VMworld Barcelona 2017 – Tech Insights

So, this is it. I'm waiting for the plane at Barcelona Airport and writing a summary about the days @VMworld Barcelona 2017. This blog is focusing on the announcements of VMware & partners as well as on the content of the visited sessions. Our feelings after our successful going live with the Swisscom Enterprise Service Cloud and our engagement at the booth @VMworld Barcelona will be covered in separate blogs.

Some impressions from the opening show act:

General impression from a purely technical perspective

VMC (VMware Cloud) on AWS was announced last year, this year the service is available in one site (US west).. There are no commitments on the availablility in Europe, it was said that it could take up to 9 months. The “initial availability” has some quite interesting features but the full power will be unleashed with the “advanced mode consumption” (more on this topic see below):

Source: VMware, session LHC2384BE

The second slide is indirectly pointing out, that there is no NSX API access and only basic NSX functionality exposed per a special HTML5 plugin designed to enable NSX access for VMC on AWS. So in future releases of VMC on AWS we soon will see NSX and vCenter API access to

  • provision network and security for custom datacenters
  • define and establish VPN connectivity with on premise locations
  • define security groups and policies for workload VMs
  • add, modify and delete network topologies
  • distributed firewall, load balancing, routing
  • deploy workload VMs
  • attach VMs to networks
  • manage IP addressing

NSX-T is offered as SaaS built on AWS network security (VMware NSX Cloud). VMware hopefully expand this support to other cloud providers (Azure). NSX-V comes with ARM (application rule manager) and EM (endpoint monitoring) already in 6.3.

Container Strategy  has been revised, VIC and Photon are now competed by Pivotal Container Service (PKS) with the promise to bring container management at scale in a close cooperation with google.

  • Enabling persistent storage for stateful applications via the vSphere Cloud Provider, which provides access to vSphere storage powered by VMware vSAN™ or traditional SAN and NAS storage,
  • Automation and governance for enterprises via vRealize® Automation™ and provisioning of service provider clouds with VMware vCloud Director®,
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting of virtual infrastructure via VMware vRealize® Operations™, and
  • Metrics monitoring of containerized applications via Wavefront® by VMware®.

IoT will be supported with NSX, very interesting evolution!

VxRack comes with a new release.

Of course Appdefense and WaveFront are noteworthy as well.

This year’s announcements from VMware and partners

VMworld 2017: What’s New

Here’s a complete list of all official announcements during VMworld US & EMEA (thanks, Dudi!):

August 28th 2017 VMware and AWS Announce Initial Availability of VMware Cloud on AWS

August 28th 2017 DXC Technology and VMware Expand Global Partnership with New Managed Hybrid Cloud Services Enabled by VMware Technologies

August 28th 2017 Fujitsu and VMware Extend Global Partnership to Empower Organizations’ Digital Transformations

August 28th 2017 VMware Helps Enterprises Succeed in the Multi-Cloud Era

August 28th 2017 VMware Transforms Security for Applications Running on VMware vSphere(R)-Based Virtualized and Cloud Environments

August 28th 2017 VMware and HP Partner to Simplify Device Lifecycle Management Using Cloud-Based Technology

August 28th 2017 VMware Advances Software to Help Customers Modernize Data Centers

August 28th 2017 VMware and Dell EMC Partner to Deliver First Data Protection Solution for VMware Cloud on AWS

August 29th 2017 VMware Delivers Industry-First Unified End User Experience, Management and Security Solution for All Endpoint Platforms

August 29th 2017 VMware and Pivotal Launch Pivotal Container Service (PKS) and Collaborate with Google Cloud to Bring Kubernetes to Enterprise Customers

September 12th 2017 Vodafone Group Agrees to Enterprise Licensing Agreement with VMware

September 12th 2017 IBM and VMware Partnership Speeds Cloud Adoption in the Enterprise

September 12th 2017 VMware Empowers Cloud Provider Partners to Drive Innovation and Accelerate New Service Delivery

