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September 06, 2016

A CTO perspective on VMworld 2016: Any Cloud, AnyApp, AnyDevice

Ruben Spruijt - Atlantis


VMworld is absolutely the most leading cloud, virtualization and datacenter event of the year.  It took place in Las Vegas August 28 – September 1st. Hot topics for this VMworld: Compute Virtualization, Networking, Storage and End-User-Computing. This VMworld was a packed week with more than 400+ sessions; 23,000 attendees, 100,134 VMs deployed in Hands On Labs and numerous networking opportunities. These are astonishing, and hard to beat, numbers for sure. I want to share my notes, observations and highlights of the first and second general session and some other resources which I collected over the week. Hope you find it valuable!

VMworld Day 1 general session – Keynote  

VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger, kicked-off the 1st general session. Digital Transformation or digital business is one of the top rated search terms and new hype words. Also forget traditional business versus digital business because all businesses are digital businesses. There isn’t a meaning full distinction between traditional versus digital. Mobile experience is key for the business consumer.
Today only 20% of businesses are leading in digital transformation where 13.6% is a digital transformer and 7.9% is a digital disruptor. Leaders rewrite the rules and use Mobile-Cloud technology at the core while Laggards or Slackers are optimizing predictable processes and use legacy IT. Where are you today? Leading of Slacking?
In the past there was a lot of hype and discussion about Internet of Things (IoT) but this segment is really to explode soon. Currently we are using 4.1B devices and there will be 18B+ devices in 2021. This is 4.5x more devices in the next 4 years, devices such as sensors, passive devices, IP connected with various connectivity options. Device Proliferation is happening. Awesome to see Modern workspace blooming.
Some numbers about Cloud services adoption:

  • In 2006; 2% was using Public Cloud, 0% was private cloud and 98% was traditional IT. This was just 10 years ago, time flies when having fun.
  • Today in 2016; 15% is using Public Clouds, 12% is using private cloud and 73% is traditional IT. Software Defined Storage (SDS), Software Defined Networking (SDN) are huge growth markets here. SDS such as VMware VSAN and Atlantis USX, SDN such as VMware NSX.
  • Prediction for 2021, total global IT workloads is 255 Million where 30% is using public clouds, 20% is using private clouds and 50% running traditional IT. When we break down 30% public cloud, 14% is using SaaS and 16% is using IaaS.
  • Predication for 2030, total global IT workloads is 596 million where 52% is using public cloud, 29% is using private cloud and just 19% is running traditional IT; There are 14 years to go and much work to do growing and leveraging public clouds.
  • There is a huge customer demand for managed Cloud opportunity, 110 billion dollars in 2021. Customers want to get out of the job of building and operating their own datacenters.

People think that the IT market is shrinking because of migration from private to public clouds. This isn’t the case, there is a clear shift but IT is expanding because computing, processing, storage becomes cheaper and fills in space available e.g. in the world of IoT.
The focus of VMware is to solve the dilemma of freedom versus control. Freedom to use any Cloud Service and control with e.g. security, regulations and compliancy. In the next decades we will live in a Hybrid world, private and public clouds – AnyCloud. Hybrid Cloud is the way of the future, there isn’t one cloud to rule them all.
The software driven datacenter – an automated and programmable datacenter – and especially the Software Defined Networking and Software defined Storage aspects is in the ‘tornado phase’ with huge customer demand and awesome growth numbers (400% YoY).
VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture will enable customers to run, manage, connect, and secure applications across clouds and devices in a common operating environment. VMware Cross-Cloud architecture is providing freedom and control. Cross Cloud Service and VMware Cloud Foundation are the two core components here.



VMware Cloud foundation can also be a service delivered by for instance IBM. Cross Cloud Service is a SaaS based offerings than enable, manage, govern and secure applications running in private and public clouds including the big mega clouds from Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Cross Cloud Services is providing visibility in cross cloud usage and costs, It also provides consistent networking and security, mechanisms and policies across clouds. It automates the deployment, management and migration of apps and data across vSphere and none vSphere private and public clouds.
The mega clouds from Microsoft, Google and Amazon provide great opportunity and we should embrace them. Some people think that in the age of mega clouds IT isn’t needed anymore. It’s clear that IT is instrumental now and in the future for business success. Change is how we do IT. It’s less focus on Technology and more focus on Information and collaboration. What are you trying to achieve and how can IT services help you to achieve this? Challenges in a cross-cloud environment are profound and range from security (e.g. data breach), compliance, costs (and how to control them) to cross-cloud management and legacy support. The IT department of today is to serve and protect the business.
The VMware Vision is Any Device, Any Application and AnyCloud.


