VMworld 2017 Europe General Session 1

VMware Senior Vice President and General Manager EMEA Jean-Pierre Brulard opened the first of this weeks two general sessions at VMworld Barcelona. Jean-Pierre spoke passionately about Barcelona as a hosting city, bouncing back from the recent terror attacks, and using VMworld as a platform for diversity, inclusion, and togetherness in technology, before introducing VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger to rousing applause.

Making light-hearted references to TV and Hollywood, Pat discussed science fiction becoming science fact in every day life, from exoskeletons to modifying mosquito DNA and even teleportation. The main theme here was how our own perspectives and expectations of these technologies have evolved in line with the technologies themselves.

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It was evident early on in this session that NSX is the jewell in the crown of the VMware product range, with Pat asserting that ‘if you’re not already on NSX, you’re already late’. In addition, other VMware products continue to grow, with twice the adoption rate of vSphere 6.5 reported in comparison with 6.0, while VSAN also continues to accelerate; currently adding 100 customers a day. The number of popular VMware products perhaps contributes towards the customer of today expecting technology to not only ‘just work’ but also integrate seamlessly with other services. VMware Cloud Foundation 2.2 meets those expectations by bundling VSAN, NSX, and Horizon to build out a SDDC offering whilst also enabling on-premise to stretch to the cloud.

Pat spent a period of time putting forward VMware’s vision of helping customers build applications and software that key differentiators, whilst being at the heart of the new customer experience. This is achievable through the use of both VMware Pulse IoT; connecting your workforce and customer base to applications and services from anywhere, and VMware Workspace One; delivering consistent security and management of any application on any device. Furthermore, the following announcements help to shape the VMware vision of highly available and heterogeneous products and applications.

  • Public cloud industry shaping partnership with IBM for cloud accessibility; integrating client data centers with highly available cloud data centers.
  • Major partnership with Vodafone to migrate VMware workloads from its private cloud to the IBM cloud.
  • Building converged cloud and NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) infrastructure horizontally on general purpose hardware, along with the release of VMware integrated OpenStack 4.0.
  • The use of VMware HCX technologies to provide a performance optimized, secure interconnect for large-scale app mobility. Allowing migration of complex or old applications to modern or cloud environments, cloud DR, and scalability of on-premises vSphere platforms to multiple VMware cloud platforms.

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From a viewers perspective perhaps the highlight of the show was an on stage VR demonstration which saw Pat Gelsinger walk through a virtual data center, picking up virtual machines and quite literally throwing them into the cloud. While the whole thing was slightly tongue in cheek, the undertones of a flexible, scalable hybrid cloud infrastructure are already achievable, and we saw Pat able to effortlessly add resource to an existing AWS cluster presented in an engaging and asthetically pleasing way. The VR environment has been made open source by VMware, accessible from a GitHub repository for all to try and contribute towards.

Another major discussion lead by Pat was the role of VMware App Defence in shaping the security industry. IT security is often the highest increasing line for IT budgets, but despite this the number of breaches is increasing at an even faster rate than the amount of spend. Collectively we are spending more but still falling further behind. The sheer volume of companies and solutions out there in the IT security market often results in confusion for IT professionals and forcing in multiple products and solutions. VMware App Defence addresses these problems by providing an integrated ecosystem to secure the infrastructure across multiple platforms for users, devices, network, storage, and compute. VMware App Defence is built on an autonomous machine learning platform, focusing on building an intended good state for virtual machines or services and learning what is normal for each individual environment. Once this in place App Defence is able to detect deviations from the intented good state and immediately trigger automated responses based on policies or the severity of events. You can read more about App Defence in this blog post.

App Defence is one of a number of VMware cloud consistent infrastructure offerings; a suite of products compatible across varying clouds platforms from private, to AWS or IBM Cloud, and even native cloud providers such as Azure and Google. This cloud strategy is uniquely embracing and enabling different cloud solutions for customers, whilst still making use of VMware’s expanding portfolio of cloud services.

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Continue reading: VMworld 2017 Europe General Session 2

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