September 29, 2020
Chris Wolf, vice president, advanced technology group, VMware
2020 has been an extraordinarily challenging year. Personally and professionally, we’ve had to find new levels of resiliency in the face of challenges to our health, environment, education, and life as we know it. From supporting COVID-19 vaccine efforts to protecting people’s safety, education, work, social and family lives, technology plays a key role in how we continue to adapt and move forward as a global community.
During this difficult time, agility has taken on new meaning. The need for organizations to quickly adapt is now measured in days, hours, or mere minutes. In this context, flexibility and agility moved to the forefront as sound design principles. We can no longer rely on “what if” contingencies alone. Instead, we need to architect for the expectation of change. To that end, the theme for VMworld 2020 is “Together, Anything is Possible.”
The VMworld 2020 announcements showcase new VMware innovations that not only help you rethink the possible, but also get there more safely with the velocity and agility required by your business’ needs.
Security is front and center at VMworld—and for good reason.
Office workers, apps, data, and devices are increasingly distributed. And that creates new security, scale, and performance challenges. Of course, that’s in addition to the growing challenges we already face in our data centers and in operating across multiple clouds. Today, we announced several compelling innovations that will dramatically improve your organization’s security posture, starting with the VMware SASE Platform.
Hair pinning network traffic to enforce security policy has long been impractical. SASE makes it simple for you to bring essential network and security services near your end users, regardless of where they work. VMware SASE Platform takes advantage of VMware SD-WAN’s massive global footprint of more than 2,700 cloud service nodes across 130 points of presence (POPs).
The key components of the VMware SASE solution include:
While the SASE announcement is big news, there are several additional security announcements that I believe you’ll find of interest:
We also announced several new capabilities across our network portfolio:
As with our technology strategy, we remain focused on aligning our innovations toward a multi-cloud future that offers consistent infrastructure and operations, along with a native developer experience.
IT operations should not have barriers to managing and operating data center, multi-cloud, and edge environments. Customers should have a consistent and well-integrated set of tools and processes. Developers should also have the flexibility to use their tools and APIs of choice.
Today, VMware admins can simply provision a Kubernetes namespace to developers, and ops can manage all the underlying infrastructure considerations using their tools of choice. The same holds true for managing applications and services in public clouds.
VMware solutions help IT operations manage and monitor environments, enforce policy and automate remediations without impacting developers’ ability to use the tools and APIs offered by the cloud provider. With that as the strategic backdrop, let’s dig into our multi-cloud announcements.
Following the announcement that Azure VMware Solution is generally available, there is now a production VMware footprint in every major public cloud:
With the Azure VMware Solution, organizations benefit from the cost savings of Azure Hybrid Benefit, integration with Microsoft Office 365 and other native Azure services, as well as Azure console integration.
There are also several new capabilities for VMware Cloud on AWS, including:
Interest continues to grow in VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, which allows you to realize the benefit of cloud IaaS with the flexibility to run the service in your on-premises data center. VMware Cloud on Dell EMC now includes support for VMware HCX-based workload migration, making it simple to migrate VMs to the new environment.
In addition, several compliance and regulatory certifications have been achieved, including:
There are also many more performance, scalability and sizing options, which you can read about here.
On the cloud management front, we announced VMware vRealize Cloud Universal, which combines SaaS and on-premises management software into a single subscription license. This makes it easy to switch between vRealize Cloud solutions without acquiring different licensing.
We also introduced new federation capabilities for a consistent management experience across deployments, as well as Skyline integration, which provides a single integrated workflow to proactively identify and resolve potential and existing issues.
Starting in 2018, we previewed Project Magna. And now in 2020, we are once again delivering on technology showcased at previous VMworld conferences. Project Magna is now generally available as VMware vRealize AI, which uses reinforcement learning to self-tune application performance.
Early adopters have seen performance improvements as high as 50% for read-and-write I/O with the read-and-write cache optimizations that vRealize AI made to their vSAN environments. Best of all, this is just the beginning.
You will see more capabilities moving forward, bringing your organization a highly intelligent, self-optimizing infrastructure.
VMware has been pursuing SmartNIC virtualization and integration opportunities over the past couple of years.
In March 2019, we demonstrated ESXi running on a SmartNIC. And last year at VMworld, we demonstrated four hypervisors running simultaneously on the same server with no nesting. Our vision for opportunities related to SmartNICs and composable infrastructure was further solidified at VMworld 2020 with the announcement of Project Monterey.
Applications, data, infrastructure, and security services are seeing increasingly demanding performance requirements. Simultaneously, IT organizations are looking to find greater opportunities for automation and efficiency. Project Monterey takes advantage of emergent hardware innovations to offer new approaches to hybrid cloud architecture and operations.
We’re sharing this information now to open doors for further opportunities to shape this innovation with our customers and technology partners. Leading SmartNIC vendors are already working with us on Project Monterey, which is currently centered around three key use cases:
1. Network performance and security: Consider running security services such as a L4-7 firewall on SmartNIC, decoupling it from the host platform and achieving line rate performance. Organizations can further isolate tenants, running independent workloads on SmartNICs or even run multiple network functions in isolation on the SmartNIC via isolation provided by the hypervisor (e.g., ESXi on Arm).
2. Storage performance and dynamic composition: As with networking, you have new opportunities for combinations of scale-up and scale-out architectures by taking advantage of processors on SmartNICs to accelerate a variety of storage functions, such as compression and encryption. Project Monterey will also provide further capabilities to scale storage capacity on-demand to meet performance or capacity requirements.
3. Bare metal workloads and composability: This is where Project Monterey really gets interesting. Imagine running the ESXi control plane on a SmartNIC, freeing all the x86 host cores to run other workloads, inclusive of bare metal. That allows you to run workloads on bare metal, while still being able to integrate them with core SDDC services, such as VMware vSAN and NSX. From a flexibility perspective, these options take VMware Cloud Foundation to a new level in terms of the ability to dynamically support a variety of hardware interfaces, composing infrastructure on-demand.
For an in-depth look at Project Monterey, take a look at Kit Colbert’s blog post.
As we look forward over the next decade, successful organizations will not just be measured on speed. More importantly, they’ll be measured on their ability to change course during unanticipated market dynamics or global events. Looking at your organization’s technology footprint, consider existing barriers that would prevent a quick pivot to a new direction.
Are your applications, data, infrastructure, security, and operational services able to quickly adapt to change?
Is change simply a matter of a software update or the ability to provision services anywhere on demand?
If not, look at the dependencies that stand in your way (e.g., proprietary hardware or APIs) and move forward with a technology strategy anchored with flexibility as the design principle.
For the last six years, we’ve remained true to our vision of helping organizations run any application on any cloud and interact with those applications from any device. Change is far from easy, and “flexibility” should not be some convenient buzzword. Together, we can make it real. Together, we can help your organization build and leverage technology for the expectation of inevitable change.
Let’s do this!