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VMworld 2019 Wrap-up: VMware’s Key Focus is Shifting...

VMworld is VMWare’s global conference for virtualization and cloud computing. Started 15 years ago with the theme of “Join the Virtual Evolution”, the sessions and vendors now go far beyond just virtualization and cover a broad range of cloud technologies. Many consider it one of the industry’s top digital infrastructure events.

This year, Kentik joined as a sponsor and exhibitor for the first time at VMworld US in San Francisco. We got the chance to join and talk to many other individuals and businesses who contribute to and influence the digital experience transformation in the IT industry.

In this post, we share some of what we learned at the event—from what was announced in the general sessions, to what we heard from attendees during conversations in the Kentik booth.

Multi-Cloud, Kubernetes, Security and more…

From all the key announcements, we can clearly tell that the 20-year-old virtualization pioneer, VMware, is riding the wave of modern containerized applications. VMware’s current strategy focuses on three key areas: Kubernetes, multi-cloud and security. These are closely aligned with where the IT industry is moving in general.

Let’s review a few important product announcements for each.

Kubernetes

  • VMware Tanzu Portfolio: A portfolio of products and services to transform the way the world builds software on Kubernetes. The complete picture includes:

    • BUILD: helps customers BUILD modern applications
    • RUN: ensures customers RUN a consistent implementation of Kubernetes
    • MANAGE: enables customers to manage their entire Kubernetes estate from a single point of control
  • Project Pacific: A new architecture for vSphere with Kubernetes deeply integrated that provides the following capabilities:

    • vSphere with Native Kubernetes
    • App-focused Management that enables app-level control for applying policies, quota and role-based access to developers.
    • Dev & IT Ops Collaboration with a consistent view via Kubernetes constructs in vSphere
  • Acquisition announcement of Pivotal: Provides a cloud-native platform (Pivotal Cloud Foundry) for building and deploying next-generation applications.

Multi-cloud

  • Expansion of recent partnerships in VMware Cloud on AWS: Aims to help customers migrate and modernize applications with consistent Infrastructure and operations.
  • Acquisition announcement of Avi Networks: A multi-cloud application services platform that provides software for the delivery of enterprise applications in data centers and clouds—e.g., load balancing, application acceleration, security, application visibility, performance monitoring, service discovery and more.
  • Partnership with Nvidia to offer virtualized GPUs: Either on-premise or as part of VMware Cloud on AWS.

Security

  • VMware’s intention to acquire Carbon Black: A security company that focuses on securing modern cloud-native workloads

Keyword: Consistent

“Consistent” is the word we heard many times throughout the conference. VMWare’s cloud mission is to provide consistent operations across diverse infrastructures including hybrid and native public clouds. The consistency concept is reflected in many themes including Cloud Migration, On-Demand Scaling, Multi-cloud operations, and Modern App Architecture.

We saw quite a lot of conference sessions explicitly talking about this, such as:

  • Run Upstream Kubernetes Consistently Across Clouds with VMware Tanzu
  • Consistent Load Balancing for Multi-Cloud Environments
  • Apply Consistent Security Across VMs, Containers, and Bare Metal
  • NSX Cloud: Consistently Extend NSX to AWS and Azure

There are two layers of consistency to think about here: Consistent Infrastructure and Consistent Operations:

  • “Consistent Infrastructure” means to deploy the core building blocks of cloud computing—compute, storage, networking—using the same technologies, so users don’t have to worry about incompatibilities among the underlying cloud vendors This allows users to focus on choosing the cloud services that work best for them.
  • “Consistent Operations” means providing essential operational capabilities so users have the visibility, automation, security, and governance they need to properly manage and operate their systems and apps across multiple environments. Consistent operations assures that users can run applications across all environments efficiently and securely.

Consistency is also a Kentik Story…

Kentik Provides a Single View for Diverse Network Infrastructure:

If you are looking for a modern network analytics platform that can:

  • Provide a 360-degree unified view of your diverse infrastructure (hybrid-cloud & multi-cloud)
  • Intelligently detect anomalies based on historical as well as real-time traffic data
  • Accelerate your troubleshooting process, powered by machine learning
  • Integrate quickly and easily with your existing workflows and tools, enabled by rich APIs
  • Provide a genuinely end-to-end network monitoring and analytics solution
  • And we embrace Kubernetes and service meshes, even as they continue to evolve. Today, Istio metrics are one of many data sources ingested by the Kentik platform to enrich network flow data with service mesh context to provide complete observability for cloud-native environments.

… then you should give Kentik a try! It’s easy to get started: request a demo or start a free trial right now.

Summary

Tying everything together, VMware has evolved by doubling down on its strategy of offering a unified operating model for hybrid cloud. That means it is now positioning its portfolio as the VMware Hybrid Cloud Platform—managing Kubernetes apps alongside traditional apps on vSphere, across on-prem and cloud platforms.

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