VMware kicked off its VMworld 2019 US in San Francisco last week on 25th August and ended yesterday with a series of updates, spanning Kubernetes, Azure, security and more. This year’s event theme was “Make Your Mark” aimed at empowering VMworld 2019 attendees to learn, connect and innovate in the world of IT and business. 20,000 attendees from more than 100 countries descended to San Francisco for VMworld 2019.
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger took the stage, and articulated VMware’s commitment and support for TechSoup, a one-stop IT shop for global nonprofits.
Gelsinger also put emphasis on the company’s ‘any cloud, any application, any device, with intrinsic security’ strategy.
“VMware is committed to providing software solutions to enable customers to build, run, manage, connect and protect any app, on any cloud and any device,” said Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware. “We are passionate about our ability to drive positive global impact across our people, products and the planet.”
Let us take a look at the key highlights of the show:
VMworld 2019: CEO’s take on shaping tech as a force for good
The opening keynote from Pat Gelsinger had everything one would expect; customer success stories, product announcements and the need for ethical fix in tech. “As technologists, we can’t afford to think of technology as someone else’s problem,” Gelsinger told attendees, adding “VMware puts tremendous energy into shaping tech as a force for good.”
Gelsinger cited three benefits of technology which ended up opening the Pandora’s Box. Free apps and services led to severely altered privacy expectations; ubiquitous online communities led to a crisis in misinformation; while the promise of blockchain has led to illicit uses of cryptocurrencies. “Bitcoin today is not okay, but the underlying technology is extremely powerful,” said Gelsinger, who has previously gone on record regarding the detrimental environmental impact of crypto.
This prism of engineering for good, alongside good engineering, can be seen in how emerging technologies are being utilised. With edge, AI and 5G, and cloud as the “foundation… we’re about to redefine the application experience,” as the VMware CEO put it.
Gelsinger’s 2018 keynote was about the theme of tech ‘superpowers’. Cloud, mobile, AI, and edge. This time, more focus was given to how the edge was developing. Whether it was a thin edge, containing a few devices and an SD-WAN connection, a thick edge of a remote data centre with NFV, or something in between, VMware aims to have it all covered.
“Telcos will play a bigger role in the cloud universe than ever before,” said Gelsinger, referring to the rise of 5G. “The shift from hardware to software [in telco] is a great opportunity for US industry to step in and play a great role in the development of 5G.”
VMWare Tanzu to build, run and manage software on Kubernetes
VMware is moving away from virtual machines to containerized applications. On the product side VMware Tanzu was introduced, a new product portfolio that aims to enable enterprise-class building, running, and management of software on Kubernetes. In Swahili, ’tanzu’ means the growing branch of a tree and in Japanese, ’tansu’ refers to a modular form of cabinetry. For VMware, Tanzu is their growing portfolio of solutions that help build, run and manage modern apps.
Included in this is Project Pacific, which is a tech preview focused on transforming VMware vSphere into a Kubernetes native platform. “With project Pacific, we’re bringing the largest infrastructure community, the largest set of operators, the largest set of customers directly to the Kubernetes. We will be the leading enabler of Kubernetes,” Gelsinger said.
Other product launches included an update to collaboration program Workspace ONE, including an AI-powered virtual assistant, as well as the launch of CloudHealth Hybrid by VMware. The latter, built on cloud cost management tool CloudHealth, aims to help organisations save costs across an entire multi-cloud landscape and will be available by the end of Q3.
Collaboration, not compete with major cloud providers – Google Cloud, AWS & Microsoft Azure
VMware’s announcement of an extended partnership with Google Cloud earlier this month led the industry to consider the company’s positioning amid the hyperscalers. VMware Cloud on AWS continues to gain traction – Gelsinger said Outposts, the hybrid tool announced at re:Invent last year, is being delivered upon – and the company also has partnerships in place with IBM and Alibaba Cloud.
Further, VMware in Microsoft Azure is now generally available, with the facility to gradually switch across Azure data centres. By the first quarter of 2020, the plan is to make it available across nine global areas.
The company’s decision not to compete, but collaborate with the biggest public clouds has paid off. Gelsinger also admitted that the company may have contributed to some confusion over what hybrid cloud and multi-cloud truly meant. But the explanation from Gelsinger was pretty interesting.
Increasingly, with organisations opting for different clouds for different workloads, and changing environments, Gelsinger described a frequent customer pain point for those nearer the start of their journeys. Do they migrate their applications or do they modernise? Increasingly, customers want both – the hybrid option. “We believe we have a unique opportunity for both of these,” he said. “Moving to the hybrid cloud enables live migration, no downtime, no refactoring… this is the path to deliver cloud migration and cloud modernisation.”
As far as multi-cloud was concerned, Gelsinger argued: “We believe technologists who master the multi-cloud generation will own it for the next decade.”
Collaboration with NVIDIA to accelerate GPU services on AWS
NVIDIA and VMware today announced their intent to deliver accelerated GPU services for VMware Cloud on AWS to power modern enterprise applications, including AI, machine learning and data analytics workflows. These services will enable customers to seamlessly migrate VMware vSphere-based applications and containers to the cloud, unchanged, where they can be modernized to take advantage of high-performance computing, machine learning, data analytics and video processing applications.
Through this partnership, VMware Cloud on AWS customers will gain access to a new, highly scalable and secure cloud service consisting of Amazon EC2 bare metal instances to be accelerated by NVIDIA T4 GPUs, and new NVIDIA Virtual Compute Server (vComputeServer) software.
“From operational intelligence to artificial intelligence, businesses rely on GPU-accelerated computing to make fast, accurate predictions that directly impact their bottom line,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO, NVIDIA. “Together with VMware, we’re designing the most advanced GPU infrastructure to foster innovation across the enterprise, from virtualization, to hybrid cloud, to VMware’s new Bitfusion data center disaggregation.”
Apart from this, Gelsinger made special note to mention VMware’s most recent acquisitions, with Pivotal and Carbon Black and discussed about where they fit in the VMware stack at the back.
VMware’s hybrid cloud platform for Next-gen Hybrid IT
VMware introduced new and expanded cloud offerings to help customers meet the unique needs of traditional and modern applications. VMware empowers IT operators, developers, desktop administrators, and security professionals with the company’s hybrid cloud platform to build, run, and manage workloads on a consistent infrastructure across their data center, public cloud, or edge infrastructure of choice. VMware uniquely enables a consistent hybrid cloud platform spanning all major public clouds – AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud – and more than 60 VMware Cloud Verified partners worldwide. More than 70 million workloads run on VMware. Of these, 10 million are in the cloud. These are running in more than 10,000 data centers run by VMware Cloud providers.
Take a look at the full list of VMworld 2019 announcements here.