VMworld 2017: The Year of the Cloud

If you missed VMworld this year, let me attempt to summarize the key themes; Cloud, Cloud, and more Cloud. Officially, VMworld delivered a message of “any app, on any cloud, to any device,” and included themes of mobility and data security. After the moment in the keynote when VMware’s Pat Gelsinger hugged Andy Jassy of Amazon Web Services, however, the only thing that the on-premises infrastructure providers in the audience heard was the word, cloud.

The newly announced capability, VMware Cloud on AWS, is an on-demand service that enables applications to run across vSphere-based cloud environments with access to AWS infrastructure along with some of its services. At a higher level though, the announcement delivers the perfect statement that the hybrid cloud is here and it is here to stay. These two companies that just a short time ago were seen as competitors have now joined forces. The bulk of the questions that will emerge from this announcement, however, will not have to be answered by the public cloud, though. It will be the on-premises infrastructure providers that will have to respond.

Topics: Hybrid Cloud Storage EMC VMware Private Cloud Infrastructure Dell AWS

VMware Advances Application Security

This week at VMworld, VMware announced market availability of a new security technology called AppDefense. AppDefense is an application-layer security control designed to profile applications, determine “normal” behavior, and then provide a series of least privilege controls for applications and options for security incident remediation.

Now in some respects, AppDefense is a lot like application white listing/black listing, which can be very effective for limiting the attack surface but the historical problem with application controls is operational overhead. If you want to implement white listing, you have to know what workloads are running and whether they are allowed to, and then implement controls to restrict unanticipated application behavior. This can become quite cumbersome when servers run multiple applications with dynamic development cycles and changing behavior. 

Topics: Network Security Cybersecurity VMware VMworld NSX application security AppDefense

Looking Forward to VMworld

VMworld is coming at us fast. I always approach VMworld with mixed feelings. First, I love it because it gives me the opportunity to talk with lots of people on the vendor and IT professional fronts. It's one of the best and biggest trade shows I attend. It is a veritable who's who in the IT technology infrastructure world, and for both vendors and those that manage IT infrastructure. But I hate it because it marks the end of summer. It's back-to-school season, and even though I don't have kids, I somehow still think of back-to-school season as the end of fun times and the beginning of work - and it turns out it's the same in the tech world! This is the beginning of fall trade show season, which means less time at the beach, more time on the road, and the beginning of cooler weather. But enough of that - let's talk about my VMworld expectations and why I am really looking forward to the show. 

Topics: VMware VMworld Converged Infrastructure hyperconverged infrastructure

As the Storage Industry Converges on VMworld, HPE and NetApp are Poised to Make Noise

It’s the middle of summer. While for some that means time for a well-needed vacation, for those of us in the enterprise storage industry, it means that VMworld is just around the corner. Over the past few years, VMworld has become the premier multi-vendor storage industry event. While there is some debate on whether that status may be up for grabs over the next few years, VMworld still serves as an opportunity to take stock of the latest in storage innovations and capture a glimpse of how storage vendors' strategies are progressing with their customers.

Topics: Storage Netapp VMware VMworld Nimble HPE Simplicity

VMworld – What I’m Intrigued To See

We all know that VMware changed the world of IT. Most of the way that change was effected is pretty obvious – a layer of software to make more effective and more efficient use of computing platform resources. While virtualization wasn’t new to IT, it had never been used so broadly or ubiquitously. And, yes, VMware’s offering has continued to get broader and more comprehensive, covering all the major elements of IT infrastructure – software joined with custom/partnership hardware as appropriate to deliver storage and networking capabilities along with the good-‘old’-server virtualization. 

Topics: Storage VMware VMworld

The VMware EUC Team’s Execution Machine Continues to Roll

It is a busy time of year for IT vendor announcements, and the VMware EUC team is actively demonstrating its path to growth with multiple announcements. Before dipping into the specifics, it is important to put a few items in perspective:

  • The EUC business unit is one of the top, if not the top, primary growth areas for VMware.
  • Now that the dust has settled with the Dell EMC acquisition, the execution machine has started to roll down the tracks.
  • Digital workspace transformation is a major component of IT transformation (core to Dell EMC strategy) and an area the EUC team is ready to strike with relentless go-to-market and sales execution.
Topics: VMware Enterprise Mobility EUC

Dell EMC & VMware: The Value in Multiple Manifestations of SDS

Recently my colleagues and I were embroiled in an intricate discussion with some of the Dell EMC/VMware team about the status, applicability, and positioning of the various SDS manifestations that behemoth now offers. And suddenly I had one of those “the penny dropped” moments…not of the “epiphany/eureka” type, but more of the “yeah, I knew that but all-too-often overlook it” type. And one more thing before I say what it was: it’s also somewhat ironic when you consider the tangled semantic machinations we have all gone through as an industry to actually define software-defined storage that we have – dropping penny time – overlooked the fact that it is an approach (or concept), and not a specific thing (or singular manifestation).

Topics: Storage VMware software-defined storage SDS dell-emc

VMware and AWS are Enabling Hybrid Cloud with a Common Platform

 

Hello again! This is part 3 of a series of blogs I am writing about hybrid cloud and systems management. In the previous part, I talked about how hybrid cloud was clearly underdefined in the industry and I laid out three specific types of hybrid cloud. Those types were:

  • Common Platform – Where the base infrastructure and virtualization platform are the same, allowing the common use of existing management tools and processes.
  • Common Applications/APIs – Where the end applications or application APIs are the same, allowing common applications to be developed across different platforms.
  • Common Management – Where the management tools have the capability to manage all the different environments, with a common interface and process.
Topics: VMware hybrid cloud AWS Amazon Web Services common platform hybrid cloud Systems Management

VMworld 2016 Key Takeaway: The Announcement of “VMEverywhere”  (includes video)

As the hours count down to the official coming together of Dell and EMC (and thus VMware), we could all be forgiven for overlooking the events of last week at the 2016 version of VMWorld. While I think it would be fair to say that there wasn’t a breathless enthusiasm from those covering the immediate news at the event – no cries of “hold the front [web] page!” -- there was nonetheless a lot of both content and intent whose impacts will be seen more gradually, but tellingly, over the coming years. While “VMEverywhere” is neither a product nor (as far as I know!?) an actual initiative at VMware, it was nonetheless the essence of what was discussed last week. There was some product, lots of principle, and – given the pervasiveness of VMware – a realistic possibility of success.

To get into some of the details – both about strategy and some key product areas – I and some of my ESG colleagues that attended the event give their succinct views in this short recap video.

Topics: Storage VMware VMworld 2016

VMworld: My Cybersecurity-centric Impressions

In my last blog, I wrote about what I was anticipating as far as cybersecurity for VMworld. Now that I’m back from Vegas, it’s time for me to report on how reality aligned with my expectations.

  1. NSX penetration. It seems like VMware has made progress in terms of NSX market penetration over the past year. At VMworld 2015, VMware talked about around 1,000 production environments for NSX while at VMworld 2016, VMware mentioned somewhere between 1,700 to 2,000 production NSX customers. Still a small percentage of the total VMware installed base but at least 70% growth year-over-year. Yes, some of these customers are likely just getting started or are using NSX on an extremely limited basis, but I still see good progress happening as more and more organizations begin playing with and using NSX. VMware describes three primary uses for NSX:  Disaster recovery, security, and network operations automation. It is worth noting that around 60% to 70% of NSX deployment is skewed toward security use cases. 
Topics: Network Security Cybersecurity VMware VMworld cloud security