Like all the VMworld conferences, Vmworld 2016 Las Vegas was a jam-packed event. Over two hundred fifty companies and the exhibition floor, 400 tracks, 23,000 people from different parts of the world participated in this year conference.
The keynote addresses from top executives laid-out the broader strategy for the US-based virtual infrastructure company and announcements around partnerships with technology giant IBM and enhancement to the existing solutions presented the crawling path for coming years.
Underling the importance of the conference, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said, “Nowhere is the vibrance of ecosystem more visible than here at VMworld. Two hundred fifty companies and the exhibition floor, 400 tracks, 23,000 people—we have all those things going on here. We’re innovating, and everybody is adding their value to it.”
Although, the major take away from the this year event were: VMware’s laying out multi-cloud strategy, its partnership with IBM for cross-cloud architecture, company going deeper into the container option, and Virtustream announcement to incorporate VMware NSX into its cloud. But the clarity around the fate of VMware after the merger of Dell-EMC, which both Gelsinger and Dell’s Chairman and CEO Michael Dell indicated that VMware would be left alone in much the same way it has been under EMC’s stewardship was assuring for VMware executives and media-pundits.
Unveils multi-cloud strategy
All businesses who want to thrive must embrace being a ‘digital business—this was the resounding message of Gelsinger’s speech on the first day of VMworld 2016. “There is no longer a distinction between digital and traditional. The cross-cloud architecture is the strategy to run, manage, connect and secure apps in this all-digital world,” Gelsinger said in his keynote address.
Among many announcement, perhaps the biggest news at this year conference was that IBM Cloud became the first partner to offer the VMware’s Cloud Foundation-as-a-Service solution in which a unified SDDC (software-defined data center) platform is being offered for managing and running SDDC clouds. In addition, VMware lays out plans to offer cross-cloud services, in which customers would be able to manage, govern and secure applications running in private and public clouds, including IBM Cloud, NTT Cloud, AWS, Microsoft Azure and others.
While announcing the extension of company’s hybrid cloud strategy by laying-out plans for cross-cloud support. Gelsinger informed that VMware’s cross-cloud architecture would give customers the ability to manage, govern and secure applications running across public clouds, including AWS, Azure and IBM Cloud.
In fact, to give a better idea of cross-cloud services functionality, Guido Appenzeller, chief technology strategy officer for networking and security at VMware, was on the stage, providing a tech preview of cross-cloud services. His demos showcased how these offerings would allow central IT to protect data and applications and control costs while enabling developers and the businesses to innovate freely in the clouds they choose.
Unified approach to Windows 10 endpoint security
The second big announcement came from Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager, End-User Computing and head of global marketing and communications, who showcased a new unified endpoint management approach for managing Windows 10, along with advancements to VMware Horizon and VMware Workspace ONE.
According to Poonen, the evolution of client-server applications to cloud and mobile applications is challenging businesses everywhere. With the added complication of the consumerisation of endpoints, companies are adopting digital workspaces for a simplified approach for managing, delivering and consuming applications from the cloud. Therefore, he said, the new announcements and advancements would help industry in addressing the challenge of supporting workforce that demands anytime, anywhere access to all applications from any device.
VMware believes that with businesses transitioning to Windows 10 and its mobile focused platform, the challenge of scaling Windows 10 desktops and applications, supporting legacy applications, and integrating an ever-expanding ecosystem of mobile applications used by mobile devices, will further the need for a secure digital workspace as the solution.
“We believe there is an incredible opportunity to push identity-driven secure digital work-spaces for the delivery of any app on any device, especially as businesses shift to Windows 10 and increasingly offer cloud-based productivity suites such as Office 365 to employees,” said Poonen, adding that VMware will offer comprehensive unified endpoint management and security technology for mobile and desktop management.
While explaining unified endpoint management (UEM), he said, the UEM approach has three core elements – endpoint security, endpoint management and software life-cycle automation. It costs on average $7,000 per year, per endpoint, to provide endpoint security but “Our approach can save companies between 15-30% on that $7,000 figure.”
Boost in mid-market segment in India
Other big news came from China during the VMworld 2016 conference, China granted the regulatory clearance to the world’s largest $67 billion technology merger between EMC Corporation and Dell which will be completed on September 7. The significant presence of Dell in different segments including the small and medium business (SMB) category in India is likely to help VMware explore various opportunities in the country.
“India is a great example where Dell’s presence in the marketplace is meaningfully higher than VMware,” said Gelsinger. “So, not only is it an opportunity for us to co-innovate but it is an opportunity for us to accelerate the presence of our products into that market.”
VMware which has most of its products targeted at enterprise customers and has so far focused on large enterprises in India like State Bank of India, Bharati, Maruti among others, believes that the Dell’s large presence in countries like India will help it to grow its pie in the strong SMBs in India.
While speaking to reporters, Gelsinger said “Dell has a strong presence in the mid-market space and in the smaller markets in India. We see this as a great opportunity for us to reach out to customers that we have not been able to till now and help them on their digital transformation journey.”
Deep dive into container, promise from NSX
At VMworld 2016, Palo Alto based VMware also took deep dive into the container by beefing up the capabilities of its nascent container platform, vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC), with two new features: an enterprise container registry based on Project Harbor and a built-in management console based on Project Admiral. Both are open source projects, as is the container platform itself.
Kit Colbert, VP & CTO, Cloud-Native Apps at VMware informed that the new features make it possible for IT operations teams to provide a compatible Docker interface to their organisation’s application development teams running on their existing vSphere infrastructure.
In other key development, Virtustream, an EMC company, said that it plans to integrate the VMware NSX network virtualisation platform into its enterprise cloud.
The correspondent was in Las Vegas at the invitation of VMware Inc.