This article is part of our Essential Guide: The key VMware acquisitions and announcements in 2019

VMware readies on-premise and as-a-service hybrid offerings

During its annual VMworld event in Barcelona, VMware unveiled its vision for combining vSphere and Kubernetes

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, is betting that the future of enterprise IT infrastructure will be Kubernetes.

Speaking during VMworld Europe, Gelsinger said: “We are pretty sure Kubernetes is right. I helped to create USB, Wi-Fi and the PCI standards. Getting industry engagement and open source right is a careful balance – most [industry initiatives] fail.”

However, VMware is betting that over the next decade, the future of IT will be defined by Kubenetes. Since Java was introduced, Gelsinger said there has not been as much excitement about a technology as there is around Kubernetes, which promises to bring the worlds of developer and operations together. It is something that VMware recognises as a market opportunity.

“We are building Kubernetes into vSphere through project Pacific, which is now in beta,” Gelsinger said. 

Project Pacific is designed to unify VMware vSphere and Kubernetes. According to VMware, it enables vSphere administrators to use the tools they already know to deploy and manage Kubernetes and container infrastructure anywhere vSphere runs – whether on-premises, in a hybrid cloud, or on hyper-scalers.

With Project Pacifc, developers can easily manage their application services and deployment using the Kubernetes tools they are already familiar with, the company said.

Kubernetes is also key to VMware’s multi-cloud strategy. According to 451 Research, the vast majority of enterprises are going toward an integrated hybrid IT environment, with 57% of organisations moving toward an integrated on-premises/off-premises hybrid IT environment.

A recent study from IDC found that 62% of public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) users are using multiple IaaS providers. VMware said many enterprises are pursuing a strategy that brings together native public cloud services and a consistent hybrid cloud environment into a single cloud strategy. 

To support multi-cloud environments, VMware unveiled a project called Tanzu, a portfolio of products and services designed to transform the way enterprises build, run and manage software on Kubernetes.

VMware also unveiled a beta programme for Tanzu Mission Control, and outlined the details of a new VMware Cloud Native Master Services Competence.

Along with new products for hybrid cloud, VMware has also updated its user computing portfolio. A recent study from Vanson Bourne found that 41% of users did not think that IT was delivering all the applications they needed to get their jobs done.

At VMworld, VMware unveiled enhancements to its Workspace One Intelligent Hub, aimed at improving the employee experience. The product now provides a secure portal for new joiners, enabling them to select the applications and devices they require to do their job. VMware also unveiled a zero-trust security architecture.

A three act strategy

Jean-Pierre Brulard, senior vice-president and general manager for VMware in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said the company is moving to the third act in its development.

“Act one was vSphere, which was a €5bn business,” he said. This business has remained flat, he added, but VMware grew the business by €5bn in its “second act”, by offering user computing NFX and software-defined datacentre products.

The third act is associated with the acquisition of Carbon Black, which provides enterprise security, and the planned acquisition of Pivotal. Brulard said that while VMware would continue to offer on-premise licensing, the products it acquires will be delivered to customers as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product.

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