ESG's Scott Sinclair and Mark Bowker discuss their impressions from VMworld 2020, held virtually.
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Scott: Hi, I'm Scott Sinclair, senior analyst at ESG. And I'm joined today by my colleague Mark Bowker, and we're discussing VMworld 2020. Mark, why don't you kick us off? So, what'd you see this year at VMworld? Anything interesting.
Mark: I didn't see any people, right? I've been going there for over 14 years and it was very different, right, with this being online this time. I mean, I'm pretty impressed with a lot of the online events. So, I think it's good, but think of it as an attendee, Scott, why these guys attend this stuff, right? It's to get certification. It's to get new knowledge that they can bring back to their company.
And that's a little trickier when you aren't going in person and, you know, what's next for that VMware hero, right? Somebody that's kind of based their career on VMware and kind of became that virtualization specialist and kind of became that hero inside the organization, what's next for it, Scott? I mean, is it Tanzu?
I mean, what is it, right?
Scott: You know, well, first off, I think they went there for expertise and the chotchkies. So, you know, we're not getting the chotchkies here either, but you know, you bring up some really interesting points because how deep can you get in your expertise from a virtual event? It's really difficult. And there are a lot of new things that are expanding, you know, Tanzu's a perfect example, and I think that is an area where organizations can build their expertise, but it's going to be tricky.
Mark: It is. I mean, it's interesting too, because even if you think of that IT professional, Tanzu ultimately means I need to step into a modern software pipeline, right? And if I was a VMware specialist, I was thinking virtualization plus infrastructure. Now, I'm thinking virtualization, infrastructure, software development pipeline, multi-cloud.
And it's like, wow, that's a lot for, you know, these folks to take on. And it's not the same, you know, days in the past where everything is well-known and predictable, things are different, right? I may be consuming from different clouds plus virtualization. I think VMware really has to be super clear on, you know, their value inside the data center on traditional VMware, I'll call it, infrastructure software-defined data center stuff, as opposed to other clouds as well, right?
I mean, look at what they're doing with some of the providers.
Scott: Yeah. And Mark, I think that's really where the opportunity comes is if you're a VMware administrator or anyone in IT, right, you've seen your role expand incredibly in this time frame, and the amount of things you have to keep track of. We see this rise of digital initiatives. You know, increased investment in DevOps. So, IT and VMware administrators have to understand that, especially as they're thinking about Tanzu and provisioning containers, and also you bring it up is we live in this world where pretty much every IT environment spans both on-premises infrastructure, as well as public cloud services.
So, VMware recognizes that and they're spanning Tanzu into other public cloud environments. And we saw some of those announcements. There's only so much simplicity that VMware can expand to take the role or the responsibilities off of IT to free them up to learn all these new things.
Mark: Yeah, I agree. I mean, Scott, you and I are obviously keeping track of, you know, how do these cloud service providers and VMware remain top of mind inside the minds of an IT professional. And that's certainly something you and I work very closely together to really understand, you know, how can they take everything they've invested and all that success they've had in the past and ultimately turn it into a world that's very, very different, really moving forward and has really condensed and accelerated more than what they had even thought.
Scott: Well, and you know, you bring that up, and I can't help but thinking about the newly announced Project Monterey, which opens up a whole new set of options around infrastructure, management, provisioning, and how you control that. For those of you watching that may not be familiar, one of the things that the project allows you to do is VMware is partnering with SmartNIC vendors, right, and they're allowing the ability to load ESXi on a SmartNIC now because the SmartNIC has, you know, some processing in there.
And you can actually provision... you can do a lot of things with that. I don't even know if VMware has really considered all the possibilities, but one of the interesting things is you can actually provision like virtual devices and open them up to other remote hosts part of the cluster. So, now, you're opening up this whole new world of IT architecture that really wasn't available before, which is nice, but there's a whole bunch of new things and options that you have to understand and incorporate into your IT architecture design to really maximize and leverage that value, to be that hero your business needs you to be.
Mark: Yep, totally agree. I think, you know, we'll kind of keep on digesting some of this stuff, Scott, and certainly, I've worked and kind of even tuned our research just even since the recent event, right? So, we'll continue to do so and really understand, you know, what makes that next hero inside the IT organization?
Scott: Yeah. And I think, Mark, absolutely, that should be, you know, our kind of challenge, our focus moving forward. And I think it's something the industry should be focused on. For those watching, thank you for joining us. And for more of our coverage of VMworld 2020, please check out esg-global.com. Thank you.