VMworld 2020 Day-1 Recap

VMworld is always an exciting period! Despite the exceptional pandemic situation, this year again, VMware is giving us a great show, full of content and for the first time, available at NO COST to all of you. For those of you, who cannot attend, please find a 1rst day recap.

VMware Announces Intent to Acquire SaltStack

Applications drive digital transformation, and application needs drive multi-cloud strategies. VMware’s cloud strategy has been defined by the notion that all roads lead to the app. VMware Cloud supports the broadest multi-cloud environment, spanning all clouds and application types to deliver consistent infrastructure and operations, and enable a consistent developer model. As any good strategy goes, VMware is continually listening to customers and looking for ways to improve our VMware Cloud portfolio. Today, VMware announced its intention to acquire SaltStack, a pioneer in building intelligent, event-driven automation software.

So, why is SaltStack important to VMware’s customers? Because time is money and speed is the new currency for digital transformation, VMware works hard to give customers a fast and simple path to cloud for their VMware-based workloads. They started by giving customers a home for these workloads in the cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS, which VMware builds, runs and sells alongside their strategic public cloud partner AWS. Over the past several years, this has expanded, and customers can now tun VMware-based workloads on every major hyperscaler and more than 200 Cloud Verified partners globally.

To get their customers to the cloud, VMware offers VMware HCX, which allows customers to literally mass migrate 1,000s of vSphere workloads in a short amount of time. Customers can automate infrastructure across clouds with VMware vRealize, and the next logical step was to enable more seamless onboarding and better cross-cloud orchestration with configuration management. This is what we are getting with SaltStack.

Once closed, SaltStack will allow VMware to deliver full-stack automation from infrastructure to applications with the ability to do software configuration inside VMs and containers. SaltStack has built a phenomenal open source community, which will continue to grow and foster consistent with VMware open source strategy. And while the strategy has been one of supporting best-in-class choice of supporting configuration management, VMware believes many customers will want something simple and integrated.

Successful companies in this new era will not be the biggest or the fastest, but the ones that are agile, can adapt their business models to the needs of the current times and, simply put, are fast. And cloud is a key ingredient to deliver on that business agility. VMware expects SaltStack will help our customers on their multi-cloud journey.

Read On Here

Keynote Recap 

Day 1 kicked off with an inspiring and informative general session led by VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger. Focusing on the digital foundation for an unpredictable world with your business, your apps, and your data at the core.  Delivering five critical building blocks – app modernization, multi-cloud, digital workspace, virtual cloud network, and intrinsic security – to help customers with their digital transformation. There were also several major announcements along with inspiring testimonials from across the globe.

Pat Gelsinger
  • ESXi being installed on SmartNics
  • Saying goodbye to Wi-Fi with Enterprise 5G
  • Open Radio Access Network, Software Defined 5G Network with VMware NSX

We also heard from VMware COO, Sanjay Poonen, starting with the 5 priorities being vertically delivered throughout healthcare, education, public sectors, retailers, and financial services industries. He also discussed VMware’s “any app, any cloud, any device” technology strategy with the help of Dormain Drewitz, Purnima Padmanabhan, and Lilit Div.

Several prominent thought leaders made an appearance, sharing their perspectives from their diverse industries. These luminaries included:

  • Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, Feeding America CEO, using VMware technology in their data centers to respond to their demands and delivering 1.5M lbs. of food to ensure no one goes home hungry.
  • John Donahoe, Nike CEO, using VMware products in their digital transformation to help deliver great consumer and employee experiences seamlessly.
  • Jensen Huang, NVIDIA CEO, announcing Project Monterey unleashing AI for every enterprise in accelerating data and security processing to line speed.
  • Lori Beer, JPMC, diving into their private cloud infrastructure where they are seeing their provisioning times decreased significantly with their key measure being speed of delivery.

The world has quickly changed this year, and it’s continuing to – but VMware is always ready to help you meet the need

View the Day One VMworld General Session OnDemand

There were also a thought-provoking conversation with Lori Beer, Global CIO, JP Morgan Chase, joins Sanjay Poonen for a fireside chat. Lori Beer shares her perspective on managing through a pandemic, transforming a business with technology, cyber security in the enterprise, and inclusive strategies for talent.  Also joining Sanjay, Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, on her perspective on transforming a business and the importance of creating an environment that everybody can bring their own self to. We also heard from Stephan Bancel, CEO of Moderna, on how his team was able to pivot the company and work together to fight COVID-19.

