I’ve been lucky enough to be able to attend vmworld once in 2013 but didn’t get to go this year. I decided to take advantage of the free live stream of the keynote on Monday.
Pat Gelsinger took the stage with 23,000 of “his closest friends” a.k.a vmworld attendees, and had a few interesting things to say. First, he no longer makes a distinction between digital and non-digital businesses. Truth is, I cannot think of a business that will grow into the next decade without embracing technology. They may not need VMware and the cloud but with the new generation seeking products and services exclusively online, every business will need a way to engage these new customers.
After that he shared some interesting data points:
– in 2006, only 2% of the cloud was considered public with most of that being salesforce.com
– in 2016, about 80% is still traditional IT, meaning the automated service deployment or future service based IT is still only 20%
– 2016 is the year that 50% of hardware is in some form of public cloud and shifting from private datacenters rapidly
– 2016 70% of workloads function in tradition IT and by 2021 that number will be down to 50%
Servers are becoming more powerful, and consolidation is improving. Pat doesn’t see this as a shrinking market but actually generating growth by making the cost of servers more accessible to the masses. He compared this to processor enhancements of the 90s and I agree with this assessment.
Enterprises are finding cases where the public clouds make a lot of sense but there will (always?) be lots of cases where the existing owned datacenter will have advantages and certain services will be provided in-house.
The most interesting announcement from the keynote was VMware’s cross-cloud platform. This was a higher level GUI for managing services on all the big public clouds, and private clouds. There was a demo where you could enter the login information for AWS and this platform would discover the applications hosts under this account and present them in a uniform fashion with other cloud services.
This service is interesting but it appears to only work with IBM’s cloud witch advertised “500” customers are on. That doesn’t seem like a lot of market penetration to me. If this cross-cloud platform doesn’t work with all the cloud vendors, it doesn’t make it very far in my opinion.
Another buzzword I picked up on was Automated Lifecycle Manager. This sounds like product that has reached its end of life (https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2015661) There is an obvious need for this when the demand for services increase with the decrease of cost for cloud services. We have to automate the full lifecycle to prevent sprawl and complexity. I wonder if VMware is coming out with something new on this front and is why it was mentioned.
The guest speakers from IBM, Marriot and Michael Dell all seemed to fall flat to me. None had any really innovating or inspiring comments. I’m not sure who the speaker was but towards the end they started talking about service architectures. One comment I did like was choosing multiple cloud providers for a single service in case one cloud goes down. This has happened and even though it could cause a lot of complexity, could be something we would want to architect around.
When I attend conferences like this, I usually to find something more valuable to do with my time during the general sessions. In conclusion, the session wasn’t that bad. My view wasn’t totally negative like this post (http://diginomica.com/2016/08/29/vmworld-2016s-keynote-snoozer-is-no-worry-for-the-infrastructure-innovators/) but since my opportunity cost was low, I don’t regret tuning in.