VMworld 2014: 6 more announcements that had the conference buzzing

VMworld 2014VMworld was jam packed this year, with more than 22,000 attendees from 85 countries traveling to San Francisco — the largest crowd to date. Every session my colleagues and I attended was standing room only, with customers and partners alike packing the rooms to capacity. It’s truly a testament to the esteem VMware has garnered in the IT industry.

Last week we shared with you some of the biggest announcements and new products VMware introduced. Now we’ll review some of the other highlights and news from the event, offer a glimpse of the future of IT we saw at VMworld, and explain how you can make the most of the announcements and future insights.

1. The VMware vCloud Air Network debuts.
The VMware vCloud Air Network builds upon the company’s VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP) to offer more flexibility for organizations turning to hybrid cloud solutions. The result is the world’s largest network of validated cloud services based on VMware technologies.

What this means for you: Organizations can take advantage of incremental services from other providers using the vCloud Air Network while maintaining their existing internal VMware infrastructure. This also creates greater flexibility for organizations that must keep data in state or country due to compliance rules.

2. A new F5 and VMware collaboration brings software-defined application services to software-defined data centers (SDDCs).
F5 and VMware continue their collaboration by enabling the BIG-IQ management platform and the VMware NSX network virtualization platform to work together. The combination is application delivery service management plus network service automation. This is just one of broad range of new NSX partnerships that confirm NSX as a leading contender in the early software-defined networking (SDN) market.

What this means for you: Provisioning services for new applications or changing parameters for deployed applications can take days. This partnership, however, accelerates the provisioning process by offering the full suite of BIG-IP services through the NSX Manager as part of the normal virtual machine deployment process.

3. New vCloud Air Mobile and hybrid cloud services offer new options.
New hybrid cloud services and a new lineup of third-party mobile application services aim to better support organizations’ shifting requirements. On-demand access to the cloud is one example, offered through VMware vCloud Air Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand. While this solution is currently offered only to qualified beta customers, reach out to your SHI account executive for further information. VMware vCloud Air Object Storage is another new option, enabling scalable, cost effective, and durable storage for unstructured data while allowing organizations to pay only for what they use.

What this means for you: As VMware brings more and more services to the vCloud Air platform, the way organizations consume VMware technology is going to fundamentally change. Customers will have the flexibility of choosing the same services as either an on- or off-premises solution.

4. vCloud Air extends its reach around the globe.
VMware announced it will expand its hybrid cloud in the Asia-Pacific region through a joint venture with SoftBank Telecom Corp. and SoftBank Commerce & Service Corp., bringing vCloud Air to Japan. VMware also announced a partnership with China Telecom to build a world-class hybrid cloud service in Beijing.

What this means for you: Organizations with a global footprint should take note, especially those desiring a uniform cloud platform with consistent terms of service and consolidated invoicing and reporting.

5. Containers grow simpler as VMware teams with Docker, Google, and Pivotal.
Of all the announcements, this one seemed to garner the most buzz among the many customers and partners I spoke to. The collaboration will enable enterprises to run and manage container-based applications on a common platform at scale in private, public, and hybrid clouds, while relieving organizations from having to always build new and separate infrastructure silos for their container initiatives. VMware is early to the market with management infrastructure for containerized workloads whether they run in a VM or, more common, on a bare metal Linux server.

What this means for you: The potential is for organizations to develop an application once and have it available to all users, regardless of device, location, or operating system. The common platform offers developers speed and agility while maintaining IT’s control. Running containers within virtual machines on- or off-premises carries a number of benefits, including high performance, security isolation, dynamic virtual networking, software-defined storage, and the many third-party products built for virtual machines.

6. VMware and SAP collaboration enhances mobile application use.
This expanded relationship between VMware and SAP will help simplify mobile app delivery for end users by integrating Mobile Place — SAP’s mobile application management (MAM) solution — with AirWatch.

What this means for you: Organizations continue to shift mobile use from simple email configuration to application and content delivery. This collaboration between VMware and SAP will help more companies distribute, manage, and analyze mobile applications used for work, whether in corporate-owned, line-of-business, or bring your own device (BYOD) scenarios.

VMworld in retrospect

Everyone was buzzing from the announcements at the event. VMware is making good on the promise of delivering more and more of its platform as a service, and it’s focused on trying to offer a true IT platform that extends seamlessly from inside the enterprise to the cloud and beyond. Focused on the SDDC, hybrid cloud, and end-user computing, VMware left conference attendees confident that it’ll deliver on the promise of the software-defined enterprise.

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