September 12th 2017 VMware Speeds Customer Time to Value for SDDC and Multi-Cloud Management with New vRealize Suite 2017 (with a supporting quote from Marco Hochstrasser)

September 12th 2017 New, Integrated Dell EMC and VMware NFV Solution Accelerates Production Deployment for Service Providers

September 12th 2017 VMware Expands Its Mobile Security Alliance to Provide a Connected, Comprehensive Approach to Securing the Digital Workspace

September 12th 2017 VMware Offers Communications Service Providers the Fastest Path to OpenStack for Network Functions Virtualization

Customer Technical Advisory Board (CTAB) at VMworld 2017 (10./11.9.2017)

We have been invited to the Customer Technical Advisory Board shortly before VMworld – a board to get proactive feedback on upcoming VMware features/roadmap and collaborate with customers. We got very valuable insights on the VMware product roadmap and could give feedback on that. Some impressions below:

The rise of artifical intelligence: robots in the lobby of H10 cubrik

Simon gave a very well received speech on our Enterprise Service Cloud

We found out that at least 2 of the other customers share very similar problems and solutions. We will stay in touch to intensify our relations. To my mind, the CTAB was a little bit too dense and partly filled with topics that were not this interesting for all (Desktop <-> Backend).

General Sessions

Good Technologists Solve Problems. Great Innovators Create Opportunities

Great show as always with the highlight that Heinz Herren could share his thoughts in a customer panel:

Heinz Herren in the spotlight on stage during the general session on Tuesday, see in the video from general session 1 at 56:19.

Technology Innovation is What Keeps Companies Competitive

The “demo” for “Elastic Pizza” might have showed a glimpse of the possible future with the help of attractive mockups 😉

Recap from the breakout sessions I have attended

Update: VMworld 2017 Breakout Sessions Video URLs

Kubernetes Networking with NSX-T Deep Dive (NET1522BE)

Yves Fauser, Sr Technical Product Manager, VMware
Ali Al Idrees, Network & Security Solutions Architect , VMware

Abstract: Kubernetes is an open-source container-as-a-service system championed by Google that was quickly adopted by the open-source developer community and includes contributions from VMware. Kubernetes is at the heart of many offerings like the VMware Photon platform Kubernetes bundle and OpenShift, an open-source platform-as-a-service project championed by RedHat. One of the major challenges in Kubernetes is how to separate containers from each other securely on the network level and how to operationalize container networking in enterprise environments. After a general overview of Kubernetes, we will dive deep into the networking concepts. We will take a close look at Kubernetes’ network plug-in concept and how we integrated VMware NSX-T into it. This session will include extensive live demonstrations of the NSX-T integration into Kubernetes.
Very recommended track on Kubernetes highlighting what is possible on vSphere platform with NSX-T.

Source: VMworld, slides captured attending the session

Creating Your VMware Cloud on AWS Data Center: VMware Cloud on AWS Fundamentals (LHC1547BE)

Matt Dreyer, Director Product Management, VMware
Oren Root, Sr. Product Line Manager, VMware

Abstract: This session is an overview of the fundamentals of VMware Cloud on AWS. It is intended for enterprise architects and senior IT decision-makers

It is always a pleasure to see Matt and Oren presenting their baby on stage. Matt gave very valuable insights to all that haven’t seen a good overview on this service, yet.

Here is the recording from the same session in Las Vegas:

Source: VMworld, slides captured attending the session

VMware Cloud on AWS Hybrid Cloud Architectural Deep Dive: Networking and Storage Best Practices (LHC3375BES)

wen yu, Partner Solutions Architect, Amazon Web Services
Aarthi Raju, Partner Solutions Architect, Amazon Web Services

Abstract: Did you know you could seamlessly migrate on-premises applications to VMware Cloud on AWS? Come learn the compute, network and storage architecture of the VMware Cloud on AWS solution. This session uses practical, real world customer deployment examples to dives deep on hybrid cloud network connectivity, storage & data protection best practices. Attendees will walk away with practical guidance and tips on getting the best of both worlds with VMware and AWS hybrid cloud solution.

