VMworld 2019 Europe

So it’s been 3 month since I last posted an entry on my blog, and as I previously mentioned it’s been such a busy period in my life, both professionally and personally! I’ve been at CloudHealth for 6 months now, and those months have flown by so quickly…. plus my youngest daughter has just turned 7 months and is rolling around and sitting up, I’m amazed at how quickly she’s grown – juggling a new job and a new baby is never an easy feat!

Now with only a few days to VMworld Europe, it would be remiss of me not to post something up, especially given that this is going to be my first VMworld as a vendor and also the first time I’m going to be speaking at VMworld! (I’m both excited and super nervous!)
It’s quite ironic that this years theme is “Make Your Mark”…. I’m hoping I certainly do that this year (and not make an ass out of myself in the process).

A few weeks ago marketing were asking for volunteers to help out at VMworld, so I stuck my hand up to help out and ended up being asked to host two Meet the Expert Sessions talking about CloudHealth Hybrid [MTE6171E]. My two sessions are at 11:15am and 4:15pm on Weds 6th November… I’ll be over at Hall 8.0 on Table 5 of the MTE area. Come and say hi if you’re in the vicinity!

Unfortunately as I write this blog, both my sessions are full – and as it’s a roundtable talk I’m not actually sure if people can just turn up and stand around and listen…. but feel free to do so if you want!

This will probably be my first VMworld where I’m not actually running around attending sessions, instead I have a ton of meetings lined up with MSPs and partners from across EMEA to talk about CloudHealth, as well as supporting some of the CloudHealth sessions being held. I’m still hoping to get myself along to a few sessions – definitely going to try and get along to The Virtually Speaking Podcast LIVE: The Future of IT – How Will You Fit in? [HCI1894PE].

Going to try and spend as much of my time with the vCommunity this year to support these great bunch of people! So expect me to be floating around VMvillage, Partner Lounge, VMware {code} and the Community Lounge areas (some friends are presenting at the vBrownBag TechTalk sessions). Hoping to be at:

  • The #vRockstar Party at the Cabaret on Sunday 3rd November. Tickets are sold out… I’ve been asked to join in a panel of folks for an informal fireside chat being hosted at the vRockstar Party, so that’ll be interesting!
  • If you haven’t already found out, #vSoccer #vFootball is coming to Europe this year, the vCommunity Football match has been arranged for Monday 4th November, 7pm-10pm not too far away from the conference centre. There are a bunch of VMware folks playing and I believe there’s still space available, so head over to vSoccer VMworld Europe to get a ticket…. I’ll be playing….. or maybe just having a beer and shouting at everyone to run!
  • I’ll also be at the #vExpert Party on Tuesday 5th November at Pez Vela, so don’t forget to say hi if you see me!

Now for a little plug – if you want to find out about CloudHealth then make sure you sign up for some of the sessions that my colleagues are running:

Tuesday 5th November

  • 11:00-12:00, Hall 8.0 Room 21 – Application Migration in Multi-Cloud Using Network Insight and CloudHealth [MCO1781BE]
  • 14:30-15:00, Hall 7.0 Solutions Exchange, VMware Stand #325 – Multi-Cloud Management with CloudHealth [VBT8026E]
  • 15:30-16:30, Hall 8.0 Room 30 – Introduction to Multi-Cloud Governance [MCO2439BE]
  • 16:00-16:25, Hall 6.0 VMvillage {code} Lounge – Using AWS Lambda Functions for Multi-Cloud Governance [CODE1785E]
  • 17:00-18:00, Hall 8.0 Room 37 – News UK Shows how to Migrate to the Cloud While Keeping Costs on the Ground [MCO1213BE]

Wednesday 6th November

  • 12:30-13:30, Hall 8.0 Room 26 – Multi-Cloud Keynote: Multi-Cloud Strategies to Operate at Scale [MC3545KE]
  • 12:30-13:30, Hall 8.0 Room 11 – Yes, Mr. CFO, IT Is Expensive — Understand Why with vRealize Operations [HBO1138BE]
  • 13:00-13:30, Hall 7.0 Solutions Exchange, VMware Stand #325 – How CloudHealth Enabled VMware to Regain Control [VBT8034E]
  • 15:30-16:30, Hall 8.0 Room 34 – Best Practices for Public Cloud Optimization with CloudHealth [MCO2418BE]
  • 17:00-18:00, Hall 8.0 Room 34 – Not Your Grandfather’s CMP: CloudHealth Modernize Cloud Management [MCO2438BE]

