata) and expands the feature base of the previous version.

Also on the list is the VMware HCI Acceleration Kit, which is something that smaller companies and business have been hoping and waiting for. This SKU provides vSAN licensing that is more realistic for smaller companies, offering three vSphere Standard and three vSAN Standard single-socket licenses in a single bundle. The stated goal is to offer a three-node HCI solution for about $25K.

All in all, not a bad week at VMworld 2017. I noticed an increase in performance and monitoring solutions presented by many vendors, including VMware, this year. Unfortunately, many of those solutions, in my opinion, will be falling behind the curve as artificial intelligence and machine learning increasingly make their way into the monitoring and performance space. I believe that companies that are unable to provide this type of capabilities will get left behind. Have you seen the IBM commercials where Watson is performing the monitoring? This is the future, in my opinion. As time goes on, we should start to see more and more artificial intelligence and machine learning available in an increasing number of subscriptions and services. For now, VMware has announced at VMworld 2017 that SaaS subscriptions are its direction moving forward.

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