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VMworld 2015 Opening Keynote: All in on Hybrid Cloud

The virtualization giant discussed the erasing of boundaries between the public and private cloud.

VMware Inc. kicked off its conference in the Moscone Center with a keynote that had one overarching theme: the cloud. For VMware, the cloud is what will enable its vision of running any application on any device through a combination of public and private clouds. And it's taking that idea further -- it even wants to erase the boundary between public and private clouds.

The 23,000-plus attendees -- which VMware said was a VMworld record -- heard about how the cloud is "Ready for Any," which is this year's theme. At the heart of this cloud future is the Unified Hybrid Cloud platform, which is undergirded by VMware infrastructure including updated versions of its software-defined network (SDN) and software-defined storage (SDS) products.

Those two products are VMware EVO SDDC, which was formerly branded EVO:RACK, and VMware Virtual SAN 6.1. EVO SDDC enables the software-defined datacenter (SDDC), combining compute, network and storage as a single suite. It's become an increasingly important direction for VMware over the years, and this year it's taken center stage.

Bill Fathers, VMware executive vice president and GM of Cloud Services, explained the SDDC's importance during the keynote. "Latency kills. Milliseconds matter" when it comes to the cloud, he said. "There's a huge bottleneck, and it's networking," he added.

EVO SDDC moves the entire networking infrastructure into the cloud to create a single pool of resources for private and public clouds. Because SDDC is software-based, it scales as needed.

Perhaps employing a bit of marketing hype, VMware claimed that an entire SDDC could be created in just two hours. And once created, it eliminates the line between on-premises and off-premises computing for both IT and end users.

That line is erased by something VMware called "hybrid networking services," which allows services to move back and forth interchangeably between private and public clouds. A demo of how this works drew the biggest audience applause of the keynote. In it, an LDAP service virtual machine (VM) was moved from one location and administrative domain to another via vMotion. VMware called it "cross-cloud vMotion," and said it was the first-ever public demonstration of moving a VM from a private to a public datacenter.

"The future of applications is hybrid applications. And you'll need a hybrid platform," Fathers said.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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