VMware and the 40-foot ISO shipping container

VMware, Trend Micro and F5 Networks all gathered around one oblong-shaped roundtable late last week to discuss the state of the cloud, the future for the virtualised corporate network and the importance of 40-foot ISO shipping containers.

VMware’s chief cloud strategist Joe Baguley escorted the attendees through a series of pithy one-liners that (admittedly) did encapsulate the state of cloud computing technologies and virtualisation with some aplomb.

In comments centred on the new era of corporate virtualised networks where the traditional LAN as we knew it ceases to exist, Baguley said that the public cloud is where we all want to be. “Virtualisation is the 40-foot ISO shipping container that we can wrap around your work,” he said.

“If human beings had evolved at the same rate as technology then we would all be dead unless we had all moved to live in shrink-wrapped bubbles,” added Baguley.

Note: I did mention that he was full of one-liners right?

Trend Micro’s EMEA chief technology officer described this journey towards virtualisation and the cloud as not simply a migration of data, but “an architectural change of magnitude” to be undertaken — where security should be at front of mind of course.

VMware’s Horizon App Manager exists in this space to move applications to a newly virtualised (and secure) aggregation point. But of course with Trend Micro and F5 also present, the security discussion had to permeate deeper still…

Nathan Pearce is virtualisation lead for EMEA at F5 Networks, he detailed his company’s position here by saying that, “”F5 is about abstraction of connectivity in the data centre, so that we no longer manage identity based on IP addresses.”

This means that F5 is able to “dynamically” apply security policies that will implement controls on data and applications as they move around a virtualised space. This in turn means that the protection stays with the data and apps in real time as they move.

So this dynamic policy control follows from one shipping container (sorry, I mean cloud server!) to the next and then presumably from ship-to-ship if so-called “cloud brokering” is being used to shift cloud resources around to the lowest price point.

“We are able to implement controls in real time for each user dependent on each application for each device it is being accessed upon – and dependent on the parameters that each device can handle,” said F5’s Pearce.

So as the dockyards and shipyards of ISO container commoditised cloud computing now fill with willing customers, do we know where we are going if VMware (and others) are at the helm? Consider this (if you will) the shipping forecast; the next update follows shortly.