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The Future of IT is Software-Defined

Why the Software-Defined Data Center is a Nexus of Business Possibility

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger

By Pat Gelsinger

The $2 trillion Information Technology industry is in the early stages of a tectonic shift, as we transition from the previous Client-Server platform to the Mobile Cloud era. For the first time in history, we’re seeing dramatic changes driven by both the consumer and enterprise worlds. In many ways, everything is up in the air. At this critical juncture, the demands on IT are greater than ever. Whether you’re an individual consumer or a business leader, you want essentially the same thing: instantaneous access to the apps and data you care about, without hassles or hiccups, and with confidence and compliance.

As we make this massive shift from the PCs and servers of old to the Mobile Cloud era, we’re experiencing a fundamental restructuring of how IT value gets created and consumed. Simply put, software has usurped hardware as the place where value resides. This is driven largely by well-established laws of technology: software can be quickly adapted, programmed and automated. By contrast, hardware is inflexible, labor-intensive and specialized. As a guy who spent 30+ years in the hardware world, this is a difficult fact to acknowledge – yet it’s undeniable.

To wit, we have entered the age of the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). The SDDC is a data center where everything has been virtualized and infrastructure can be delivered as software on demand. This software-defined approach will become the model for every leading data center in the world because it represents a radical and powerful change agent for the enterprise. At its core, the SDDC empowers IT to move at the speed of the business, by rapidly delivering apps and services as they are needed.

The technical argument for the Software-Defined Data Center is airtight: Virtualize all components, abstract the functionality, pool the resources and automate the processes. In this model, hardware becomes increasingly invisible – seen solely through a layer of dynamic, scalable and agile software. Many of the core elements of this approach have been pioneered by companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook. But while they’ve accomplished a great deal, their implementations have been specifically designed for their specialized environments. Now is the time for us, as an industry, to take these valuable learnings and apply the software-defined approach for the benefit of all businesses – and all the millions of applications that power our economy.

Next Step: Virtualize Your Network

Compute virtualization was just the opening act of the SDDC story. According to VMware’s analysis, by virtualizing roughly 70 percent of our customers’ compute workloads over the past decade, businesses saved billions of dollars and in the process, they accomplished something else: They made it easy to spin up new applications in literally seconds. This, in turn, exposed a frustrating reality: As app provisioning has sped up exponentially, we have discovered that the operating model of the network is simply not equipped to keep pace. In fact, the network is now a barrier to achieving the full benefits of virtualization, because the movement of all of these dynamic apps is now severely constrained by the limitations of the physical network. The fact is today’s network is operationally intensive, requiring significant manual intervention and vendor-specific expertise at every turn.

The answer to this challenge is to virtualize your network. This represents the next chapter in our industry’s inevitable move to a software-defined approach to IT.  Network virtualization takes the fast and fluid operational model of a virtual machine (VM) and extends that across your network. It advances networking with new levels of automation, programmability, and management by leveraging the power of software. Network virtualization also transforms the economics of networking within the data center by reducing the need for costly, proprietary networking hardware. As we build virtual networks we are strengthening the foundations of the hybrid cloud, which gives businesses the ability to move valuable apps and data seamlessly between public and private cloud environments.

Charting the Course to a Software-Defined Future 

Modern business is here today. It’s global, competitive, collaborative, and extremely dynamic.  But too often, the technology infrastructure supporting these businesses is limping along – slow, inefficient, brittle, and generally incapable of keeping up. The best companies in the world are charting a path to a software-oriented model of IT where infrastructure drives strategic advantage. IT professionals with the courage to embrace this new reality – and let go of the hardware-centric models of the past – will change the landscape of business forever. The future is bright. Let’s move forward.

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VMware Unveils “AirWatch by VMware” at #MWC14

On Monday, VMware’s acquisition of AirWatch officially closed, just weeks after we announced our intent to acquire the leader in enterprise mobile management. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the AirWatch team aboard. As an integral part of our End-User Computing (EUC) division, AirWatch brings tremendous value to VMware and our customers.

It was in this spirit that the EUC team, along with AirWatch, this week unveiled “AirWatch by VMware” at Mobile World Congress (#MWC14). Together we look forward to achieving our combined vision of providing a secure virtual workspace that empowers our customers to work at the speed of life.

Also at the conference, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger delivered a keynote speech on the power of big data and the tectonic shift that’s happening within the IT industry – a shift from client server computing to the mobile cloud era. “Every company – VMware included,” stated Pat, “wants to try to address the move to the mobile cloud.” As part of that move, Pat highlighted this week’s launch of vCloud Hybrid Service for UK customers and addressed other hot topics including mobile, the cloud, big data, and – you guessed it – AirWatch by VMware.

VMware is uniquely positioned to enable the seamless experience that end users want, so that as they move from desktop, to laptop, to tablet, to phone, to car – their apps, their content, and their devices all come to life– anywhere, anyplace, anytime.

Check out more photos of the unveiling of AirWatch by VMware after the break. Be sure to stay tuned to the VMware Company Blog for our Weekly News Recap tomorrow and follow @VMwareNews and to stay up to date with all major VMware news in real time.

