January 09, 2018. Technical NextGen Data Centre Author: Ruairi McBride

Reflecting on VMworld EMEA 2017

Back in September I found myself on a Sunday morning flight from London to Barcelona to explore one of the largest technical conferences held this side of the pond, VMworld Europe. 

The conference kicked off on Monday with a partner day and a general session where Pat Gelsinger @PGelsinger CEO said two things that really stood out for me. 

Number one, he thanked the audience for their continued support of VMware products and requested that we “go all in” with the ever-increasing portfolio.

Number two, he said “Today is the slowest day of technical innovation of the rest of your life” and boy is he not wrong.



Now I have been working with VMware for well over a decade, playing with ESX and GSX and picked up my fist VCP certification on version 2.5. 

But focusing on the storage industry and products in that space my VMware focus had waned, and whilst I had heard mentions about new products and features that VMware had developed, until I got to this conference I didn’t realise how vast and how varied this portfolio had grown. 

To hear Pat and co band around the slogan if you will of “Any application on any device on any cloud” you get to see how much of a reality this is.



This message really drove home during day two’s keynote when Purnima Padmanabhan @PPadmanabhan VP Product Management, Cloud Management Business Unit and Chris Wolf @cswolf VP and CTO Global Field and Industry used the case of fictional pizza company, Elastic Sky Pizza, to show how this company that hadn’t adapted to the changes in the market place was now circling the drain. 

At the point that we enter the story a new CTO has literally just been appointed to the role and it’s their priority to turn the failing new website, app and ordering system around and make sure that it is delivered on time and on budget.

This section of the keynote carries on for nearly an hour, and while it does feel a tad long in places, it is really interesting to see how the many different businesses within VMware had developed products that interact with each other to deliver a common goal.



AppDefence is one product that stood out. This is a serious piece of kit that has the intelligence to understand the intrinsic way applications and the flow of data should work; and reports if anything deviates outside its allowed parameters. 

This is a huge leap in proactive application security allowing both the developers and security teams to work hand in hand to deploy robust applications. 

I feel that in time this will become part of a standard VMware environment, as I believe what AppDefence does in allowing you to understand what exactly is going on within your environment is the missing feedback loop you need to truly deliver an SDDC.



Other Highlights

We also got a look at VMware cloud on AWS using elastic DRS and also HCX. Now these solutions look cool and I can’t wait to try them out when I have some free time. 

Another great highlight was Pivotal Container Services (PKS) which lets you run an enterprise grade Kubernetes deployment on your site allowing for controlled project deployment for your DevOps teams. Not only was it easy to deploy it works hand in hand with NSX to build in security from day one.


With all of these technologies you get a sense of what VMware is trying to achieve with its portfolio and you can see the direction the company is heading in over the next twelve months.

I recommend that if you have a chance, take a look at this video to truly appreciate the interaction and productivity you can achieve with the VMware ecosystem.

But before you do, buckle your seat belt as things move pretty fast.


If you would like to know a bit more about this and some more of what happened in Barcelona then please have a listen to the Arrow Bandwidth episode Reflecting on VMworld 2017 of Arrow bandwidth with both myself and Vince Payne.


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