All the Major Announcements from VMware Explore Europe and US!

All the Major Announcements from VMware Explore Europe and US!

vSphere 8 and vSAN 8

The major announcement in San Francisco at VMware Explore US was vSphere 8 IA (Initial Availability) and some of the game-changing features to unlock the value of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and DPU (Data Processing Unit) hardware.

First off, the eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed the vSphere 8 release tagged as IA . This new iteration replaces the previous GA (General Availability) in the sense that it has been through all the previous quality controls and is production ready.

With perpetual and on-premises software, VMware has found that many customers will wait for the first service pack or update, before installing software on their production infrastructure. As the industry shifts to subscription and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), operational processes change as rolling feature updates are received. To reflect this, VMware has introduced IA allowing for a period of wide scale adoption and feedback, before certifying a build to be GA. This period of adoption and feedback from the field is typically expected to be 4-6 weeks, but can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months, and is designed to give customers more confidence and stability.

At VMware Explore Europe in Barcelona, following 4 weeks and 18,000 deployments with no major issues or escalations, VMware announced vSphere 8 GA. Some of the great new functionality includes:

  • Introduction of vSphere Distributed Services Engine (Project Monterey)
  • DPU offload for network, storage, and management services to improve performance
  • Enhanced Kubernetes run-time with TKG (Tanzu Kubernetes Grid) 2.0 and 2.1
  • VMware Cloud Console integration of vSphere 8 Admin Services (Project Arctic)

The cloud capabilities delivered through the VMware Cloud integration include triage of alerts and events, global inventory view, anywhere VM provisioning, detection of configuration drift, and automated one-click updates of vCenter instances. You can read more in the VMware Project Arctic Graduates to vSphere+ overview.

Of course baked in to vSphere 8, comes vSAN 8. There are improvements to compression algorithms and native snapshot integration, but the big news is the new ESA (Express Storage Architecture).

With NVMe-based devices offering significantly greater performance than SAS/SATA, and prices steadily declining, the stage is set for NVMe to become the dominant storage technology in the coming years. The optional next-generation Express Storage Architecture provides a single tier pool of independent NVMe devices:

vSAN 8 Express Storage Architecture

Cloud and Edge Infrastructure Announcements

On stage during the general session key note, VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram announced the latest initiatives and partnerships to the VMware private cloud portfolio.

First was HPE Greenlake for VMware. HPE Greenlake provides a pay-as-you-go cloud consumption model for HPE hardware; now fully integrated with VMware Cloud to include the VMware enterprise software overlay. More flexibility around payment and commitment terms for customers.

Next was VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal; combining VMware-managed and supported cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service, with Equinix automated bare metal and connectivity. This service will help extend cloud environments into distributed and metropolitan locations with consistent infrastructure and operations, for business-critical performance at the edge. Equinix are a major connectivity hub for many regions, with private, low-latency connectivity to private and public clouds, and access to thousands of IT and network providers through the Equinix Fabric Interconnection.

Later, William Lam introduced a plethora of VMware Sovereign Cloud product innovations and ecosystem services. Earlier in the year VMware released a framework of guiding principles and best practices to help partners deliver cloud services that adhere to data sovereignty requirements of a specific jurisdiction. This framework and reference architecture is about complete control, beyond individual areas like data residency. You can find out more on VMware Sovereign Cloud in the VMware Sovereign Cloud Overview.

Several developer ready services were announced for the VMware Sovereign Cloud solution at Explore Europe; such as sovereign Kubernetes clusters with multi-tenant Tanzu Standard, and support for air-gapped Tanzu Application Platform and Tanzu Mission Control deployments. Meanwhile Tanzu Application Catalog can now provide a sovereign application pipeline.

The partner ecosystem also gained a significant upgrad. Key Management as-a-Service is now available with Fortanix, and data protection and Ransomware Defense as-a-Service through Veeam and Cloudian. Various data services, lakehouses, and compliance solutions were also added. You can see the full list here!

