Late last month, I had the privilege of attending VMworld 2019 in San Francisco. It was my first time at VMworld and also my first trip to the wonderful city of San Francisco. Both were immensely rewarding experiences for very different reasons but all in all, it was definitely worth the quick hop across the Pacific. Here are my main takeaways from the week.
Containers are no longer all about Tupperware
I don’t think anyone really still thinks like this (linking containers to Tupperware), but if you aren’t familiar with the principle of containerisation and its default orchestration platform, Kubernetes – then you are in danger of becoming Blackberry or Kodak! VMware has made a stunning shift over the last few years to embrace Kubernetes and announced a suite of updates under the Tanzu banner that will build Kubernetes into the heart of the existing VMware control plane software effectively smashing together the world of development and operations. More information on this can be found here.
The clock is ticking on the current security technology industry
Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, was recently voted the number 1 CEO in America. Of all the things he discussed at VMworld, it was by far the need to “fix” the broken security technology industry that brought out the most passion in his voice. He has set a course for VMware to drastically reduce the complexity of point security solutions that have overwhelmed enterprise in the last few years by building intrinsic security into the software that manages the entire environment. Enter AppDefense and more recently, Carbon Black. By unleashing an AI-driven agentless operating capability into every key management function, VMware plans to build out a true defence against the cyberattacks enveloping all organisations. Find out more here.
The rise and rise of applications and software-defined everything
If there was one fundamental assumption that flowed through every session and tech breakout at VMworld, it was the idea that every enterprise planning to do anything significant now or in the future would be building its own applications. It was a given that organisations would need to develop software around core IP and use applications to leverage their own data for real competitive advantage. It was a case of “when you are building software” not “if”. Moving Pivotal Software inside VMware is a massive signal that the executives at Dell Technologies are going all-in on the bet that everyone will need to embrace DevOps to have a future in business. Read more here.
The battle to manage and control the hybrid cloud era has been fought and won
This is perhaps the most controversial statement in this blog, but I think it is perhaps also the easiest to justify. Given how embedded VMware is in the heart of every existing private cloud and its clear capability to partner with the hyper-scale cloud providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Alibaba etc.), it was only a matter of time before they packaged all of the software that did this into a single offering. The missing link was cloud-native development and management, which has now been resolved (see the section on Kubernetes). If there is another organisation that can provide end-to-end management from development through deployment to operations and enable this in every cloud (private and public) worth mentioning at an enterprise grade level – I would like to hear about it! Check this link for more.
Clam chowder, baseball and lots of walking
San Francisco is a fascinating city with history, culture and technology all wrapped up into an intriguing melting pot of experiences and characters. I was able to get out to a San Francisco Giants game (thanks Michelle and Dell Technologies), sample the best clam chowder I have ever eaten (thanks Nathan and AWS) and walk up and down some mind-blowing hills to wine and dine at some great bars and restaurants (thanks Heather, Shane and VMware). A great way to unwind while discussing the great big topics mentioned above and what they will mean for our future.
Summing it all up
So there you have it. My quick summation of the week that was VMworld 2019. If there was one thing I took away from the entire week – it was the fact that if you are in or around the technology industry (which is pretty much all of us these days), you need to keep well breast of and aligned with the things that VMware (and Dell Technologies) are doing and creating. They will be a key player in the next 10 years that shapes our industry and we are in for one exciting ride!