That was a theme of this year’s VMworld, as the company shared its vision of delivering any application, on any device, by leveraging any cloud. Many of the innovations debuted at VMworld can be categorized as stripping away the complexities and silos that arise through the use of different types of clouds.
Here are three major takeaways I learned from the 2016 VMworld.
1. Reducing silos with new cloud architectures. Most enterprises operate workloads on multiple cloud environments. That’s creating IT silos, which is unsustainable from a scalability, security, and economic perspective.
VMware’s new Cross-Cloud Architecture addresses these challenges by enabling organizations to manage and secure applications running across public clouds, including AWS, Azure, and IBM Cloud, with the same automation and transparency as an on-premises architecture. The new architecture is delivered through VMware Cloud Foundation, a unified SDDC (software-defined data center) platform for the hybrid cloud that combines vSphere and Virtual SAN (VSAN). Its NSX software-defined networking technology and SDDC make designing and deploying hyper-converged software environments easier.
VMware’s approach includes NSX software-defined networking that flattens network management across clouds and private data centers, which provides consistent, extensible cross-cloud network and security operations. Instead of shoehorning a legacy methodology into modern cloud operations, organizations running these new architectures can simplify their cloud environment by centralizing management, operations, networking, security, and data management from a diverse set of cloud offerings.
2. Secure app delivery and management. The move of client-server applications to the cloud and the proliferation of mobile apps are challenges for businesses everywhere. Enterprises are straddling the demand of keeping the environment simple but secure. VMware has answered by introducing a new unified endpoint management (UEM) approach for managing Windows 10, along with advancements to VMware Horizon and VMware Workspace ONE. These improvements advance the digital workspace companies are striving toward, and support a mobile workforce that demands anytime, anywhere access to all apps.
The transition of many businesses to Windows 10 and its mobile-focused platform introduces challenges — scaling Windows 10 desktops and applications, supporting legacy applications, and integrating an expanding ecosystem of mobile applications used by mobile devices — and underscores the need for a secure digital workspace. VMware’s UEM for Windows 10 aggregates all devices, applications, and services and securely manages them through unified access and identity.
Workspace ONE is further easing the transition to mobile. Traditionally, users have been limited to the apps written for a platform, whether it’s Microsoft Windows, Android, Mac OS, or iOS. VMware’s Workspace ONE tears down those walls, and transitions from a fragmented desktop-mobile experience to a world where running any app on any device is possible, complete with built-in identity and security protections.
3. The era of hyper-converged infrastructure is here. Hyper-converged infrastructures are in high demand, said Yanbing Li, VMware’s senior vice president and general manager for storage and availability; from June 2014 to June 2016, VMware’s Virtual SAN customer base grew by a factor of 10 — from 500 to 5,000 customers — and is now deployed by 40 percent of Fortune 1,000 companies and across all major industries.
More than 60 percent of businesses rely on a Virtual SAN to run business-critical applications, and 20 of the 25 largest finance companies — an industry known for requiring high performance, high availability, and low risk — have deployed hyper-converged infrastructures powered by Virtual SAN. This proves industries across the economy are buying into the added value of this infrastructure.
Executing a vision
Disrupting the status quo is never easy, but IT can improve the availability of applications to the workforce, as well as their own management IT responsibilities, by breaking down cloud silos. Many of the technologies seen at VMworld erase barriers between clouds while providing better integration, security, and flexibility, ultimately leading to a better user experience.
Legacy applications and infrastructure aren’t going to disappear, but rather IT must embrace transformative technologies that can simplify cloud management. Contact your SHI account executive or register for our upcoming Summits to learn more about the data center, security, and end-user technologies that will transform your cloud environment.