At VMware Explore US in particular, there were some pretty cool additions to the VMware Cloud on AWS feature-set:

VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery (VCDR) was upgraded with purpose-built Ransomware Recovery-as-a-Service (now GA). On top of the existing functionality, Ransomware Recovery will:

  • Identify recovery point candidates with dedicated ransomware recovery workflow and guided deep snapshot history, such as change rate and risk of infection vs data loss
  • Validate recovery points with NGAV (Next-Gen Anti-Virus) and behavioural analysis
  • Prevent reinfection at recovery with on-demand IRE (Isolated Recovery Environment) and VM network isolation

There was good news for multi-cloud resilience fans, with technical preview of Site Recovery pairings between VMware Cloud on AWS and Azure VMware Solution. Let’s look at what else was revealed for Azure VMware Solution:

  • Azure VMware Solution is now part of VMware Cloud Universal providing more financial flexibility, savings, and buying options
  • Log Insight Cloud for Azure VMware Solution is now available for log analysis, audit, and monitoring integration
  • Support for Azure Arc now extends Azure governance and management into vSphere
  • New independently-scalable storage with Azure NetApp Files
  • Improved internet connectivity options with simple AVS managed SNAT gateway, and Azure Public IP to NSX Edge support

Next, at the enterprise edge VMware announced Edge Compute Stack 2.0. The Edge Compute Stack provides an integrated edge platform delivering real-time intelligence. Building on last years v1.0 release, v2.0 adds GPU passthrough support for AI & ML (Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning), vendor-agnostic AIOps, and a smaller cluster size to run efficiently on smaller off-the-shelf hardware. The Edge Compute Stack has vSphere, vSAN, TKG, and SDWAN/SASE all built-in.

At VMware Explore US Project Northstar made its debut in tech preview. This is a really exciting new project promising to deliver SaaS-based multi-cloud networking and security services to the masses. We’ve already seen how projects like Arctic and Monterey have become fully fledged features or products after their announcement. The immediate benefits that jump out from Project Northstar are scalable lateral security, flexible consumption, and faster time to value. Let’s drill down further:

  • Policy as-a-Service – manage networking and security policies centrally for all clouds, with a single touch point and consistent controls and policies across sites and regions
  • NSX Intelligence as-a-Service – enhance security planning and visibility with NSX Intelligence offering real-time visualisation, recommendations, and insights on threats and behavioral anomalies
  • NDR as-a-Service – scalable threat detection and response with Network Detection and Response (NDR); analyses IDPS (Intrusion Detection and Prevention System), malware, and anomalies for a single , simplified SOC monitoring process aligned to the MITRE ATT&CK framework
  • Advanced Load Balancing – (ALB) cloud hosted controllers that can be used standalone or in conjunction with other Project Northstar SaaS services
  • Workload Mobility – workload mobility as a service with fully managed workload migration and secure connectivity across multiple sites

To support these initiatives, at VMware Explore Europe HCX+ was announced to provide central management, automation, orchestration, and observability for workload migration, repatriation, and rebalancing initiatives across clouds. Deeper insights and a unified dashboard for licensing, threat telemetry, and proactive support were also added to VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer’s PULSE Cloud Service.

Finally, at Explore Europe VMware unveiled Carbon Black XDR to extend VMware’s visibility and detection to VMware Carbon Black Enterprise EDR. The new XDR solution enhances lateral security using telemetry from VMware Contexa, which records and processes over 1.5 trillion endpoint events and over 10 billion network flows each day, along with strategically captured data through technology partnerships.

Cloud Management Announcements

Throughout VMware Explore US and Explore Europe, VMware announced the next chapter in their multi-cloud management story; introducing VMware Aria, a unified management solution for cloud native applications and multi-cloud.

VMware had previously been developing cloud management products under the vRealize banner. Whilst these are great products they offer individual perspectives to different personas and teams. As IT moves away from traditional silos and more towards Cloud Center of Excellence (CCOE) models, a unified end-to-end service is required. With the addition of CloudHealth and Tanzu Observability also providing FinOps and DevOps capabilities for cloud management, VMware has taken the opportunity to launch not only a single portfolio, but a new centralised single platform.

