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VMworld Keynotes in a Nutshell


The following blog post is a summary of the announcements, demos and happenings during the first and second keynote sessions of VMWorld 2016 Keynote session. 

Keynote, Day One

The event started with an amazing percussionist on the stage followed by an interesting motivational speaker to talk about Be Tomorrow. Be is the theme of this year’s VMWorld.

After the short speech, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger took the stage to welcome us and to take us through some of the long history of VMware and its customers.

Mr. Gelsinger began the event by recognizing the 21 VMworld attendees that have been at every event. In appreciation of their steadfast support, VMware gave them two conference passes for life. I thought this was a nice touch. Kudos to VMware for doing this.

Mr. Gelsinger went on to speak about the impact of the public cloud in IT, and VMware’s predictions that 50% of all IT workloads will be on public clouds by 2021. He observed that in today’s world, IT is in charge of securing an environment over which it has very little control. This is not an easy task.

Then it was time for the first video of the keynotes, which was about a how companies have faced challenges and how the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) has helped them.


For the first big announcement of the keynote, Mr Gelsinger disclosed that IBM is their first vCloud Air foundation. They are also partnering on the Desktop as a Service (DaaS) side of business.

This announcement was followed by what I consider to be a large and necessary re-alignment on the vision slide. It now reads, “Any device, any application, any cloud.”

The second guest on stage was Guido Appenzeller, Chief Technology Strategy officer of Networking and Security. Guido spoke about security and the challenges in a cross-cloud environment. Citi Bank’s CTO was the first customer on stage and joined Mr. Appenzeller in addressing this topic.


VMware continued to announce cross-cloud services, including a service layer to enable vSphere workloads to run on public clouds. In my view, this is probably one of the biggest announcements that VMware has released in the recent years.

It is a bit of a pull-back from last year’s messaging of "One-Cloud". However, at least it shows they are trying to learn and evolve. There’s nothing wrong with that.


We received a demo of cross-cloud and how it works, including options like encryption with NSX, workloads migration, etc. The demo went really well but some people complained because all demos were pre-recorded instead of being live. The picture below shows the tech-preview interface.


After all the demos of cloud-cross and cloud services, Mr Gelsinger came back on stage to introduce Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, Inc. They talked about the relationship between their repective companies, as well as the impact it would have on VxRail and the ecosystem. This ended Day One Keynote.

Keynote, Day Two 

This second day of VMworld usually brings a greater number of speakers and demos than the day before. It is also used to share more details and updates on existing technologies. We started where we had left off, with the new vision slide and a discussion of VMware's vision and how the different components integrate.


The first speaker of the second day was Sanjay Poone EVP of End-User Computing. He took more time than any other speaker during this second keynote, showing how important EUC has become for VMware.


Mr. Sanjay took us through the evolution of WorkspaceONE. He explained how the solution integrates Identity Manager, Airwatch and a several other solutions to provide seamless, secure access to corporate resources, when and where you need them.


We were also shown an excellent recorded demo, explaining how Airwatch and its email container mobile app, Boxer, are now integrated to deliver a very rich user experience. Integration, single sign-on and security were all showcased in the demo.

Sanjay continued the demo simulation with a "day-in-the-life" of a typical management user. It showed a number of familiar use cases, such as approving expense reports, ServiceNow approvals, and even integration with Google Drive. 

Sanjay invited SalesForce on the stage to talk about the relationship between them and how they are collaborating. He also talked about how Windows 10 is growing in user and enterprise adoption and how it can be managed. The goal of VMware is reducing the cost of managing that end point. Security can be achieved by integrating solutions like NSX to protect what data is shared and what is not.


End Point Management on Windows 10 can be achieved by leveraging Airwatch and NSX. The demo showed this capability and how organizations can restrict what, if any, data can be shared through unapproved public apps. It was very similar to what has been done with application wrapping on iOS and Android devices, applied to full-scale Windows 10 machines. 

Next, they moved on to a joint demo with TrustPoint.


VMware VP and CTO, Ray O'Farrell, spoke next.


Ray talked about Enterprise cloud applications and how they can be delivered by VMware with application containers.


In order to explain what is new with Containers in VMware,  let’s review the different types of containers available from VMware. Kit Colbert, VP of VMware Cloud-Native Apps, took us through this section of the keynote.

vSphere Integrated Containers are created as virtual machines on vSphere.


This demo image shows the containers in vSphere and how they take advantage of all its tools, even vRA.


The vRealize Suite helps to make the containers even more accessible and nimble for the developer team.


Next were Project Photon Platform, cloud-scale containers.


Cloud-scale containers architecture was also briefly discussed.


Ray came back on stage with a Nike representative to talk about how open stack and NSX are helping Nike to be a technology focused company to with a faster growth potential.

Software Defined Data Center continues to be the bread and butter of VMware, and the four pillars for SDDC are vSphere, vRealize, NSX and VSAN.


Next it was time for NSX to take center stage. Dr. Rajiv Ramaswami, EVP for Networking and Security delivered the message.


Network virtualization and NSX helps organizations to transform by offering features like micro-segmentation, securing end user data, and simplifying and automating DR.


NSX demonstrated tech-preview tools that will make NSX easier to implement. The first solution will help create a visual design of the data flow and automatic firewall rules that can then be monitored with vRealize Network Insight. The demo was very revealing.

It was time to talk about VSAN and Hyper-convergence. Yanbing Li, SVP for Storage and Availability, took the stage. She described how customers have adopted VSAN mainstream very quickly.


VMware is trying to position VSAN at the heart of the data center. Considering they presently have 5000 customers, it seems they are doing a good job.


VSAN is an enabler for private cloud and is, according to Yanbing, the best storage for cross-cloud platform.

Next it was time for a demo on policies, recommendations and storage motion, which are also part of VSAN.


How can VSAN help cross-cloud services?


Ray O'Farrell retook the stage to close the address and give a recap of the VMware vision, but not before covering VMware Cloud Foundation, which is VMware's platform proposal for unifying private and public clouds.


This brought Keynote, Day-Two to a finish.

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