What to Expect at VMworld 2016?

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VMworld 2016 is fast approaching and starts on August 28th at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center, Las Vegas. The question on everyone’s minds is whether the show will be useful and what will VMware be disclosing about its strategy and products this year. In 2015, we saw VMware’s focus on mobile to data center and end user computing. In the upcoming 2016 show, it is critical for VMware to be clear about its strategy with its large customer base given the recent takeover of EMC (VMware’s parent company) by Dell and emergence and popularity of companies such as Nutanix who are evolving the way private and hybrid cloud infrastructure is deployed and managed. Everything is getting software defined and VMware will have to continue building and retaining trust and showing path to innovation with partners at VMworld.

Management Across Multiple Cloud Environments

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 needs to move quick to establish itself as a multi-cloud management player.

As per VMworld’s event page, the general session theme on August 29th and 30th is Competitive Advantage in the Multi-Cloud Era. We will hear keynote speakers talk about how VMware can help break silos created internally and externally and how workloads and apps will need to move seamlessly across multiple clouds. We can expect Pat Gelsinger and his executive staff to lead the session on both days. Experts will also talk about networking and security issues faced in a multi-cloud environment and the need for consistency and compliance across clouds. In VMware’s introduction of the general session, the company describes:

A software-defined, network fabric that spans many clouds is the foundation on which many multi-cloud security and management services are built. One key benefit to a distributed, virtualized multi-cloud network is that customers can easily move workloads from a private data center to a public cloud or between clouds, and preserve existing network and security settings. Innovations in network virtualization, cloud-native apps, cloud management and digital workspaces have made this multi-cloud revolution possible. And hyper-converged Infrastructure has revolutionized private cloud deployment. The end-game is to propel businesses forward connecting people, apps, data and devices all the way to IoT.

It is certainly interesting to see VMware talk about cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) – quite a journey from early days of hypervisor and virtualizated infrastructure management. VMWare has been bullish on multi-cloud management and recently announced that analyst firm IDC named VMware as the market share leader in both the worldwide cloud systems management and the datacenter automation software markets based on 2015 revenues. This is the third consecutive year that VMware has topped both categories.

“These reports are a validation of our commitment to innovation and indicative that our unified cloud management platform drove successful results for our customers in 2015,” said Ajay Singh, senior vice president and general manager, Cloud Management Business Unit, VMware. “Our vision and our customer’s trust and loyalty in our products have allowed us to outperform and maintain a leadership position in both cloud systems management and datacenter automation. We are honored to be recognized by IDC for our efforts and continue to work in partnership with our customers to meet their cloud automation and management needs of today and tomorrow.”

Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence

Last year, we heard a lot from Sanjay Poonen on End User Computing programs and products at VMware. We will most likely see that theme continue at VMworld 2016. However this year, in the September 1st general session we will also see VMware talk about really ground breaking technologies that are not necessarily related to VMware’s core cloud and virtualization business. The general session theme is being called Seeing and Creating the Unimaginable and the focus on this day would be on Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence. In VMware’s words describing the session:

We are now discovering and even inventing the unimaginable every day. Satellites are locating lost cities, 3D printers are creating entire robots, synthetic biology is re-envisioning the future of space travel. Leveraging new technologies, extraordinary explorers of our time are venturing to the outer limits of their imaginations. Join us for an awe-inspiring journey into their both unimaginable and very real worlds.

Overall, VMware promises to offer four days of innovation to accelerate your journey to a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) and software driven business — from mobile devices to the data center and the cloud.

vmworld-2016-us-top-10-reasons-to-attend

The above infographic shows how attendees can benefit from this conference. VMware promises content for CxOs, business leaders, IT admins, network engineers, software developers, cloud architects or technologists and DevOps professionals at VMworld this year.

For VMware partners, the company has arranged Partner Exchange @ VMworld on Sunday, August 28. Held prior to VMworld, Partner Exchange will offer Partner-only, deep-dive technical sessions; solution keynotes focused on mobility, cloud and NSX; and special Route-to-Market sessions.

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