Thursday 7th November

  • 09:00-10:00, Hall 8.0 Room 12A – Developing Your Cloud Center of Excellence with CloudHealth [MCO2414BE]
  • 11:00-12:30, Hall 8.0 Room 31 – Master Reserved Instance Management with CloudHealth [MCO2417BE]
  • 13:30-14:30, Hall 8.0 Room 29 – Totally Bankable: Making Multi-Cloud Management a (Cost-Effective) Reality [MCO1528BE]
  • 15:00-16:00, Hall 8.0 Room 12A – Keep Track of Your Costs; It’s Imperative and Good for Your Health [MCO2435BE]

We also have a number of Meet the Expert sessions:

Tuesday 5th November

  • 12:15-13:00, Hall 8.0 MTE Table 6 – Best Practices for Managing AWS Reservations  [MTE6170E]
  • 15:15-16:00, Hall 8.0 MTE Table 5 – Everything you ever wanted to know about Azure [MTE6173E]
  • 17:15-18:00, Hall 8.0 MTE Table 3 – Multi Cloud Services with VMware Cloud Provider Hub [MTE6035E]
  • 17:15-18:00, Hall 8.0 MTE Table 6 – Controlling spend in your public cloud environment [MTE6300E]

Wednesday 6th November

  • 11:15-12:00, Hall 8.0 MTE Table 5 – CloudHealth Hybrid Overview [MTE6171E]
  • 15:15-16:00, Hall 8.0 MTE Table 6 – Controlling spend in your public cloud environment [MTE6300E]
  • 16:15-17:00, Hall 8.0 MTE Table 5 – CloudHealth Hybrid Overview [MTE6171E]
  • 17:15-18:00, Hall 8.0 MTE Table 5 – Everything you ever wanted to know about Azure [MTE6173E]

 

Finally, we also have 2 demo areas in the VMware stand within the Solution Exchange, so come say hi to the CloudHealth team!

VMworld 2019 US – Day 1 General Session Round Up

So I guess there’s no better time to dust off my keyboard and get back to blogging than talking about VMworld and what was announced during the Day 1 General Session!

This year it’s a bit funny as I’m no longer blogging as an outsider as I now work for VMware…. so without breaking any NDAs I’m just going to talk about what was announced during the keynote!

I’ve been reading a lot of tweets and comments mentioning about how flustered Pat Gelsinger looked on stage during the keynote, but considering all that’s happened within the past week or so you could probably forgive him for not practicing his presentation – especially given he probably had it re-written by marketing a few days ago post the Pivotal and Carbon Black acquisitions!

So first up… VMware Tanzu, a portfolio of products and services to transform the way the world builds, runs and manages software on Kubernetes!
Over the past year or so, VMware has really thrown their weight behind K8, acquiring a number of companies they saw as key to growing the services they could offer around containers. The acquisition of Bitnami and Pivotal now provides a platform to build, package and deploy modern applications on Kubernetes.

But the exciting announcement is what they are planning for vSphere – a re-architecture of vSphere with Kubernetes embedded as its control plane, Project Pacific (Tech Preview)! This is probably the biggest evolution of the ESXi hypervisor in decades (since the transition from VI3 to vSphere)! Now you can run containers and VMs side-by-side which means modern apps can run in containers yet link in to legacy VMs all being managed by the same vSphere client. A Single and Consistent platform for the future! You can read a Technical Overview of Project Pacific here.

The third piece of Tanzu is Tanzu Mission Control, a SaaS solution offering a single pane of glass control platform that gives admins and developers visibility and the ability to manage all their Kubernetes clusters, regardless of where they reside – ensuring that customers gain that consistency and governance by leveraging a policy engine to provision a kubernetes environment.

Next up was a product launch I’ve been following very closely (for obvious reasons) – CloudHealth Hybrid! This new service will extend the same rich cost optimization, governance and security functionality that CloudHealth delivers to public cloud environments, to VMware hybrid cloud environments – namely VMware Cloud on AWS! It’s been something a lot of customers and partners have been asking for since VMware acquired CloudHealth almost a year ago. CloudHealth Hybrid will bring together the functionality of CloudHealth Data Center and the functionality of VMware vRealize Business for Cloud (vRBC) and Cost Insight into a single standalone SaaS offering. CloudHealth Hybrid will provide a single platform with visibility into cost, usage, and performance of all hybrid cloud resources – and we’re looking at a GA in Q3!