VMware Aria is absolutely not just a rebranding of the vRealize Suite, and here’s why:

  • VMware Aria Graph provides a near-real time single source of truth for all operations and events, with unified GraphQL API for developers and operations
  • VMware Aria Hub provides centralised views, relationships, and controls for managing the entire multi-cloud environment from a single interface, powered by Aria Graph

The word ‘aria’ actually means a single voice above all others, and summarises perfectly the value of the new Aria Hub and Aria Graph. What’s more, at VMware Explore Europe a free tier of VMware Aria Hub powered by VMware Aria Graph was announced. The new free tier will allow you to understand the relationships of your resources and policies for up to 2 native public cloud accounts (currently from either AWS or Azure).

VMware Aria Graph

We now have end-to-end management across clouds, and as well as ongoing innovation within each of the product sets, VMware are also announcing new end-to-end overarching solutions for multi-cloud:

  • VMware Aria Guardrails – enforcement automation for networking, security, cost, performance, and configuration across clouds
  • VMware Aria Migration – assessment, planning, and execution automation for the multi-cloud migration journey
  • VMware Aria Business Insights – full-stack event correlation with AI & ML analytics to present relevant business insights across clouds

In terms of features, we heard about Tanzu Mission Control integration with Aria Automation (formerly vRealize Automation), and a new application dashboard for Aria Operations for Networks (formerly vRealize Network Insight).

Aria Operations Cloud (formerly vRealize Operations Cloud) now supports synthetic monitoring to track the performance and availability of public facing applications. At Explore Europe, Aria Operations 8.10 was announced. The latest release will include a no-code management pack builder, to expand operations anywhere that has a Rest API. Capabilities for public cloud monitoring, using Telegraf agent, and basic actions for AWS, Azure, and GCP virtual machines were also added, as well as support for Raw Device Mappings (RDM).

Log analysis hasn’t always been the most exciting of topics, but there were some big announcements for Aria Operations for Logs (formerly vRealize Log Insight) at Explore Europe. The first was Log Root Cause Analysis (RCA), which will save hours on log forensics. Log RCA will take a specified date and time, and use Machine Learning (ML) to sift through potentially millions of logs, before presenting back outliers relavant to a breakage or major issue. A confidence score is provided and the operator can dig deeper into the individual events. Log Compare will allow simultaneous queries to be run side-by-side. There were also content packs released for Azure VMware Solution (AVS) and Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS).

Modern Apps Announcements

VMware Tanzu Solution Recap

The latest updates to Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) were announced at Explore US (v2.0) and Explore Europe (v2.1). TKG 2.x introduces a new unified API (ClusterClass) for declarative state deployment, scale, and lifecycle management. ClusterClass support for the supervisor cluster was brought in with TKG 2.0, followed by management cluster support in TKG 2.1.

Also announced was TKG 2.1 support for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), complementing existing AWS, Azure, and vSphere integrations.

Tanzu Mission Control will support private and air-gapped deployments, allowing consistent control of all Kubernetes clusters for customers who must operate on-premises and in air-gapped environments. Furthermore, Tanzu Mission Control will also support Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) cluster lifecycle management.

Tanzu Mission Control will also streamline the installation of trusted, upstream open source software packages with Bitnami Application Catalog integration. Speaking of Bitnami, the Bitnami engine was used to develop the VMware Image Builder. At VMware Explore Europe, it was announced that VMware Image Builder is now in beta!

Tanzu Application Platform (TAP) 1.3 has brought in Red Hat OpenShift support, and Jenkins CI/CD integration. TAP 1.3 air-gap support was added for disconnected and highly regulated environments, as well as secure software supply chain enhancements and supported vulnerability scanners. You can read the full list of announcements in Tanzu Application Platform Updates.

Finally, enhancements were made to Tanzu Service Mesh Advanced, allowing operators to automatically discover Kubernetes clusters across multiple clouds, and onboard them for secure connectivity.

Anywhere Workspace Announcements

The big news in the SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) space was the new SD-WAN client to provide consistent connectivity, performance, and security capabilities to remote and mobile workers. The SD-WAN client will enable zero trust security, integrated AIOps for end-user experience visibility, Dynamic Multipath Optimisation for fast and reliable connections, and access to a worldwide network of SASE Points of Presence (PoPs) for multi-cloud access. SDWAN and SASE continue to grow this global connectivity by also adding new PoPs and delivering VMware Private Mobile Network.

