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Cloud Transformation – A Three-Part Story

We talk to a lot of customers about cloud transformation. Cloud transformation is a vast topic, so we’ve developed three sub transformations to make the discussion more specific and concrete: cloud infrastructure transformation, DevSecOps transformation, and application transformation. We’ve thus far been talking about these three transformations in the context of Tanzu. But in this blog, I’d like to focus on the critical foundation for facilitating these three transformations.

 

Cloud Infrastructure Transformation – It’s All About the Consumption Model

When we talk about cloud infrastructure transformation, we’re talking about a fundamental shift in the consumption model. By consumption model, I mean how a user (developer, DevOps team, etc.) uses and interfaces with the infrastructure. Unfortunately for many businesses today, they still use a traditional virtualized data center model where users must file tickets to access resources (VMs, Kubernetes clusters, etc.). The fundamental shift we’re talking about means moving to API-driven, self-service access. In this way, the user doesn’t need to file a ticket or talk to anybody; they can just call an API (through an app, a script, or the UI) and get immediate access.

vSphere provides the foundation for this shift.  But of course, you’ll need more than just vSphere to make this transformation successful. Really, we’re talking about three core infrastructure products:

  • VMware Cloud Foundation: VCF is about standardizing on a mature and well-defined infrastructure building block. VCF drives consistency across all your SDDC deployments, driving simplicity in manageability and greater robustness and resiliency.
  • vRealize Automation: vRA layers on top of VCF, turning those SDDCs into a real “cloud” with a self-service interface via the Service Broker catalog. Admins can enable users (again, devs, DevOps, etc.) to get self-service access to resources based on automatically enforced policies (for example, ensuring no user can request so many resources that it overwhelms the system).
  • Tanzu Kubernetes Grid: TKG provides Kubernetes clusters on-demand. Leveraged as part of vRA, it enables users to create enterprise-compliant and secured Kubernetes clusters on the fly and start using them immediately.

With these three together, admins can now offer their users a dynamic underlying infrastructure with a cloud-like consumption model.  This provides the foundation for the other two transformations.

 

DevSecOps Transformation – Supporting All Apps

DevSecOps focuses on enabling more rapid and frequent delivery to production with increased security and automation to reduce toil. While DevSecOps practices and principles are a big focus of net-new applications, we also hear from customers their desire to realize some of the DevSecOps benefits for their existing apps. vSphere is a powerful platform to deliver DevSecOps capabilities to all apps – both traditional and new

It’s well-understood that new apps can take advantage of DevSecOps principles. Indeed, much of the DevSecOps tech stack is optimized for containers and Kubernetes in particular. We’ve been hard at work in the Kubernetes and modern app space with our Tanzu Advanced solution, enabling a powerful DevSecOps platform out of the box. This makes it super simple for Kubernetes-based applications to create and use a DevSecOps pipeline.

But what about existing apps in VMs? It would be great if existing VM-based apps could leverage this same DevSecOps platform. Well, we have good news! We recently announced the availability of the vSphere Virtual Machine Service. The VM Service enables VMs to be managed within Kubernetes. The underlying runtime is, of course, still a traditional VM, but VMs are now first-class citizens with Kubernetes and can be managed alongside the modern, containerized apps. The benefit of this approach is that it doesn’t require a huge modernization effort of your existing apps for them to start taking advantage of DevSecOps. Another way to think about it is that it sets up these traditional apps for rapid modernization if you want to do it, given they’re now in the DevSecOps pipeline. Essentially, it’s simplifying and accelerating your DevSecOps transformation!

 

App Transformation – Enabling the “Extraction” Pattern

When we talk app transformation, we’re talking architecture – specifically evolving the architecture for an app from a more traditional monolithic style to a microservices or serverless one. While it’d be great to rewrite all of our apps and get the benefits of modern app architectures, the reality is that time and resources are limited. That means we can’t modernize every app immediately, and indeed we can’t always modernize the entirety of a given app immediately.

In fact, one of the most common app modernization patterns we see with our customers today is what we call the “extraction” pattern:

In the extraction pattern, the app team identifies a logical set of functionality to extract from the monolith and then rewrites it as a microservice or serverless component.  The updated app then has the existing (but now slightly smaller) monolith along with a set of modernized microservices, all communicating through a well-defined API. This is a process that can be run repeatedly to iteratively rewrite more and more of the app (creating more microservices and reducing the size of the monolith).

It really becomes a question of business priorities and how fast you want to modernize. Maybe you want to hit a few key, revenue-generating aspects of the app, then move on to other apps. Or maybe you want to go deeper as the app overall is crucial to customer experience. The point is that the extraction pattern gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of how you drive your modernization.

In this way, vSphere complements Tanzu by enabling broader support of existing and modern apps side-by-side to enable models like the extraction pattern.

Cloud transformation is challenging.  It has lots of moving parts.  Our goal at VMware is to provide a powerful top-to-bottom stack to accelerate your transformation and modernization journey. vSphere is a core enabler of that, in conjunction with the DevSecOps and app transformation capabilities of Tanzu.

Learn More

Visit the website: vSphere with Tanzu

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