Michael Dell shared his view on an open ecosystem and there is a clear customer demand for making private cloud easy and cost effective. Converged and Hyperconverged infrastructure solutions are real solutions which make this happen in Workspace and Datacenter. The ecosystem is getting stronger and stronger, device proliferation, data is everywhere – applying data analytics – machine and deep learning are all important themes and reality in 2018. We are at the beginning of the next wave.  Enjoy!

VMworld Day 2 general session – Keynote:

It is always great to see and hear the passionate Sanjay Poonen, GM and EVP for End-User computing on stage.
The 1st revolution was all about steam, water and mechanical production equipment – Y1784. The 2nd revolution was about mass production. Division of labor, electricity and mass production – Y1870. The 3rd revolution was about electronics, IT, automated production – Y1969. We are now in the early stages of the 4th industrial revolution, Cyber-physical systems - the world is going digital. This already has a huge impact in our personal and business life and this will become even bigger in the next years and decade.
VMware’s role in digital transformation is twofold. First is transform the datacenter to make it public cloud ready. And second digital transforming the end-user, preparing for mobile/cloud era. End-user computing (EUC) is a 1.2B run-rate business for VMware.
End-user, or Business consumers, they want choice and simplicity in their Workspace while IT/enterprise wants security and control over the workspace. VMware Workspace ONE is solution which brings the world of Identity Management, Unified Device Management and Application Delivery (VDI, Application remoting, DaaS) together. 


From VMware’s perspective there are three layers in the workspace. The 1st layer is about Identity Management and applications which needs to work together. The second is about Desktop and Mobility Management – Unified End-point / Device Management and the 3rd and last layer is about Management and security. Majority of people today use their mobile device 90-100 time a day, we are always connected and try to be always informed. During these short moments of ‘information snacking’ our productivity needs to be high, so fast access to applications and data to be productive is important.
Early April 2016 VMware acquired Boxter, this is an integrated mobile mail, calendar, and contacts app for VMware AirWatch and Workspace ONE. Content locker which integrated with e.g. Box, DropBox, Google Drive and Onedrive gives secure access to Enterprise File Sharing and Synchronization applications. These two applications are examples to transform the workplace, using existing native mobile applications and creating new smart mobile applications to make life easier so we are more productive. Examples are travels and expense, email, collaboration, people finder, conference room booking etc. etc.).
The majority of applications in enterprises today are Windows application, this won’t change anywhere soon. Delivery of Virtual Workstations using 2D/3D high-end applications for designers by leveraging GPU and solid-state technology is a viable solution today. Not only designer and high-end power users benefit from GPU and solid state. With the strong adoption of Windows10 and Office365, everyone benefits from GPUs in the Virtual Workspace. VDI is an important solution in HorizonOne and NVIDIA a strong VMware ecosystem partner.
Desktops and mobile are coming together. With new developments in Horizon One such as Next Gen User Experience (e.g. Blast Extreme H.264), True Stateless Desktops (e.g. Instant Clone), Real-time application delivery (e.g. CloudVolumes), Desktop as a Service (e.g. Horizon Air) and Hybrid Cloud Architecture VMware is a strong leader in this space.
VMware End-User computing is well received by customers and analysts. It’s strong for end-user computing is a value asset for VMware. Ruben’s note: awesome to see Atlantis Computing here as the only 3rd party Software Defined Storage and Hyperconverged partner in this list.


