Takeaways from VMworld 2014

By Alex Barron, Solution Specialist, Data#3

I was lucky enough to go to VMworld in San Francisco as part of the VMware vChampions program. It was a great event with some really interesting technologies being discussed and as a tech geek one of the best ways to spend a week! With all the technologies talked about, there were a few underlying messages and themes that followed through the week. The primary theme was, it’s all about applications, with end users only interested, the application on their desktop works, or that when they pick up their phone that they get email and documents – they aren’t so concerned with the cloud or infrastructure support behind it all.

New IT or No IT!!  That’s how this was reflected as a key theme. End users just want things to work, with no appreciation of what’s required in the back office to make things happen. We live in a world of iTunes and Netflix, where a user can just go and get things on demand. But what does that mean to us in IT? The IT landscape is changing and we as IT professionals need to not just keep pace, but evolve and get ahead of the curve. If it’s not easy for the business, the business will simply bypass IT and do what they need to do.

This concept of Shadow IT and IT becoming a broker has been around for a while. Many of the concepts around ‘Software Defined Datacentres’ are all around IT providing the same solutions that a user can get from the internet, but in a controlled and secure manner.  The other key theme was “Brave IT”. All this technology can enable change but it needs the people to make the change happen. Many of the presentations from VMware and other vendors talked around this and how this new technology will make your life easier and/or help you respond to the business.

Is the solution moving to the cloud? Is the solution to outsource? Is the solution to keep everything in the datacentre?

A lot of discussions I have with customers are still based around this siloed approach to IT; the common head to heads are:

  • Traditional Apps vs. Cloud-native Apps
  • IT vs. Developers
  • On-Prem vs. Off-Prem
  • Safe, Secure, Compliant vs. Instant, Elastic and Self-service

At VMworld the answer is AND NOT VS

At Data#3 we embrace this philosophy, and our “Your cloud. Your way.” tagline is exactly how we see this. Hybrid IT is where we see the future and it’s great to see this thinking reflected at a major event such as VMworld. It’s about putting the workload in the right place with the right service level agreement to meet the business requirements at the right cost and having the fluidity and control to move this workload as the business requirements change.

How are VMware helping us to address this? You could walk through the solutions exchange and talk to any vendor about Software defined “insert word here”. Software Defined Datacentre isn’t just a concept, it’s here and the vendors are getting on board.

Three days before VMworld, VMware bought a company called Cloud Volumes. They announced this acquisition at VMworld which looks to be a solid investment in their application strategy and offers some key functionality that can be extended across clouds and hypervisors. As this moves more into the VMware portfolio over the next 6-12 months I’m expecting this to be a key feature for accelerating time to market with application deployment.

So, what was the best thing about the week?  In my opinion the solutions exchange was the best part. It was a chance to meet and greet all different types of people and technologies, demo solutions and ask the experts “how does this really work?”.

Tags: Cloud Computing, Hybrid Cloud, VMware, VMworld



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