We already knew that VMware is a market leader in integrated cloud services, but VMworld 2017 proved once again that VMware is committed to helping organizations succeed in a multi-cloud era, and make the business transition to digital transformation easier. Here’s what I learned over the week-long, 20,000-strong conference in Vegas:
- Containers are on the fast track to become less container-y. While IT Ops have increasingly relied on containers for resource and security, there are some proper alternatives coming up that will increase efficiency and flexibility.
- Serverless computing is still hot even though it’s technically a misnomer - as much as we’d like, IT Ops can’t rely to forgo them entirely. Yet this still remains a technology that the market is striving for.
- Storage is center-stage. By rough estimates, storage businesses took up half of the expo floor.
- VMware NSX is a serious fan favorite and serves an important function in simplifying cloud management and security challenges. All of the NSX panels were well attended and VMware’s announcements around reducing costs, workload provisioning, traffic visibility and flow, and performance analytics each caused blogger and Twitter spikes. VMware NSX is growing, big time.
- VMware is a natural partner- similar to Loom Systems, VMware builds software around being predictive, not reactive, and VMware’s new security tool, AppDefense sounds a lot like the security version of Loom Systems with its focus on baseline thresholds and automated alerts. even tough VMware doesn’t want to be known as a security company, but they’re investing a lot in it.
- OpenStack is (finally!) VMware’s new focus with its new VIO (VMware-integrated Openstack) version. It supports containerized applications, integrations with vRealize automation, multi vCenter support, and other capabilities to improve performance and scale. More and more enterprises are switching to OpenStack, so this was another welcome announcement.
- VMware Cloud and AWS’ partnership is going to let businesses auto deploy hosts and balance workloads fast, really quickly. We are going to see capacity flexing in hours, not weeks or months.
- And of course…. Google, who wasn’t going to let a big conference go down without having an announcement of their own, and that came in the form of Pivotal Container Service (PKS), a service that’ll allow businesses to maintain production-level Kubernetes on VMware vSphere and the Google Cloud Platform. They’re hoping this will help developers build scalable apps without IT having to hold their hand. Not surprisingly, the tension between Dev and IT was palpable throughout the talks and expo service providers.
- Chad Sakac’s blog: The President of Dell EMC’s Converged Platforms and Solutions Division (CPSD) has a great blog that covers Dell’s latest: Virtual Geek. really recommend taking a look.
- Keynote sessions are great, but…. with half the conference in tow, a day without keynotes gave us freedom to check out breakout sessions we otherwise would’ve missed.
- Workspace ONE, VMware’s enterprise platform, is really sleek. One of their big announcements at VMworld 2017 was that Workspace ONE can be accessed on any device with the same user experience; and they have a nifty way to balance the needs of employees (privacy) with the needs of employers (security) that will become more relevant as the gig economy grows. Workspace ONE isn’t something we’d normally check out, but it was eye-opening to see what’s happening in the space.
- The cloud isn’t just about the cloud! AI has applications outside IT. Imagine that! In the least IT-focused event of the conference, VMware brought on three medical researches to share the software they’re developing. Long story short, we’re talking bionic feet, advanced robotic emotional intelligence (EQ), and 3D printing that lets doctors practice surgery. I almost wish VMware packed in more of those.
Finally, it’s exciting to witness cloud and mobile technologies emerge and drive digital transformation forward, VMware and the tools that enable and support it will become increasingly important to enterprises large and small. Sounds obvious, I know. Let’s just say that VMware knows what they’re doing.
It was a busy week and, just in time to catch my breath, AWS’s re:Invent is just around the corner. Hopefully, by then, Vegas will cool down from 106 degrees to something more reasonable. I’d like to thank the Loom team that accompanied me to the desert and all of the businesses and vendors that we met and spoke to while camping out on the expo floor for 5 days. We’re looking forward to Re:Invent!