Very interesting deep dive into the details on how to consume the services offered by AWS.

Source: VMworld, slides captured attending the session


NSX Features Deep Dive (NET3283BE)

CCatherine Fan, Product Line Manager, VMware
Nick Furman, Technical Product Manager, VMware

Abstract:  If you want to understand what features are in NSX-V and how they all come together to enable the virtualized network this is the session for you. We will walk through the components of NSX and understand how the main features work. We will show you demos to highlight some of the important areas and give you a good understanding of how NSX works.

Very good and comprehensive introductory overview on the NSX features. I only post two slides with the newly added features ARM and EM:

Source: VMworld, slides captured attending the session


VMware Cloud on AWS: A Technical Deep Dive (LHC2384BE)

Frank Denneman, Senior Staff Architect, VMware
Ray Budavari, Snr Staff Technical Product Manager, VMware

Abstract: VMware Cloud on AWS brings the enterprise-class VMware software-defined data center software to Amazon’s public cloud. Couple the best enterprise software with the best data center operator in the world, and you get an on-demand, elastically scalable private cloud deployable anywhere in the world. VMware Cloud on AWS enables customers to use a common set of software and tools to manage both their AWS-based and on-premises vSphere resources consistently. This session will take a closer look at key features of VMware Cloud on AWS, such as elastic cluster and networking functionality (VMware NSX).

Frank is one of the lead architects for VMware Cloud Foundation and for the integration with AWS; this session had been an absolute must-have to me for this VMworld! In this session I got very concise information without any marketing SPAM, thanks a lot for that! I already added one of their slides to explain the limitations of the “initial availability” relase above.

Source: VMworld, slides captured attending the session


Basics of Kubernetes on BOSH: Run Production-grade Kubernetes on the SDDC (CNA2080BE)

Nathan Ness, Technical Product Manager, VMware
Matt McNeeney, Senior Product Manager, Pivotal

Abstract: Kubernetes is the leading container orchestration framework today. In this session, we’ll discuss Kubernetes and its Day 2 operational needs, and provide an overview of Kubo, or Kubernetes on BOSH. Kubo is an open source project contributed by Pivotal and Google to Cloud Foundry Foundation. Join this talk to explore how Kubo helps deploy production-grade Kubernetes on SDDC.

As kubernetes is a “hot” topic in the container space I gladly took the opportunity to attend this excellent introductory session.

Source: VMworld, slides captured attending the session


Using vRealize to Manage AWS as Part of Hybrid Cloud (MGT3169GE)

Nikolay Atanasov, Group Product Manager, VMware

Abstract: It’s undeniable that AWS is the most popular public cloud. This session will look at how VMware vRealize can be used to manage workloads deployed on VMware Cloud on AWS or workloads deployed natively on AWS.

Nikolay held a discussion group and started with a problem statement and layed out some options, on which he wanted some feedack of the attendees. The first slide shows the “AWS CFT” which refers to the AWS Cloud Formation templates. CFT is the equivalent to the Advanced Service Designer in vRA (not only for blueprints but for the whole VPC). The “cloud agnostic” or “global” blueprint refers to a multi-cloud blueprint that is currently widely discussed. The basic question is if you are creating a kind of global blueprint definition language that can cover all the proprietary definitions or if you basically embedd the proprietary blueprint definition in your own blueprint language.

A cloud agnostic blueprint definition can either only be the lowest common denominator of all supported proprietary variants or will be very complex because it has to allow certain functions only with a target environment that supports the requested features. The reasoning to embedd CFT directly was that it takes to much effort to translate all AWS capabilities in a proprietary format for consumption in a vRA catalog. Validating the parameters as shown on the second slide without a detailed knowledge on the constraints of the interface that should be used will be the next challenge.