New VMware SD-WAN Client

At VMware Explore US and Europe, VMware presented a strategic north star vision of autonomous workspaces – self-configuring, self-healing, self-securing – as the future of hybrid work. To support this vision, product enhancements were made across virtual apps and desktops, anywhere workspace, security, and digital employee experience. Let’s take a look:

Horizon Cloud support for Windows 365 Cloud PCs
Workspace ONE Mobile Threat Defense with phishing and content protection

Many of the sessions from both Explore US and Explore Europe are available to replay online in the VMware Explore Video Library. With the ongoing energy crisis in Europe, don’t miss VMware CTO Kit Colbert discussing how we co-innovate to accelerate energy transformation.

Phew.. that’s it for another year! A huge congratulations to all the Customer Achievement Award Winners, including in the UK The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and to Lloyds Banking Group for taking to the main stage during the general session!

VMware Explore 2022 Session Picks

VMware Explore is the new flagship conference from VMware. This year the Europe event is back to real life, hosted in Barcelona November 7-10 2022. Explore replaces VMworld and has big shoes to fill; the latter running for a consecutive 18 years and attracting a combined 35,000+ visitors each yeah across 2 different regions.

VMware is known across the industry for innovation. First pioneering virtualisation, then the software defined datacentre, and more recently the multi-cloud universe. The new Explore event expresses some of the transformational areas of the VMware portfolio like modern applications and multi-cloud.

Although there is no hybrid or digital offering, many of the in-person sessions will be recorded and added to the VMware Explore Video Library, along with a significant amount of on-demand technical content. Check back to the Video Library after the event, as accessing the content is free of charge with a Customer Connect account.

You can browse the 300+ sessions in the VMware Explore 2022 Europe Content Catalog, or check out some of the interesting sessions I have pulled out below. What’s more, the back catalog of VMworld sessions from 2021 and 2020 is also available to view for free in the Video Archive. It’s great to see so many customer success stories this year, as well as several themes that tie in with the wider UK Public Sector policies and initiatives.

Public Sector and Customer Sessions

  • The Royal Air Force – Gaining Information Advantage [DOSB1822EUR]
  • Kingston University: Customer Journey with HCX [MCB3058EUR]
  • Police Pursuits and Microsoft Azure: Surrey and Sussex Police Talk SD-WAN [CEI1930EUR]
  • Migration to Cloud Using VMware Cloud on AWS: Police Digital Services [CEIB2777EUR]
  • Unleashing the power of AI in Healthcare with Nvidia and VMware [VIB8000EUR]
  • The Future of Healthcare was Yesterday [VIB2027EUR]
  • Keeping a University Medical Centre running during a VCF transition [MCLB1452EUR]
  • EDGE and IoT, the Next Public Sector Revolution? [CEIB1819EUR]
  • #TechForGood – Breaking Cycles of Criminality & Poverty in Criminal Justice [VIB2462EUR]
  • UK’s National Crime Agency is fighting crime with Horizon, NSX and Nvidia [SECB1455EUR]
  • Transforming the network of the UK’s largest public service department to improve citizen experience and increase efficiency [CEIB2901EUR]
  • Accenture Partners with VMware for Multi-Cloud Load Balancing Strategy [NETB3072EUR]
  • Deploy a Simplified and Resilient Disaster Recovery: Capgemini Success Story [CEIB2402EUR]
  • Data Spaces: enabling the digital economy [VIB2915EUR]

Cloud Infrastructure

  • Multi-Cloud Adoption Framework: Moving from Chaos Cloud to Smart Cloud in 5 Steps [CXS2947EUR]
  • Need to Migrate Thousands of Workloads? No Problem! [CXS4056EUR]
  • A Way to Get from Cloud A to B – An App Migration Story [CMB2229EUR]
  • 10 Exciting Things to Know About VMware Cloud Flex Storage [CEIB1327EUR]
  • Secure Your vSphere Workloads in VMware Cloud [CEIB1446EUR]
  • What’s New in Azure VMware Solution [MCLB1426EUR]
  • Google Keynote – Accelerate Transformation with Google Cloud VMware Engine [MCLB3096EUR]
  • Bring the Power of Google Services to Google Cloud VMware Engine [MCLB3097EUR]
  • Horizon on Google Cloud VMware Engine: Deployment and Migration Deep Dive [MCLB3098EUR]
  • Planet Scale Networking for Google Cloud VMware Engine [MCLB3099EUR]
  • A Unified Cloud Management Control Plane – Update on VMware Aria [CMB2210EUR]
  • Reduce IT Downtime and Maximize Productivity with Proactive Intelligence [CMB2525EUR]
  • How VMware IT Optimized Carbon footprint in Datacenters utilizing vRealize Operations [NETB2242EUR]
  • An Overview of Cost and Capacity Management in vRealize Operations [CMB2339EURD]
  • A Better Way to Onboard and Govern Native Public Clouds – AWS, Azure and GCP [CMB2355EUR]

