VMworld Wrap Up and Interviews

VMworld is now wrapped up for another year and as usual, it was a great week in Barcelona, jam-packed with technical sessions, thought-provoking general sessions and for me the opportunity to meet with some execs that are shaping our industry. 

You can find my VMworld blogs at the link below, 

http://www.definetomorrow.co.uk/blog?tag=VMworld+2016

The messaging around the conference focused on the VMware messaging

Any Device, Any Application, Any Cloud

Lets consider what each of these elements actually mean when translated to the VMware Portfolio.

Any Device

Inside the VMware Portfolio, we have too many product suites that focus on the device. These are; 

AirWatch from a mobility perspective, but increasingly also allowing management of Windows 10 Devices and Horizon from a physical and virtual desktop perspective. 

There were a number of demonstrations across the conference where we saw these products and others brought together in the Workspace ONE product suite. The aim to allow the users to be productive with quick and easy access to their applications and data, whilst allowing IT to ensure that data always remains secure. 

Any Application

No matter what application you wish to run, VMware are dedicated to having the infrastructure and delivery solution to meet your requirements. We have seen improvements to vSphere, allowing containers to run inside vSphere, delivering the Docker functionality that your developers require but also allowing the management tools that the business is already using to manage and maintain these workloads. We heard more about VMware's dedicated container platform, Photo Controller and Photon OS. The application element is further expanded with an enterprise application store within Workspace one and application delivery from App Volumes and project A squared allowing layered application functionality to be further delivered to physical desktops. 

Any Cloud

This is where all the big announcements came at VMworld, there was a lot of discussion surrounding the recently announced VMware Cloud on AWS partnership. We also heard more about VMware Cross Cloud Services and VMware Cloud Foundation. VMware wish to demonstrate that no matter what cloud solutions is right for your business they are the right company to help you manage, maintain and secure your workloads on these platforms. VMware NSX made up a very big of the conference with a big focus on security. 

Solutions Exchange and Partners

I always make sure I spend a good amount of time walking around the solutions exchange and meeting with the partners, trying to understand what the partner ecosystem is saying about the future of our industry. As I have mentioned in my blog posts above, this year the solutions exchange did feel a little smaller than previous years and there also appeared to be an ever increasing amount of brand new storage vendors appearing from nowhere. When the industry is telling us that hyperconverged is the way forward and seeing storage become ever more commoditised this did seem strange. With IT teams increasingly concentrating on the application stack I wonder how VMware are going to start incorporating this into future VMworld's if at all. 

I was lucky enough to also interview some of the execs from VMware's partners, you can see the videos below. 

Barry Coombs of ComputerWorld and Define Tomorrow talks to Paul Zeiter (President of Zerto) at VMworld 2016 in Barcelona. They discuss the show and Zerto's technology in conjunction with the changing IT landscape.
Barry Coombs of ComputerWorld and Define Tomorrow talks to Darren Gross of Tintri (Director of Channel EMEA) at VMworld 2016 in Barcelona. They discuss the show, the ever changing storage market and what makes Tintri different
Barry Coombs of ComputerWorld and Define Tomorrow talks to Gary Quinn of Falconstor (CEO) at VMworld 2016 in Barcelona. They discuss the show, the ever changing storage market and what makes Falconstor different
Barry Coombs of ComputerWorld and Define Tomorrow talks to Mark Jow of Commvault (VP of Technical Services EMEA) at VMworld 2016 in Barcelona. They discuss the show, challenges regarding the cloud and shadow IT

So where is IT going for your SMB / SME IT Manager?

This is the question for many, trying to understand where the IT industry is going, what must they be doing for their business and their career!. 

There is no doubt about it that the future of our industry is the cloud, but as we heard on the stage, this going to be very much a staged process of moving applications to SaaS solutions and some moving to IaaS providers like AWS and Azure amongst others. That means for most there is probably going to be the need for IT on Premises at some scale for many years to come. However the complexity that we are used to managing within our infrastructures needs to go, allowing the IT team to concentrate on business-centric tasks, most likely revolving around the applications and analytics. This is why we are starting to see an increase in hyper-converged infrastructure that promises ease of use and flexibility for businesses. The truth of the matter for me isn't moving to one type of infrastructure to another but moving to what is right for your business and ensuring that it is easy to manage and maintain. While this is all going on with your workloads you need to firmly be considering how you adopt cloud technology but most importantly, how do you transition to the cloud, protect your workloads in the cloud and secure your workloads in the cloud. Security and protection should be amongst the top priorities for IT managers at the moment. We are also seeing a lot more concentration than ever before being spent on the workspace and workspace transformation. This isn't being driven primarily by a desire to improve user experience as maybe it should but a need to secure data that is fundamentally leaving the relatively secure enclosure of our internal network and escaping or moving to the public cloud whether we like it or not.

Ultimately, you will be doing more of what you have been doing, whilst trying to maintain control over an environment that you increasingly have no control over,  delivering technology that is more critical to the business than ever before all whilst the senior management think IT is as easy as downloading an app from an application store and can all just move to the cloud. The world of IT is a wonderful place!!