One day after Broadcom moved a step closer to finalizing its acquisition of VMware, VMware opened its annual conference today by announcing new software and cloud services that make it faster and easier for enterprises to go multicloud and build new cloud-native applications.
The UK approved the acquisition on Monday, prompting Broadcom to announce that it expects the deal to close by Oct. 30. With the pending purchase casting a shadow over the VMware Explore conference in Las Vegas, company executives today introduced a spate of new products across its portfolio.
That includes new additions to its VMware Cloud Foundation software, an all-in-one software platform that combines compute, storage, networking, and cloud management services and enables enterprises to run, manage, and secure their virtualized and containerized workloads on-premises and across multiple public clouds. New products in VMware Cloud Foundation include:
- The availability of NSX+, previously code-named Project Northstar, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that provides enterprises with a central console to manage network and security policies. It also analyzes traffic across multicloud environments and provides threat detection and response and advanced load balancing.
- vSAN Max, an offering that disaggregates storage and enables organizations to scale their storage to the petabyte level independent of vSphere compute clusters, which lower total cost of ownership.
- An ESXi lifecycle management service in VMware vSphere+ that will allow IT administrators to centrally manage and speed up upgrades of their VMware environments across a distributed, multicloud environment.
VMware also bolstered its Tanzu Kubernetes software for building, running, and managing containerized, cloud-native apps. New features include the new Tanzu Application Engine, which allows application teams to set business requirements for availability, security, and performance in their applications.
The company also announced new edge products, including a new retail edge industry solution; VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator, a unified management tool for deploying and managing edge environments; and VMware Private Mobile Network, a new managed service that will allow enterprises to build private 5G/4G networks.
In addition, VMware beefed up its virtual desktop and unified endpoint management software, including new capabilities to proactively troubleshoot problems and improve the digital experience for hybrid workers.
Analysts say VMware's product announcements today further strengthen its efforts to provide enterprises with the software tools and services they need to build cloud-native apps and operate in a hybrid, multicloud environment.
"What we see with these announcements is VMware continuing to build upon this vision of the fully interconnected enterprise, which includes clouds, the edge, core data center, and remote workers," said Matt Kimball, senior data center analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.
VMware competes against the likes of Red Hat, Nutanix, and the major cloud providers in the multicloud management space as well as the growing Kubernetes market.
Adopting a hybrid, multicloud approach is a strategic imperative for enterprises, and they need a management platform that provides seamless integration between internal data centers, edge, and the cloud, Kimball said. Furthermore, cloud-native adoption has matured to the point where enterprises are not only using Kubernetes to develop new cloud-native apps, but many are now going back to rearchitect their legacy line of business applications for the cloud, he said.
“VMware has positioned itself as the data center control plane for many organizations — meaning enterprise IT organizations use VMware tools like VMware Cloud, Tanzu, and NSX+ to manage their IT operations,” Kimball said.
VMware Cloud Announcements
Prashanth Shenoy, vice president of marketing for VMware's cloud infrastructure business, said the company has whittled down dozens of product bundles and solutions into five integrated VMware Cloud solutions to make it simpler for customers to deploy VMware software.
VMware Cloud, which combines VMware Cloud Foundation software and VMware Cloud services, is now available through five editions: Essentials, Standard, Pro, Advanced, and Enterprise. Each ensuing, higher-end edition provides additional features and services that enterprises will need as they go further in their cloud infrastructure modernization effort, Shenoy said in a media briefing.
"VMware Cloud Essentials is for customers who want a workload platform with workload automation. They don't need a lot of advanced networking or security services," he said. "Whereas for a lot of our enterprise customers who want a full-stack, software-defined data center with software-defined compute, storage, networking, and with the automation and management that comes with Aria, then VMware Cloud Enterprise Edition is the right software edition for them."
VMware today also announced that VMware Cloud on Equinix, initially announced last November, is expected to launch in the first half of 2024. The new offering will enable enterprises to use VMware's software environment as a cloud service on Equinix's bare-metal cloud.
VMware previously partnered with the other major cloud providers, including in 2017 when it launched VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The company today announced new capabilities and purchasing options with its major cloud provider partners, including new managed services based on VMware Cloud editions that will be available on IBM Cloud sometime this year, the company said.
Moor Insights & Strategy's Kimball said NSX+, vSAN Max, and the cloud-based ESXi lifecycle management service in vSphere+ are all important for enterprises.
NSX+ is a SaaS-based multicloud networking service for enterprises that run applications and data across multiple clouds. "This is a big deal because it provides all of the plumbing and security to connect people to data and apps with point-and-click simplicity," Kimball said.
VMware vSAN Max, which is expected to be available during the second half of 2024, will allow organizations to scale up to 8.6PB of storage capacity and 3.6 million IOPS per cluster. Use cases include artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads and Kubernetes clusters, VMware executives said.
The cloud-based ESXi lifecycle management service in vSphere+, which is now in early availability, should make it easier for organizations to manage and update their large VMware environments across multiple locations, Kimball said.
"Typically, when managing and upgrading these environments, IT organizations would have to manually perform operations on a location-by-location basis," he said. "With ESXi lifecycle management, this gets reduced to a few clicks of the mouse. So these updates go from days, weeks, and even months to just a few hours."
VMware also announced NSX+ virtual private clouds, which will allow organizations to fully isolate networking and security of multiple tenants on a shared VMware Cloud infrastructure.
In addition, VMware made improvements to VMware Ransomware Recovery, a managed VMware Cloud service for recovering from ransomware attacks. New features include concurrent multi-VM recovery operations that speed recovery time (available today) and the ability to run production workloads in the cloud while the on-premises data center is undergoing a forensics audit and is secured (available in the third quarter of 2024), the company said.
VMware Tanzu Includes Intelligence Features
VMware today made a raft of new Tanzu announcements. The Tanzu Application Platform includes a new developer portal and an enhanced developer experience with support for .Net, Spring Framework 6, and Spring Boot 3. Tanzu allows organizations to manage other flavors of Kubernetes, and today, the company said it has extended lifecycle management capabilities to include Azure Kubernetes Service.
The key new capability in Tanzu Application Platform is Tanzu Application Engine, Kimball said. The tool, which is in beta, allows organizations to enforce business requirements, such as high availability, security, and scalability at run time across different Kubernetes clusters and clouds.
"This takes away a lot of the guesswork and tweaking that platform teams have to do to make sure requirements are met," Kimball said.
VMware also announced new Tanzu Intelligence Services, which incorporate technology from VMware Aria and allow enterprises to centrally manage, monitor, and troubleshoot issues as well as optimize the cost, performance, and security of applications across clouds, the company said.
New innovations include VMware Tanzu with Intelligent Assistant, a conversational chatbot powered by generative AI that will allow organizations to easily troubleshoot problems. The chatbot is currently in tech preview.
The company also announced VMware Tanzu Insights, which will provide AI/ML-powered insights across distributed Kubernetes, AWS, and Microsoft Azure environments, allowing operations teams to better troubleshoot and resolve issues.