You can view some of Sanjay’s Fireside Chats OnDemand:

  • Fireside Chat: Sanjay and Lori Beer, Global CIO, JP Morgan Chase [V13460D]
  • Fireside Chat: Sanjay and Indra Nooyi [VI3156]
  • Fireside Chat: Sanjay and Stephane Bancel [VI3157D]

Networking and Security

A huge focus on security is front and center at VMworld, here is a summary of the announcements. 

Office workers, apps, data, and devices are increasingly distributed. And that creates new security, scale, and performance challenges. Of course, that’s in addition to the growing challenges we all already face in our data centers and in operating across multiple clouds. Today, VMware announced several compelling innovations that will dramatically improve organization’s security posture, starting with the VMware SASE Platform.

Hair pinning network traffic to enforce security policy has long been impractical. SASE makes it simple for you to bring essential network and security services near your end users, regardless of where they work. VMware SASE Platform takes advantage of VMware SD-WAN’s massive global footprint of more than 2,700 cloud service nodes across 130 points of presence (POPs).

The key components of the VMware SASE – Secure Access Service Edge solution include:

  • VMware SD-WAN, our industry leading platform for transforming wide area networking.  The SD-WAN Maestro’s Hat Trick: VMware Named a Leader in the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure
  • Cloud Access Service Broker (CASB), Secure Web Gateway (SWG) and remote browser isolation via new collaboration with Menlo Security. These offerings will be sold and supported by VMware.
  • VMware NSX Stateful Layer 7 Firewall SaaS offering.
  • Zero Trust Network Access, which leverages VMware SD-WAN and VMware Workspace ONE in an integrated offering to provide optimal performance and policy-based access centered on the user and device identity for each connection.
  • Edge Network Intelligence, which is the integration of the technology acquired from Nyansa. The solution uses machine learning-based predictive analytics to ensure SLAs are met, along with providing security and visibility to end-user and IoT devices.

While the SASE announcement is big news, there are several additional security announcements that I believe you’ll find of interest:

  • VMware Workspace Security VDI: VMware Workspace ONE Horizon and VMware Carbon Black Cloud are integrated into a single unified solution that leverages behavioral detection to protect against ransomware and file-less malware. On VMware vSphere, the solution is integrated into VMware Tools, removing the need to install and manage additional security agents.
  • VMware Workspace Security Remote: An integrated solution that provides endpoint management, endpoint security and remote IT for physical Mac and Windows 10 devices. The solution includes the next-generation antivirus, audit and remediation, and detection and response capabilities of Carbon Black Cloud. It also includes the analytics, automation, device health, orchestration, and zero-trust access of the Workspace ONE platform.
  • VMware Carbon Black Cloud Workload: Agentless security for virtual machines on vSphere—the realization of the vision that was articulated at VMworld 2019. This solution makes it much easier for infrastructure operations and security operations to collaborate.
    Security risk visibility is now built into VMware vCenter, providing the same visibility as seen in Carbon Black Cloud, thus streamlining collaboration and more proactive threat remediation. Security is now dynamically ingrained in the VM lifecycle as a part of VMware Tools, making security intrinsic to the infrastructure.
    VMware will offer a 6-month unlimited free trial of VMware Carbon Black Workload Essentials to all current customers with vSphere 6.5 and above, as well as VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0.
    VMware also plans to introduce a Carbon Black Cloud module for hardening and better securing Kubernetes workloads, giving security teams policy governance and control of their Kubernetes environments.
  • VMware NSX Advanced Threat Prevention brings the technology from their recent Lastline acquisition to the VMware NSX Service-defined Firewall. This solution is the only purpose-built, distributed, scale-out firewall designed to protect east-west traffic across multi-cloud environments. Lastline integration into the service-defined firewall uses unsupervised and supervised machine learning to identify threats and minimize false positives, with the ability to apply virtual patches at every workload and not just at the perimeter—an industry first.

