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RoundTower Blog

Straight Outta VMworld 2017

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At VMworld 2017, VMware is serious about multi-cloud and have taken our feedback in stride

VMworld 2017 was ripe with announcements of new products, features, functionality, and partnerships. The new routes to market through VMware Cloud on AWS, Pivotal Container Services, and VMware Cloud Services are all much closer to market viability than I had anticipated. My role as Principal Systems Engineer functions as a technical liaison between RoundTower account executives, services organizations, vendor partners, and most importantly our customers, I attended VMworld 2017 with the primary intention of better understanding how my customers could leverage their existing VMware relationships to solve the complex challenges being asked by their internal business units. The secondary intention was to enjoy a steak and beverage on friendly vendor or two. Both missions were accomplished. 

While flying back to Nashville after the conference, I spent some time reflecting on the week and I was remarkably pleased with how VMware has taken feedback from customers into account with their new announcements. VMware customers and partners have been vocal in recent years about how simplification and integration of the disparate technologies for both implementation and life cycle management are critically important. VMware announced Cloud Foundation and VMware Cloud on AWS at VMworld 2016 as the trajectory of the future. Both integrate vSphere, vSAN, and NSX into a single cohesive solution. During VMworld 2017, both VMware Cloud on AWS and Cloud Foundation were announced as “Generally Available” with multiple paying customers who emphatically championed their newfound operational efficiency of their VMware workloads. In addition, the announcements of NSX Cloud, Wavefront, Network Insight, Cost Insight, and Discovery as components of the VMware Cloud Services SaaS offering will enable customers to consume unique technologies as a prescriptive solution to solve a challenge with less limitations on where their data and workload resides. It is impressive to watch VMware evolve into an agile software provider that emphasizes partnerships and platform integrations, as opposed to the disjointed monolithic vertically integrated software provider of just a few years ago.

As mentioned above, my primary goal was to help my customers better leverage their VMware relationships. Here are some observations.

The Hyper-Converged Infrastructure train has left the station; it’s time to jump on with the right workload.

  • vSAN 6.5+ is a legit contender to be considered for variable workloads due to performance enhancements.
  • Cloud Foundation takes HCI to the next level, moving towards an integrated virtualized compute, storage, and network layer. 

VMware Cloud on AWS has real world economic and technological value.

  • DRaaS is low hanging fruit, especially paired with a Next Generation Data Protection solution.
  • Web-Front applications using native AWS services while leveraging VMC on AWS for a traditional backend such as SQL provides a unique development opportunity.
  • Native integrations to S3, EC2, RDS, Direct Connect, IAM, and others will provide an opportunity for infrastructure teams to reaffirm relevance in an “everything to the cloud” world by giving their business customers choice.

Pivotal Container Services (PKS) is a unique path to bring multiple development options to an application team,

  • Helps mitigate vendor lock-in as Kubernetes becomes enabled on various technology platforms and commercially viable.
  • Enables a hybrid development model as PKS will function on both vSphere and Google Cloud Platform.
  • Multi-Cloud models could provide interesting use cases for container security leveraging NSX Cloud.

VMware Cloud Services will likely be a consumption path we should expect to see additional investment in through coming announcements by VMware. 

  • SaaS offerings typically lower the burden of entry for the proof of value to a customer, making it easier to consume new technologies.
  • Customers could likely see near instantaneous return on investment from NSX Cloud, Network Insight, and Wavefront.
  • Understanding real-time interdependencies between applications and workloads continues to be a daunting task, these technologies help peer into that black hole of the unknown. 

Food and Beverages always taste better when they are on the house.

  • Kumi had some delicious sushi options.
  • Red Square had a surprisingly good filet, for a supposedly Russian restaurant.
  • VMworld-provided lunches were hit and miss.
  • Ri Ra Guinness Stew is a good choice for a quick meal.
  • Bourbon is best consumed on the rocks.

Many thanks to VMware for a great opportunity to learn how to better help my customers. See you next year at VMworld 2018!

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