Part one of this series introduced four questions and responses that helped set the stage for VMware IT’s 2019 transformation plan. We covered the first two questions in that blog, and here we’ll take a closer look at how VMware IT implemented the answers to the third and fourth questions:
- How can we enable an infrastructure to support our journey of becoming a true SaaS company? Build on an infrastructure primed for transformation.
- How can we provide innovative product offerings that deliver tangible results? Transform business through IT innovation.
These responses align with VMware’s core philosophy around people and processes first, followed by technology as enablers for achieving digital transformation.
Build on an Infrastructure Primed for Transformation
A reliable but flexible infrastructure is a significant component in the foundation for transformation. It must deliver mission-critical services consistently yet accommodate the evolving business group requirements and shifting expectations from users.
Digital transformation requires a multi-cloud infrastructure. Moving to a multi-cloud environment from a private cloud equips VMware IT to apply DR strategies and deliver a seamless colleague experience.
Adopting a multi-cloud strategy capitalizes on the benefits of both private and public clouds to support continuous growth and help prepare VMware to embrace new opportunities with ease. While private clouds provide highly reliable, low-cost, secure environments for many types of workloads, the flexibility of public clouds enables VMware IT to meet huge spikes that accompany an acquisition or a significant event like VMworld.
Bringing branch offices into the cloud era
As VMware colleagues across the globe increased their use of cloud-based voice and data services across multiple clouds, legacy wide-area network (WAN) architectures could not keep up with the rising traffic load.
VMware IT rolled out the VMware software-defined (SD)-WAN across geo-dispersed sites in four global regions that improved upload and download speeds, eliminated brownouts. It removed multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) single points of failure, while simultaneously lowering OpEx costs and reducing packet loss. Today, remote offices enjoy full access to everything our public and private clouds offer.
Improving enterprise app delivery
In 2019, VMWare acquired Avi Networks, which is known for software that seamlessly delivers enterprise applications from data centers and clouds, along with consistent and responsive user experiences.
VMware IT started its own global rollout of VMware NSX® Advanced Load Balancer™, replacing existing legacy load balancers in a private cloud and deploying it to a public cloud, VMWare Cloud™ on AWS. By using NSX Advanced Load Balancer, VMware offers a full set of networking capabilities through software—spanning data centers, WANs, branches and the edge—while providing common management and intelligence, on premises and in the cloud.
Regaining control and optimizing public cloud spend
The ease of consuming cloud compute resources often leads to resource waste and increased costs. After acquiring CloudHealth in 2018, VMware IT deployed its technology, which delivers control and insights into cloud spending across AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform and other cloud environments. We stabilized our public cloud spend growth with a cost reduction of more than 30 percent and improved the predictability of budgeting.
Getting deployments right every time
Newly developed SaaS services must meet stringent requirements before deployment into production, to reduce the incidence of post-development and production problems. VMware IT created the Production Readiness Program (PRP) to finetune these services before they go into production, optimize the service throughout its lifetime, and enhance the service before any significant updates. The PRP helps ensure resiliency, reliability and performance; tighten security; and meet or exceed service-level agreement/service-level objective (SLA/SLO) targets.
Expanding the security footprint
VMware IT needed to expand the provision of robust security for individual workloads in private clouds, by enabling a zero-trust network to protect workloads in multi-cloud environments. They increased the overall security footprint of both perimeter and landscape ecosystems by migrating to VMware NSX-T™, a solution that offers public cloud support, container support, VMware vCenter® independence and other features not available in NSX® Data Center for vSphere®. Today, we provide the same strict and enforceable security measures found in highly secure private cloud environments.
Strengthening resiliency in hybrid cloud environments
Since being deployed, the public VMware Cloud™ on AWS is now an integral part of our DR strategy. It provides a unified and operationally consistent experience regardless of a workload’s location (on premises or in public or private clouds).
When VMware IT deployed the DR solution for a mission-critical system that manages subscription (SaaS) orders and runs on SAP HANA®, they achieved a recovery time objective (RTO) of less than 40 minutes, a significant DR metric. We met important DR goals, including fast failovers to unaffected locations, while delivering VMware Horizon® desktops to colleagues with minimal overhead and providing an uninterrupted experience, regardless of conditions.
Sharing our experiences with the world
The year would not be complete without the VMware on VMware presence at VMworld US and Europe, where we shared our experiences with using VMware products in our environments, discussed thought-leadership topics and best practices, and heard about customer challenges and successes.
Hands-on Labs: The ultimate test-drive
In 2019 we delivered more than 14,000 labs during the five days of VMworld US, a 22 percent increase over 2018, which required three geo-dispersed private clouds and two public clouds (VMware Cloud on AWS and IBM Cloud) in active/active mode. The highly scalable hybrid cloud architecture combined with state-of-the-art monitoring tools such as Tanzu Observability, vRealize Operations and vRealize Network Insight™ made this possible.
VMware IT looks forward
VMware IT will continue its focus on initiatives that support the transformation to a VMware digital DNA culture:
- Lead and execute on our VMware digital agenda to improve ease of doing business with VMware for customers, partners and colleagues.
- Enhance security and resiliency posture to reduce risk and enable growth.
- Continue to optimize our VMware IT investments and processes.
- Increase colleague productivity and improve colleague experience and satisfaction.
- Extend our cloud leadership with improvements in our private cloud and with third-party cloud providers.
- Attract and retain the best talent.
Transforming Business Through IT Innovation
To put the VMware IT 2019 accomplishments in perspective, take a look at the IT-managed environment they run.
Here are select VMware IT achievements for 2019.
For more details about how VMware IT increases business agility through digital transformation, read the IT Performance Annual Report 2019.