ESG's Mark Peters, Bob Laliberte, Doug Cahill, and Christophe Bertrand discuss their impressions from VMworld 2020, held virtually.
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Mark: Welcome to a virtual on location ESG video commentary. VMworld this year was in many respects similar and very different. Obviously, it was a digital event, but similar in as much as it's still incredibly broad, so broad that we can't hope to cover everything in one video or one blog.
So, you'll see many things coming out from ESG on that. Today, I'm joined by three really smart colleagues from ESG to talk about a number of topics. We've chosen to cover things like SASE, networking, security, data protection. And we're going to start with Bob. The same question for all three of you. What's the most significant thing you saw, whether that be a product, an announcement, or a feeling, and why does that matter?
Bob: Yeah. Thanks, Mark. So, for me, I think looking at it from a networking perspective, the big announcement of the show was around something they're referring to as Project Monterey. And this is essentially a SmartNIC technology that they've created a nice little ecosystem around. It's basically technology in that network interface card that they can use to offload a lot of the normal networking and security type functions that would normally be on the host CPU.
And basically, that allows the host CPU to focus all its energy on delivering that great application experience. They've partnered with Nvidia, Intel, and Pensando for the technology. And from a go-to-market perspective, it's Dell, Lenovo, and HPE. That will be out, you know, technology, over the course of next year. The most provocative statement from a networking perspective that I heard was when Pat Gelsinger came out and said that "Private 5G will displace public Wi-Fi over time."
So, that's a really big statement to be made. And I think a lot of people might've missed it, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how that plays out. And it's clear that they're spending a lot of time and energy on developing their technologies to enable 5G as well.
Mark: Bob, thank you very much. Over to you, Christophe. We'll keep going alphabetically.
Christophe: Well, so what was interesting this year is not only the fact that you had a number of ISVs in the space of data protection, the usual partners, very happy ecosystem, but also a new acquisition, the Datrium solution. And it brings up a number of questions for me. Number one, is this going to reinforce the partnerships? Because candidly, it kind of competes in some areas.
And moving forward, are we going to see it being used in other use cases, maybe like migration, for example. And by the way, talking about edge, there's quite a bit of data there that also needs to be backed up. So, let's see what happens. Curious to see what the execution is around Datrium. Very curious to see how the partnerships, again, with all those big names in the data protection space, all pan out.
Mark: All right. So, we've done B, C. That's now you, D for Doug.
Doug: Thanks, Mark.
There were a lot of security announcements this year at VMworld. If I think about them in totality, it's really VMware executing on their mission to be a leading cybersecurity brand. Why is that important? Well, a couple of reasons, you know, we know organizations are suffering from point tool fatigue, and there's at least a directional intent to move toward converged platforms. And VMware is doing just that but by building it in.
You know, there's been a lot of talk from VMware about security needs to be an intrinsic attribute of the infrastructure. I'm a big fan of this approach. I think of it a little bit like security becomes a feature, which isn't to belittle security by any means, but it really makes it a first-class citizen where security is included in Workspace ONE, as part of, you know, securing the mobile worker.
It's embedded at the hypervisor level to be able to secure workload that are increasingly cloud resonant. It's embedded in the network. And they've also announced last week their XDR solution, which is it's extending Carbon Black's endpoint detection and response to the network, the user, and the cloud.
They announced their SASE strategy and offering, so secure access services edge that is leveraging NSX as a firewall as a service. They also announced partnerships with Zscaler for the suite piece, Menlo Security for the RBI piece. But, Bob, they're really leveraging VeloCloud, right, as sort of the underpinnings for SASE? Is that your take on this?
Bob: Yeah, absolutely. The VeloCloud solution SD-WAN, it's obviously been a leading solution in the market for a long time now, and that's something where SD-WAN has always had this ecosystem of security vendors where it's, "Hey, a couple of clicks here," and, "How tightly can you integrate?" And now, I think we're just seeing that going to the whole new level with that. And so, it's not only across the WAN, but as you had mentioned with the NSX, and the distributed firewalls, and things like that.
Being able to really distribute, so that centralized policy, but distributed enforcement is really what's happening, and I think they're starting to build out that SASE framework with the solutions that they have.
Mark: Let me ask a slightly different question of each of you. What do you think the market heard? What's the big takeaway, if there is any, for any trends that this represents or changes that were being shouted from the virtual Vegas rooftops? Christophe, let's start with you on this one.
Christophe: Well, I will say, and it's going to sound pretty obvious, but the future is about containers. It's not about virtualization anymore. It's really about containers and how to leverage those in the digital transformation world that we live in that's only been accelerated. And by the way, kudos to the team that put the event together because I think what the market saw was a very well-executed conference.
Doug: Yeah, really similar perspective as Christophe with respect to containers, but also Kubernetes as the orchestration platform. Kubernetes is sort of the centerpiece on how modern infrastructure that spans hyper multi-clouds will be managed and secured. So, I just feel like, you know, hyper multi-clouds introduces incremental complexity and hopefully, what the market heard was bringing some semblance and order vis-a-vis Tanzu.
Tanzu's really the centerpiece of the strategy here from VMware on how to, brings a more organized approach in managing and securing both VMs and containers.
Bob: One of the things that some people may have missed was, just before the VMworld, was an announcement around vSphere, and vSan, and so forth that enabled organizations to deploy the Tanzu without having to go with the full BCF stack. And so, that's a recognition of organizations need a more lightweight stack to get going and try this out than deploying everything.
So, I think, again, what we're seeing is definitely a move towards the hybrid multi-cloud. And then now, they're providing options for people who want to deploy the full stack or for people who want to get started with the technology.
Mark: All right. Well, thanks to all three of you. Thank you for watching. I think what's very clear is that, at the risk of stating the obvious, VMware is so much more than a vendor. It's an entire ecosystem, which is why I'm not sure we're really doing justice here. Certainly, just scratching the surface. But hopefully, that will inspire you to go take a look at the other videos we're producing around this, as well as all the blogs and other writings that will follow not just in the coming days, but over the coming months and quarters, because this event, as ever, was just as significant as it's been in the past even though it was done very differently.
Thanks again for watching.