VMworld 2019 has come and gone, and with it came an impressive array of announcements on everything from containers to hybrid cloud management to smart AI assistants that help guide your new employees through their first few days at work. Let’s take a look at four announcements in particular that are worth a second look in our VMworld 2019 recap.
1. Keep an eye on Kubernetes
Even if you haven’t gone to containers yet, containers are about to come to you. VMware announced Project Pacific, which will integrate Kubernetes natively into ESXi, making containers first class citizens alongside virtual machines in vSphere. Devops-style shops should love this – it brings the vSphere their operations guys have known and loved for two decades alongside the container services and APIs that their developers have preferred for years now. This was just one of several major Kubernetes announcements VMware announced last week.
Regardless of how much or how little you know about containers, now is the time to learn what they do and how they fit into the IT landscape. It’s clear from these announcements that containers are here to stay, and while they may not be an appropriate strategy for every organization right this second, their adoption is sure to increase rapidly once they’re integrated into the world’s leading hypervisor.
2. “Hybrid Cloud” is the new “server agnostic”
Remember how vSphere democratized the datacenter? No longer did you need to stick with one hardware platform, you could manage it all from one central location once you virtualized everything. Regardless of whether you’re looking at VMware’s strategy from an end user computing perspective or from a datacenter perspective, it’s clear the company wants to be that same central linchpin, only this time between different cloud services.
On the end user computing front, VMware announced Horizon Services for Multi-Cloud, which will enable admins to automatically broker end users to the most appropriate landing space for their desktop workload, be that on-prem, in VMware Cloud on AWS, or in either of the Horizon Cloud offerings on IBM or Azure. Horizon Services for Multi-Cloud will also offer complete cloud-based image management (solving a pain point that has existed as long as multi-site Horizon architectures have existed) and a much-needed Simplified Application Management strategy that will update the AppVolumes product for the cloud world.
For the datacenter, VMware announced the VMware Hybrid Cloud Platform, which brings together updated cloud-ready versions of all its major management and monitoring software along with a VMware Cloud Marketplace to simplify management, reporting, cost modeling and disaster recovery across any platform the customer could want – AWS, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and on-prem.
3. Employee experience – are you partnering with HR yet? (You should be!)
VMware’s end user computing keynote strongly focused on a subject that is typically outside of IT’s purview – employee experience. A large part of the keynote was devoted to unveiling IBM Watson integration into the Workspace ONE app for the purposes of guiding a new employee through the onboarding process, from accepting the offer letter to choosing a device to asking how to get to the office on her first day of work. While IT will never be measured on employee retention the way HR is, it’s clear that providing a sophisticated tech experience is important to today’s top recruits. The sooner IT and HR start actively partnering on tech initiatives, the better off your company will be in today’s competitive job market.
4. Intelligence is king.
It’s clear that IT teams are suffering from too much of a good thing – alerting and monitoring tools have gotten so good and the IT infrastructure has gotten so broad, organizations are being bombarded with alerts, to the point that the alerts can start to lose meaning, a state called “alert fatigue.”
To combat this, VMware is putting an emphasis on automation and artificial intelligence as it relates to monitoring and security. At VMworld, VMware announced NSX Intelligence, an analytics engine that, per VMware, “provides continuous data-center wide visibility…helping deliver a more granular and dynamic security posture, simplify compliance analysis and streamline security operations.” NSX Intelligence joins Workspace ONE Intelligence as VMware’s second distributed analytics product to focus on illuminating and automating the security and user-experience blind spots in an organization.
Additionally, VMware announced that Workspace ONE Intelligence will soon benefit from AI-driven risk analysis to determine which users are engaging in risky or abnormal behaviors that truly deserve IT’s notice, versus white noise alerts that may or may not be worth investigating. Combine that with the auto-remediation and third-party integrations built into the product already, and it’s clear this could be a real time-saver for the weary, overworked sysadmin.
See something here that needs more attention than we could cover in a simple VMworld 2019 Recap post? Let’s chat…we look forward to helping you digest this vision as you plan to develop your internal services strategy further.