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VMworld 2014 Day 2 Keynote: Software-Defined Datacenter Realized

Today's presentation was devoted to spotlighting new and upcoming VMware tools.

VMware Inc. continued its call to action for IT to join its vision for the software-defined datacenter in its day-two keynote presentation at this year's VMworld, currently going on in San Francisco.

While yesterday's presentation, which included a segment hosted by VMware President Carl Eschenbach, was more of a mission statement for the company moving forward, today's keynote focused on how its existing and upcoming products and services will empower IT in the future.

The keynote kicked off with Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, discussing the company's three-pillar approach to its software-defined datacenter (another overlying theme for this year's show), which centers on desktop, mobile and content creation.

Helping to further bridge those connections Poonen announced a partnership with Google Inc. and GPU maker Nvidia Corp. to bring rich, streaming 3D graphics across all devices through the Nvidia Grid vGPU. "We are breaking down traditional barriers to adopting virtual desktops and offering new economics for the delivery of graphics-intensive applications through the power of the cloud," said Poonen.

This new service, coined as part of a new "Application as a Service" (AaaS) initiative, was later demonstrated through the context of the medical field. In a demo by Poonen and joined on stage by Kit Colbert, CTO of the End-User Computing group at VMware, the pair showed how a doctor can have a 3D-rendored  human skull model move seamlessly from a desktop computer  to a tablet device with a combination of the new Nvidia technology  and the VMware AirWatch mobility management suite. Further, the AirWatch Secure Content Locker will allow doctors from different hospitals to collaborate in real time, no matter if security compliances are different.

As for the Google portion of the partnership, Poonen announced that the 3D streaming technology will be offered in a new line of Chromebook laptops in the future. No other details on availability and pricing were given.

Continuing the AaaS push, Colbert showed off the tweaked and simplified CloudVolumes desktop UI  to instantly deliver more than 200 apps to a virtualized desktop in the matter of seconds. "[IT clicks] a couple of buttons and, boom, that app shows up on the client device," said Colbert.

Finally, Colbert discussed how Project Fargo, unveiled yesterday at the show and aimed at running containers inside virtual machines (VMs), will allow IT to clone VMs in seconds and will boost speeds 30 times faster than competing container services. This exemplified yet another new initiative for the company -- using containers to provide apps and universal experiences across multiple devices instantly. VMware is calling this approach "just in time" desktop.

Next to the stage was Raghu Raghuram, executive vice president of the Software-Defined Data Center division at VMware, who delved a bit more into the company's latest product announcements, and how they all fit into the company's vision for the software-defined datacenter. "It's the architecture that enables governance and control in the one hand while providing self-service in the other hand," Raghuram said.

And the backbone of this architecture is the company's recently announced EVO line. The EVO: RAIL, a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance, will allow deployment in 15 minutes or less, and can accommodate scaling up to 100 server VMs or 250 desktop VMs in a short amount of time, according to Raghuram. Further, due to the four independent nodes design, downtime is avoided when one node goes down.

Raghuram also quickly discussed what will be coming next for the company's EVO product family, EVO: RACK. Approaching the technical preview stage, this infrastructure project will combine vCloud Suite, Virtual San, NSX, Rack Management and Data Center Fabric Management in one solution. Designed for enterprise private clouds, it will allow apps to be deployed across the entire network in less than two hours. Many VMworld attendees will get to see the in-development tech at work, as 20 percent of the how-to labs will be powered by EVO: RACK.

Today's presentation came to a close when Simone Brunozzi, VP and chief technologist for the Hybrid Cloud division, came to the stage donning a pair of Google Glass. He explained how vCenter Operations Manager suite allows IT admins to monitor server statuses wherever they are through mobile and wearable tech, giving enterprises the ability to "proactively react" when issues arise. Turning to the more traditional desktop, he then showed a quick demo on the ease in which vCenter Operations Manager allows for copying and extending workloads from on-premises to the cloud, and showed off the new vSphere Web Client UI to extend apps from the datacenter to the cloud and to apply enterprise-wide policies with a few clicks. "It's so easy that, essentially, hardware disappears," commented Brunozzi.

The final VMworld 2014 keynote is scheduled for Thursday morning and will delve into the future of the digital world through emerging tech in online video games and visual art.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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