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VMware Weekly News Recap: February 21

VMware News

Carl Eschenbach at PEX 2014

Last week’s VMware Partner Exchange Conference was a blast. We were busy “Mastering the New Reality” with our partners and empowering them to help drive the future of IT. Interested in learning more about news coming out of the show? In case you missed any of VMware’s announcements coming out of the show, read more about news regarding End-User Computing, VMware Virtual SAN and enhancements to VMware’s Partner Network on the VMware Company Blog.

Carl Eschenbach at PEX 2014

In VMware news, the vSphere team recently launched VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist – an app that allows users to monitor the virtual machines they care about in their vSphere infrastructure remotely on their phone. You can download the new app on iTunes or Google Play.

Lastly, the Network Virtualization team is gearing up for RSA Conference 2014 (#RSAC) next week, where they will take an important step in outlining details of its vision for advancing security for the software-defined data center. Read more about our activities at the show on the Network Virtualization blog and be sure to follow VMware NSX on Twitter for real-time updates and news from the showroom floor.

Industry News

In VMware news, Business Cloud News’ Jonathan Brandon reports on VMware’s new partnership with Google to bring Microsoft legacy apps to ChromeOS. He writes that “the companies believe that enabling Windows applications on Chromebooks will make the desktop as a service platform more popular among enterprises.”

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Journey To Cloud-Based Desktops and Apps – VMware Partner Exchange 2014

Sumit Dhawan, VP and GM of Desktop Products, End-User Computing, VMwareSumit Dhawan, VP and GM of Desktop Products, End-User Computing, VMware

What a great week it has been as many of us at VMware had the opportunity to spend quality time with more than 4,000 partners at VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) 2014. There was certainly excitement in the air as VMware and its partners looked to the many opportunities that lie ahead, especially with our End-User Computing (EUC) vision gaining momentum. The news coming out of Partner Exchange is instrumental in enabling VMware to deliver a secure virtual workspace that allows end-users to work at the speed of life.

VMware continues to expand its commitment to the desktop business with innovations in technology, products, alliances and programs at the show. This week was a major milestone for EUC with several key announcements made. Here are a few highlights:

Google and VMware Join Forces

Google and VMware are working together to modernize corporate desktops for the mobile-cloud era by providing businesses with secure, cloud access to Windows applications, data and desktops on Google Chromebooks. Together, we can enable users to use Google Chromebooks and Google Chromebox to access all their corporate content from the web/cloud, including a full Windows desktop and applications delivered from on-premise/private cloud or public cloud via the VMware Horizon DaaS platform. This means customers can truly adopt the mobile-cloud using cloud-based devices for users with no end point management and cloud-based services including Windows desktops and apps.

Expanded Partnership with F5 Networks

F5 Networks is bringing to market new versions of F5’s BIG-IP Access Policy Manager (APM®) that have been tailor-made to deliver secure access and optimized performance for VMware Horizon View. Available in a range of throughput and concurrent user options, these new offerings cost-effectively add secure access technologies to Horizon View. In addition, F5 is introducing a dedicated iApp and reference architecture to significantly speed deployments and provide prescriptive guidance.

Continued Innovation in Lowering Storage Costs With VMware Virtual SAN

We continue to drive innovation in lowering storage costs with the expected availability of VMware Virtual SAN in Q1 2014. Currently in public beta, it has already garnered broad eco-system support with more than 150 hardware servers and devices from 12 partners. Virtual SAN is a cornerstone technology in VMware’s Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) strategy. Virtual SAN will addresses some of the most important historical challenges associated with VDI, enabling customers to achieve new standards of cost savings and performance while leveraging the existing storage infrastructure in their data center; driving broader adoption of VDI. In the next few weeks, we will share more specific performance details. We are really excited as we are seeing extremely strong performance benchmarks that we think will reset the price/performance equation for VDI.

Industry’s first end-to-end software platform for DaaS cloud

Earlier this week, we announced the release of VMware Horizon DaaS Platform, an end-to-end software platform for service providers to build their own DaaS clouds. VMware Horizon DaaS Platform integrates our secure multi-tenant broker and orchestrator (Desktone), virtual desktop delivery and end user experience (Horizon View) and virtualization platform (vSphere) that partners can get using our VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP). Now, partners can build their own DaaS cloud using all the required software infrastructure and licensing programs with VMware.

EUC Partner Eco-System Continues to Innovate

In addition to these announcements, we also see a vibrant partner ecosystem contributing to the end-user market, with Nexenta, Fusion-io and NetApp all highlighting solutions that provider lower TCO and better performance for our customers. Our open framework with Horizon View enables our partners to extend the solution stack and offer our partners new innovation rapidly.

All of these milestones complement an exciting end to 2013, where we saw great customer adoption of our desktop solutions. We’d like to thank our partners for a great 2013 but more importantly, thank them for the continued energy and excitement they are bringing to the year ahead.

Did you attend VMware Partner Exchange? What did you think about the event and the announcements from the End-User Computing group? Please share your feedback in the “Comments” section below.

You can also read more about the announcements made this week around DaaS, storage and secure access control for VDI on the VMware EUC product blog.

