Take Five With Tom Fenton

Tom's Take on VMware Explore 2022: What Was New and Interesting

The first annual VMware Explore (previously known as VMworld) conference was held in San Francisco at the Moscone Center from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, 2022. In this article I will discuss some of the key announcements made during the event this year. In a separate article, I detailed my experience at the event in general if you are interested in learning more about what it was like.

The main theme of the event was the "Multi-Cloud Universe." VMware has long realized that companies will run at least some percentage of their workload in the public cloud, and as such they are positioning themselves to be a major player in that field. Furthermore, they don't see the cloud as an either/or proposition and are making their products work both on-premises and on the cloud in a hybrid type of configuration.

vSphere has been VMware's bread-and-butter product for years. At the event, they announced vSphere 8 and vSphere+, which further extends its capabilities and the integration of workloads into public clouds.

[Click on image for larger view.] (source: VMware).

vSphere 8 now has integration with Data Processing Units (DPUs) and, in particular, SmartNICs, which are basically NICs that can perform functions such as firewalling, switching, routing and monitoring, thereby freeing up a server to process applications. This initiative is an outgrowth of the Monterey Project that they announced at a previous VMworld.

[Click on image for larger view.] (source: VMware).

In the keynote session (see "At Inaugural VMware Explore, VMware Pushes Orgs To Get 'Cloud Smart'"), VMware announced their multi-cloud management product line, Aria, which is an outgrowth of vRealize Cloud Management and includes: Aria Automation (vRealize Automation), Aria Operations (vRealize Operations), Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth (CloudHealth), Aria Universal Suite (vRealize Cloud Universal), and VMware Skyline. One of the more interesting features in Aria is its Unified GraphQL API, which will make it easier to use, modify and enhance by VMware's customers and third-party companies. You can read more about Aria in the Virtualization & Cloud Review article, "VMware Debuts New Single Offering for Multi-Cloud Management: Aria."

[Click on image for larger view.] (source: VMware).

Storage: vSAN & VMware Cloud Flex Storage
vSAN has been around for a decade. Over that time, a lot of new technology has become more prevalent in the datacenter; as such, VMware announced vSAN 8, which takes full advantage of erasure coding, advanced compression techniques, NVMe drives, more powerful processors with more CPU cores, and faster networks. It is also more aligned with supporting container workloads.

[Click on image for larger view.] (source: VMware).

Further on the storage front, VMware announced VMware Cloud Flex Storage based on the Datrium D­HCI storage product, which VMware acquired in July 2020. VMware states that it is an "enterprise-class storage-and-data-management-as-a-service" for the multi-cloud that will support a broad range of workloads.

[Click on image for larger view.] (source: VMware).

EUC: VMware Anywhere Workspace & More
On the end-user computing (EUC) space, VMware announced that VMware Anywhere Workspace will include the tools needed to deliver autonomous workspaces. These workspaces will be self-configuring, self-healing and self-securing. The Anywhere Workspace platform will key in on:

  • VDI and DaaS
  • Digital Employee Experience
  • Unified Endpoint Management
  • Security
[Click on image for larger view.] (source: VMware).

As EUC is my passion, I will be delving more into VMware's announcements around it and reporting on it in other articles.

VMware did announce Project NorthStar, Project Trinidad and Project Watch, which are targeted toward cloud networks and security. Trinidad uses machine learning on Kubernetes to detect abnormal behavior in east-west traffic between microservices (see "VMware's New Project Trinidad Addresses API Security and Analytics"). Watch is used for application-to-application monitoring and security. NorthStar provides networking and security plane as a service.

[Click on image for larger view.] (source: VMware).

Tom Goes to Barcelona
In a final note, I would like to thank those who attended my session at VMware Explore. The room was packed, and the comments were kind. Thank you!

[Click on image for larger view.] (source: VMware).

If you are based in Europe and were unable to attend my VMTN TechTalks entitled Monitoring Horizon VDI Clients and Home Networks [VMTN2000EUR] and Home Networks and Is Your Horizon Desktop Available? [VMTN2001EUR], as well as the Improve Remote Work Experience with Last-Mile Monitoring from ControlUp [EUC2540EURS] Expo session I co-presented with Joel Stocker, I will be delivering them again at VMworld Europe in Barcelona in early November.

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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