VMWorld 2019 – It’s All About Cloud Solutions

So, it’s done and dusted for another year, VMworld 2019.

And it’s all about Hybrid Cloud!

From my experience to date this has probably been the most feature packed event yet. Vmware and most vendors I spoke with are focused on one thing, and that is: hybrid multi-cloud management. VMware are ahead of the curve in offering a multi stack solution to all elements of cloud management and operations. Just check out their new offerings which I have highlighted further below.

However, this doesn’t mean I am a fanboy of VMware – yes, I like their products, and use various elements of their products on an almost daily basis, but let’s take Nero Burning Software (showing my age) for a comparison. Nero was great at one thing, – CD/DVD copying and burning, just like VMware was great at virtualisation and ‘private cloud’. But like Nero, they have started to diversify their product portfolio to the point you need a matrix to help find a product they offer that fits your needs. While in this case that’s ok, because unlike Nero who diluted their main product with bloatware, the cloud has changed this, and it evolves at such a rapid rate, the only way to stay relevant, or ahead of the curve is to continually adapt and release new solutions and services, and that’s something they are doing, aggressively.

I know this is heavy reading – but bear with me, and read between the lines.

Here are some of the product announcements alone:

  • VMware Cloud on Dell EMC: VMware claims its VMware Cloud on Dell EMC provides simple, more secure and scalable infrastructure delivered as-a-service to customers’ on-premises data centre and edge locations. This co-engineered offering from VMware and Dell Technologies is now available in the U.S. VMware Cloud on Dell EMC is core to the Dell Technologies Cloud Data Centre-as-a-Service solution. VMware Cloud on Dell EMC consists of VMware’s high-performance compute, storage and networking software powered by VMware vSphere, vSAN and NSX tightly integrated with Dell EMC VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure, and delivered as a service. The cloud service is fully managed by VMware and combines public cloud simplicity, agility and economics with the security, control and performance of on-premises infrastructure.


  • VMware Cloud on AWS: VMware describes VMware Cloud on AWS is a jointly engineered service that brings VMware’s enterprise-class Software-Defined Data Centre to the AWS Cloud, delivered as an on-demand service with optimised access to AWS services, enabling IT teams to use the best of both worlds. This release focuses on migrating and modernising workloads. New VMware HCX capabilities enable push-button migration and interconnectivity between VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs running in different AWS Regions and new Elastic vSAN support further improves storage scaling. Once applications are migrated, customers can extend the capabilities of applications through integration of native AWS Services. In the future, through innovative technology, such as Bitfusion and partnerships with industry leaders such as NVIDIA, users will be able to enrich existing applications and power new modern enterprise applications, including AI, machine learning and data analytics workflows, through high-end GPU acceleration services.


  • VMware Tanzu: This new portfolio of products and services is designed to transform the way enterprises build software on Kubernetes. The first offering in the VMware Tanzu portfolio will be VMware Tanzu Mission Control. A tech preview, Tanzu Mission Control, will enable customers to manage their Kubernetes footprint across environments with complete consistency. VMware also announced a tech preview of Project Pacific, which is focused on transforming VMware vSphere into a Kubernetes native platform in a future release. This will enable enterprises to accelerate development and operation of modern apps on vSphere while continuing to take advantage of existing investments in technology, tools and skillsets.


  • Foundation for the Hybrid Cloud: VMware vSphere and vSAN are building blocks of VMware Cloud Foundation—a new-gen solution for hybrid cloud that expands the definition of HCI by unifying the essential cloud infrastructure capabilities of compute, storage, networking and integrated cloud management. VMware recently made available new releases of vSphere and vSAN, which together power the company’s hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions.


Aiming at Consistent Hybrid Cloud Operations

VMware Hybrid Cloud Operations simplify the way customers manage systems and applications through automation, cost management, compliance, resource governance, security and visibility. New advancements in VMware Hybrid Cloud Operations include:


  • Self-Driving Operations: As users deploy applications across hybrid clouds, critical operational tasks such as capacity planning, performance management, troubleshooting and enabling compliance become challenging. VMware vRealize Operations 8.0 is optimised for the new world of hybrid cloud operations. It will deliver new and enhanced capabilities for self-driving hybrid cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) operations as well as multi-cloud monitoring. The latest release will deliver Intent-Driven continuous performance optimisation, more efficient capacity management, intelligent remediation and integrated compliance and configuration. These capabilities will enable customers to manage multiple cloud resources and applications with the same software that they use to manage their datacenter. VMware vRealize Operations Cloud, a SaaS offering, is now in Tech Preview.


  • Hybrid Cloud Automation: VMware vRealize Automation 8.0 will enable IT and DevOps to automate the self-service deployment and day 2 operations of complex applications, VMs and containers on any cloud. The solution will enhance operational agility and developer productivity through a series of new capabilities that will improve ease of use, user experience and multi-cloud readiness, with broad extensibility across VMware Cloud on AWS and all major public clouds, and enhanced ServiceNow, Terraform and Git integrations. The solution will be built upon a container-based microservices architecture that is easier and simpler to install, with improved performance and high availability. These services will also be available as part of VMware vRealize Automation Cloud, previously known as Cloud Automation Services.


  • Complete Cloud Management Platform: VMware vRealize Suite 2019 software will integrate vRealize Automation 8.0 and vRealize Operations 8.0 to deliver advanced closed loop optimisation capabilities that enable continuous performance optimisation, simplify IT operations, and lower IT costs. The addition of VMware vCloud Suite 2019 Platinum in vRealize Suite 2019 will enable IT Operations teams to gain visibility into application context and behavior to accurately identify and eliminate legitimate threats in real time, while continuously hardening and protecting workloads.