Innovation and Self Development

  • Formula 1: No-Limits Engineering Delivered at the Edge by VMware and Lenovo [CEIB2262EUR]
  • Compelling New Innovations from the VMware Office of the CTO [VIB1542EUR]
  • Design Thinking in IT [VIB2801EUR]
  • How to Thrive in Today’s Remote or Hybrid Workplace [PCB4022EUR]
  • How to Justify What Cloud Training is Needed by Your Team [CXS1344EU]
  • Acquiring Practical Cloud Native, Kubernetes and Open Source Skills [OSB1812EUR]
  • Career Growth Fireside Chat: Cloud Path [PCB4024EUR]
  • Career Growth Fireside Chat: Security Path [PCB4017EUR]
  • 10 Amazing Innovations in vSphere 8 That You Absolutely Need to Know [CEIB1574EUR]
  • Technical Overview of vSAN 8 and vSAN Express Storage Architecture [CEIB2172EUR]
  • 60 Minutes of Virtually Speaking LIVE: Accelerating Cloud Transformation [MCLB2804EUR]

End User Computing

  • Create the Future of Candidate & Employee Experience in the Digital Space [EUSB1936EUR]
  • How BMW Delivers a VDI in 10 Minutes or Less [EUSB1814EUR]
  • On the Front Lines: Workspace ONE for Frontline Workers Technical Deep Dive [EUSB2082EURD]
  • Explore the Future of VDI and DaaS with VMware Horizon [EUSB4003EUR]
  • Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure: Nuts and Bolts [CXS1894EUR]
  • Architecting Multi-Cloud Horizon [EUSB2088EURD]
  • What’s New with Horizon 8? [EUSB2095EURD]
  • Load Balancing Use Cases for VMware Horizon [MCL2478EURD]

Networking and Security

  • Enforcing a Strong Zero Trust Ransomware Defense [SECB1960EUR]
  • A Light in the Darknet: Stopping Cyberthreats with SASE [CEIB1234EUR]
  • How Can Great User Experience Improve Security? [EUS1350EUR]
  • VMware SASE: What’s New and What’s Next [CEIB1892EUR]
  • Workspace ONE + SD-WAN – The First Step into SASE [CEIB1672EUR]
  • VMware SD-WAN Makes Working From Home Seamless [PCM3009EUR]
  • Evolve SD-WAN Use Cases for Enterprise, Government, Home, Cloud and Beyond [CEIB1931EUR]
  • SD-WAN to transition a global corporate WAN from MPLS [NETB2418EUR]
  • Day in The Life of a Cross Functional Security War Room [SECB2988EUR]
  • Defining XDR with Forrester and the XDR Alliance [SECB2360EUR]
  • Supercharge the Implementation of Micro-Segmentation with NSX Intelligence [NETB2791EUR]
  • Delivering Ransomware Protection with VMware NSX, VMware Carbon Black, and VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery [SECB1237EUR]
  • First Line of Defense: Secure Ingress Before Attacks Reach Your Apps [SECB2152EURD]
  • Flexible Cyber DRP in the cloud with VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery (demo) [CEIB2721EUR]

VMworld 2021 Updates and Announcements

VMworld 2021 Updates and Announcements


VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram opened VMworld 2021 by highlighting that “it’s no longer about a ‘cloud first’ approach—it’s about being ‘cloud smart’. Organisations should have the freedom to choose the ’right’ cloud, based on their strategic business goals.” To this end, “Multi-cloud is the digital business model for the next 20 years, as entire industries reinvent themselves.”