Last up was the expansion of VMware’s Hybrid Cloud solutions…. if you haven’t already realised, it’s all about Hybrid Cloud these days! =P

  • VMware Cloud Foundation is the key building block for the hybrid cloud, providing the full SDDC on AWS, Azure, Google, IBM Cloud and numerous other cloud partners.
  • VMware Cloud on Dell EMC was announced as GA – deploying vCF on Dell EMC VxRail (my favourite HCI solution!!) – in fact my last blog was about DTW and I wrote a bit about it already (so go read that post)…
  • VMware Cloud on AWS got new HCX capabilities – enabling push-button migration and interconnectivity between VMware Cloud on AWS SDDCs running in different AWS Regions and new Elastic vSAN support further improves storage scaling.
  • We got new versions of vRealize Operations and vRealize Automation (vROps 8.0 and vRA 8.0) giving customers self-driving operations and hybrid cloud automation.

To round it all up, we heard about Digital Employee Experience and some new features in Workspace One to help put the employee at the heart of everything a business does. As well as a short message about how VMware + Carbon Black + Ecosystem = Better Together… VMware’s Intrinsic Security! (Workload Security – vSphere + Carbon Black, Workspace Security – Workspace One + Carbon Black, Network Threat Security – NSX + Carbon Black, Cloud Security – Secure State + Carbon Black)

Roll on Day 2…..

VMworld 2018 US – Day 1 General Session Round Up

So the great thing about VMworld US is that they live stream the General Session for the rest of us who can’t make it over to Vegas… whilst you can’t get the whole VMworld US experience just by watching the GS live stream, at least you get to hear the same news as those in Vegas.

Pat Gelsinger opened up the GS by showing the world his bad-ass “VMware” tattoo… not quite sure if it’s real – many commenting on VMware’s tweet that the tattoo gun doesn’t look like it has ink in it… =P
https://twitter.com/vmwarenews/status/1034109813129535488

A nice little montage to celebrate the 20th anniversary of VMware… 1998… long time… From Server Virtualisation to EUC to Network Virtualisation to Cloud and now Hybrid/Multi-Cloud.

VMware’s Vision is still the same – Any Device, Any App, Any Cloud… and we’re told businesses are still on a multi-cloud journey! The thing is, so many companies have a ‘cloud’ strategy, but many just can’t execute that cloud adoption because they are stuck trying to migrate workloads off their traditional DC into the public cloud!
This is where VMware stands apart with their partnership with AWS and their Cloud Foundations solution! Move your on-prem DC to a SDDC and then “ruthlessly automate everything!!” =)

Project Dimension was quickly mentioned as a Tech Preview that will extend VMware Cloud to the data center, ROBO and edge. It combines VMware Cloud Foundations with HCI and a VMware Cloud managed service to deliver an SDDC solution, end-to-end, operated and supported by VMware. The solution will simplify cloud deployments handling all aspects of configuration, security, and management – leaving customers to worry-less about infrastructure and focus more on their business innovations!

Dimension

There were a few nice VMC on AWS announcements…

  • firstly the rollout of its services in Sydney to serve APJ
  • secondly that vSAN will be using Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) allowing customers to independently scale compute and storage requirements (and effectively allowing users to deploy storage-dense workloads)
  • thirdly Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) on VMware making it easy for customers to set up, operate, scale and migrate Relational DBs on-prem and in VMC on AWS.

It’s amazing how far the partnership has come in a single year!

Roadmap for further rollouts:
vmconaws.png

More here: https://cloud.vmware.com/community/2018/08/26/vmware-cloud-aws-charging-ahead/

Finally there was an announcement of the acquisition of CloudHealth Technologies… From what I can see, CloudHealth Tech delivers a SAAS platform that offers Cloud Operations across AWS, Azure and GCP – it helps customers to analyze, manage cloud costs, usage and monitor performance across multi-clouds. This looks like a CMP on steroids and should complement VMware’s existing CMP and SAAS offerings (vRealize/Cloud Automation Services and Wavefront). CloudHealth will become ‘the’ Cloud Operations Platform of choice for the industry…. allowing customers to control, analyze the costs, compliance and performance of their compute environments across on-prem and public clouds!

To end it all, VMware’s CTO – Ray O’Farrell – came on stage to demo several of the new announcements and new products:

  • Migrating workloads from on-prem to the cloud – demo’ing bulk migration of an entire data centre using vSphere replication and then vMotion – with no downtime!
  • Project Dimension showing how cloud services can be ‘stretched’ between VMC on AWS and a customers on-prem DC. Also how both on-prem and edge infrastructure can be monitored as part of VMware’s managed service.
  • Short Amazon RDS demo showing the service running on-prem and in AWS.
  • A mention of something called Project Magna which leverages AI and Machine Learning to self-optimize a virtual environment…. changing the SD in SDDC from Software-Defined to Self-Driving!
  • A demo of VMware PKS showing the integration of NSX with PKS and how you can automate security of kubernetes.
  • A nice demo showing vROPs monitoring workloads requiring GPUs and the new feature of vMotion for GPU enabled VMs (a limitation previously of Horizon/vSphere)
  • Blockchain is everywhere!! Project Concord is an open source infrastructure for Enterprise Blockchains focusing on performance and scalability.
  • Dell EMC’s new factory-provisioning service for VMware Workspace ONE, where devices will ship ready for integration as end-points.
  • Workspace ONE intelligence, advising IT operations of problems with incompatible applications and patches (automate patch testing to predict whether a new patch will work).
  • A demo to show the support of ESXi on 64-bit ARM platforms.

