VMworld 2018 (US) has come and gone, and I must say the energy and excitement were palpable. From the first keynote to the very last session, attendees heard and experienced some incredible announcements and demos. From the main stage, Pat Gelsinger along with his CTO Ray O'Farrell not only made announcements but also had several in-depth demos of new technology in action. The keynote set a tone for this VMworld to not just be a time where new products were talked about but were instead made real and tangible. This gave attendees a sense that VMware was leading the charge into the next generation of technology and not just riding in behind lse.
During Pat Gelsinger’s opening keynote some ground-breaking advancements were announced. Everything from Ecstatic DRS and EBS backed vSAN to Amazon RDS on-premises and vSphere on ARM! All that was packed into the first hours of VMworld, and it only got better once you hit the vendor floor.
Attendees saw some impressive demos and advancements. It seems that some of the AWS culture has rubbed off on VMware and the result is some real velocity in product development. The days of waiting 6-12 months before we see feature releases have given way to an agile sprint-driven release cycle. It remains to be seen how this new-found velocity will affect the on-premises vSphere release cycles. At the very least, the new GA vSphere revisions should be more stable than before, given the fact that VMware is releasing the latest and greatest in VMConAWS as fast as possible.
The core vSphere product is not the only place we are seeing this new-found speed deliver great things. The VMware booth was abuzz with deep dive demos of all kinds. One of the more exciting products was VMware Cloud Assembly, which is a whole new take on infrastructure automation. Think vRealize Automation and Orchestration (vRA/vRO) the way you always wish it could have been: code driven!
Have you ever had a working vRA/vRO blueprint or workflow stop functioning after you changed something? Have you ever spent way too much time trying to figure out why? Maybe this will help built-in version control and diff tools.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a single place to deploy workloads across multiple providers? While deploying workloads in a public cloud is not a new trick for vRA/vRO this is an entirely new way of doing it. No longer are the public clouds second-class citizens. They are built right in as a provider and adding them is as easy as it should be; click and fill in the required information.
Once you have added your providers, you can drag-and-drop items from them just like any other object, or do it the good old-fashioned way, code. There is plenty more to talk about with Cloud Assembly, but long story short; keep an eye on it. The other thing to note is that while we don’t yet have a date I have been assured that what you are seeing in Cloud Assembly as a SaaS platform is going to be replicated in vRA/vRO on-premises as well.
We saw some significant announcements this year at VMworld and some major shifts in the fundamental way VMware is positioning itself. The future of the IT landscape continues to evolve and who knows which way the market will lean, but one thing is for sure; VMware is raising the bar when it comes to staying relevant.