Spotlight on: Modernising the data center

Posted on 24/12/2018

As we move into 2019, we thought we’d do a recap of some of the key announcements which support our strategic IT priorities.  

These core pillars define our approach to the support we give our customers. At VMware we are focused on supporting their digital transformation, from infrastructure through delivery and security to the end-user experience. In this post, we’re looking at modernising the data center, and you can also read our other posts on integrating public cloud, empowering the digital workspace and transforming security.  

Modernise the data center means having an infrastructure capable of supporting the agile, flexible and scalable approaches digitised businesses require. It’s about having a foundation that’s capable of keeping your organisation competitive in the 21st century – and the trend is very much away from traditional, centralised data centers: in the next three years, proportions of workloads in on-premises DCs are expected to drop from 55 per cent to 41 per cent. By 2022, Gartner predicts that 75 per cent of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside that centralised data center or cloud, up from 10 per cent. 

All of that requires a completely different approach to data centers. To that end, we made a number of announcements this year aimed at changing the way customers think about their data center.  

Big projects for big ideas 

One of the key pieces of news came out of VMworld 2018 US – Project Dimension. As Kit Colbert, CTO – Cloud Platform Business Unit at VMware, explains, it came about when we started to think about what would happen “if we could deliver the same radical simplicity as VMware Cloud but do it for customers’ on-premises data center and edge locations”? To put it another way, deliver SDDC and hardware-as-a-service to on-premises locations.  

It’s a significant step, with similarly impressive benefits for customers: reduced operational cost and complexity; consistency between cloud and data center; and supporting a broad and diverse set of application services. In short, a truly digital foundation for transforming enterprises.  

As if that wasn’t enough, by the time VMworld 2018 Europe came around, we were able to announce that Project Dimension was going into beta. 

Another announcement that pushed the boundaries of what was previously thought possible is Project Magna – the self-driving data center. Using machine learning, its projected capabilities were summed up by the keynote demo at VMworld 2018 US. Audiences witnessed how Project Magna could learn and understand application behaviour to the point that it could model, test and then reconfigure the network to improve performance. 

Looking after today to prepare for tomorrow 

Those were the big, ambitious items that are going to revolutionise how we look at data centers. However, they’re still some way off being deployed in every day settings, and it’s important that we continue to improve on our existing products so that customers can continue to get the most from their infrastructure investments. That’s why VMworld 2018 US saw a raft of digital foundation updates, from update 1 for both vSphere 6.7 and vSAN 6.7, to the introduction of vSphere Platinum Edition.   

Partnering to offer our customers exactly what they need 

No man is an island, and neither are technology vendors. VMware would be very little without its partners. Our customers want solutions that meet their requirements, not the ones we might wish to dictate. That’s why it’s critical we partner with complementary businesses who can support, augment and enhance our own offerings to enable our customers’ transformations.  

One example of this is the work we’re doing with Equinix. We’ve worked together to come up with a way that Platform Equinix can connect on-premises data centers with VMware Cloud on AWS. Kaushik Joshi, a global managing director at Equinix, summed it up when he wrote “VMware Cloud on AWS via Platform Equinix provides an “easy button” to enable access to all of these environments through a single interconnection and colocation platform. This means businesses can create a hybrid cloud infrastructure to seamlessly migrate and extend VMware applications/workloads from on-premises vSphere-based environments to VMware Cloud on AWS for less cost.”  

To find out more about modernising your data center through virtualization, automation, and orchestration, check out this handy guide.


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