And to close the GS, two major annoucements around security, one for compute and one for Network…

  • Firstly – vSphere Platinum, packaging AppDefense with vSphere ESXi. This new offering will have AppDefense built in which uses machine learning and a variety of other inputs to baseline known good states of a VM. AppDefense can then act on deviations of that baseline, executing automated actions – such as changing firewall settings, alerting, offloading for deeper network packet inspection.
  • Secondly – Adaptive Micro-Segmentation, integrating AppDefense and NSX. Security solutions should “Learn, Lock and Adapt” to threats… AppDefense will offer the dynamic learning and adaption looking into the VM and applications, NSX will offer the Lock.

 

And with that…. I end my summary of the first day’s GS…. =)

 

EDIT: Day 1 General Session is now available for replay: https://www.vmworld.com/en/us/learning/general-sessions.html

VMworld 2017 Europe Wrap Up….

So this blog post has been a bit late coming, mainly due to me coming back from Barcelona with a heavy chest infection and cold… and when you’re sick, you tend to procrastinate alot… =)
Looks like all the excessive late nights, early morning starts, long days, freezing cold breakout rooms (was anyone else cold??) and lack of sleep really took it’s toll on me…. not to mention having to entertain all the customers MTI took out to VMworld this year! Such a hard life I live…. =)

We had a mad 1st day as Monday 11th Sept was Catalonia day and a huge demonstration was planned with demonstrators forming a large X along Carrer de Arago and Passeig de Gracia! The big problem was our hotel was smack bang in the middle of the intersection of the X…. nightmare getting to the hotel, our taxi dropped us off 2km away as there was a huge cordon around the demonstration! What an experience!

It’s a bit strange to be in Barcelona in September when it’s still warm outside… we had some really lovely sunny days…. but to be honest I think the weather was lost on most VMworld attendees as we were all too busy running around the conference centre trying to squeeze in lunch, trips to the solution exchange and all our breakout sessions!

As usual, the layout of the conference centre was annoying…. breakout sessions in hall 8 are miles away from where the solution exchange and VMVillage/Hangspace/HOLs are! I was clocking over 15000 steps a day just walking back and forth between hall 6, 7 and 8! This year they moved Registration over to hall 6 rather than have it by hall 8… totally confusing every VMworld Europe Alumni! =)

I wonder why they don’t use Hall 5 for breakout sessions? I guess maybe it’s because Hall 8 is the only hall that can be split into several rooms??

One thing I did like was the “Expert Bar” where attendees were able to have roundtable sessions with some VMware experts… it was very well laid out, much better than previous years!

This year was the 10th VMworld being held in Europe and we were told during the 1st day general session by Pat Gelsinger that it was the biggest VMworld yet – over 11,000 people attending. This may explain why the conference was laid out as it was…. the solution exchange definitely looked a lot bigger!

Before I go into my wrap up, I have to give a shout out to the new VMTN community programs and especially to Katie Bradley (VMTN Community Manager) and Elsa Mayer, (VMware Blog Program Manager)…. they were kind enough to pass me my VMware vSphere vExpert goodie bag and also explain about the new BlogBeats Program and help me register my blog on the VMTN community! I actually think this is a great initiative for the VMware community, it will also help drive traffic to bloggers who might be a bit on the lazy side (ie…. me!)…. keep up the good work ladies!! =)

It was also nice (if a bit awkward at times) to be recognised as a blogger by a number of attendees as well as vendors within the Solution Exchange… first time that’s happened to me since I started blogging! It’s a shame I was unable to make it to the vExpert party, unfortunately I had too much happening on Tuesday, what with my company sponsoring the Trend Micro Party… Hopefully next year – although maybe there should be more vExpert gatherings organised for UK/London!