Multi-cloud doesn’t just mean deploying applications across 2 or 3 of the major hyperscalers. It’s about building a more diverse set of applications, and selecting the cloud for that application based on the needs of the business. The challenge is that each cloud has its own siloed tooling, making it difficult to manage, connect, and secure applications. With data centres being transformed into private clouds, public cloud services, and applications being pushed out to the edge, a consistent approach to infrastructure with secure connectivity and access is needed.

Raghu set out the power of ‘and‘, promising customers freedom and control, by prioritising developer autonomy and DevSecOps efficiency, enterprise apps on any cloud and full control with cost savings, anywhere access for employees and world-class security. This vision is delivered through VMware Cross-Cloud Services; a family of multi-cloud services to build, run, and secure applications across any cloud. VMware Cross-Cloud Services enables innovation through 5 core building blocks:

  • VMware Tanzu: a state of the art platform for building and deploying cloud-native applications
  • VMware Cloud: cloud infrastructure for operating, running, and modernising enterprise applications
  • VMware vRealize Cloud: cloud based management for monitoring and managing the performance and cost of applications across different clouds
  • VMware Carbon Black Cloud and VMware NSX Cloud: security and networking spanning multi-cloud operations to connect and secure all applications
  • VMware Workspace ONE and VMware Edge Compute Stack: an anywhere workspace to empower the distributed workforce, along with edge solutions to deploy and manage edge-native applications

The key benefits of VMware Cross-Cloud Services are speed; accelerating the journey to cloud, spend; making big gains in cost efficiency, and freedom; cross-cloud choices for maximum flexibility.

Continuing with the theme of and, VMware President Sumit Dhawan introduces VMware Tanzu Application Platform as being built for developers, and operations, and Cloud Centres of Excellence. VMware Tanzu Application Platform is a complete system for building and managing applications on Kubernetes, and was actually announced in September. You can find out more from the VMware Tanzu Application Platform blog. Sumit then announces VMware Tanzu Community Edition (more on this below), along with Project Dawn Patrol, which will provide full visibility for each cloud asset and its dependencies, across cloud providers. Review the high level messaging in more detail at the VMworld 2021 Day 1 Highlights: Accelerate Innovation blog, watch the VMworld General Session, or check out The Best of VMworld 2021 – On Demand blog.

My colleague James recorded this great summary which will get you up to speed on all the latest VMworld 2021 news in under 30 minutes!
VMworld Summary in under 30 minutes

Key Announcements

Announcing general availability of VMware Tanzu Community Edition. A free, open source, and community supported deployment that’s full-featured and easy to manage. Tanzu Community Edition can be installed in minutes and used to learn and evaluate with small-scale or preproduction environments. You can find out more from the Introducing VMware Tanzu Community Edition blog, the VMware Tanzu Community home page, and VMworld demo session Get up and Running with VMware Tanzu in 10 mins on Your Local Workstation with Tanzu Community Edition! [DEM2811]. Also coming soon, Tanzu Mission Control Starter, centralising management of Kubernetes clusters from multiple providers, for free. You can sign up at the VMware Tanzu Mission Control Starter page.

Announcing general availability of Dell APEX Cloud Services with VMware Cloud. Dell’s APEX Services have partnered with VMware Cloud Services to provide on-premises Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), a fully managed Dell hardware and VMware software stack physically located at the customers site. All aspects of the service and underlying infrastructure are supported and maintained by Dell. The service is available with a 99.99% availability guarantee in 1 or 3 year terms, and can be ordered through the APEX portal which also allows customers to subscribe, operate, and optimise their local cloud. For more information see the Announcing Dell Technologies APEX Cloud Services with VMware Cloud blog and VMworld sessions The Future of Local and Distributed Cloud with VMware and Dell Technologies [MCL2735] and Cloud or On-Prem? BOTH – APEX Cloud Services with VMware Cloud Brings the Cloud to the Data Center [MCL2152].

Announcing technology preview of Project Arctic and Project Cascade. Project Arctic is a really exciting development, aimed at bringing hybrid cloud to customers existing vSphere deployment model. Project Arctic will make vSphere cloud-aware, by integrating VMware Cross-Cloud Services featuring scale out capacity to any cloud, and disaster recovery capabilities. Furthermore, customers on-premises environments can transition to as-a-service; with hands off maintenance and pay-as-you-grow consumption. Project Cascade builds on VMware’s Kubernetes investments, providing a unified interface for on-demand infrastructure and containers across VMware Cloud platforms from a single API or GUI. Project Cascade will enable true open multi-cloud powered by Kubernetes. For more information on Projects Arctic and Cascade see the vSphere Innovation blog.