  • Hybrid Cloud Cost and Compliance: CloudHealth is a leading multi-cloud management platform for managing cloud costs, enabling governance and enforcing business policy. CloudHealth manages more than $8 billion dollars of public cloud spend at more than 5,000 customers. CloudHealth Hybrid is a new service that will extend the same rich cost optimisation, migration assessment governance and security functionality that CloudHealth delivers to public cloud environments, to VMware hybrid cloud environments. Customers will be able to eliminate wasted cloud spend and provide users with reports on actual cloud spend (showback) through visibility into all cloud costs with cost/usage/performance data. CloudHealth Hybrid will enable organisations to accelerate migrations and optimise cloud infrastructure for each workload based on cost/performance. With the ability to create policies for proper hybrid cloud resource usage, and trigger notifications when policies are violated, customers will gain flexibility with guardrails to better prevent unauthorised services and security vulnerabilities.


  • Enterprise Observability: Wavefront by VMware delivers integrated, full-stack enterprise observability from application to infrastructure across any cloud, empowering DevOps, Kubernetes and container operations, and development teams to troubleshoot application workloads and get to root cause faster. With a new enterprise-wide dashboard UX, Wavefront simplifies troubleshooting and reduces incident remediation times through automation triggered by fine-grained alerts. Kubernetes monitoring is enhanced with automatic service discovery for Kubernetes environments, including the discovery of application and infrastructure components allowing the setup of default dashboards. Wavefront can observe and help enable operation of more than 200,000 concurrently running containers. Wavefront is also strengthening applications observability with the addition of trace logs to distributed tracing offering. This provides instant insights into the health and performance of Kubernetes, containerised applications and microservices at scale.


  • VMware Cloud Marketplace, powered by Bitnami: VMware Cloud Marketplace enables customers to discover and deploy validated, third-party solutions for VMware platforms, across public, private and hybrid cloud environments. The marketplace is now available for VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Provider Partners. From the entire catalog – which also includes hundreds of opensource solutions packaged by Bitnami – customers can browse, filter and select the specialised tools that are right for them. For vendors, it offers a way to easily publish solutions for VMware customers globally, and for multiple VMware platforms. Currently, VMware Cloud Marketplace meets a variety of common use-case requirements such as back-up and security, through third-party ISV solutions and popular open-source options.


  • Cloud Migration: VMware HCX is the leading application mobility platform that enables cloud mobility and migration for a variety of on-prem to on-prem, on-prem to cloud, or cloud to on-prem scenarios. Cloud Migration Services, built on VMware HCX, simplifies the complex tasks associated with identifying, planning and migrating workloads to any hybrid cloud. A new Cloud Migration experience is available on VMware Cloud on AWS today through the Cloud Console, and over time other workflows are planned to be available on VMware Cloud on AWS as well as other platforms such as VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts and VMware Cloud on Dell EMC.


  • Disaster Recovery as-a-Service and Data Protection: VMware is partnering with Dell EMC across multiple areas to bring customers greater choice in Disaster Recovery as-a-Service and Data Protection solutions. Initially the companies will collaborate on a new DRaaS solution using AWS S3 for VMware Cloud on AWS. VMware and Dell EMC will also collaborate to enable Dell EMC to offer best in class data protection solutions for VMware workloads running at the edge, core and cloud.


  • Proactive Support: VMware Skyline, developed by VMware Global Services, is a proactive support technology available to customers with an active Production Support or Premier Services contract. Skyline automatically and more securely collects, aggregates and analyses customer-specific product usage data to proactively identify potential issues and improve time-to-resolution. Skyline has added new proactive support enhancements including automated software compatibility checks, automated log bundle upload for Horizon 7.10 and above via Log Assist, and integration with Dell EMC Support Assist, enabling a richer proactive support experience for customers running VMware and Dell. VMware Skyline is included with a user’s Production and Premier Support subscriptions. Premier Support customers will have access to advanced reporting features and remediation support from dedicated support representatives.


And look at some of their acquisitions

Pivotal, digital transformation technology and services provider and sister company under the Dell EMC umbrella, (Aug. 22 for $2.7 billion);

Carbon Black, new-gen security provider (Aug. 22 for $2.1 billion);

Intrinsic, application security startup (Aug. 20, no acquisition price announced);

Veriflow, continuous network verification provider (Aug. 16, no acquisition price announced);

Uhana, application and network optimiser (July 25, no acquisition price announced);

Bitfusion.io, hardware acceleration provider (July 16, no acquisition price announced);

Avi Networks, automation intelligence provider (June 14, no acquisition price announced);

Bitnami, web application optimiser (May 15, no acquisition price announced); and

AetherPal, smart remote control maker (Feb. 5, no acquisition price announced).


And so you can see the trend; it really is all about hybrid cloud and multi cloud management. It is what they see as the future, and I agree. Each vendor has their own tools, and there are some solutions out there that work, such as Terraform – although in a limited way and for certain cloud solutions. But this is the gap that VMware seem eager to address, they want to be everything to everyone, and while that is great it is also risky. My hope for them after my trip to VMWorld is that it will it pay off, and if anyone can manage this I do think it could be them. And with that, we (the industry) need these solutions, and fast.

In short: VMware wants to be the full-service shop for anything to do with enterprise hybrid-cloud infrastructure—and on any cloud you can name. To do this, it’s incorporating its own versions of new-gen IT that include containers, microservices, Kubernetes orchestration and some new home-grown and acquired platforms to manage the job.


But this isn’t what VMworld is about, it’s not just about products or vendor promotions, although that’s all you may see, but looking beyond this, you start to see the trends that are developing, the direction the industry is going, and the next “big thing”. This for me is why it’s a unique event. Being able to get a glimpse into that ever-developing future that always makes it worth the trip.

As always feel free to reach out with any questions or comments.

Mark Carragher, Senior Solutions Consultant