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The Wrap Up

I’m not really going to say much about the General Sessions, mainly because as per usual it was a repeat of the US ones but with a little European twist to it (see my 2 previous blogs on the US General Sessions)…. Pat did mention the dreadful “GDPR” word and that companies can’t just rely on technology to make them GDPR compliant!
GDPR is one beast of a legal mandate…. nearly every customer I’ve spoken to has heard of GDPR but don’t know what it means! I’m not going to pretend I know everything about GDPR… to be honest I typically just refer people to my colleague – Andy Tang – who’s a GDPR Practitioner! =)
Anyways, VMware Radius has a decent article that talks about GDPR and Addressing Data Security Gaps with VMware…. go have a read!

The whole VR demo looked really cool…. imagine being able to manage your VMware datacentre via VR… picking up workloads and throwing them into different hosts or even into the cloud!! Anyways, it looks like Pat was having fun – and to think the hackathon guys built it in a matter of days… impressive!
It’s amazing what some of the community gets up to… like writing API calls to integrate Amazon’s Alexa with vCenter – William Lam and Cody De Arkland have some great blog articles and demos available (Cody even did a recent vBrownBag podcast on it)!

There was a few new announcements though… An improved Cloud Provider Program was announced to help VMware Cloud Provider partners expand their service offerings, enable simplistic workload migration, more efficient operations and improved automation. Of the 3 announcements, VMware HCX looked the most promising…. in summary:

  1. VMware HCX (more about that in a moment)
  2. New VMware Cloud Provider Platform – allowing partners to rapidly deploy and scale up their cloud infrastructure. It’s a complete stack of VMware’s cloud infrastructure products, including certified reference designs. All built around vSphere, vCloud Director and NSX.
  3. VMware Cloud Verified Partner – this is a new ‘trustmark’ which shows that a cloud provider partner has made a significant investment in VMware cloud infrastructure and offers their own ‘value-add’ services that differentiates them from the rest of the crowd. TBH, at the moment only the really big Cloud players have been given this seal of approval from VMware – CenturyLink, Fujitsu, IBM Cloud, OVH and Rackspace. It will be interesting to see whether smaller cloud providers will gain this new trustmark.

VMware HCX looks like a promising piece of tech…. An integrated solution that helps customers to migrate workloads to the cloud – allowing seamless portability of applications and data between different versions of ESXi, whether on premise or between Clouds (as long as they run VMware)!
Customers have been telling VMware that it’s not just about building the infrastructure, but more importantly how  they can gain increased application mobility across multiple clouds. Businesses frequently struggle with the complexity of migrating old workloads, such as old versions of ESXi, to modern environments, be they internal or cloud-based – and this the problem that HCX is going to help solve. It’s like Cross-vCenter vMotion on Steroids, using the network overlay (NSX) to help connect on-premise, old environments to modern environments or to cloud!

At the moment only IBM Cloud and OVH have access to HCX, but I’m sure VMware will end up rolling it out to the rest of their VMware cloud partners!

TBH, I’m still waiting for the announcement of some super-duper CMP solution from VMware that will let me migrate my workloads between AWS, Azure, GCP or my on-prem datacentre… seamlessly…. now that would truly be “Cross-Cloud”…. I guess we’re still a few years away from such a cloud-agnostic solution!

 

The only other announcement was a new version of the vRealize Suite – vRealize Suite 2017. The new version of VMware’s CMP offers a more comprehensive platform to manage hybrid clouds… nothing excitingly new, just some minor updates to speed up deployment and lifecycle management of workloads. vRA gets support for Admiral – VMware’s Container management platform.

 

I’m not going to breakdown all the sessions I attended, as previous years I got a slight slap on the wrist for posting up photos of slides which had “confidential” marked all over them… oops…. Plus so many key sessions are now available for playback on the VMworld website or via the Content Catalog: https://www.vmworld.com/en/europe/video/vmworld-on-demand.html
There’s even a load of videos on the VMworld TV youtube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/VMworldTV

 

The other obvious highlight from VMworld was winning the Mobile App Game and getting the opportunity to go backstage to meet and greet the Kaiser Chiefs… =)

It’s funny, but all the people who went back stage due to either winning the VMUG competition or the VMware Inclusion draw were all from the UK… How ironic!

TBH, I’m not a big Kaiser Chiefs fan…. but my colleague Andy was, so I brought him along as my plus one…. surprisingly they’re quite down-to-earth guys!

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I do have to admit that this year’s VMworld party was one of the better ones I’ve been to (on par with 2015s party band – Fearless)… it was far busier and people actually stayed around and watched the performance… and many enjoyed it too!!

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So to conclude…. it was another great VMworld…. the customers we took out all enjoyed themselves and learnt loads, and whilst the geek inside of me was hoping for more announcements I was satisfied with what I got out of the conference.

