VMworld 2017 Recap

It’s great to get back to VMworld to meet and discuss the state of information technology with industry experts, leaders, and innovators.  The conference is one of the best I attend which marries a solid vision for the future with practical technology sessions for the present.  VMworld 2017 provided attendees another great year with a strong showing of new products and strategies to help companies transform their business and compete efficiently and effectively.  VMware’s platform received some great product updates to enhance the quality of services as well as expand their control of applications on-premise and in the public cloud.  In this blog entry, I will list the Top 5 announcements I found while there:

  1. VMware HCI Acceleration Kit.

The VMware HCI Acceleration Kit targets the SMB and Computing Edge for clients looking to provide virtualization services at a low price point.  The kit includes discounted pricing on VMware vSphere Standard + VSAN Standard for three, single processor nodes with hardware and software coming in around $25,000.  The package assumes the client already owns vCenter server so for SMB applications, this will need to be added.  The solution provides a great platform for remote offices and distributed IT operations within a single management pane for compute, storage, and virtualization.   More information can be found here:  https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2017/08/28/fast-tracking-distributed-new-hci-acceleration-kit/

  1. VMware Skyline

It’s hard to find any solution vendor these days without a strategy for cloud management, analytics, and support.  VMware Skyline is just that for the use with VMware platforms and technologies.  Out of the gate it supports both VMware vSphere and NSX with additional products to be added over time.  The purpose is to increase visibility into the infrastructure to allow the support process to be streamlined and effective transforming it from a reactive process and experience to a proactive engagement.  To use VMware Skyline, you simply install and configure the virtual appliance into your infrastructure and register it with your support account.  Skyline is available currently for Premier Support clients in North America.  Additional information and sign-up can be found here: https://www.vmware.com/support/services/skyline.html

  1. VMware Pivotal Container Services (PKS)

VMware, Pivotal, and Google teamed up to deliver production worthy Kubernetes Container Services on premise in a VMware environment enabling a hybrid platform for containerized services.   This allows clients to develop in the Google cloud and then move their container services seamlessly into their production IT environment (or vice-versa) to provide the control IT organizations are demanding with the flexibility and ease of cloud-based deployments.  The VMware platform it rides on top provides microsegmentation via NSX, policy-based management, and a common infrastructure platform for IT to manage which is familiar and consistent.   More information on this can be found here: https://cloud.vmware.com/pivotal-container-service

  1. AppDefense

AppDefense was launched at VMworld this year and it harnesses the value and practice of least privilege computing security to ensure applications are safe and secure in the data center.   AppDefense creates a manifest of an application’s profile and intent as a baseline through which to measure deviation over time.  If AppDefense registers a change from the baseline, it can then isolate the application leveraging policy-based rules within VMware to notify and react such as snapshotting the machine, isolating the network via NSX, etc to automate the response.   The foundation of AppDefense is that it is monitoring the “good” behavior instead of managing and maintaining exploits and signatures reactively to block the bad.   A detailed explanation on the technology and product can be found here: https://blogs.vmware.com/networkvirtualization/2017/09/ensuring-good-appdefense.html/


  1. VMware on AWS

Last year, we saw a teaser of VMware services on AWS and this year we were treated to the release of this for general availability.  VMware on AWS extends a common application platform on vSphere from on-premises into the AWS Cloud leveraging dedicated AWS instances running VMware vCenter, vSphere, vSAN, and NSX.  The initial release requires 4 hosts in the Amazon cloud and can scale up to 16.  The services are consumed as a VMware managed service with pay-by-the-hour consumption which starts at $8.37 per hour per host.  Users of the services will deploy a VMware NSX Edge both locally and in the AWS cloud to enable consistent networking services between the sites.  Once established, consumers will have the ability to instantiate and maintain their services at either location as well as move in between sites.  More information can be found at VMware’s website here:  https://cloud.vmware.com/vmc-aws

There they are, my top 5 announcements from VMworld 2017.  It’s really fascinating to see the lines between on-premise and public cloud beginning to blur as the promise of hybrid IT transforms into just IT where the location and the cloud providing the services become a business decision instead of a technical one.  Cloud does not have to be a choice or a religion which teams in businesses debate.  Multicloud strategies are starting to take shape and deliver true business value to organizations.  I look forward to next year’s VMworld and their vision of what is to come next.

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