VMware also announced several new capabilities across the network portfolio: 

  • VMware Container Networking with Antrea: A commercial offering consisting of signed images and binaries and full support for open source Project Antrea. VMware Container Networking with Antrea will be included in VMware NSX-T and vSphere 7 with Tanzu. While Antrea can get you started, when you look to scale container networking across clusters, NSX-T will get you there. 
  • NSX-T 3.1: New API-driven advanced routing and multicast capabilities, along with automated deployment of workflows through Terraform Provider.
  • VMware vRealize Network Insight 6.0 Network Assurance and Verification: Now leverages formal verification to gather network state build and model how the network functions. The model is then used to provide continuous verification of business policies across virtual, physical, and multi-cloud networks. This allows IT and network operations to discover potential brownouts before they occur.  Announcing vRealize Network Insight 6.0

More details about NSX-T 3.1 & Project Antrea in section below.

VMware vRealize Cloud Universal

On the cloud management front, VMware announced vRealize Cloud Universal, which combines SaaS and on-premises management software into a single subscription license. This makes it easy to switch between vRealize Cloud solutions without acquiring different licensing.
VMware also introduced new federation capabilities for a consistent management experience across deployments, as well as Skyline integration, which provides a single integrated workflow to proactively identify and resolve potential and existing issues.

Read On Here

VMware vRealize AI

Starting in 2018, VMware previewed Project Magna. And now in 2020, they are once again delivering on technology showcased at previous VMworld conferences. Project Magna is now generally available as VMware vRealize AI, which uses reinforcement learning to self-tune application performance.

Early adopters have seen performance improvements as high as 50% for read-and-write I/O with the read-and-write cache optimizations that vRealize AI made to their vSAN environments. Best of all, this is just the beginning.
You will see more capabilities moving forward, bringing your organization a highly intelligent, self-optimizing infrastructure.

Read On Here

Announcing VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery: On-demand DRaaS to Protect your vSphere Workloads

Announcing VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery – a new VMware on-demand disaster recovery (DR) offering that will be delivered as a simple easy-to-use SaaS solution with the benefits of cloud economics. Based on technology from VMware’s recent acquisition of Datrium, it will enable IT and business continuity teams to resume critical business operations after a disaster event.

Disaster Recovery is Critical for Every Business, and DRaaS Adoption is on the Rise.

In a recent analyst survey, 76 % of respondents reported an incident during the past two years that required an IT DR plan, while more than 50 % reported at least 2 incidents (1). At the same time, cyberattacks are on the rise, increasing business risk. In 2019, 52 percent of global enterprise network security decision-makers had experienced at least one sensitive data breach in the past 12 months (2). And just this month, security researchers reported a 7-fold year-on-year increase in ransomware reports (3). Therefore, it’s no wonder that CxOs and board members increasingly care about DR.

Although organizations realize the importance of implementing a robust DR solution for business continuity, compliance with industry regulations, protection against disasters, ransomware and security breaches, traditional DR solutions can be complex, expensive, and unreliable, leaving many teams less than confident that their DR plan will work when needed. Hence, many are turning to disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) because of its simplified operations and low total cost of ownership (TCO). In other words, many are seeing DR as an ultimate rentable IT service, and hence why DRaaS adoption is on the rise.

Read On Here

To get an even closer look at the solution, take the VMworld Hands-on Lab. Or check out the product page.

Project Monterey Tech Preview

VMware has been pursuing SmartNIC virtualization and integration opportunities over the past couple of years.

Nvidia’s Blog     VMware’s Press Release

In March 2019, VMware demonstrated ESXi running on a SmartNIC. And last year at VMworld, it was demonstrated four hypervisors running simultaneously on the same server with no nesting. VMware’s vision for opportunities related to SmartNICs and composable infrastructure is further solidified at VMworld 2020 with the announcement of Project Monterey.

Applications, data, infrastructure, and security services are seeing increasingly demanding performance requirements. Simultaneously, IT organizations are looking to find greater opportunities for automation and efficiency. Project Monterey takes advantage of emergent hardware innovations to offer new approaches to hybrid cloud architecture and operations.

