VMworld 2020 kicked off with Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, highlighting how everyone has proven that “empathy plus urgency is a powerful combination.” Indeed, the year has seen some of the most drastic changes we have ever experienced. 2020 has been extraordinary and challenging, the understatement of the year, as Pat puts it.
While the struggles are real, technology has helped solved and eased most of the problems faced globally. And VMware has been part of that support, enabling businesses to continue to operate and develop solutions wherever they are working from.
In his keynote session, he highlighted how VMware is now delivering a digital foundation for an unpredictable world. To enable a trusted digital foundation, the company is focusing on five key areas:
Virtual Cloud Networking
At the core of VMware's strategy are our apps, our business and our data. To power our business in the face of uncertainty, VMware delivers five critical building blocks—first, app modernisation with Tanzu. Second, VMware's multi-cloud portfolio with VMware Cloud. Together they form the core stack. Then there’s digital workspace, the key to driving employee engagement, and underlying it all, VMware's virtual cloud networking portfolio. And perhaps most importantly, intrinsic security architect into everything that VMware do.
For App Modernisation, Kubernetes is the right tool to build and run container apps. Much like Java two decades ago, Kubernetes brings everyone together. VMware is working with an open-source community to make it enterprise consumable. VMware Tanzu enables a developer to get apps faster into production, have developer ready infrastructure and automate API driven model. VMware has rearchitected vSphere to put Kubernetes in the core via Project Pacific.
VMware also announced a partnership with NVIDIA to deliver an end-to-end enterprise platform for AI and a new architecture for data centre, cloud and edge, that uses NVIDIA data processing units to support existing and next-generation applications.
Through this collaboration, the rich set of AI software available on the NVIDIA NGC hub will be integrated into VMware vSphere, VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Tanzu. This will help accelerate AI adoption, enabling enterprises to extend existing infrastructure for AI, manage all applications with a single set of operations and deploy AI-ready infrastructure where the data resides, across the data centre, cloud and edge.
In multi-cloud, VMware announced Project Monterey, which will extend VMware Cloud Foundation to support SmartNICs driven by expanded partnerships with Intel, NVIDIA and Pensando. The combination of VMware Cloud Foundation and NVIDIA BlueField-2 will offer next-generation infrastructure that is purpose-built for the demands of AI, machine learning, high-throughput and data-centric apps. It will also deliver expanded application acceleration beyond AI to all enterprise workloads and provide an extra layer of security through a new architecture that offloads critical data centre services from the CPU to SmartNICs and programmable DPUs.
For networking, Pat announced another partnership with Zscaler to help organisations simplify security in the new dynamic workplace. By closely aligning the next-generation networking and security capabilities from both companies, Zscaler will work with VMware to help large global enterprises simplify the adoption of a complete Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architecture and more effectively implement Zero Trust security.
Security and the digital workspace
Pat also announced the VMware Future Ready Workforce solutions to provide exceptional workforce experiences, end-to-end Zero Trust security controls and simplified management in the digital workspace. The Future Ready Workforce solutions combine SASE, Digital Workspace and Endpoint Security capabilities to help IT manage and optimise more secure access to any app, on any cloud, from any device while providing a simple, high performant, and safer user experience for the distributed workforce.
While in security, VMware Carbon Black Cloud Workload delivers advanced protection purpose-built for better securing modern workloads to reduce the attack surface and strengthen security posture. This innovative solution combines prioritised vulnerability reporting and foundational workload hardening with industry-leading prevention, detection and response capabilities to protect workloads running in virtualised, private and hybrid cloud environments.
The solution combines Carbon Black’s security expertise with VMware’s deep knowledge of data centres to building security into workloads. VMware customers can experience the new advanced solution with a six-month unlimited free trial of VMware Carbon Black Cloud Workload Essentials, available for all current vSphere 6.5 and VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 customers.
Tightly integrated with VMware vSphere, VMware Carbon Black Cloud Workload provides agentless security that alleviates installation and management overhead and consolidates the collection of telemetry for multiple workload security use cases. This unified solution enables security and infrastructure teams to automatically help secure new and existing workloads at every point in the security lifecycle, while simplifying operations and consolidating the IT and security stack.
5G is the future
Interestingly, VMware just announced the VMware Telco Cloud a couple of weeks ago. One of the highlights of the Telco Cloud is, it allows network slicing, which in turn enables telco providers to provide a private 5G network to enterprises.
Pat predicts that this will allow 5G to displace Wi-Fi globally. Simply because, as enterprises will be leveraging on VMware Telco Cloud, they will have the advantages of an open software-defined approach. With a private 5G network, there will be no need for Wi-Fi hardware as the network will be sufficient enough for them. And with VMware being the operating system for 5G, they will have a more seamless approach in executing their 5G use cases.