I’ve always enjoyed visiting Europe and every year when I visit Barcelona for VMworld it is special. It might be a smaller event than VMworld in San Francisco, but it lacks nothing in substance, networking opportunities, or announcements. The excitement level in Barcelona appears to be higher than what it was in San Francisco. This article is my thoughts on the keynotes with close to 9000 people in attendance.
Day One Keynote
Rigid to Liquid, No Status Quo, Disruption, Break Down Silo’s. Over the last decade VMware has given us the tools and confidence to virtualize anything and take the world into an era of brave new IT that can help drive business growth. Pat’s message to the audience was clear, the status quo is being disrupted and the new style of IT will see more cross functional collaboration with fewer silos, in a new more dynamic and agile environment. This message was also quite well integrated into Sanjay Poonen’s message for workspace and end user computing with IT at the speed of life. There is a focus on applications coming through from VMware, and the infrastructure enabling all types of applications. Those applications will be deployed in a more hybrid environment with a mix of use cases on premises and in a cloud environment with vCloud Air or one of the 3900 vCloud Air Network partners. VMware really covers the globe when it comes to cloud requirements, without any need to modify applications and complete choice with where they run.
Build infrastructure to enable apps, free the apps from the infrastructure components, the first strategy the SDDC, on and off premises, seamless and dynamic, with the SaaS offerings from vCloud Air VMware is delivering on the SDDC and Hybrid Cloud vision with vRealize Operations Management. It was good to see continued investment in solutions to make applications integrate seamlessly into the Software-Defined Datacenter and Hybrid Cloud vision. Especially the integration of VMware’s solutions as part of a Software as a Service offering. This is now the world of hybrid cloud.
One of the biggest announcements that may have gone unnoticed was the announcements of vRealize Code Stream. This will be available on-premises, and continuous integration as a service will be available through vCloud Air. This is a clear attack on Amazon’s status quo for developers. This pushes VMware well into the any app, anywhere, and with Horizon Workspace you can get those apps anywhere. Even for OpenStack, being integrated with VMware, which is in Beta. If VMware can take the complexity out of OpenStack it will be of massive benefit to customers that want choice around all the different components in their cloud stacks from an API perspective. To be honest though, nobody I’ve spoken to likes the vRealize branding for the management suites.
VMware continued to validate the hyper-converged infrastructure message, even to the point that vCloud Air will be built upon hyper-converged infrastructure. This proves that the old way of enterprise IT doesn’t work in a cloud environment, a web-scale environment where things are much more dynamic and you need a much better aligned economic model.
VMware has cloud management market share of 20% and is the leader in the space, leads Datacenter automation with 24% market share. This is set to continue as VMware rolls out further product integration across the suites, rather than just being an integrated SKU, but actually integrated products that work well together. This is something that Microsoft has done very well across their stack. VMware must integrate if they want to effectively compete against Microsoft. This is the Power of AND that the SDDC brings, to achieve the No Limits message that VMware had as the theme of VMworld 2014.
From an infrastructure prespective, networking and network virtualization is clearly the next big opportunity for VMware. VMware will be a major threat to Cisco in the Datacenter and Service Provider networking as a result of VMware NSX, which delivers the ability to choose any underlay networking technology at the physical layer and deliver rich networking services distributed at the software layer. This is Software-Defined Networking delivered. One of the key use cases that NSX delivers is to Decrustify the edge of the datacenter security.
VMware announced the Horizon Workspace Suite, which combines all of their End User Computing products, which will make it more easy to purchase and consume these products, although they are still separate products that will likely require professional services to integrate. Project Fargo and the Cloud Volumes addition will have some great benefits in the future for all environments as it will make it much quicker to deploy applications and use them anywhere, and on any device. Apps and end user delivery at the speed of life. So you can work where you want, when you want. Like in my article about The VMware View from the Horizon at 38,000 Feet and 8000 Miles Away.
Day Two Keynote
Here is a great summary of the first part of the Day Two Keynote from Barry Coombs:
— Barry Coombs (@VirtualisedReal) October 15, 2014
SAP runs one of the largest private clouds in the world for their internal development. 85% virtualized, 75K VM’s, NSX is up next. If SAP can virtualize 80+% of itself on VMware then anyone can virtualize SAP on VMware. The only reason SAP isn’t more virtualized is that customers are still running many legacy Unix and mainframe platforms. The time is right to move off the traditional Unix platforms to a new more agile private and hybrid SDDC environment.