VMware is sharing this information now to open doors for further opportunities to shape this innovation with customers and technology partners. Leading SmartNIC vendors are already working with them on Project Monterey, which is currently centered around three key use cases:

1. Network performance and security: Consider running security services such as a L4-7 firewall on SmartNIC, decoupling it from the host platform and achieving line rate performance. Organisations can further isolate tenants, running independent workloads on SmartNICs or even run multiple network functions in isolation on the SmartNIC via isolation provided by the hypervisor (e.g., ESXi on Arm).
2. Storage performance and dynamic composition: As with networking, you have new opportunities for combinations of scale-up and scale-out architectures by taking advantage of processors on SmartNICs to accelerate a variety of storage functions, such as compression and encryption. Project Monterey will also provide further capabilities to scale storage capacity on-demand to meet performance or capacity requirements.
3. Bare metal workloads and composability: This is where Project Monterey really gets interesting. Imagine running the ESXi control plane on a SmartNIC, freeing all the x86 host cores to run other workloads, inclusive of bare metal. That allows you to run workloads on bare metal, while still being able to integrate them with core SDDC services, such as VMware vSAN and NSX. From a flexibility perspective, these options take VMware Cloud Foundation to a new level in terms of the ability to dynamically support a variety of hardware interfaces, composing infrastructure on-demand.

For an in-depth look at Project Monterey, take a look at Kit Colbert’s blog post.

VMware Delivers the Next Wave of Virtual Cloud Network Innovation to Connect and Protect Today’s Distributed, Multi-Cloud Enterprise

NSX-T 3.1, SmartNics & Project Antrea 

Delivering the Next Wave of Virtual Cloud Network Innovation

VMware will deliver new Virtual Cloud Network innovations across three areas – automation that enables the public cloud experience; modern application connectivity and security services; and solutions that re-imagine what’s possible in network security.

Network Automation that Delivers a Public Cloud Experience: VMware will add more cloud automation and scale, uptime and resiliency, ML-based predictive analytics, and intelligence to the virtual cloud network. VMware NSX-T 3.1 will support even larger-scale global deployments and disaster recovery use cases and automated deployment workflows. VMware will double the scale of NSX Federation, add new API-driven advanced routing and multicast capabilities, and offer Terraform Provider support. VMware vRealize Network Insight 6.0 will bring new assurance and verification capabilities as well as expanded VMware SD-WAN visibility. These updates will enable better planning for virtual and physical networks, improved network uptime and resiliency, faster troubleshooting, and proactive identification of potential network problems based on intent, and more effectiveness in achieving service level agreements. VMware Edge Network Intelligence is a new AIOps solution based on technology acquired from Nyansa. It will provide automated and actionable intelligence that helps assure users and IoT devices on campus, in branches, or in the home get the network performance they need to support applications.

Connecting and Protecting Modern Apps: Organizations looking to improve productivity, agility, and customer experience are embracing a container-based, micro-services architecture and standardizing on Kubernetes for container management. The connectivity and security needed to address microservices requirements while at the same time connecting Kubernetes clusters to the infrastructure introduces the need for a rich multilayer networking stack. VMware is extending the Virtual Cloud Network to connect and protect these environments through VMware Tanzu Service Mesh powered by NSX and support for Project Antrea, an open source that enables Kubernetes networking and security wherever Kubernetes runs including on-premise vSphere, public clouds as well as edge. Tanzu Service Mesh includes new capabilities focused on improving application continuity, resiliency, and security. The new VMware Container Networking with Antrea is a commercial offering consisting of signed images and binaries and full support for Project Antrea. VMware Container Networking with Antrea will be included in VMware NSX-T and vSphere 7 with Tanzu. Applications running on Kubernetes clusters using Antrea as the Container Networking Interface (CNI) can be discovered, connected, and better protected by Tanzu Service Mesh.

