VMworld 2018 Recap—More than Just App Updates

David Tarr

With VMworld 2018 now over, I have had some time to consider all of the information that VMware announced. As the company turned 20 years old, it laid out plans at VMworld that separated itself from its original business structure. VMware continues to transition themselves from the vSphere hypervisor company to a company embracing a truly multi-cloud infrastructure of new technology and new partnerships. VMware delivered a number of major announcements from acquisitions, expanding partnerships, and changes to product upgrades.

Here are just a few.

VMware Cloud on AWS: Amazon RDS on VMware
VMware continued its focus this year from last year’s announcement of VMware Cloud on AWS. This year, VMware announced the ability to use Amazon RDS on VMware. Pat Gelsinger, Chief Executive Officer for VMware, commented, “When we originally partnered on VMware Cloud on AWS, our message was clear–we’re giving customers what they want, the best of both worlds from the leaders in private and public cloud. With Amazon RDS for VMware, we’re doing it again. This time we’re taking innovation from AWS and bringing it to the hundreds of thousands of customers that have made VMware their private cloud infrastructure of choice. With this offering from AWS and VMware, end users and database administrators alike now have access to a cloud-like database management experience, in whatever environment they choose to run—private or public cloud. This type of game-changing innovation shows the depth of the partnership VMware and AWS have, and the mutual commitment to listening to customers and delivering new and unimaginable value to help drive their digital transformation.” Also, with the announcement of Amazon RDS on VMware, they also doubled down on continuing to grow new regions and have expanded to the Australia/New Zealand (ANZ) region. VMware also voiced their intent to acquire CloudHealth Technologies. CloudHealth Technologies delivers a cloud operations platform across AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. The platform enables customers to help analyze and manage cloud cost, usage, security, and performance run centrally for native public clouds.

VMware Introduces vSphere Platinum
VMware vSphere Platinum is a new edition of vSphere that delivers advanced security capabilities fully integrated into the hypervisor. The company said, “This new release combines the industry-leading capabilities of vSphere with VMware AppDefense, delivering purpose-built VMs to secure applications.” vSphere Platinum delivers comprehensive built-in security and is the heart of a secure SDDC, delivering secure applications, data, and infrastructure. With the combination of AppDefense and vSphere, it now benefits the vSphere admin and the security teams. The VMware admins now gain visibility into each virtual machine and can understand how the application behaves and can be alerted of potential issues. They also can shrink the attack surface and reduce the risk of a security compromise. The security team is now more integrated to the application team and VMware admins. They have faster detection, analysis, and time to respond. This helps them to quickly understand attacks and make fast decisions.

Adaptive Micro-segmentation
Along with the announcement of vSphere Platinum, the NSX network hypervisor has been enhanced and now has functionality and, when integrated with vSphere Platinum, can provide stronger application intelligence, workload controls, and the ability to adapt to change. VMware announced Adaptive Micro-Segmentation, which brings together innovations around network, with VMware NSX and vRealize Network Insight, and VMware AppDefense, to deliver a solution that can learn, lock, and adapt. In other words, security capabilities in VMware core products will learn about the applications by looking into them to understand their behavior and how they should operate, lock them down to ensure they do operate that way, and adapt new automation capabilities that change based on current behavior. Modern applications are now run on different workloads that are networked together. They could span different data centers or clouds. This makes it extremely difficult to manage and leads to security challenges. Adaptive micro-segmentation now helps to resolve these challenges.

Workspace One Intelligence
VMware continues to expand its functionality with Workspace One. As employees and companies continue to expand their digital footprint, from PCs to mobile devices and IOT devices, it is clear that it is difficult to protect and set policies across corporate- and employee-owned infrastructure. Workspace One Intelligence is a cloud-based service delivering insight and automation across the entire digital workspace. Workspace ONE Intelligence aggregates and correlates device, applications, and user data together in one place. The benefit of Workspace One Intelligence is that it provides insight into app deployment and app engagement from the field to help IT admins quickly resolve issues, reduce escalations, and increase employee productivity. Along with performance and SLA improvement, Workspace One Intelligence helps to optimize resources and increase security and compliance.
As always, VMware continues to make new enhancements to existing products. VMware still focuses on its core product to make sure that they have stronger integration with SDDC and multi-cloud deployment. vSphere, vSAN, and some vRealize products were part of these update.

vSphere, 6.7 U1.
The new update and platinum version offer the enhanced security from data, infrastructure, and access resulting in secure applications. Admins will have better protection with no agents to manage, and they will be able to detect issues faster and respond with higher accuracy. vSphere 6.7 U1 comes with new features like fully-featured HMTL5-based vSphere Client, a new vMotion, and Snapshot Capabilities for NVIDIA vGPUs.

vSAN 6.7 U1.
vSAN 6.7 U1 makes it easier for customers to adopt HCI through simplified operations, efficient infrastructure, and rapid support resolution. Pat Gelsinger said, “The new release will reduce maintenance operations time with built-in intelligence capabilities. It will also enable admins to spin up new HCI clusters faster than ever by introducing a Quickstart guided cluster creation and extension wizard that guides the user through the deployment process for both vSAN and non-vSAN clusters.”

vRealize Automation saw an update to 7.5 and vRealize Operations to 7.0
VMware states that vRealize Automation 7.5 will be easy to operate, built for developers, and cross the clouds. Some new benefits include enterprise-ready ServiceNow plugins, support for Azure, and closed loop optimization with vRealize Operations.

vRealize Operations
It’s all about optimization of performance, capacity, and troubleshooting. The latest version comes with a slew of new benefits in order to hit these goals. Some new benefits for vRealize Operations include: updated management packs for AWS, Storage, Kubernetes, and Federation, plus predictive prevention and troubleshooting for SDDC, VMC, and AWS, and stronger integration into vSAN Clustering and vRealize Automation for VM’s lifecycle.

This year was my seventh VMworld. I have seen VMware push the envelope year after year and strive to innovate and grow, rather than just expand its existing offerings. With their new partnerships, product integration, and on-going collaboration on native cloud and multi-cloud infrastructure, VMware continues to look to the future.

David is an Inside Solution Architect at Connection with expertise in virtualization and cloud technologies. David is VCA certified in SDDC and mobility, as well as VTSP accredited for SDDC, mobility, cloud, storage, and VSP. In his free time, he enjoys boxing, Crossfit, woodworking, and skiing.

One thought on “VMworld 2018 Recap—More than Just App Updates”

  1. Michael Hall says:

    Excellent and very comprehensive recap Dave. Thx!

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