Announcing technology preview of Project Capitola. Last year VMware announced Project Monterey; boosting performance by offloading infrastructure service functions to DPUs, as well as strengthening security by isolating workload and infrastructure domains. Building on these hardware innovation and next gen workload themes, Project Capitola provides applications with a transparent, unified, and scalable software defined memory tier. Memory types across PMEM, DRAM, NVMe, and future technologies are aggregated, creating a unified consumption model of memory resources. This solves the upcoming problem of building silos of memory tiers for different business and budget needs. You can find out more on in the Introducing Project Capitola blog, and VMworld sessions Introducing VMware Project Capitola: Unbounding the ‘Memory Bound’ [MCL1453] and Prepared for the New Memory Technology in Next Year’s Enterprise Servers? [VI2334].

Announcing the VMware Sovereign Cloud initiative. In an era where data is king, technologists and decision makers rely more and more on dominant hyperscalers like AWS, Microsoft, and Google. Whilst organisations can retain a level of control through building, generally complex, security architectures; handing the keys to the kingdom to US-based entities should be treated with caution. Joe Baguley, VP & CTO EMEA, VMware, explains more in the blog post Sovereign Clouds: Cloud-first to cloud-smart. With this in mind, VMware have announced the Sovereign Cloud initiative, providing cloud services for data sovereignty and local mandates through VMware Cloud Providers that have met the requirements of the Sovereign Cloud Framework. You can read more in the blog Sovereign Cloud is here, and it’s delivered by VMware Cloud Providers.

If you’re confused by all the ‘projects’ announced as technology previews by VMware you can review them all in one place from the VMworld 2021 – Summary of VMware Projects blog by Michael Rebmann.

VMware Cloud on AWS

  • Announcing general availability of Tanzu Services with VMware Cloud on AWS. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) provides a Kubernetes runtime directly inside the hypervisor, compliant with upstream Kubernetes, and enabling management of both virtual machines and containers from within the vSphere Client. Tanzu Mission Control (TMC) centralises lifecycle and policy management, with global visibility and diagnostics, across all Kubernetes clusters from a single pane of glass. There is no extra cost for TKG and TMC Essentials, this is built into the existing VMware Cloud on AWS pricing which is fantastic news for existing customers.
  • Announcing general availability of VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts. VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts brings all the goodness of the VMware Software-Defined Data Centre, with the cloud operating model of AWS, directly into the customers on-premises location. Network teams can plumb in local connections, while the service retains its integration with native AWS services and hybrid linked mode connectivity with other vSphere-based environments.
Announcing VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts
  • Limited time price promotion: 1-year or 3-year subscriptions for i3.metal hosts, purchased between 15 October 2021 and 26 January 2021, are eligible for a 15% discount.
  • Support for 2-host Stretched Cluster. Allowing highly available deployments across 2 Availability Zones with a host in each with a 99.9% availability guarantee.
  • Integration and support for VMware Carbon Black Workload and VMware NSX Advanced Firewall add-on. The NSX Advanced Firewall add-on provides Distributed Intrusion Detection/Prevention System (IDS/IPS), and Distributed Firewall with FQDN filtering, layer 7 app ID, and Active Directory based user Identity Firewall (IDFW).
  • SDDC v1.16, upgrading to major releases of all core products; vSphere 7.0 U3, vSAN 7.0 U3, NSX-T v3.1.3, and VM hardware v17.
  • VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery (VCDR) introduction of the 30-minute Recovery Point Objective (RPO) for mission critical on-premises workloads. File and folder-level recovery for accelerated ransomware recovery.