Re-imagining Network Security: VMware will deliver unmatched levels of firewall performance and programmable intelligence to the Virtual Cloud Network by enabling VMware NSX to run on leading SmartNICs. This includes advanced security for bare metal and highly sensitive workloads such as databases which are hard to protect today. Additionally, it enables “air gapping” of infrastructure, separating applications and hypervisors from the security controls on the SmartNIC. VMware is also announcing VMware NSX Advanced Threat Prevention, which combines NSX Distributed IDS/IPS with advanced malware detection (sandboxing) and AI-powered network traffic analysis (NTA) acquired from Lastline, Inc. These NTA capabilities use unsupervised and supervised ML machine learning models to more accurately identify threats and minimize false positives compared to other network traffic analysis tools. The solution delivers an industry-first ability to apply virtual patches at every workload, something traditionally only implemented at the perimeter, enabling more effective response to sophisticated threats before they disrupt business.

Read On Here

Additional VMware & Nvidia Partnership Announcements 

VMware and NVIDIA announced that, together, they will deliver an end-to-end enterprise platform for AI as well as a new architecture for data center, cloud and edge that uses NVIDIA DPUs to support existing and next-generation applications.

We’re going to bring the power of AI to every enterprise. We’re going to bring the NVIDIA AI computing platform and our AI application frameworks onto VMware,” Huang said.

Through this collaboration, the rich set of AI software available on the NVIDIA NGC hub will be integrated into VMware vSphere, VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Tanzu.

For every virtual infrastructure admin, we have millions of people that know how to run the vSphere stack,” Pat Gelsinger said. “They’re running it every day, all day long, it’s now the same tools, the same processes, the same networks, the same security, is now fully being made available on the GPU infrastructure.

Ref: Understanding DPU, (CPU & GPU)


As with their technology strategy, VMware remains focused on aligning their innovations toward a multi-cloud future that offers consistent infrastructure and operations, along with a native developer experience.

IT operations should not have barriers to managing and operating data center, multi-cloud, and edge environments. Customers should have a consistent and well-integrated set of tools and processes. Developers should also have the flexibility to use their tools and APIs of choice.  Today, VMware admins can simply provision a Kubernetes namespace to developers, and ops can manage all the underlying infrastructure considerations using their tools of choice. The same holds true for managing applications and services in public clouds.

VMware solutions help IT operations manage and monitor environments, enforce policy and automate remediations without impacting developers’ ability to use the tools and APIs offered by the cloud provider. With that as the strategic backdrop, let’s dig into the multi-cloud announcements.

Azure VMware Solution

Following the announcement that Azure VMware Solution is generally available, there is now a production VMware footprint in every major public cloud: 

  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • IBM Cloud
  • Oracle Cloud

With the Azure VMware Solution, organizations benefit from the cost savings of Azure Hybrid Benefit, integration with Microsoft Office 365 and other native Azure services, as well as Azure console integration.

There are also several new capabilities for VMware Cloud on AWS, including: 

  • VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery: On-demand Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) that gives you cloud economies and is backed by Amazon S3 storage. The Live Pilot Light option provides instant power-on for VMs running on VMware Cloud on AWS. The service includes several compelling features, including no VM format conversions, continuous DR health checks, built-in audit reports and optimized failbacks.
  • VMware Tanzu support: Makes it simple to extend on-premises Tanzu deployments to VMC and across clouds.
  • VMware Transit Connect: Provides any-to-any connectivity between on-premises, VMC on AWS SDDCs and AWS VPCs using AWS Transit Gateway and AWS Direct Connect Gateway.
  • New regional compliance listings (G-Cloud, HIPAA BAA, EBA) and white papers (UK NCSC 14 Principles, FISC).
  • Enhanced automation and operations: Expanded vRealize Operations, Cloud Automation, Orchestrator, Log Insight and Network Insight support.
  • Enhanced HCX capabilities: Replication Assisted vMotion, local routing for migrated VMs and migration grouping.

VMware Cloud on Dell EMC

Interest continues to grow in VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, which allows you to realize the benefit of cloud IaaS with the flexibility to run the service in your on-premises data center. VMware Cloud on Dell EMC now includes support for VMware HCX-based workload migration, making it simple to migrate VMs to the new environment.

In addition, several compliance and regulatory certifications have been achieved, including:

  • EU GDPR compliance
  • ISO 27001
  • ISO 27018
  • CCPA compliance

There are also many more performance, scalability and sizing options, which you can read about here.

That was VMworld 2020 Day 1 Recap !

All credits for this recap goes to the VMware TAM organisation!

Not a TAM customer yet ? Reach your local VMware Rep asap!

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