Cloud Architect Multi-Cloud

Podcast: Kit Colbert, CTO for VMware’s Cloud Platform, Talks Multi-Cloud Architecture

VMware Cloud Platform CTO, Kit Colbert, lifts the lid on VMware’s approach to multi-cloud architecture in the latest episode of the podcast. Listen in and discover how your organization can modernize its app portfolio and take advantage of multiple clouds.


The guest on our most recent multi-cloud podcast is Kit Colbert. Eric Nielsen and I interviewed Kit to better understand VMware’s approach to multi-cloud architecture. Kit walked us through an architectural approach that he believes delivers the best combination of agility and efficiency, and is perfect for organizations looking to modernize their application portfolio in a way that lets them take advantage of using multiple clouds.


We had a lot of fun talking with Kit whose experience at VMware spans nearly two decades. Kit first joined VMware as an intern in the very early days of the company. He went on to become a key member of the team that introduced vMotion and then later Storage vMotion. Kit has had many leadership roles at VMware including being the general manager for VMware’s first organization focused on cloud native applications. 


A Horizontal Approach to Multi-Cloud


Kit’s current role is CTO for VMware’s Cloud Platform Business Unit. This business unit is responsible for bringing together vSphere, VSAN, NSX and vRealize and delivering these as an integrated capability within the product offering of VMware Cloud Foundation. This integrated package of compute, storage, networking and management, comes together to act as a cloud platform that can be deployed on-premises, on thousands of managed service providers or on any one of the major hyper-scaler clouds such as AWS, Azure or Google.  


Having the same cloud substrate running across any combination of clouds delivers a broad set of benefits.  First, you don’t need to support a different operating model for each cloud you choose to use. Teams get to leverage existing skills since they are using a single, known operating model across multiple clouds. Having a common substrate also eliminates the need to refactor apps to address app and infrastructure dependencies. This dependency issue drives up the cost and time it takes to move applications when cloud environments are different. Many applications can’t even achieve a business case (where benefits exceed cost) for moving to the cloud because of this dependency issue. This is especially true when the organization has no need to refactor and modernize the application to add new functionality.


Build, Run and Manage Modern Apps on Any Cloud


Kit also talked about the role that VMware Tanzu represents in VMware’s Multi-Cloud Architecture.  VMware Tanzu represents a set of technologies that help organizations build, run and manage modern apps across any combination of clouds. It solves a different problem than VMware Cloud Foundation. Modern apps – apps that leverage 12 factor design considerations, micro-services, containers and Kubernetes – are expected to be portable by design.  The multi-cloud issue that organizations face when dealing with modern apps is that much of the tool chain is optimized to run on a single, hyper-scaler cloud. The result is that, like with traditional apps, leverage is reduced as teams have to be peaked to work on a single cloud environment.


Kit does a great job walking us through both VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Tanzu. He also talks about the intersection of both these technologies.  Earlier this year, vSphere 7, was released. This release includes new Kubernetes related capabilities. vSphere 7 incorporates Kubernetes into ESXi, creating a hybrid node that can run both VMs and containers. The concept provides a way to support both containers and virtual machines in the same environment, sharing the same resources and all managed through VMware’s vCenter.


You can watch this latest episode on YouTube here or catch it on Spotify here.  If you missed any of our other multi-cloud podcast episodes, you can find them all on our SoundCloud playlist.


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