You can find out more about these VMware Cloud on AWS announcements from the following resources:

SASE and Edge

Earlier in the year VMware released the blueprint for their Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). This started with VMware Secure Access; enabling zero trust remote access for the distributed workforce, shrinking the attack surface, and routing traffic optimally. VMware SASE is now being enhanced with 2 new services announced at VMworld 2021. Both are hosted at VMware’s SASE Points of Presence (PoP) and integrate seamlessly with VMware Secure Access:

  • Announcing Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). VMware’s CASB solution helps IT gain more visibility into shadow IT, and control trusted or untrusted applications based on the users role within the organisation.
  • Announcing Data Loss Prevention (DLP). VMware’s DLP solution protects against data leaks and helps comply with data privacy laws, improving security and compliance postures.

The next key announcement in anywhere workspace features new capabilities built into the Workspace One platform. The Workspace One device health engine proactively ensures endpoints are fully secured, and blocks access to resources for devices that don’t meet security posture requirements. Secondly, a new AI-driven capability will identify user experience and security anomalies, then finds the root cause and makes fix recommendations. You can review the full list of end user computing announcements in the blog All our VMworld 2021 Anywhere Workspace, Workspace ONE and Horizon Announcements.

VMware SASE enhancements at VMworld 2021

Announcing VMware Edge Compute Stack. VMware Edge Compute Stack builds vSphere, Tanzu, and SD-WAN services into edge Hyper-Converged Infrastructure to run VM or container based edge-native applications at the far and near edge. SASE architecture with on-demand cloud services provides SD-WAN and Secure Access services with high performance close to users, from edge appliances. Building on both these concepts is Project Santa Cruz; consolidated edge applications with deployment capabilities for network services, SD-WAN, and application services. These capabilities require only a single hardware investment, with functionality then pushed out through software updates.

Another innovative and relevant announcement was the technical preview of SD-WAN for First Responders. SD-WAN for First Responders enables SD-WAN connectivity with L2 redundancy across LTE/5G carriers in a compact, mobile, ruggedized form factor. Packets are steered across links in real time, and then reassembled at the edge gateways. Testing has proven carrier changing at high speeds without packet loss, with additional Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities for temporary sites or emergency scenes.

Check out the great Edge Computing in the VMware Office of the CTO: Innovations on the Horizon [VI2484] VMworld 2021 session for more information, as well as the VMware Edge Compute Stack product page.

vRealize Cloud Management

Announcing tech preview of Project Ensemble. Although vRealize Operations has been intended as the central operational view for VMware and cloud based infrastructure, there is work to do to fully integrate and switch between solutions and platforms. Enter Project Ensemble. Project Ensemble allows users to track an entity consistently across all VMware solutions, from a unified control plane. Metrics and insights from the breadth of the vRealize Suite are used to deliver a public cloud consumption experience, with in-context switching for deep dives, global search, and unified configuration history. App-centric management enhances application discovery across the portfolio, including deep analysis of app behaviour, with the context of the underlying infrastructure or service. Machine Learning (ML) digests and understands unique environmental behaviours, predicts app and infrastructure behaviour, and creates a unified analytics approach to operational information.

Announcing changes to vRealize True Visibility Suite (TVS). All compute and storage management packs are now included in all editions of vRealize Operations at no extra cost. This gives existing and new consumers monitoring and insights out of the box for hardware such as Dell, EMC, HPE, Nimble, IBM, Lenovo, NetApp, Pure Storage, and Cohesity. TVS Advanced and Enterprise are still available as an uplift covering additional modules for things like application, database, and network. vRealize Operations now includes some nice in-app guides and customer journey maps to improve time-to-value with day 0 guided onboarding, configurations, dashboards, and notifications. Additionally, vROps looks to have benefited from a nice UI upgrade, along with some new sustainability dashboards.

You can find out more about these vRealize Cloud Management announcements from the following resources:

A closing point of note, is that Skyline Advisor Pro is available free of charge to Production, Premier, vRealize Cloud Universal, and Success 360 customers. Skyline Advisor Pro is faster, bringing in new data within 4 hours, features smarter insights and historical data, including end of support information, and simpler to use. Not technically a VMworld release but a recent announcement that can provide value at no extra cost. For more information take a look at the Announcing Skyline Advisor Pro: The Next Level of Proactive Intelligence blog.

As with last year, William Lam has now compiled a list of direct URLs for all on-demand sessions, available on GitHub.

Finally, huge shout out to the Virtually Speaking Podcast, where you can find 15 minute episodes on many of the topics above which I used to recap VMworld while out on the road