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VMworld 2017: VMware updates software legacy

VMware is beginning to recognise there is life beyond the hypervisor as it announces VMware HCX, which will provide interoperability between private and public cloud

Virtualisation company VMware has begun its journey to shift away from being known for its vSphere hypervisor, to embracing private and public cloud integration.

The company announced VMware HCX, which aims to provide seamless interoperability between private and public cloud infrastructure. It also uses vMotion to provide infrastructure migration.

Speaking at the company’s annual European conference in Barcelona, CEO Pat Gelsinger said HCX would help customers migrate older versions of vSphere and provide a loosely coupled architecture to connect older on-premise systems to new on-premise and cloud environments.

The company introduced a new certification programme, VMware Cloud, verified in a bid to sign-up cloud providers. “We are enabling a portfolio of cloud services to help CIOs move faster and have a multi-cloud environment,” said Gelsinger.

The company’s goal is to use HCX to support multiple cloud providers. As Computer Weekly previously reported, VMware has already signed up AWS and is working with organisations such as IBM and Rackspace.

Commenting on the partnership, David Kenny, senior vice-president of IBM Watson and Cloud, said: “In just in one year we have 1,400 customers, including Vodafone.”

He said the industry partnership with VMware involves adapting the hybrid IBM, which is also working with Dell EMC to provide access to VMware on IBM cloud. According to Kenny, this will enable IBM’s customers using on-premise systems to integrate with the IBM public cloud.

Kenny said the the tie-up enables IBM’s Watson deep learning system to take on-board metrics from on-premise systems, and combine this with the data it gleans from the IBM cloud, to provide better predictive analytics for IT systems. “We can have intelligence on all client environments,” he added.

One organisation that has seen a need for a hybrid private and public cloud strategy is French bank Société Générale. “Five years ago, we started to move from traditional virtualisation to private clouds, and we now run 12,000 virtual machines,” said the bank’s head of architecture, Pierre Haslee.

He said the bank decided in 2016 to flesh out its private and public cloud strategy, but VMware was missing parts of the architecture it was looking for relating to public cloud and OpenStack private cloud support.

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With the HSX news, and the announcement made at VMworld in the US, the company has begun to address these issues.

The company also announced vCloud NFV OpenStack – a platform which VMware said combines carrier-grade NFV infrastructure with OpenStack and container support. The company claimed vCloud NFV OpenStack delivers the fastest path to deploying production NFV services on OpenStack.

“The heart of what we do is the network and NFX is central to the underlying infrastructure for telcos, IoT [internet of things] and connectivity across multiple clouds. If you are not already on NFX, you are already late,” said Gelsinger.

Along with support for public cloud and NFX connectivity to Openstack, the company has started working with Google and Pivotal on supporting conatiners.

At the US VMworld conference, Google, Pivot and VMware discussed how Pivotal Container Service (PKS) that makes use of the Kubernetes container orchestration platform could be used to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters on any cloud. The service was jointly developed by Google and Pivotal in the open source Kubo project that started in October 2016.

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