Take Five With Tom Fenton

What You Missed at VMworld 2018 Europe

Barcelona included some eye-catching tech.

VMworld 2018 Europe, held in Barcelona at the Fira Gran Via Conference Centre Nov. 4-9, drew in more than 11,000 VMware customers and partners. Although not as big as VMworld 2018 America held in Las Vegas in September, VMware did make some interesting announcements this year in Barcelona. Following are the five technologies and subjects that caught my eye the most in Barcelona.

Hepito. VMworld CEO Pat Gelsinger announced that VMware has acquired Hepito, an interesting company based in Seattle that was started by two Google engineers who developed Kubernetes. I had a chance to speak with them last year and was impressed with the vision that they had for the company. At that time, I was fairly certain they would stay independent for a while, so VMware must have had a very good sales pitch to bring them into the company. Hepito offers various services and products based on Kubernetes, including Sonobuoy, which runs conformance tests on a Kubernetes cluster. This acquisition plays nicely into VMware's overarching vision for containers.

Horizon. VMware's virtual desktop solution, Horizon, got some interesting announcements at VMworld 2018 Europe. For example, Horizon Linux virtual desktops that use Blast protocol now support session collaboration. Also, you can now monitor your on-premises cloud and your VMware Cloud (VMC) on an AWS Horizon Cloud deployment from a single monitoring session. Furthermore, VMware announced a tech preview of an automated Horizon 7 deployment on VMC on Amazon Web Services (AWS), via the Horizon Cloud Service integration. Last, Blast now supports the brokering of connections to physical PCs and workstations.

Code Capture. Not all takeaways from a conference are necessarily big news; sometimes they can be just a small utterance during a presentation and you realize it can solve a problem or make your processes more efficient. For example, during one of the sessions I attended, the presenter mentioned a VMware fling called Code Capture that allows you to capture PowerCLI code from your actions in the vCenter Server. I've been looking to automate some vSphere functions, and it looks like this fling may just save me some time doing this. In general, I probably pick up two or three of these little tips or tools at VMworld; they aren't huge, but little things like this are definitely a significant fringe benefit of attending a tech conference.

vSphere PKS Plug-in. On Nov. 9, VMware released a fling that provides a UI for managing and monitoring Kubernetes cluster deployments for the Pivotal Container Service (PKS) platform. It requires NSX-t and PKS and although this may limit its adoption from a wide user base, it does show the interest that VMware engineering has in Kubernetes.

Dell EMC VxRail. Not all the announcements this week came from VMware; in fact, Dell used this venue to announce some big changes to its product lineup. The biggest change was that its VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) appliances will now have access to the VMware Project Dimension beta. Project Dimension extends VMware Cloud and allows delivery of software-defined datacenter (SDDC) infrastructure and Hardware as a Service to on-premises locations. This means that VMware will take care of managing the infrastructure. Dell also announced that VxRail will have better integration with VMware Site Recovery and allow for push-button failover to VMC on AWS. Last, Dell announced that it will be going after the smaller market by offering a two-node VxRail cluster.

I delivered a session on vimtop at VMworld 2018 Europe. For those who missed the session, you can find it here. For those who did attend and would like to see my previous articles on vimtop, you can find them here; also, thank you for the comments at the session, and I much appreciated the feedback you all provided.

About the Author

Tom Fenton has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 30 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 20 years focusing on virtualization and storage. He currently works as a Technical Marketing Manager for ControlUp. He previously worked at VMware in Staff and Senior level positions. He has also worked as a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, where he headed the Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on X @vDoppler.


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