VMworld 2016 : Digital Transformation and Cloud Freedom with VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC)

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VMware kicked off VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas today. VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger took the stage and welcomed over 20000 attendees. And in a nice gesture, Pat acknowledged the attendees who have never missed VMworld and announced they will receive free life time passes to the event. Gelsinger showed a Google trend chart that highlights ‘Digital Transformation’ as the top tech buzzword of 2016. But Gelsinger also said that there is no longer a meaningful distinction between physical and digital world and everybody needs to have a digital strategy as it is real. He also cited digital customer examples such as GE Predix Internet of Things (IoT) cloud and real-time analytics, and CVS Pharmacy’s recently launched mobile application that helps with scheduling, bill payment, insurance management, refill etc. As per Pat, the mobile-cloud architecture is enabling this digital transformation. And VMware firmly believes cloud is the foundation for  a digital world.

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The public cloud space has been heating up recently with Amazon, Microsoft and Oracle reporting multi-billion dollars in cloud based revenue over the last year. VMware has primarily been focused on private and hybrid cloud management but given the emergence of multiple public cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, VMware has realized it has to move quickly to help customers manage multiple cloud infrastructure.

Analysts may argue but Gelsinger revealed VMware’s own view of adoption of cloud. He pointed out that in 2016, of the 160 million global workloads, majority (73%) ran on traditional non-automated IT infrastructure. Only 12% ran in private cloud and remaining 15% in public cloud.

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So what is all the background and above statistics about? Gelsinger wants everyone to know there is a huge market for cloud automation that VMware is definitely going after with its Software Defined Data Center (SDC) to enable digital strategy of its partners. And to address this, VMware announced Cloud Foundation and Cross-Cloud Architecture offerings on the first day of VMworld 2016. The focus today was more on IaaS than PaaS enabled through SDDC.

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VMware Cloud Foundation is VMware’s extension of its hybrid cloud strategy and features a unified SDDC platform for the private and public cloud. It brings together VMware’s vSphere, Virtual SAN (VSAN) and NSX into a natively integrated stack, delivering enterprise ready cloud infrastructure with unique automation and management capabilities for a consistent operational experience across clouds. This move may help VMware respond to Nutanix Enterprise Cloud among others that are focused on simplifying hyperconverged infrastructure and heterogenous cloud management. VMware and Nutanix have different software based approaches to solving data center storage access and performance problems. Nutanix has gained wide adoption with partners such as Dell and Lenovo and is ready to file an IPO. The company also announced the acquisition of PernixData and Calm.io just as VMware opened VMworld 2016 today.

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VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture has been developed to give customers the ability to manage, govern and secure applications running across public clouds, including AWS, Azure and IBM Cloud. The strongest takeaway from VMworld’s day one is that the company is committed to multi-cloud management. Robert LeBlanc, SVP of IBM Cloud joined Gelsinger on stage as IBM is the first VMware vCloud Air Network partner to deliver the new Cloud Foundation and Cross-Cloud Services offerings. According to VMware, organizations can now automatically provision pre-configured VMware SDDC environments on IBM Cloud in hours versus weeks or months. Guido Appenzeller, chief technology strategy officer for networking and security at VMware also provided a tech preview of upcoming Cross-Cloud Services.

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Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of newly named Dell Technologies took the stage as well and in conversation with Pat Gelsinger highlighted the importance of the open ecosystem of VMware partners and mentioned that the effort of cloud simplification must continue.

Overall a good start at VMworld 2016. Sanjay PoonenExecutive Vice President and General Manager, End-User Computing will carry the theme further with VMware’s ‘Any Device Any Cloud’ strategy tomorrow. And we will see other great speakers take the stage.

VMworld 2016 Day Two Report is out. Please click here.

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