The next topic in Sanjay’s high energy session was about unified end-point / device management (UEM or UDM). Unified Device Management is pulling end point security, endpoint management and lifecycle automation together. AirWatch is an important solution under the HorizonOne solution delivering e.g. conditional access to secure the data. For instance, copy/past data from managed to not managed application is controlled by Unified Device Management. VMware NSX is also a great asset in the datacenter to provide conditional access from the workspace to the datacenter using micro segmentation. More information can be found on, more information here in the future.
VMware TrustPoint powered by Tanium provides complete endpoint visibility and control with next-generation threat detection and remediation at crazy speed and scalability. Today we have a large amount of endpoints and with device proliferation and IoT this will grow exponential in the next couple of years. Interact with the endpoint management environment and see what is happening and secure the environment on large scale is very tough. Imagine you want to find a certain hash of running processes in your environment with 100K+ end-points, real-time. You want to deploy actions at the same speed and apply actions when you see challenges. You want to see what is happing with drivers, network connections and drill into and see what’s happening here. Deep forensics on the endpoint is a huge challenge for today’s endpoint management solutions and smart solutions to make this happen are needed. Tanium is such a (hot) solution and was demoed by Orion Hindawi, Co-Founder and CEO of Tanium.
Kit Colbert, CTO of Cloud Platform business talked about modern apps and the rise of these applications. Modern applications are often build using containers, bnefits are accelerating software development lifecycle and application delivery – helping the business deliver (new) applications. Both start-ups and enterprises are using containers. For developer’s containers means easy, quick up-and-running and quite often Docker is being used. Much more needs to be done to run containers in production:  networking, monitoring, accounting, storage, security, portability, diagnosis, availability, backup, repeatable deployments, disaster recovery. We know how to handle these ‘Ops’ activities for traditional apps and can run enterprise container infrastructure in production with confidence by applying our knowledge to container technology.
vSphere integrated containers (VIC) for developers is a Docker-compatible solution, reuse of native Docker client and existing Docker ecosystem tools with seamless integration into Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). For operators the benefit is no new tooling, training, or technologies needed – it is just vSphere delivering full enterprise-class power of the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC).


Photon platform is cloud-scale containers for DevOps environments. Supports Agile and dynamic DevOps. Deep integration into popular app frameworks, strong security and multi-tenancy, simple, out of the box experience, API-driven fully automated management and high-scale compute, network and storage fabric. Coming soon is photo platform with kubernetes and VMware NSX. VIC is extending vSphere environments to support containers and photon platform is green-field container only environments.
Rajiv Ramaswami, EVP/GM – Networking and Security was on stage talking about NSX which is deployed at 1700 customers worldwide today. In perspection 500K customers are running their infrastructure on vSphere and 20K customers leverage vRealize Suite. Micro segmentation is a core element of NSX, provide every application with it’s own firewall. Besides security it is also critical to deliver at the speed of ligh, NSX delivers networking and security at ‘VM speed’
Last but not least Yanbing Li, SVP/GM storage & availability shared her view on Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and Software Defined Storage (SDS) with VMware VSAN and VxRail. Cross-cloud architecture requires strong storage foundation which can be powered by VMware VSAN. VSAN is directly implemented by vSphere. VSAN is optimized for flash, 5.000 unique customers are using VSAN today. 2016/2017 is the year of HCI, SDS/VSAN is getting meanstream. Business criticial apps are running on VSAN. Key benefits are zero-touch management and strong use case for ROBO.
Why HCI; increase operational efficiency, achieve savings with all-flash optimizations and eliminate new IT silos. Manage compute and storage at the same time.VSAN will be the default platform for BigData, NextGen applications e.g. containers with VIC and Photon workloads. Policy based managed thrue storage policies, inteligent performance analytics, addressing the problem before it occurs makes VSAN strong in the HCI/SDS space. Also VMware vRealize automate and orchestrate storage policies, auto move VM to e.g. All Flash storage environment or public cloud makes VSAN strong.
Next is fully Software Defined Encryption with data at rest, data management and goverance with private and public clouds and disaster recovery and data protection natively integrated in the product. Workload mobility, move seamless and secure between private and public also from a storage perspective. Great time ahead!

Valuable additional information sources:

My final notes:

  • IMHO there weren’t really breakthrough or awesome product announcements during VMworld 2016. Did the Dell/EMC merger slow things down?! I am convinced we see more at VMworld 2016 in Barcelona and next year!
  • Software is eating the world; Software Defined Networking (NSX) and Software Defined Storage and Hyperconverged Infrastructure (VSAN/VxRail) are strong and growing. Awesome to be in the hot space as CTO of Atlantis Computing. BTW, awesome to see Atlantis featured as strong EUC ecosystem partner in the keynote as well.
  • Programmable infrastructure and Hybrid Cloud is the way of the future, there isn’t one cloud to rule them all.

What’s next: VMworld 2016 in Barcelona (17-20 October) and VMworld 2017 USA will be in Las Vegas August 27 – August 31th.
Thanks for reading my perspective on VMworld 2016. Feedback or questions? or twitter @rspruijt

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