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VMware Virtual SAN Attracts Industry Support

By Alberto Farronato, director of product marketing, Storage and AvailabilityVSAN attracts industry support

Since being unveiled at VMworld 2013 San Francisco, VMware Virtual SAN, VMware’s hypervisor-converged storage software, has generated strong interest and enthusiasm from the community. To date, more than 10,000 have registered for the VMware Virtual SAN public beta.

That excitement extends to our partner ecosystem. Today at VMware Partner Exchange 2014 in San Francisco, we announced the initial 12 partners that are certifying their wares with Virtual SAN. More than 150 components from EMC, HGST, a Western Digital company, Intel, Fusion-io, LSI, Samsung Electronics, SanDisk and Seagate as well as major server platforms from Cisco, Dell, HP and IBM will be certified with Virtual SAN by general availability (GA) – which is expected in Q1 2014.

With the help of our partners, customers will have two options for deploying Virtual SAN:

  • VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes – pre-configured servers that ease procurement; and,
  • Component-based hardware compatibility list – a comprehensive product guide that enables customers to pick the certified components (including I/O controllers, HDDs and SSDs) of their choice.

At GA, it is expected that Cisco, Dell, and IBM will provide VMware Virtual SAN Ready Nodes. Additionally, it is expected that Cisco, Dell, IBM, Intel, Fusion-io and SanDisk will offer Reference Architectures for Virtual SAN.

Enterprise Performance and Scalability

A driving factor in the popularity of the Virtual SAN public beta has been the performance participants have achieved in testing. Today at VMware Partner Exchange 2014, VMware CTO Ben Fathi shared new performance benchmark and scalability details during his general session presentation on “Building the Data Center of the Future.”

Ben highlighted Virtual SAN’s ability to deliver high performance with linear scalability. Internal benchmarks have exceeded targets and show that Virtual SAN performs up to 915,000 IOPS on a 16 node cluster with less than 10 percent of CPU overhead. Ben also announced that Virtual SAN will feature support for 16 node clusters at GA.

We’re thrilled with the interest in and support for Virtual SAN. If you have yet to test Virtual SAN, give it a spin by registering for the public beta at: http://www.vsanbeta.com

If you want to learn more about Virtual SAN, attend our online event. Register at: http://www.vmware.com/now.html

For more details on today’s Virtual SAN ecosystem news, read the press release

Welcome to VMware Partner Exchange 2014!

Dave O'Callaghan, senior vice president, Global Partner Organization, VMwareBy Dave O’Callaghan, senior vice president, Global Partner Organization, VMware

I am pleased to welcome the entire VMware partner community to San Francisco for VMware Partner Exchange 2014. I’m excited to take the stage today and Wednesday at our General Sessions, where you’ll hear the latest from the VMware leadership team about mastering the new reality of the software-defined enterprise, and how we are looking forward to working with our partners in a way that is consistent, predictable and profitable. As a part of this approach, today we announced several VMware Partner Network enhancements – please read the announcement here for more details.

It’s been great to see and hear from many of you – I know several of you have been very active, attending our breakout sessions, workshops and boot camps at the conference during the past few days. I applaud all of our partners for their dedication to master their software-defined skills, and I am looking forward to speaking with many of you this week.

I wish everyone the best — enjoy your time in The City by the Bay!

Stay tuned to this blog for more news from VMware Partner Exchange!

Advancing Support for OpenStack

Last week, in conjunction with the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong, VMware made two announcements that highlighted how the company is continuing to advance the OpenStack framework.

In our first announcement, we highlighted our participation in the development and release of OpenStack Havana, delivering code to support OpenStack projects in compute, networking and storage. With technically complex infrastructure like cloud computing, the scalability of the cloud solution is driven by the components used to build it. This is especially true with a developing framework like OpenStack. VMware provides a proven portfolio of best-in-class components, including existing technologies such as VMware vSphere and new innovations such as VMware NSX network virtualization and VMware Virtual SAN.

That news was followed by a joint announcement from VMware and Mirantis to develop and deliver solutions for large-scale cloud deployments based on the Mirantis OpenStack distribution and VMware technologies. Fuel, the open source tool for OpenStack deployment and management developed by Mirantis, will add support for automating the deployment of the Mirantis OpenStack distribution in conjunction with VMware vCenter Server and VMware NSX technologies. The partnership reflects customers are looking for OpenStack solutions built using their existing VMware infrastructure and they want access to the best components available.


VMware: A Top Ten Contributor to the OpenStack Framework

Over the past year, VMware has built a dedicated software development team focused on OpenStack, making sure that the best way to run OpenStack is on top of VMware technologies. In the process VMware has become a significant contributor to the OpenStack community and one of the top ten contributors to the OpenStack framework.

VMware Sessions at OpenStack Summit Hong Kong

The VMware team delivered 17 sessions at OpenStack Summit, covering the full spectrum of OpenStack technologies. Sessions ranged from technical deep dives, to customer success stories, to industry panels with OpenStack peers.

For more information on VMware’s OpenStack activities, check out these additional resources:

Posted by Dan Wendlandt, director of product management for OpenStack at VMware