Together, We Are Ready to ‘Be Tomorrow’

VMware CTO Ray O’Farrell used his keynote address at VMworld 2016 to present an overview of VMware’s vision for its customer journey to the cloud. O’Farrell grounded his presentation in VMware’s customer focus, saying, “We focus on listening to you so that we can be there to help you solve your hardest problems.” VMware’s strategy for doing so, O’Farrell said, is based on “innovations that derive from—and are at the heart of—the software-defined data center (SDDC).”

O’Farrell’s keynote provided a blueprint of VMware’s strategy, showing how the components of that strategy—from cloud-native apps, to virtual infrastructure, to VMware’s new Cross-Cloud Architecture—work together to make the customer journey easier, more efficient, and more cost-effective. To support this premise, O’Farrell brought on stage VMware executives and customers to help explain individual components, conduct live demonstrations, and deliver customer testimonials.

The SDDC and Cloud-Native Apps

O’Farrell introduced VMware’s CTO of the Cloud Platform Business Unit, Kit Colbert, to speak to one of the thorniest issues: how to bring cloud-native apps into the production in the enterprise. Reinforcing O’Farrell’s theme of SDDC innovation, Colbert demonstrated that the SDDC virtual infrastructure VMware customers are already familiar with can be extended to simply build and securely deploy cloud-native apps. He then went on to explain how leveraging this same infrastructure allows VMware to use its Photon Platform “to drive radical simplicity into the complex architectures” of cloud-scale containers for greenfield developer environments.

NSX Network Virtualization

O’Farrell said the importance of SDDC and private cloud exemplified the famous prediction by technology pioneer Marc Andreessen that “software is eating the world.”  Building on that premise, O’Farrell stated that the three elements of the SDDC—compute, storage, and networking—are key in the customer journey to the cloud.

He then introduced VMware’s EVP and GM of networking and security, Rajiv Ramaswami, who prefaced his remarks by telling the audience how “happy I am to be on this journey with you to network virtualization.” Ramaswami addressed how one of those components of the SDDC, VMware NSX network virtualization, provides the solution to three of the major issues impacting customer cloud adoption: security, automation, and application continuity.

Everything Is Changing, but You Are Prepared

O’Farrell returned to the stage to talk about a future where “our goals haven’t changed, but everything else is changing.” Specifically, he noted that network infrastructure, architecture, and user behavior is changing for customers. “NSX,” he added, “is foundational for your infrastructure and for your cloud journey.”

Keeping the focus on the future, O’Farrell brought to the stage Yanbing Li, VMware’s SVP and GM of storage and availability. Li explained how VMware vSAN, integrated with VMware vSphere and VMware NSX, can deliver SDDC  simply via the newly announced VMware Cloud Foundation.

Following Li, O’ Farrell concluded his keynote by telling the audience that customers now have what they need to prepare for a multi-cloud environment. “Be a leader!” He exhorted the audience. “Together, we are ready now to be tomorrow!”