There’s a clear message coming out of VMware now, Hybrid Cloud is mainstream… it’s now possible to migrate workloads easily between clouds… containers are how the next generation of applications will be deployed (Cloud Native Apps/PKS)… It seems that the vision VMware started 2 years ago of “Any Device, Any Application, Any Cloud” is finally coming into fruition (albeit limited to just VMware or AWS Cloud at the moment).

Roll on VMworld 2018… with Europe back in Fira Grand Via Barcelona, but this time on the 5th-8th November 2018 (I’m told the date was moved due to a change in VMware’s financial year end). VMworld 2018 US will again be in Las Vegas on the 26th-30th August 2018.

VMworld 2017 US General Session Day 2

….. This update is a bit late going up because Tuesday evenings is 5-a-side footie for me…. =)

So what was the General Session on Day 2 all about… well it kicked off with a fireside chat between Pat Gelsinger and Michael Dell, answering a few questions that were submitted the previous evening from attendees. In my opinion there wasn’t any major revelations or probing questions asked/answered, what we do know is that Michael Dell likes Peanut Butter & Chocolate… =P

It’s interesting that Dell thinks that we’re in for some exciting times with AI and machine learning…. although he didn’t quite pin his flag like Zuckerberg and Musk recently… =)
The amount of data created from IoT is stupendous, and the possibilities of using that data are endless – however, companies need to start thinking about how to use the vast amounts of data they have to try and improve processes, products and services – if they don’t then they could be left behind (Just like Elastic Sky Pizza were)!

However, one of the more memorable quotes from Pat was that “Today is the slowest day of technological evolution of the rest of your life!” Great quote, and how true it is…. In IT we live in an ever-changing world!

One thing I did pick up on was VMware Skyline – a new and innovative support technology which will offer pro-active support for VMware solutions. It will consist of a Collector appliance that end-users deploy, it then sits there securely collecting environmental-data from different VMware components (such as configuration, performance, and product usage) whilst performing machine-learning analytics to ensure the overall solution functions correctly. If it detects any changes, events or patterns that will cause a deviation from best practices or validate designs then it will alert the customer. Skyline is aimed at improving support experience through data analytics.

Both Pat and Dell were then joined on stage by Rob Mee (CEO of Pivotal) – it was really interesting to hear that Pivotal Cloud Foundry was being used in over 50% of the Fortune 500 – I wonder what the percentage is in the UK FTSE? Pivotal has be “pivotal” (excuse the pun) in helping enterprises and their digital transformation – how to run legacy production workloads alongside developing new cloud-native applications, yet still providing the availability and security whilst also reducing cost! Pivotal Cloud Foundry addresses all these issues.

The biggest announcement of the day was the unveiling of Pivotal Container Services (PKS) – a partnership between VMware, Pivotal and Google Cloud. Pivotal has been working with Google for a while – Project Kubo – and now with the partnership with VMware, PKS will enable enterprises to deliver production-ready Kubernetes on VMware vSphere and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), with compatibility to Google Container Engine (GKE) – all secured by – yup you guessed it – NSX. Pat went on to say that they’re not stopping there and will start to integrate other VMware products such as vRealize Automation and Operations, along with Wavefront (who VMware acquired in May – it’s a “real-time metrics monitoring and streaming analytics platform designed for developers to optimize their clouds and modern applications that rely on containers and microservices”)

PKS-Image

Pat, Dell and Rob were joined on stage by Google’s Sam Ramji (VP of Product Management – Developer Platforms). It’s interesting how Google are pouring in vast amounts of their knowledge on containers into Kubernetes – a way of giving back to the community! Sam also announced that Pivotal and VMware were to become as Platinum Members of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation – home of Kubernetes.

The rest of the General Session involved a fictitious company called “Elastic Sky Pizza” which was stuck in the past and needed assistance in transforming their business. Loads of demos and presentations showing how VMware’s suite of Cloud products work – including PKS, AppDefense, NSX, Pulse IoT (Edge LIOTA).

 

PKS looks amazing, but I do still think that containers is an enterprise play – which kind of goes against one of the questions during the fireside chat about looking after the SMB market… this is probably going to be priced above what SMBs can afford!

VMworld 2017 US General Session Day 1

If like me, you’re stuck in a sweltering London enjoying the bank holiday and watching the Game of Thrones season 7 finale, you may have forgotten that over in Vegas the city is just getting over the big fight of Mayweather vs McGregor and is now inundated with people looking to attend VMworld 2017 US.

It’s great that VMware live stream their keynotes, as it gives everyone an opportunity to hear first hand what VMworld will be about this year and also what is being announced!

