VMworld 2018 Preview with an HCI Lens

GettyImages-78026559With VMworld approaching next week, I thought I would share what I’m expecting to hear and what I’m looking forward to on the HCI front in Vegas.

I’m excited about the shift and spotlight HCI has garnered over the last year. It’s gained traction, it’s gotten more competitive, and it’s being recognized as much more than an x86 server with compute and storage. It’s about incorporating networking, ensuring workload mobility, properly managing distributed clusters, data lifecycle management, and embracing hybrid cloud. And while all of these aspects will be key areas of focus at the show as whole, let’s focus on HCI.

Workloads and Technology

I’m expecting to see numerous sessions and demos focused on HCI supporting next generation workloads at scale – think high performance databases and containerized instances, not just in a core data center, but more so out at the edge. And for high performance databases, that’s of course NoSQL databases, but also in-memory databases like SAP HANA. At SAP Sapphire, we got a glance at SAP HANA on HCI. I’m expecting a lot more on this – not just from VMware, but the lot of OEM partners. Expect official SAP HANA certifications for HCI to be formalized, announced, and/or GAed at the show. Additionally, I’m looking forward to seeing how some of the new technology from Intel (CPUs and memory) will be utilized in supporting these workloads.


I’ve mentioned core, edge, and cloud. I think we all know it, but I’ll say it here anyway: Hybrid will continue to be a focus, with HCI being a driving force behind it. HCI is a foundational “building block” to a truly modernized infrastructure that can handle the demands of mission-critical workloads. And it’s not just on-premises as an appliance anymore (and frankly it hasn’t been for a little while), but it’s consumption flexibility whether consuming as an appliance, software and hardware separately (incorporating their OEM partners), and in the cloud as a service. We’ll get announcements on pretty much all of that not just from VMware, but from pretty much every single OEM partner.

And with all the announcements and the growing interest and demand for HCI technology, I’m hoping (fairly certain) that the good ol’ “HCI Zone” will NOT be in the back of the show floor. Expect to see it front and centerish. Between the 60+ HCI-specific breakout sessions, quick talks on the show floor, customer panels, and fun nightly events that incorporate the aura of Vegas, it should be a very fun week. See you out there!

Topics: VMworld