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VMworld 2016: VMware progresses its hybrid strategy

Following its partnership with AWS, VMware is honing its hybrid strategy with a suite of tools to manage workloads accros private and public clouds

At the opening of VMworld 2016 in Barcelona, VMware unveiled its strategy for the future, with a focus on hybrid cloud computing.

In his keynote presentation, VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger, said: “Digital transformation is the buzzword – every business needs to be digital. Any distinction between traditional and digital is not real.”

However, he also said only 20% of companies are leaders in digital.

Gelsinger discussed the findings of recent Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) research, which found that every business department is becoming an IT department. “This is great news for IT,” he added.

But as IT reaches across business departments, Gelsinger said businesses will run eight clouds, 175 software as a service (SaaS) and eight security systems.

However, 90% of respondents who participated in the EIU study said the business would turn to IT to take on responsible for their infrastructure. “In the world, you control nothing – you are in charge and you are responsible,” said Gelsinger.

According to VMware, 2% of IT was public cloud  – mainly running Salesforce – while 98% was traditional IT in 2006.

By 2011, 7% of workloads were run on public cloud and 6% ran in private clouds, but the majority were still managed traditionally.

Today, 15% of workloads are on the public cloud, but the company believes 50% of workloads will be in the cloud by 2021 – 30% of which will be run on public clouds.

By 2030, 50% of workloads will be in the public cloud, 29% in private clouds, while 19% will be traditional IT, according to Gelsinger.

Hybrid management

The cloud, particularly private and public clouds, are considered key to drive digital businesses.

VMware is positioning its portfolio of products as a way to manage the multiple private and public clouds that business will run in the future.

“We are building and evolving the vision for the cross-cloud architecture to give customers more choice than ever before. We are focused on all applications,” said Gelsinger.

The company recently announced VMware Cloud on AWS, a hypervisor, VSAN, vSphere and NSX, which can be spun up on AWS, giving businesses the capability to run workloads on-premise or on off-premise clouds.

Gelsinger announced VMware Cross Cloud, which he said solved the challenge of using any cloud for any application.

One VMware customer facing this challenge is Ladbrokes, which has built automated provisioning on its VMware system and created an abstraction layer to enable it to run on-premise or in the cloud.

WorldPay, another VMware customer, is looking to use software-defined IT to enable it to jump start its strategy for software defined automation.

“Users want freedom to choose any cloud, and you are responsible for control. This is the world of a hybrid environment for decades to come – this is the software-defined datacentre,” said Gelsinger.

AWS and VMware

Speaking about the partnership between AWS and VMware, Mike Clayville, vice-president at AWS, said: “We have created a deeply integrated hybrid platform, which opens up 78 AWS services and 38 availability zones. Almost all customers need to extend and integrate AWS and VMware.”

According to Clayville, businesses can also avoid the capital expense of building another datacentre. “A lot of customers will benefit from having workloads that can burst into the cloud.”

Clayville said he expects to see the most success for VMware Cloud on AWS in the public sector, financial services and healthcare, which are able to manage where to run workloads, based on criteria such as cost and data privacy restrictions. He added that other sectors, such as oil and gas, will benefit from the elastic nature of the service.

Mark Lohmeyer, VMware vice-president, gave a demonstration of how VMware can be used with AWS to move workloads dynamically between the private and public cloud.

“We leverage AWS Direct Connect to use vMotion to migrate private cloud VMware workloads onto AWS,” he said.

Lohmeyer demonstrated a new product under development called Elastic Distributed Resource Scheduling, which he said enables users to rebalance their VMware infrastructure by bursting onto AWS.

“Once in AWS, the full AWS services, such as RedShift, are then available,” he said.

The company also discussed a product called VMware Cross Cloud Services, which provides a set of SaaS services to manage applications across Azure, AWS and private clouds such as IBM SoftLayer.

One of the components of this SaaS suite is VMware Cloud Foundation, an integrated, automated lifecycle management tool, which supports public and hybrid cloud environment.

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