VMware’s Cloud Management Platform Strategy
Today, VMware announced a new release of its cloud management platform (CMP)—vRealize Suite 7 (read the press release). We caught up with Ajay Singh, senior vice president and general manager, Management Suites Business Unit, to discuss the launch as well as what he is hearing from customers on their journey to the cloud.
Q: We’re seeing digitization disrupt every industry. How does VMware’s hybrid cloud management platform address the resulting change in an organization’s IT needs?
A: What’s clear from my conversations with CIOs is that digital business transformation is a top priority. Competitive advantage today rests on a company’s ability to continually deliver new customer experiences via new apps or services. And it’s ITs responsibility to deliver them.
So CIOs are turning to strategic vendors like VMware, wanting to know how we’re going to help them respond more rapidly to the needs of the business. Applications are the lifeblood of any business, and our hybrid CMP is helping IT to change or develop their applications faster and move them into production across the hybrid cloud. Our platform also helps businesses improve IT efficiency and optimize IT operations and capital spending through greater automation, capacity optimization, and our cloud business management capabilities.
Q: What are the most common use cases VMware has identified in customers’ journey to the cloud?
A: We’ve been developing our CMP over the course of five years and have had the privilege of working with thousands of customers. Based on these engagements, and a deeper drilldown with a number of them over the last six months or so, we’ve seen three common initiatives—or use cases— emerge that define the path to the hybrid cloud for most customers. These are:
- Intelligent Operations Management – This is about using advanced operations and log management capabilities to get the best performance and availability out of their IT resources and applications in a software-defined data center or a hybrid cloud.
- Automated IT to Infrastructure as a Service – With this use case, customers are bringing in automation to streamline and accelerate the delivery and ongoing management of IT infrastructure. And they’re providing these infrastructure services to end users, such as developers, either through IT teams or directly via a self-service portal and catalog or APIs.
- DevOps-Ready IT – This use case is the most advanced and is all about moving up the stack from infrastructure services to automated delivery of the full application stack. Customers can do this with our new unified service blueprints that incorporate application component-level security via NSX’s logical networks. It’s also about helping IT go upstream into the application development lifecycle with our DevOps solution to support developer efforts by automating the continuous delivery process.
Q: How does today’s news address those use cases?
A: Today’s launch of vRealize Suite 7 is a one-two punch combination of new product features as well as pricing and packaging updates to help customers tackle the use cases.
The launch of vRealize Operations 6.2 helps customers implement intelligent operations management with new workload placement features that build on the workload management capabilities we introduced with vRealize Operations 6.1 last year. vRealize Log Insight 3.3 will introduce Simple Query API for easy integration into existing processes along with Web Hooks support for third-party application integration. For customers aiming to automate IT or deliver a cloud to developers, vRealize Automation 7, available since December 2015, helps IT teams to speed the delivery of applications and infrastructure services across hybrid clouds.
As important as the product capabilities being launched today, or perhaps more so, are the pricing and packaging changes we’re announcing. Customer ease of use and choice are two imperatives that drive what we do at VMware. So we’ve made it much easier for our customers to adopt these use cases by aligning the editions of our vRealize Suite to them. We introduced the vRealize Suite Standard edition—a new edition designed specifically for intelligent operations management. And we’ve repackaged the capabilities within vRealize Suite Advanced and Enterprise to address the two automation-centric use cases of Automated IT to IaaS and DevOps-ready IT.
When it comes to choice, our customers are increasingly saying they want a hybrid cloud strategy with the ability to consume private and public cloud services as they see fit. So we are making all editions of the vRealize Suite “hybrid.” We are offering a new Portable Licensing Unit to provide customers with the flexibility to manage workloads whether they run on vSphere, third-party hypervisors, physical servers, or on supported public clouds, all without licensing switching or conversion.
Q: What is the response to VMware’s CMP to date? How are customers benefiting from our approach to CMP?
A: Because of our close engagement with our customers on these use cases and their deployments of our solutions, we are aware of their evolving IT challenges and opportunities. This is why we continue to enhance our solutions regularly. When the products announced today GA later this quarter, we will have updated every component of our Cloud Management Platform over just a three-month period. Customer interest in our CMP has propelled our business to the lead in both cloud management and data center automation categories. We are also leaders in hybrid cloud management and private cloud. We take this support by our customers very seriously, and we’ll continue to work hard this year to earn it by building on our CMP in the areas of multi-cloud management, deeper integrations, and improved usability.