VMware Lays Out Vision for App-Driven, Multi-Cloud World

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger opened VMworld 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, this morning with a perspective on the impact of technology innovation on business and everyday lives. “Tech is leaving the nest of tech,” he said, “and is now woven into the fabric of our culture.”

Radical Transformation

Gelsinger opened his talk by observing that technologies from the world of science fiction are now part of everyday reality. For example, the exoskeleton Ellen Ripley used in the film Aliens once seemed fanciful. Yet, steelworkers in South Korea now strap on exoskeletons on a daily basis to gain capabilities that extend far beyond normal human capabilities.  

“Science fiction is becoming science fact,” Gelsinger stated to a rapt audience ready to kick off the annual conference. “And the most profound change of all is our frame of reference, our everyday expectations. Everywhere you look,” said Gelsinger, “tech innovation is reshaping our expectations as new tech-driven models transform every aspect of business.”

Apps Connecting People

Applications lie at the heart of this business innovation, according to Gelsinger, as apps reshape the customer experience and separate winners from losers in every industry sector. The core challenge for businesses is the ability to conquer complexity by innovating across a range of devices, applications, and clouds. This complexity increases risk and costs while compromising security.

VMworld 2017 Gelsinger Keynote_VMware Vision

Complexity is a challenge that VMware is uniquely positioned to address, according to Gelsinger. “Our vision is simple: Empower people to access any app on any device, from any cloud, with intrinsic security architected-in across every layer,” said Gelsinger.

VMware’s Cloud Strategy

Conquering complexity and lowering risk lies at the heart of VMware’s cloud strategy. Gelsinger summarized VMware’s four-part cloud vision for the VMworld audience:

  1. Make private cloud easy.
  2. Form deep partnerships with major cloud providers.
  3. Expand the VMware Partner Cloud Network.
  4. Offer a portfolio of cloud services.

To that end, Gelsinger unveiled an expanded set of products and services as part of the VMware Cloud™ platform. VMware Cloud provides businesses with consistent infrastructure across clouds, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Cloud, and more than 4,000 cloud service providers globally who operate as part of the VMware Cloud Provider network.

In addition to providing consistent infrastructure across all of those VMware-based clouds, VMware Cloud also provides consistent operations across all clouds—even those that are not based on VMware technology—such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Gelsinger unveiled VMware Cloud Services™, which enable organizations to manage, secure, monitor, and automate cloud infrastructure and applications by providing a unified approach for end-to-end visibility into cloud usage, costs, and network traffic. VMware Cloud Services also deliver consistent security across public clouds and on-premises environments.

Gelsinger also highlighted VMware’s laser focus on making private cloud easy, with an emphasis on VMware Cloud Foundation™—a fully integrated offering that combines compute, storage, and networking as well as lifecycle automation. Providing customers with the fastest path to private cloud, VMware Cloud Foundation can be consumed either on-premises or as a service.

VMworld 2017 Gelsinger Keynote_VMware Vision

In news that was highly anticipated by the audience, Gelsinger brought Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS, on stage to announce the availability of VMware Cloud™ on AWS, a breakthrough product in the VMware Cloud portfolio.

VMware Cloud on AWS brings together the leader in private cloud with the leader in public cloud, providing customers with the ultimate hybrid cloud as well as the best environment for running existing apps and for building and running new apps.

A New Model for Security

Gelsinger closed his keynote with a bold vision to transform cybersecurity as we know it. He noted that although VMware is not a security software company per se, “Security is layered into everything we do,” and it has become a core part of the company’s overarching strategy.

“We are flipping the security model on its head,” said Gelsinger. “The current model focuses on ‘chasing bad,’ which is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. By contrast, we are putting the focus on ‘ensuring good’ by narrowing the attack surface in a dramatic way.”

He spelled out the company’s three-tiered approach, which includes secure infrastructure, a tightly integrated ecosystem of partners, and strong cyber hygiene practices.

VMworld 2017 Gelsinger Keynote_Transforming SecurityGelsinger unveiled the company’s new SaaS security solution, VMware AppDefense™, which leverages the unique capabilities of the hypervisor to protect applications. AppDefense captures the intended state of every app in a customer’s environment, with an ability to detect and automatically respond when those applications are attacked or compromised.

VMworld 2017 Gelsinger Keynote_AppDefense

New Products and Partners

In addition to laying out a broad and bold vision centered on Any Device, Any Application, Any Cloud, Gelsinger also spoke to an impressive array of product updates and announcements. Highlights include:

  • New VMware Workspace ONE™ partnership with HP Inc.: The HP Device as a Service offering will be powered by VMware Workspace ONE, which has established impressive market momentum and now partners with the top two companies (HP and Dell) in the market.
  • VMware NSX, the secret sauce: VMware is broadening its NSX vision, and the network virtualization platform is now foundational to the company’s strategy. In this world of apps, services, and connections, the network now plays a critical role that can be the difference between success and failure of modern organizations.
  • The new VMware HCI Acceleration Kit™: This solution delivers affordable enterprise infrastructure powered by VMware vSAN™ software.  
  • VMware VxRail™ and VMware VxRack™, the power of hyper-converged infrastructure: This solutions enables enterprises to stand up complete software-defined data center hardware and software, including compute, network, and storage, with the management layer overlaid on top.

The session ended on a high note with an emotionally touching video depicting the heroic work of the American Red Cross, made possible in large part by VMware technologies.

Watch Pat Gelsinger’s full Day 1 keynote.

VMworld 2017 Recap: Click here to get the VMworld 2017 top-line keynotes, session highlights, and key innovation insights.