Vodafone – Moving to a fully Software-Defined Datacenter.
— Sanjai Kannan (@sanjai2k) October 15, 2014
VMware Integrated OpenStack really is integrated and gives some amazing insights into the applications. VMware has done a great job at integrating OpenStack into the whole VMware ecosystem. Then you can mix and match which partner systems you use, while still getting the benefits of VMware, and the integration and API’s of OpenStack for your applications.
— WebScale Webster (@vcdxnz001) October 15, 2014
Containers without compromise – Including without compromising performance. The performance on containers within a VM is within 3% of native. Why would you want to miss out on the benefits that virtualization brings for just 3% difference? Complete automation, non-disruptive infrastructure management, higher availability, higher SLA’s.
— Tony Dunn (@tony_dunn) October 15, 2014
vRealize Code Stream – Continuous integration and code migration on premises with automation and integration with vRealize Automation. For DevOps and when your managing multiple applications and code migrations paths Code Stream will allow you to automate the migrations, testing and promotion between different environments, without necessarily having to go to a cloud. This allows you to use the app tools you’re used to, including Eclipse, Git, Perforce, Subversion etc. Vladan did a great write up about this here. I really hope the VMware field gets enablement on this product and how to pitch the value to applications teams as this could be a real game changer. Field teams have struggled in the past to pitch the value of VMware tools to applications teams and are much more comfortable talking about infrastructure. This needs to change. You need to be able to talk applications language to applications teams and understand their problems, their workflows, and what solutions they need.
vRealize Management as a Service will be available via vCloud Air, but will it be available via the vCloud Air network? That is the big question. The ability to run your vRealize management tools in vCloud Air to manage both your on premises and hybrid cloud workloads is an important step forward. This is something that I asked about when VMware started talking about Cloud 4 years ago. It’s taken 4 years of hard work to bring this to market.
VVOLS will be important for ecosystem integration, including with the VMware Integrated OpenStack, and all of the management tools. VVOLS will be the language that your VMware tools will use to speak to storage devices of all types and forms. This will increasingly become a must have for storage vendors, rather than a nice to have, which VASA has been up until now. This will be how other storage vendors plug into the VMware Integrated OpenStack, if a customer doesn’t want to use VSAN. VSAN isn’t going to be the only solution, every VMware storage partner, including the hyper-converged partners will have a part to play. I know Nutanix will be playing a big part in this space, especially with it’s web-scale converged architecture advantages.
vCloud Air integration – the biggest problem for Cloud is the cost of network bandwidth required and the explosive data growth that limits portability of systems. So although VMware is brining some great features to vCloud Air you need to be able to consume them. Without 10GbE everywhere it’s unrealistic to have application mobility going everywhere, especially with the explosive growth of data. So Cloud adoption will continue to be appropriate for certain types of applications, or as an interface to end users, while the persistent data may live elsewhere. My view is that while bandwidth may be limited for some time the vCloud Air network gives VMware reach into a lot more places, closer to the consumers of the cloud, and potentially much higher bandwidth at lower prices. This will enable network extension and application mobility to be much more realistic. I think it will be a long time before people are migrated large databases around however.
So Cloud will be limited to the web and app tiers mostly, or configuration DB’s used to run those tiers. Unless the network bandwidth problem is solved, or you’re really just doing hosting or CoLo 2.0. If you’re not going to make regular use of the Hybrid Cloud why would you provision dedicated network links for it also? So that would potentially mean you need to greatly upsize your Internet links, so they can at least be used for multiple purposes, rather than sitting idle until you want to spin something into a cloud. If you’re an enterprise hosting in a large datacenter it’s quite possible that your hosting company may well have their own cloud provisioned across the datacenter floor, or have links to the other larger clouds. This again makes it more realistic to use a Hybrid Cloud. This is something that AWS and Azure have with their direct connect links from large CoLo companies. This makes much more sense.
VMware has announced some great technologies, it will remain to see how they are received by the market when they are actually available as GA products. Product announcements and product implementation timeframes have in the past been extremely extended due to the complexity of upgrades, lack of upgrade paths, enterprise project cycles, lack of product integration and other factors.
This post first appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.com. By Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2012 – 2014 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.