The Top 3 Highlights from VMworld 2016: What Every CIO Should Know

3 minute read

The theme for VMworld 2016 was “Be Tomorrow.”

And the event lived up to its promise, giving 23,000 attendees a crystal ball view of the future of cloud.

According to VMware, a new era of cloud freedom and control is here.

About 20 percent of businesses have fully embraced the cloud and are prepared for “tomorrow”. The rest are still in the “be” stage and are slowly moving towards a hybrid cloud model. VMware predicts a 50/50 split between public and private clouds within the next five to 10 years.

Here are three things to consider as you move towards a hybrid cloud model:

1. Enabling a cross-cloud environment

Today’s end users run business apps on multiple devices and platforms. And they expect to use these devices from any location.

In the past, IT organizations would sacrifice the end user experience in favor of security. But this is no longer possible, as end users will get their services elsewhere if you don’t give them what they want.

IT organizations must keep end users happy by making workloads accessible in the cloud. However, they also must overcome management challenges and keep enterprise data secure across a variety of devices and clouds. It’s key to tie automation and security together, so you can support both end users and hybrid data center security requirements with an integrated approach.

To do this, you need the right technology.

In his keynote, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger announced the new VMware® Cross-Cloud Architecture™. This technology “will enable customers to run, manage, connect, and secure applications across clouds and devices in a common operating environment.” 

The Cross-Cloud Architecture is compatible with a number of public and private clouds, including IBM Cloud, NTT Cloud, AWS, and Azure.

2. Automating the software-defined data center (SDDC), which is key to cloud success

Automating your SDDC gives you agile, portable workloads that have built-in security. Without automation and orchestration, it would be expensive to customize workloads and keep them secure as they pass through on-premises and cloud environments.  

The new, Cross-Cloud Architecture supports automation through VMware Cloud Foundation, a unified SDDC platform for managing and running SDDC clouds. It integrates vSphere, NSX, and vSAN to enable virtualization. VMware’s new SDDC Manager features automated lifecycle management to automate the deployment, configuration, patching and upgrading of the entire VMware stack.

SDDC Manager can also be extended into a mobile environment and secured by Horizon – further helping you support your on-the-go workforce while keeping your data secure.

VMware is also looking to simplify cloud infrastructure in a hyper-converged environment. When you rolled out a hyper-converged solution in the past, you needed separate tools to manage your compute, networking, storage, and security. SDDC Manager manages all of these areas with one unified tool – simplifying your hybrid cloud deployments and ongoing management. 

3. Securing all of your endpoints in the cloud

The rise of the cloud has overwhelmed IT organizations with endpoints to secure. How can you ensure that you protect data as it flows between mobile devices, desktops, and data centers?

VMware recently launched vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) to address these concerns. vRNI is a network assessment tool that sniffs out security vulnerabilities in your network. It optimizes network performance and availability, while giving you visibility across all of your virtual and physical networks. It also provides recommendations for micro-segmentation-based security, so you can use it as a planning tool for virtualization.  

The Shift Toward the Hybrid Cloud

According to VMware, “tomorrow’s” all-digital world is quickly approaching.

VMworld’s speakers stressed the importance of bridging the digital divide via a hybrid, unified cloud. This model gives enterprises agility – making it easier for them to innovate and stand out from their competitors. Businesses who take advantage of the hybrid cloud will become leaders in their industries, while those that don’t make the move will lag behind.

VMware has primarily been focused on private and hybrid cloud management, but given the emergence of multiple public cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings, VMware has realized it has to move quickly to help customers manage multiple cloud infrastructures. Driven by this huge market demand for cloud automation, VMware is strategically aligning its SDDC portfolio to help customers seamlessly transform to the all-digital era by enabling IT automation and more agile workload deployments.

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