Four FAQs on One Cloud, Any App, Any Device

With the launch of One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device in the beginning of February, VMware executives Pat Gelsinger, Raghu Raghuram, Bill Fathers, and Ray O’Farrell met with members of the tech press for an open Q&A. Some of the topics covered include VMware Integrated OpenStack, Google Apps on vCloud Air, and the future of the software-defined data center.

Check out some excerpts from the Q&A below.

Q: We heard about long-distance vMotion with the launch of VMware vSphere 6. Can you talk about the use cases you’re seeing for that technology?

A: [Raghuram] “While talking with customers about this technology, they quickly saw new possibilities that they could not do before. For example, many customers struggled to do active-active data centers for traditional applications and with a technology like [vMotion], active-active data centers become possible. Follow-the-sun data center capability, where you’re moving your applications or desktops closer to where the users are, becomes possible. Disaster recovery planning, preempting DR scenarios—all of those kind of things that customers did not even think about seriously until now because the technology was not available.”

[O’Farrell] “One of the things we saw when we first introduced Storage vMotion was that the use cases were not always the ones we expected. In fact, sometimes they were quite mundane—simply migrating from one data center to another. That’s some of the interest we’re getting on this, as well, is just, ‘I’ve got a new data center. I want to know how to move some applications to it.’”

Q: What can we expect to come out of Google Apps/vCloud Air integration?

A: [Gelsinger] “This is really about enabling connectivity level between clouds and between data centers on premise into vCloud Air. But that said, we do expect to do more things like the Google announcement. And we certainly do expect to see this broader network capacity really give us a much, much broader capability through service providers, through geographic relationships, through our vCloud Air Network partners, through what we’re doing with vCloud Air in that network aspect.”

[Fathers] “Many of our clients who are already running workloads on vCloud Air say, ‘This is fantastic, but how can I perhaps take advantage of some of Google’s amazing analytic services? And so how can I get the best of both worlds?’ That’s basically what the announcement really was all about. Clients can run mission-critical ERP systems and customer databases on their vSphere-based vCloud Air but also, using our secure hybrid networking connectivity, get access to those SaaS-based offerings from Google. And yes, it’s the first of many. As we say, ‘One cloud, any application.’”

Q: What are some of the opportunities with OpenStack? 

A: [Raghuram] “We see OpenStack as an opportunity. OpenStack is a framework layer that will allow us, number one, to bring new workloads onto our platform. Number two, the premise of OpenStack is that there is underlying network virtualization and, of course, compute virtualization. So every OpenStack environment literally turns into an opportunity for NSX, and a majority of them we’ve turned into opportunities for Virtual SAN.”

[Gelsinger] “Specifically, if you look at NSX, it is widely accepted in many of those open-source communities as the only foundational networking technology available today. So we’re seeing many of the individual items open up more customer opportunities for us because our objective is to be that software layer for infrastructure, whether those are third-gen apps, two-and-a-half-gen apps, traditional applications, on premise, off premise—that’s our objective.“

Q: What’s the future of data center technology look like to VMware with regard to EVO Rack?

A: [Gelsinger] “Some of the impetus for the EVO program was, in fact, looking at what [companies like Intel] were doing at rack scale. And it caused us to reconceive and say, ‘What happens when a rack becomes a set of resources?’ And can we, in fact, think about what it means to have a data center-wide operating environment where the rack becomes the standard unit of computing at that level?’ And so we are embracing this entirely with the SDDC concepts, and what we’re doing in the EVO program very specifically is embracing that as one of the foundational enablers for us longer term.”