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Recapping a Busy Week of Public Cloud Management at VMware Explore US 2022

Back in person and with an exciting new future-looking focus, VMware Explore US took place from August 29 – September 1 in San Francisco. With attendees flocking to the “center of the multi-cloud universe,” the conference featured general sessions, breakouts, and expert discussions highlighting announcements and bringing practitioners of all kinds together. Public cloud financial management and configuration security were well-represented at the event, featuring prominently in keynotes and a special collection of sections. Below is a recap of all the highlights related to these topics at VMware Explore, including the announcement of VMware Aria, keynotes and sessions, and other notable events. 

Introducing VMware Aria 

One of the most significant announcements at VMware Explore was the introduction of VMware Aria, the next chapter in cloud management from VMware. VMware Aria is a unified management solution for cloud native applications and multi-cloud, providing a set of end-to-end solutions for managing the cost, performance, configuration, and delivery of infrastructure and applications. VMware Aria was first announced publicly on Monday, August 29, during a Special Program featuring the CloudHealth by VMware Suite (more on this collection of sessions below). 

Purnima Padmanabhan, SV/GP of Cloud Management at VMware, announces VMware Aria on August 29.

With many businesses today delivering their applications across clouds, at the edge, and with the use of Kubernetes, VMware Aria provides a solution to the challenges posed by managing overall cloud spend, resource utilization, and application performance, security, and compliance. VMware Aria is powered by VMware Aria Graph, an exciting new cloud-scale data store technology that captures and maps the complexity of our customers’ multi-cloud environments in a single view. VMware Aria graph anchors core management solutions – VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth, VMware Aria Operations, and VMware Aria Automation – as well as a set of end to end solutions for cloud governance (Aria Guardrails), cloud migration (Aria Migration), and business insights (Aria Business Insights) at scale. 

With the VMware Aria launch, the products within the CloudHealth by VMware Suite are now under a single-family name to unify the VMware portfolio: 

  • VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth, formerly known as CloudHealth or CloudHealth Partner Platform 
  • VMware Aria Automation for Secure Clouds, formerly known as CloudHealth Secure State 

Over the coming months, we are excited to share more about how VMware Aria will provide a unified cloud management solution. 

Special Program featuring the CloudHealth by VMware Suite 

On August 29 to kick of the week at VMware Explore, we hosted a Special Program featuring the CloudHealth by VMware Suite at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Our special program included 9 total sessions, including a keynote to start the day and afternoon tracks focused on Cloud FinOps and Configuration Security. The program attracted attendees just starting their journey in the public cloud, as well as those who have advanced to various stages of public cloud maturity.

Many sessions were held in the Blue Shield Theater of California, and the 757-capacity theater was completely full for most of the morning with a significant standby line of attendees hoping to find a place to stand.

Below are highlights from the sessions that took place at the Special Program. (Note: recordings of these sessions are not available.) 

  • Keynote: Public cloud and Multi-Cloud Operating ModelPurnima Padmanabhan, VMware 
    • The program’s keynote began with an overview of VMware’s Cloud Operating Model for public and multi-cloud consumers, leading into the first public announcement of VMware Aria and a series of new features released including new rightsizing, savings automator, anomaly detection, and improvements to partner billing and invoicing.  
  • CloudHealth & CloudHealth Secure State, The Best of Both WorldsJohan Marais, Discovery 
    • Discovery detailed how VMware products are central to its platform operations strategy, starting with initial wins in the first year of use and subsequent evolution into its future outlook. 
  • Customer Success powered by CloudHealthMandy Lewis & Dan Molina, Accenture; Apolak Borthakur, VMware  
    • Accenture highlighted how it employs VMware as a key tool in its cloud migration and management practice, including the customizable reports generated within the product that can be delivered to end customers. 
  • Leveraging CloudHealth to Supercharge your FinOps PracticeSarah Stone & Parker Stevens, Trace3 
    • Trace3 shared an overview of FinOps and how it has woven FinOps into its cloud consulting solutions. The presentation focused on the specific product features that allow Trace3 to deliver FinOps-oriented solutions to its customers. 
  • Multi-Cloud Equitable Chargeback Using FlexReportsSanjna Srivatsa & Yash Tandon, VMware 
    • VMware IT, a customer of VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth, shared how FlexReports allowed it to build a chargeback model for internal customers. The presentation featured a walkthrough of how this process works from the initial cloud bill through a monthly chargeback report broken down by account. 
  • Building A Successful Cloud Cost OperationSandra Zanin, Compass UOL 
    • Compass UOL shared how its partnership with VMware has enabled it to build a cloud cost optimization practice. Its FinOps consulting service is enabled by VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth and delivers value to their customers across Latin America. 
  • Understanding CSPM, CIEM, UEBA, and Other Cloud Security TechniquesNikhil Girdhar & Tai Tran, VMware
    • Product leaders at VMware Aria Automation for Secure Clouds shared the ways in which the product is positioned to address the newest challenges in cloud configuration security management. 
  • How VMware Infosec Protects 20,000 Accounts in AWS, Azure, & Google CloudsDustin Hammond & Priam Fernandes, VMware IT 
    • VMware IT, a customer of VMware Aria Automation for Secure Clouds, discussed its overall information security strategy, including how VMware products are central components that allow a more scalable approach.  
  • Blocking Cloud Storage Ransomware & Supply Chain Security AttacksNandesh Guru, VMware  
    • This session covered how two of the largest emerging threats in public cloud security and can be addressed by applying a security mindset across your entire team, going a long way toward keeping you protected.

Additional highlights at VMware Explore 

Though a majority of sessions featuring Public Cloud Financial Management and Configuration Security were delivered on Monday, both products continued to serve as focal points throughout the remainder of the week.  

Solutions Keynote: Key Stages of the Modern App Journey – This keynote followed the journey of a modern application and detailed the ways in which VMware enables businesses to build, deploy, and protect their modern apps. After an introduction to the newly-announced VMware Aria, Public Cloud FinOps and Configuration Security were featured during a fireside chat between Purnima Padmanabhan and our customer from Discovery, Johan Marais. Discovery is a great example of how VMware products have enabled a small team to meet the needs of its internal customers across a large business. Johan described how Discovery saw cost savings, efficiency improvements, and visibility into configuration vulnerabilities within one year with VMware. They continue to rely on VMware as they look to the future and move more workloads to the public cloud. (Note: a recording of this keynote is available in the VMware Explore video library).

Meet The Experts Discussions – Due to its popularity, the Public Cloud Financial Management “Meet The Experts” session was hosted three times! These sessions featured discussions with Lucas Paratore, Senior Product Line Manager at VMware, who was joined by attendees who were just starting to explore the benefits of public cloud as well as those who had already moved a significant portion of their workloads off-premise. (Note: Meet the Experts sessions are not recorded). 

The Expo – We were thrilled to meet so many attendees face to face at our demo stations at The Expo! Alongside the many other products that make up VMware Aria, we enjoyed sharing our cloud financial management and configuration security solutions at the conference. We did our best to compete with the McLaren Formula 1 race simulator! 

Additional Sessions – The following sessions were recorded and are available in the VMware Explore Video Library: 

Further Reading – The following blog posts provide additional information on the exciting announcements that took place at VMware Explore US: 

Overall, VMware Explore US was a huge success! We are excited to share more updates with our friends across the ocean at VMware Explore Europe in Barcelona in November, and are already looking forward to next year’s conference in the US!  

Reach out for more information about the announcements made at VMware Explore US.

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