Sylvain Cazard, VP SDDC EMEA, VMware
Here’s a recap of the key Cloud announcements from VMworld US. Now it’s time to think about VMworld Europe.
The context for Cloud Transformation
The world continues to change at a rapid pace and organisations of all types are transforming how they transact, how they interact with customers, partners, employees and other stakeholders, how they comply with and adhere to governance and regulation and, above all, how they bring innovative products and services to market quickly and efficiently.
Increasingly, doing all of this drives organisations to use cloud technologies, by modernising their existing infrastructure into private clouds, and by using public cloud infrastructure. We at VMware are uniquely positioned to assist customers with this journey, first by modernising their data centers to create true Sofware Defined Data Centers, then by helping position organisations to use the hybrid cloud and, eventually, native public cloud resources.
The key to a truly effective hybrid cloud deployment is to create a platform where applications can move easily between the on premises environment and the cloud platform. After all, it’s all about the applications. How they are built, deployed and managed, in the most efficient and effective way.
Applications are changing in many ways. They are getting smaller, but more complex and more demanding. They are more interrelated, as monolithic and 3-tier applications are reducing, and they require greater flexibility from the underlying infrastructure, particularly the network. Finally, an increasing number of application components are being built in containers, which again drives new requirements from the underlying infrastructure, whether on premises or in the cloud.
As we modernize infrastructure to create effective hybrid cloud environments, one of our key considerations is to create a platform that provides equal support to both VMs and containers. The pre-eminent structure for managing a container environment is Kubernetes and VMware leads the way, integrating support for containers and Kubernetes across the range of solutions that comprise our Software Defined Data Center and our Hybrid Cloud offerings.
The key platform that delivers this is VMware Cloud Foundation. This provides a number of options for our customers, in their on premises deployments as well as their cloud usage. Customers can purchase Cloud Foundation as a product which, when deployed, provides a ready to go Software Defined Data Center. This delivers virtualised compute (vSphere), storage (vSAN) and networking (NSX) components, allied to lifecycle management, as well as offering options for workload deployment, automation, operations and performance management and more, delivered through the vRealize cloud management platform.
Customers who prefer to build their own private cloud can take advantage of the architectural principles of Cloud Foundation by using VMware Validated Designs. VMware Validated Design is a family of solutions for data center designs that span compute, storage, networking, and management, serving as a blueprint for your Software-Defined Data Center implementation.
Turning to the cloud, VMware has partnered with over four thousand public cloud providers, who build their public cloud offering using exactly the same VMware Cloud Foundation principles and products, ensuring compatibility with our customers’ private clouds.
Amongst these, VMware Cloud Verified signifies a subset of partners who offer services based on the most complete VMware-based cloud infrastructure technology available, providing compatibility, choice, and control of VMware Cloud Infrastructure at data center locations where this service is offered.
The secret sauce that ensures compatibility, portability of workloads, the ability to scale out and back, and the crucial ability to move applications both to the cloud and back again, is VMware’s market-leading NSX networking technology. As applications and the ways we deploy and consume them transform out of all recognition, the underlying network is also changing.
But Cloud and Modern Apps are forcing fundamental change elsewhere too…
The accelerating move to cloud, and fundamental changes in the application model to embrace containers, Kubernetes and the like are driving yet another wave of profound transformation at the heart of IT.
Change on this scale has a ripple effect beyond cloud and applications. John Gage of Sun Microsystems famously once said “the network is the computer”. Today, it’s probably more accurate to say “the network is the application”. As applications and how we deploy and consume them transform out of all recognition, the underlying network is also changing radically.
Examples are everywhere: increasing LAN virtualisation to support greater flexibility, cloud interconnectivity and AI-driven automation (for example, VMware’s NSX family); and more recently, the virtualisation of wide area networks through software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) for cost saving, ease of management and again, business agility (typified by VMware’s acquisition of the SD-WAN market leader, VeloCloud).
It’s not just new application models driving network transformation – changing fundamental architectures like this also has major implications for IT security.
As discussed earlier, modern applications have changed radically from the monolithic slabs of code of earlier eras. Today, applications may consist of multiple modules or microservices, all linked via the network.
Whilst these new models make applications more efficient and flexible, they also increase the number of network interactions. This larger number of interactions greatly increases the ‘attack surface’ for malware to target – traditional security is simply not designed for this. The result? More IT budget is being spent on traditional security, and yet the number and cost of security breaches are ballooning exponentially.
Just as modern business dictates the need for a new application model, the new application model and its consequences dictate the need for a ‘new security’.
VMware believes that IT security should focus on a deep knowledge of what the application environment should look like, and enforcing this as the ‘known good’, rather than continuing to chase the ‘known bad’ – essentially impossible with an estimated 400 thousand new threats appearing every day. In the new world of microservices, containers, Kubernetes and so on, security needs to be built in throughout the infrastructure and not just around its perimeter.
VMware implements the ‘new security’ through capabilities such as micro-segmentation within NSX, application-aware adaptive security via VMware AppDefense and the Service-defined firewall solution, and integrated platform security through vSphere.
Just as VMworld 2019 in San Francisco this year focussed on a raft of new announcements concerning modern applications, we also talked about critical supporting technologies enabling the necessary transformation in networking and security.
Firstly, we announced the release of VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer. This comes from our acquisition of Avi Networks earlier in the year.
VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer is a distributed application delivery controller (ADC), built for the cloud, and replaces the complexity and rigidity of legacy systems and ADC hardware appliances with modern, software-defined, application delivery services. It provides a software load balancer and web application firewall, combined with analytics and monitoring to enable a fast, scalable, and intrinsically more secure application experience. Customers can dispatch load balancing services to any application on any cloud, running on VMs, containers, or bare metal, using a single centralised interface
Second, VMware announced the intention to acquire Carbon Black, a pioneer of next gen endpoint security, leveraging big data, behavioural analytics and AI against cyberattacks. The acquisition allows us to accelerate our strategy for a new ‘intrinsic security’ throughout the most important security control points across the infrastructure. Moreover, Carbon Black provides us with an established security platform with a powerful data lake and analytics capabilities through AI.
With these acquisitions, VMware is poised to take a significant leadership position in security and networking for the new age of multi-cloud and modern devices, reinforcing our move to become the industry leader in modern application infrastructure provision.
Maximise your time at VMworld Europe
How do you follow a path at VMworld that focusses on these areas?
First, attend the main keynotes – VMware’s story starts here, and provides a context for everything else.
I strongly encourage you to attend some or all of the cloud related showcase keynotes to learn more about VMware strategy and visions.
Spend some quality time at Cloud City, the dedicated area where you can see demos, review use cases, understand strategy and speak with VMware cloud experts about the particular cloud challenges you face in your organization.
Finally, there are over 600 sessions at VMworld Europe, with more than 400 focussed on software defined data center topics and technologies. You can get hands on with our products and solutions by taking a Hands On Lab.
Prepare for and make best use of your VMworld experience by selecting your sessions with the VMworld Europe content catalog.