Thoughts from VMworld, Day One

Cloud_DiscussionOur team of analysts in San Francisco offered their thoughts on the highlights of the first day of VMworld:

Jason Buffington, Senior Analyst

VMware’s hybrid cloud announcement includes some great enhancements in SRM and vCloud Air around Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS). Take a look at my dedicated blog post on the why these enhancements are good for the broader data protection ecosystem.

Colm Keegan, Senior Analyst

VMware EVO figures

VMware claims that there are more than 2,000 production implementations of EVO, putting them in the Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) lead from a deployment perspective. To date, many industry observers have been skeptical about the rate of EVO adoption. This announcement, at least on the surface, seems to indicate that there is much broader adoption than previously thought. I will look to get some more details on where EVO is seeing success (ROBO, VDI, etc.) and which partners are having the most success selling EVO.

VMware’s NSX adoption increases

VMware states there are over 700 production deployments of NSX. While there are some impressive examples of VMware clients leveraging NSX to run massive computational workloads across hybrid cloud environments, VMware brass point out that 40% of users are adopting NSX to enhance security, while an additional 40% are utilizing it to automate network configuration tasks.

Mark Bowker, Senior Analyst

VMware's primary message is targeted at conditioning VMworld attendees on how to fulfill LOB and developer requirements. They are addressing the threat vector of traditional, cloud-native and mobile applications landing on a competing public cloud platform, such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS and Google Compute Platform. In an effort to keep pace with the race to the cloud, VMware is:
  • Turning infrastructure into software by delivering an integrated EVO SDDC system built on software and delivered on standard x86 hardware
  • Delivering vSphere integrated containers and their new Photon platform
  • Enabling customers to embrace unified hybrid cloud experience designed with a single management platform
  • Extending a logical network to the cloud with NSX to removing a major bottleneck while maintaining security benefits

Scott Sinclair, Analyst

From the storage side:

  • VMware is augmenting its virtual SAN (VSAN) product with greater performance and enterprise high availability.
  • VMware sees EVO Rail are the foundation for delivering the software defined data center. Delivering storage technology integrated as a larger software solution. This is yet another example of how VMware is influencing the direction of the storage industry, expanding on my write up today in Network Computing.

Dan Conde, Analyst

VMware is now offering VMware Validate Designs for several SDDC use cases. The next step is to finalize designs that are proven by experts that enable you to choose pieces that are tested, compatible and easy to upgrade.It results in a quicker way to realize value.

Mark Peters, Practice Director and Senior Analyst

The tagline for the event is "Ready for Any". Apart from the troubling semantics, that is a good summary of the overall intent that VMware has to support "anytime, anyplace, anyhow" apps and IT. If that sounds a bit like there's no dramatic strategic shift then that's because there is not!

While that doesn't lead to the most hype-filled and excitement-packed event, it's actually very good for users. Imagine if VMware were, say, a transportation company, with a car strategy one year, spaceships the next and bicycles the year after. Constant strategic shifts can do more harm than good, especially when one is discussing such a core element of integrated IT. So the real interest and drama is mainly at a level down from some wild, but purely aspirational, new BHAG initiative.

If I turn to my major area of focus - storage - then, for example, VMware was clearer than ever that its 2000+ VSAN users are just a beachhead, with a direct intent to add the necessary scale and functionality to be offering a "genuine enterprise storage platform" in quarters rather than years. Indeed, that's a great example of how VMware is subsuming its raw VMs to be a "fabric" under - and supporting - a whole range of more valuable virtualization layers in the move to what it calls "one cloud".

Steve Hendrick, Principal Analyst

VMware is taking an aggressive prescriptive stand on how to leverage containers. Docker today is about build, deploy, and run.  Note the word management is currently missing. VMware has appropriately seized on this and has made it a cornerstone of their lightweight Photon-based VM/Container strategy. This clearly gives VMware some running room in the short term while they determine how to craft a multi-container-per-VM solution.

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