And it’s of no surprise that VMware have continued to strengthen their vision on “Any Device, Any Application, Any Cloud” with the keynote by Pat Gelsinger. Whilst heterogeneous is a great thing that leads to the consumerisation of IT, it plays havoc with IT admins who’s key focus is to contain and secure a company’s data – and it’s worth noting how much emphasis is being placed on security within VMware – NSX is intrinsic to every solution that was mentioned during the keynote!

Vision

The first thing that was covered was how the digital transformation is affecting end users – the goal for any company is to ensure that their employees are well connected, yet the challenge is a complex one when you realise how many different technologies an end user has access to – smartphones, tablets, laptops – even smartwatches and cars now! So how do you deliver an unified workspace securely across multiple technologies?

Simple – Workspace ONE – piecing it all together to give companies a “consumer simple but enterprise secure” solution. Delivered in 3 areas:

  1. Apps and Identity – applications with a consistent feel across multiple devices. Secured by a common identity framework with a simple Single Sign-on experience.
  2. Management and Security – IT in control, delivering consistent management & security. Drastically improving  tasks that were previously costly, time consuming, and resource intensive, whilst still in control of data by combining identity and device management to enforce Data Security and Endpoint Compliance.
  3. Desktop and Mobile – Device Management and Compliance provided by AirWatch Unified Endpoint Management, protecting sensitive data as well as conditional access to how that data can be consumed by end-users.

workspaceone

Next Pat went on to explain that virtualisation has led to end-users deploying a private cloud within their own data centres, yet making such a transition is not an easy step – deployment isn’t straight forward, lifecycle management and day 2 operations isn’t always easy, and trying to secure different technologies of a private cloud is painful!

VMware’s goal is to “make Private Cloud Easy and that’s where Cloud Foundation comes along – a fully integrated SDDC stack that ‘just works’…. simple… agile… secure! version 2.2 was announced and is now GA.

Pat was then joined by Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS, to announce the General Availability of VMware Cloud on AWS. Announced as a tech preview at last years VMworld, it should be noted that it’s currently only available today in the US West Coast region Availability Zone, it will then be rolled out across the East Coast AZ before rolling out to the rest of the AWS global AZs by the end of 2018. So I guess we’re going to expect it in the UK late 2017/early 2018!

VMware Cloud on AWS allows you to seamlessly take a workload running on vSphere in your data centre and migrate it to AWS Public Cloud running a VMware stack – using the same tools (vCenter Server) to manage both your private and your public cloud workloads from a single pane of glass! A consistent feel no matter where your workload resides. What Andy Jassy said was correct – in the past customers hated the fact that if they wanted to consume public cloud, there was no easy way of migrating workloads across without some form of translation occurring. It was also painful and costly to manage as you couldn’t use a single tool to manage both private and public cloud.

VMware’s Cloud Strategy is as follows:

cloud

The first 7 VMware Cloud Services were announced as available for consumption.

VMware Cloud Services

NSX Cloud is an interesting service that addresses networking and security operational challenges inherent with using multiple public clouds. Unfortunately at launch it’s only available on AWS to protect EC2 workloads (ie native AWS workloads – not vSphere workloads which is what VMware Cloud on AWS gives). It differs from on-premise NSX as it is delivered as a service and managed by VMware.

As I previously said, NSX is a key foundation to every solution at VMware currently:

nsx

Security is hugely important… and Pat breaks it down into 3 components:

  1. the need to build it into the infrastructure
  2. the need to integrate with the current security vendor ecosystem
  3. the need to ensure good cyber hygiene and ensure security policies are in place. The 5 pillars of Cyber Hygiene are:
    • Least Privilege
    • Micro-segmentation
    • Encryption
    • Multi-factor authentication
    • Patching

Two years ago, VMware first began talking about the concept of the “Goldilocks Zone” where the hypervisor sits at the ideal location in the network to improve security. During the keynote VMware announced a new product named AppDefense which looks to be the fruition of Project Goldilocks.

AppDefense allows a virtual machine to learn its manifest and understand what is a good and secure process, it’s then able to determine whether the runtime behaviour of a VM or application deviates from its intended state. Finally it’s able to trigger an automated/orchestrated response to remediate or quarantine any detected anomalies.

appdefense

 

Strange that searching the VMworld Europe Content Catalog for AppDefense doesn’t bring up any sessions…. which is a shame as I was hoping to schedule a session after hearing the keynote and reading about it.

Roll on Day 2….

 

Update sequence for vSphere 6.5 and its compatible VMware products

So VMware have now released a Knowledge Based Article that describes the upgrade path in which vSphere 6.5 and its compatible VMware products must be updated:

https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2147289

NOTE: At this time current versions of VMware NSX for vSphere, VMware Integrated OpenStack, vCloud Director for Service Providers, vRealize Automation and vRealize Infrastructure Navigator are not compatible with vSphere 6.5. Customers with these products are advised to upgrade to vSphere 6.5 when compatible versions become available.

