The Day 2 General Session kicked off with VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger welcoming Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell to the stage. Gelsinger and Dell engaged in a spirited conversation in response to a series of questions submitted by the VMworld audience that touched on many aspects of VMware’s relationship with Dell Technologies and their plans for the future.
In response to a question about the future of their relationship, Dell assured the audience, “Dell and VMware go together like chocolate and peanut butter. What’s good for VMware is good for Dell.” Gelsinger agreed, saying that Dell has always been supportive, even when some of VMware’s partners are in what he calls “coopetition” with Dell EMC.
“The more we do together,” Dell said, “the better it gets.” “But we’re not done yet, are we?” Gelsinger responded. Dell agreed, and then together they proudly delivered the announcements Gelsinger had teased at the end of his Day 1 keynote.
They welcomed Rob Mee, CEO of Pivotal, and Sam Ramji, VP of Product Management, Developer Platforms at Google, to the stage to jointly announce VMware Pivotal Container Service™ (PKS), a new product that enables enterprises and service providers to deliver production-ready Kubernetes on VMware vSphereⓇ.
Following the announcement, Gelsinger welcomed VMware CTO Ray O’Farrell to the stage to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the remainder of the session.
Easing Business Transformation
O’Farrell took to the stage, announcing, “Digital transformation is not just about the adoption of new technologies, it’s about transforming how you do business.” But, he acknowledged, “strengthening your business so you can disrupt your competitors can be both difficult and messy. VMware is here to help and to make this easier.”
O’Farrell told the audience that to ease the process of business transformation, companies need a “consistent way to manage their infrastructure and eliminate silos to be successful.” He said that VMware offers the products and services to make this happen. The focus of the Day 2 general session was to demonstrate how all of the products and services work together.
He then invited Purnima Padmanabhan, VP Product Management, Cloud Management Business Unit, and Chris Wolf, VP and CTO Global Field and Industry, to lead the audience through a series of demonstrations showcasing the strategic breadth and value of the VMware portfolio. Padmanabhan and Wolf orchestrated the demos within a single storyline of a fictitious pizza company, Elastic Sky Pizza, facing a plethora of business challenges common to many companies when digitally transforming their business operations and IT.
The Elastic Sky Pizza Scenario
The story, consisting of four chapters, outlined how Elastic Sky Pizza, once a dominant market leader, was now rapidly losing market share to an upstart competitor. The company’s product was inconsistent, delivery was slow, and customers complained incessantly about a clumsy and frustrating digital experience. And to make matters worse, the company had suffered a data breach, resulting in the theft of millions of customers’ personal data. To turn the company around, the CIO initiated a transformation project—Project Leonardo—but the project ran into trouble and fell months behind schedule.
Helping Customers Make Their Transformation Journeys
The first chapter of the demo narrative showed how the company could address the need to stabilize its existing environment to prepare it for transformation by deploying VMware Cloud Foundation™, and VMware AppDefense™ to secure it. Padmanabhan and Wolf then demonstrated how easy it is to analyze capacity by using existing VMware tools such as VMware vRealizeⓇ Operations™, and expand the environment using VMware Cloud on AWS for instant capacity expansion. Finally, the two showed how vRealize Network Insights™ would be used to analyze flows and how easy it would be to migrate apps to the new expanded environment with VMware vRealizeⓇ Automation™.
The second chapter of the story addressed the challenge of deploying apps to several platforms, including VMware Cloud™ on AWS, and focused on how VMware Cloud Services™ support and enable the application-centric focus of the modern business in a SaaS consumption model. Wolf and Padmanabhan showcased how this new suite of services can help customers operate and manage applications across multiple clouds, including VMware Cloud on AWS; public clouds like AWS, IBM, OVH, and Virtustream; and hybrid clouds.
The team demonstrated how the services work seamlessly together to allow IT the visibility into apps, resources, and utilization across all clouds in order to manage applications on any cloud and any device. Products featured in this segment included VMware PKS™ to provision containerized apps, a brief tech preview of VMware Automation to greatly speed up deployment, and VMware NSX Cloud™ to secure the firewall policies across AWS.
The third chapter, involving WavefrontⓇ by VMware and Workspace ONE™ Intelligence, showed how VMware provides solutions that enable customers to identify a root cause issue, from the infrastructure to the application. Padmanabhan and Wolf showed how the two products allow customers to automatically troubleshoot infrastructure issues and analyze, diagnose, and remediate application workflow issues.
The final episode, taking place 18 months later, showed how Elastic Sky Pizza had met all its business challenges and could now focus on radically improving delivery times and delivery management. The audience saw how the company could look to the future and improve its performance by leveraging cutting-edge technologies coming from VMware.
This final set of demos highlighted VMware’s position at the forefront of innovation. It showcased VMware Pulse™ IoT Center™, a consistent and operationally ready environment for IoT. This final chapter also demonstrated how Functions-as-a Service (FaaS), also known as serverless, can be executed on VMware vSphereⓇ for rapid, concurrent computations in the data center or network edge.
VMware Is Committed to Helping Customers Realize What’s Possible
The keynote came to a close with O’Farrell inspiring the VMworld audience with the reality that, as the suite of VMware offerings made crystal clear, a successful business transformation is now fully realizable. A successful transformation, O’Farrell said, depends “on a consistent, scalable infrastructure and empowered developers, in combination with IT control.”
VMware’s ongoing commitment to the people in IT, O’Farrell told the audience, “is to anticipate and solve the most difficult, real-world problems, just as we have in partnership with you for the last decade.” In this rapid journey of transformation, O’Farrell promised them, VMware would always have their backs.