The numbers speak for themselves: VMworld 2019 Europe hosted more than 13,000 experts, thought leaders, partners and IT specialists who participated in over 600 sessions and nearly 6,000 hands-on labs to learn, share and network with one another.
Together with my colleagues from the Lead Virtualisation & Cloud Transformation Competence Centre in Regensburg, I travelled to Spain the weekend before the event. We used this extra time primarily to prepare for VMworld itself, its sessions and our management meetings.
But we still made time to enjoy Barcelona’s beautiful sights. On Sunday, we met up with other Bechtle representatives from Bonn, Neckarsulm and Switzerland for a special dinner at Hidden Factory, where Head Chef Xavier demonstrated how to cook typical Spanish dishes in an amazing setting.
It’s all about strategy.
The next morning, we headed out for the VMworld 2019 Partner Day, energised and ready to hear about VMware’s new partner programme. We also attended various sessions and enjoyed a number of excellent discussions. At the end of an insightful day, we sampled delicious tapas at a casual VMware and Bechtle get-together.
From Tuesday to Thursday, VMworld welcomed our customers. VMware and its partners discussed corporate strategy and announced new products and partnerships while over 200 exhibitors presented the VMware ecosystem on the Solution Exchange.
A modern vision of software architecture.
VMworld 2019 cemented VMware’s vision of a software architecture that enables any app, running on any cloud and any device, to leverage new technology. The company’s acquisitions and new partnerships in recent years make even more sense in the light of this goal.
In his keynote address on Tuesday, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger introduced the strategy’s key points, highlighting the acquisition of Pivotal and Carbon Black as well as new solutions involving Kubernetes.
Below is an overview of his key points:
- VMware aims to become the leading provider of Kubernetes container environments. It plans to apply the expertise of Kubernetes' co-developer Joe Beda, who joined VMware following the acquisition of Heptio, to offer Tanzu, a portfolio of products and services that will transform the development, operation and administration of container-based applications. New products will be announced in all three areas: build, run and operate.
- Arguably the most important development introduced by Pat Gelsinger was Project Pacific, which rearchitects vSphere with native Kubernetes. This will unite app development & operation with infrastructure provisioning & operation on one of the most widely used infrastructure platforms.
- Telco networks have also long been on VMware’s radar, which is why it was no surprise that the company wants to play an active role in the area of 5G. Its acquisition of Uhana, whose AI technology optimises telco networks, represents a step forward in this area.
Expanding its cooperation with Microsoft.
Wednesday’s keynote was all about the specific steps VMware is taking to implement its strategy. One highlight in particular focused on the company’s expanded partnership with Microsoft to develop a solution combining VMware Workspace ONE and Microsoft Endpoint Manager, thus simplifying Windows 10 management.
In addition, VMware HCX will enable new cloud migration capabilities for Azure VMware Solutions. In future, VMware will also support and certify Microsoft SQL Server 2019 on vSphere running in customer data centres. And last but not least, Azure will be extended to branch and edge environments with VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud.
VMware’s commitment to cloud security.
Also presented at VMworld 2019 were new security solutions, including VMware NSX Distributed Intrusion Detection and Prevention as well as VMware NSX Federation, the latter enabling centralised configuration and management of network and security policies.
VMware Secure State updates will reduce public cloud risk and improve security posture. Through its merger with Carbon Black, VMware now has access to technology it plans to use to revolutionise the endpoint security market. This will usher in what VMware COO Sanjay Poonen describes as “intrinsic security”. Both firewall capabilities and intrusion prevention systems will be embedded on host servers, detecting anomalous activity, and isolating and eliminating unwanted access and processes. The first product to benefit from this integration is AppDefense, with Workspace ONE and NSX to follow.
Additional announcements focused on the management of cloud platforms such as Google and Oracle using CloudHealth and Tanzu Mission Control. One other platform, VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, is an on-premise cloud solution that blends the simplicity and agility of the public cloud with the security and control of on-premise infrastructure to offer fully-managed services for core data centres and edge locations.
Climbing to new heights.
The appearance of special guest Bear Grylls, one of the most widely recognised survivalists and outdoor adventurists, marked a memorable non-tech moment at VMworld 2019. He captivated the audience with his story of starting out as a member of the British Special Air Service to becoming the youngest person to climb Mount Everest.