VMworld US 2017 – Pre-Conference Analysis

It’s VMworld US 2017 this week, starting in just a few hours, and as usual we can likely expect some huge announcements coming out of Las Vegas.

VMware have had a great year; their Q2 2018 earnings were announced a few days back, and they appear to be in great shape, with both NSX and VSAN leading the charge with great revenue growth. Their share price has definitely benefitted from this, with it now back up over $100 per share for the first time in four years (source), and this is great news at a time where there is a general outlook of doom and gloom as the march of Public Cloud continues.

Things we can no doubt expect to hear about this week:

  • VMware Cloud on AWS – this is the monster which will no doubt dominate this week; announced around a year ago, and in private beta earlier this year, it has now been made GA in the US West (Oregon) region only, this is going to provide a long list of benefits to those who can afford it. I expect we will see some cementing around details on this over the next few days, and some talk around integration with existing AWS services, which provides most of the value of this service over using a vCAN partner. The page is now live on AWS’ website, available here.
  • VMware Horizon Air on Azure – not to let Amazon get all the cloudy goodness, this new service announced back in May will no doubt be touted and elaborated on this week, or at VMworld Europe in a couple of weeks. This is going to make building a flexible Horizon estate easier than ever, and promises some additional compatibility around Microsoft’s desktop software offerings. This should be just about ready to drop according to the VMware FAQ on the service.
  • AppDefense – Gregg Robertson (@thesaffageek), has released a post about this today, but things have been bubbling up on this for some time, from talk of Project Goldilocks from around a year ago, to more recent teasings. It will be interesting to see more information on this as it develops; application security management is a growing market, as NSX has shown, and from the looks of this at the moment, it will give valuable insights into what’s running, and how it interacts. Coupled with vRealize Network Insight, and NSX, this could be a powerful set of tools.
  • VSAN – VSAN is now reaching maturity, and has a tonne of production customers if numbers are to be believed, it was talked about a long while back that VSAN is an object store under the covers, and is now able to serve iSCSI storage. I expect we will see this continue, with object and file storage being served out of VSAN in coming versions. Hopefully we will see some announcements around this in the coming days.
  • vSphere Next – it has been a year or so since vSphere 6.5 came out now, and it has proven itself to be a great release, with improved management, stability, and has revitalised an aging product. The recent announcement about the coming death of the Flex client, and the Windows vCenter install will, I would imagine, foreshadow the announcement of the final vSphere version bearing these relics this week.
  • Other Stuff – it seems some bits were announced early including:
    • Cost Insight – a tool to manage costs and make recommendations about placing of workloads across AWS, Azure, and on-premises
    • Discovery – a tool helping you discover workloads across clouds and organise them logically
    • NSX Cloud – a SaaS based offering of NSX, descibed by The Register as ‘NSX-as-a-Service’ no doubt for public cloud usage
    • Wavefront – performance monitoring for cloud native apps

I am hoping to throw more blog posts out as the week goes on, and I get some more time to check things out. In the meantime, the General Session streams can be found here, the vBrownBag/VMTN Tech Talks are available here, and there will be up-to-the minute news in all the usual places.

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