VMworld Europe 2016 – Looking back

So I’ve finally recovered from VMworld…. A week long of learning, networking and zero sleep! =P

Let’s recap what I learnt at VMworld, first the moans:

  1. Lunch sucked!
    I was pretty disappointed with the lack of lunch available to attendees – or at least to those attendees who were at VMworld to attend Breakout Sessions, 30mins to rush between sessions just isn’t enough time to try and find some food. No time to run to a different hall to queue for hot food, and by the time I get out of a session at 12:30pm all the sandwiches and cold food are gone! Surprisingly it wasn’t just me complaining about the lack of food!!
  2. Solution Exchange was in the wrong place, it should have been back in Hall 8.1 rather than over in Hall 7…. Too far away from the breakout sessions, which again meant those people who are at VMworld to learn can’t get over to the Solution Exchange as it’s across the other side of the conference centre! I have to wonder whether footfall was a lot less than previous years!
  3. VMworld Party was dry….. no entertainment within the Party, just food stands and bars….. what happened to all the arcades and scalextric sets from last year? So many people were just standing around eating and drinking, there wasn’t the mingling and networking like previous years! Pool tables, air hockey tables, arcades…. These are great devices to help people break the ice and network….! Suffice to say that the party started to empty out halfway through the night! Nothing beats lasts years band – Faithless were awesome!!
  4. Missed out on a ticket to watch Barcelona vs Man City! I did actually win a ticket from Cohesity, but was too slow to answer my phone. In the end it went to a fellow vExpert who was a Man City fan – tbh, I was planning on giving it away as I had to look after the customers who came to VMworld with MTI. Glad it went to someone who would appreciate the game (although he didn’t appreciate the score)!

Now onto the good stuff

  1. VMware launched vSphere/vCenter/VSAN 6.5 in Europe! YAY!
  2. VMware announced the tech preview of VMware Cloud in Amazon AWS.
  3. Tuesday’s General Session wasn’t just a repeat of the US opening General Session – we got some new content!! Which really isn’t a surprise given the announcement the week before VMworld about the new VMware and Amazon partnership!!
  4. Wednesday’s General Session was quite similar to the Day 2 General Session in the US, but at least it had a decent bit on vSphere 6.5 and VSAN 6.5.
  5. A lot of breakout sessions on the vCloud on AWS Tech Preview!
  6. More sessions on vCloud Foundation!!
  7. Nearly all the vSphere sessions were about 6.5 (which I guessed correctly and registered for).
  8. I got to meet a lot of the VMware NSBU Exec team, including having a pow-wow with Rajiv Ramaswami (SVP/GM NSBU) about my company’s engagement with VMware UK for NSX (MTI Technology are one of five NSX focus partners in the UK), as well as how VMware could help the channel drive the sale of NSX.
  9. My colleague – Andrew Tang – drew the short straw and was up on stage for a Q&A session at the Partner Exchange NSX Key note (Accelerate Network Virtualization [PAR3693]). After Rajiv and Dom Delfino (VP Worldwide Sales & Systems Engineering NSBU) did their bits, Louise Ostrom (VP Network and Security EMEA) interviewed Andy on stage…. Louise was supposed to ask some pre-arranged questions but decided it was more fun to do it ad-hoc! Well done Andy for surviving and also presenting MTI as a transformative VMware partner showing we’re a safe pair of hands in delivering NSX and complimentary security products to our customers! =P
  10. Customers – we took out more customers this year then last year, and this year I made sure I spent time talking to them rather than running around all the breakout sessions. In fact this is probably he first year that I’ve not featured on the Gamification Leaderboard! =P
    It was good to find out about what their future plans are and discuss how VMware can become an integral part of their plans!

It looks like VMworld 2017 US will again be held in Vegas…. I’ve been promised a free ticket next year as I couldn’t use it this year, so who knows, I may head out to Vegas for VMworld 2017!! =)

Interesting that VMworld 2017 Europe hasn’t announced a venue or date yet… I’m guessing it’s because they’ve finished their contract in Barcelona and they’re considering other venues. I quite like Barcelona, lovely city and I like the fact that I can walk around in the evenings with just a polo or t-shirt on! Hope it’s not back in Copenhagen… it’s too grey and cold during Autumn time. I’ve heard Berlin and even Lisbon mentioned during my discussions with fellow bloggers/vExperts…. Lisbon would be a nice venue!

Roites…. All I have left is to finish writing my blog entry on what’s new with vSphere 6.5 and VSAN 6.5….