Source: VMworld, slides captured attending the session


vRealize Automation Experts Panel: How to Win over App Developers and End Shadow IT (MGT2751PE)

David Matthews, Lead Solution Architect, Enterprise Engineering, Sky UK
Daniele Ulrich, ICT Architect, Swisscom
Gary Hamilton, Senior Cloud Management Solution Architect, VMware
Grant Nowell, Director, IT Application Operations, VMware

Abstract: As any IT professional knows, being able to provision systems in a consistent manner reliably is highly desirable. However, doing it proactively is an entirely new level of service delivery. Customers have been leveraging VMware vRealize Automation to do just that: delivering dev-centric services before the developers even know they’re needed. Join this technical panel of distinguished VMware customers that have implemented VMware vRealize Automation to help transform and modernize enterprise IT and deliver services that eliminate the threat of shadow IT. Learn how they deliver legacy and modern applications alike across distributed infrastructures and leverage some of the latest vRealize Automation capabilities to radically change how IT delivers these services.

This was my turn, here a nice tweet from our friend from VMware, Daniel Koeck:

Delivering Infrastructure as Code: Practical Tips and Advice [DEV2704BE]

Peg Eaton, Director, Emerging Solutions Practice, PSO, VMware

Abstract: Delivering Infrastructure as code requires a new mindset in how you manage your VMware environment. To successfully make the switch you need to treat provisioning like a code release, giving your developers the benefits of repeatable and stable environments. In this session we detail and demonstrate how to leverage Infrastructure as Code using VMware tools you already own, with the goal of eliminating manual configuration changes, and managing the infrastructure lifecycle using the same tools and processes that govern code deployment. We outline best practices from customers who’ve built a DevOps Pipeline, including version control, configuration as code, continuous integration, and continuous monitoring.

Peg was speaking about her experiences with CICD and tried to get a discussion with the attendees. Not very important for our environment right now therefore I don’t go into the details of code stream and houdini.

Source: VMworld, slides captured attending the session


Effectively Operating an Automated Cloud (MGT1758BE)

Jad El-Zein, Principal Architect, VMware
Vincent Meoc, Sr Systems Engineer, VMware

Abstract: IT must deliver services to diverse consumers. Data centers are undergoing a massive transformation from high-end proprietary metal to software-defined commodity, and apps are spread across a hybrid fabric. As exciting as this is, it’s only as good as the tools and services available for driving the need for enterprise transformation: the apps. The VMware Cloud Management Platform is serves as the management control plane for the software-defined data center. While VMware vRealize Automation provisions and manages apps across the hybrid cloud, VMware vRealize Operations provides a holistic view of all infra and apps. Together, vRealize Automation and VMware vRealize Operations deliver a comprehensive cloud management platform. Join this technical session to gain a deeper understanding of the VMware Cloud Management Platform in action.

Source: VMworld, slides captured attending the session

Vince (left) and Jad in action, on the last slide taking questions.


Manage, Govern, and Extend VMware Cloud on AWS with vRealize Automation (MGT2875BE)

Henrik Monster, Lead SE, VMware
Hassan Hamade, Cloud Solution Architect, VMware

Abstract: With all the excitement around VMware Cloud on AWS—the convergence of VMware’s software-defined data center (SDDC) with Amazon’s public cloud services—you’re probably wondering how the modern enterprise can take advantage of this offering without abandoning existing business policies and IT processes. Wonder no more. VMware vRealize Automation can rapidly extend your existing private, public, or hybrid cloud services into VMware Cloud on AWS, just like any VMware SDDC stack. Join this breakout to discover how VMware vRealize Automation adds service authoring and delivery, governance, lifecycle management, and enterprise extensibility to your VMware Cloud on AWS service.

The session was splitted in a first part held by Hassan explaining the basics of VMC on AWS. As you might have noticed I was very focused on this topic this year. So this first part was another repetition of introductory talks on VMC on AWS – but now I’m finally brainwashed and ready to go hybrid. Henrik focussed more on the implementation part and I add here some slides with very cool hints that make life easier juming over the clouds.

Source: VMworld, slides captured attending the session


And it the end: it’s all about emotions and interactions with awesome people!

Let me conclude this article with a very important part of VMworld: building bridges, meeting people, celebrating partnership and shape the future

Thanks to all that contributed to our incredible success and helped to spread the word!