vCORE Technology Partners | Sept. 5, 2019
Thousands of IT professionals who packed San Francisco last week for VMware’s annual technology conference were treated to a dizzying array of groundbreaking announcements, technical sessions and inspiring keynotes.
“There’s never been a more important time to be a technologist,” VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said during his keynote address. “Like it or not, we have a bigger role to play in the future of the planet and humanity than ever before.”
The global IT software giant continues to make cloud computing and multi-cloud management a focal point of its strategy, and “technologists who own multi-cloud will own the next decade,” Gelsinger said.
Several technical experts from vCORE attended the megaconference — held Aug. 25-29 in San Francisco — and shared their notes on several announcements and advancements that could have a significant impact on enterprise IT.
Highlights included the unveiling of a new product portfolio designed to control Kubernetes clusters, major updates to the vRealize Automation solution, and further advances in software-defined networking.
VMware Tanzu Announcement
One of the biggest announcements from VMworld 2019 was the revealing of VMware Tanzu, a suite of products and services designed to improve how enterprises build on Kubernetes, on vSphere.
The new Tanzu portfolio includes Project Pacific, which is an effort to embed Kubernetes directly into vSphere, a move that would allow vSphere administrators to manage both containers and virtual machines on a single platform.
A second component, called Tanzu Mission Control, is an API-driven platform that allows operators to apply policy to individual Kubernetes clusters or groups of clusters, establishing guardrails and freeing developers to work within those boundaries.
A SaaS based control plane will securely integrate with a Kubernetes cluster through an agent and supports a wide array of operations on the cluster, according to VMware. That includes lifecycle management (deploy, upgrade, scale, delete) of cloud-based clusters via Cluster API. Read more>>
“Tanzu is Swahili for branch, a new branch of innovation,” Gelsinger said. “Or it’s Japanese for a container that’s designed for portability … with Tanzu we’re going to be building, running and managing applications.”
Major changes for vRealize Automation
VMware also unveiled vRealize Automation 8.0, which features a completely rewritten codebase to make all components accessible in a YAML-based format.
The updated platform is essentially an on-premise version of vRealize Automation Cloud, using the same codebase and offering the same user experience.
Some key features of the new version include:
- No more Windows IaaS/SQL servers — vRA will be able to be deployed with a single appliance for faster/easier environment deployment.
- Better out-of-the-box third-party integrations
- With an advanced license, vRA has added native integration with more third-party vendors like ServiceNow and Ansible while improving built-in functionality with Infoblox, Puppet, and others.
- Code Stream is now included with an enterprise license.
- Code Stream is a much improved product in terms of third-party integrations. Now with YAML support in VRA, code stream can easily build vRA pipelines that can be called with commits to GIT via Webhooks.
- On the negative side, there is no migration path from existing vRA 7.x customer environments to vRA 8.0 or vRealize Cloud.
- The YAML code structure change allows GIT integration out of the box for easy code promotion and integration with CI/CD pipelines.
- The YAML change also allows for dynamic properties in the blueprint with things like cloud-agnostic blueprints that will allow end-users to deploy to AWS, Azure, GCP or on-prem with one single blueprint to help consolidate blueprint sprawl.
More information is available from VMware here: https://blogs.vmware.com/management/2019/08/vrealize-automation-8-whats-new-overview.html
Acquisitions boost VMware’s SDN offerings
In the networking space, VMware continues to quietly emerge as a leader in the industry. The company’s investment in solutions like NSX-T and acquisitions of Avi Networks and Carbon black set them up to offer end-to-end network solutions in a new software-defined networking world.
Avi Networks brings application advanced load balancing capabilities into the NSX portfolio. “I just think of this as the perfect compliment to NSX — this distributed software-defined architecture to deliver load balancing for web applications and firewalling for multi-cloud,” Gelsinger said.
With the addition of Carbon Black to the VMware family, meanwhile, the company is focusing on five control points of intrinsic security, including the network, endpoints (devices and workloads), user identity, cloud, and analytics, according to VMware COO Sanjay Poonen.
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