VMworld 2016 – Show Wrap Up and Thoughts from the Floor

Posted by Chad Rodgers, Senior Datacenter Engineer
September 14, 2016

This year, I was one of 23,000 attendees at VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas, where VMware provided its perspective on the current state of digital business and articulated how it’s empowering customers to innovate in multiple clouds. Indeed, this year VMware’s mission statement was “Any Device, Any Application, and Any Cloud”. Likewise, the show room floor was all about hyper-converged infrastructure, automation, and public cloud integration.

Based on announcements at the general sessions, VMware is pursuing two different strategies—one for short to mid-term and one for long-term. The common component in both is VMware NSX.

Short-term to mid-term, VMware believes hybrid clouds will dominate. According to its internal projections, 50% of workloads will still be traditional IT (or non-automated) in 2021. VMware predicts that lack of internal expertise will be the driving factor for many companies that continue with traditional IT. VMware plans to address this with the VMware Cloud Foundation.

The goal of VMware Cloud Foundation is to make it easy to setup and configure both on-premise and hybrid clouds. VMware wants to include as much automation as possible, which is why it consists of vSphere, vRealize Automation, vSAN, and NSX, along with a new layer for managing the life-cycle of the hardware. The hardware can be located on-premise or at a service provider, with the option to be managed entirely from the cloud.  The killer use-case for this is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Deploying VDI desktops as close to users as possible—while still managing it all in the cloud—would be ideal.

Longer-term, VMware predicts that the majority of workloads will be in the public cloud. According to the company’s internal projections, the public cloud will overtake private clouds and traditional IT in 2030. VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture is VMware’s response. VMware Cross-Cloud Services will be an entire suite of SaaS services that will continue to grow over time. It will work with all major public and private clouds. Initially the focus will be performance, security, and cost-management.

It was apparent that NSX is still VMware’s baby. It complements Cloud Foundation, Cross-Cloud Services, and Photon by extending its SDN and security capabilities to these offerings. I was in a NSX session where VMware claimed 80% of all new deals include NSX. This was confirmed, to a certain extent, when 80% of the crowd raised its hand in response to who was running it in production.

Overall, I think VMware’s two-pronged approach makes sense. I think the company did a good job setting the stage for how traditional vendors adapt to the public cloud, and I look forward to seeing how VMware’s strategies play out in the marketplace.

About Chad Rodgers Chad Rodgers is a virtualization and storage expert with several years of experience working with hosted environments and private clouds. As a senior datacenter engineer for ASG, Chad designs, implements, and leads complex datacenter projects that span a diverse range of technologies including virtualization, storage, data management, security, and automation.

Filed Under: Cloud Computing

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