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VMworld 2021 and Arm

Hey everybody! It’s that time of the year when all the feverish preparations for VMworld are complete, and both presenters and attendees can kick-back and enjoy the show.

VMware on Arm [DEM3152] in the Vision and Innovation side of the Demo Zone provides a short overview of where we’re at with the Arm development. This includes Project Monterey, a short demo of VMware Fusion for Apple Silicon, which was recently announced by Michael Roy as a Tech Preview, and updates on the ESXi-Arm Fling.

Coinciding with the VMworld event, we have updated the ESXi-Arm Fling to v1.6. This release does not contain a new ESXi-Arm build, but it is to announce new experimental support for:

Being able to run ESXi-Arm Fling in a public cloud is a pretty huge change from tinkering with the Raspberry Pi! The new Arm Neoverse N1-based CPUs like the AWS Graviton2 and the Ampere® Altra® are a real game changer in terms of performance/price benefits and Arm is no longer just the “cheap option”.

We don’t have any concrete plans to announce, but we believe customers will want to run Arm workloads alongside their existing x86 workloads and leverage this flexibility in a multi-cloud environment. In the end, it’s all about customer choices and operational consistency. Does ESXi-Arm based capacity in EC2 or OCI make sense to you? Let us know!

The Enterprise Cloud Evolution with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure [MCL3083S] demoes the ESXi-Arm Fling with Oracle’s new Ampere® Altra®-based 160 core BM.Standard.A1.160 shapes.

The Attach GPU Anywhere with vSphere Bitfusion Extension [VMTN2801] session talks about extending BitFusion to 64-bit Arm hosts.

There is also a massive amount of content on Project Monterey, the Arm DPU-based disaggregation of server I/O facilities and the first productization of the ESXi-Arm technology. Did you know that Project Monterey DPUs are 64-bit Arm based micro servers on a PCIe card and that SystemReady ES hardware and firmware standards are crucial to creating an open ecosystem? Check out the following sessions:

Finally, From Idea to Impact: A Guide to Perpetual Innovation [VI1184] highlights the ESXi-Arm project as a case study of innovation :-).