Providing the Best for Customers in the Superpower Era of Technology

The VMware CIO Forum at the St.Regis Hotel in Singapore saw more than a hundred CIOs from various industries from the region come together. With innovation and mobility, the talk of technology today, the CIO forum highlighted the importance of driving Asia towards a digital future.

In his keynote address, Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, reminded attendees that we are in the period of the superpower era of technology.  Pat pointed out that the four superpowers of technology today are Cloud, Mobility, AI/ML and Edge/IoT.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, speaking at CIO Forum 2019

VMware’s vision, he said, was to build environments on any cloud be it public, private, hybrid or edge, on any application be it traditional or modern apps, and on any device. For their customers, Pat said there are five strategic priorities VMware focuses on, which are to accelerate the cloud journey in hybrid and multi-cloud as well as on modern apps, transform networking and security and empower the digital workspace.

According to Pat, there are three laws of cloud today, which make the demand for hybrid cloud a consistent infrastructure with consistent operations. These are the laws of physics, economics and land. To explain further, these laws include the regulatory reasons for keeping data local as well as the need for speed, which the laws of physics will not allow.

“The laws of cloud bring us to a hybrid cloud future, not as a waste station of the future, but it is the future. VMware Cloud Foundation provides this in a consistent hybrid cloud infrastructure. You can run your software in your data centre or have our partners run it for you or have us run it for you.”

Looking at data centres, Pat believes that the atomic unit of computing in the future is the hyper-converged infrastructure. And at the core of that atom is VxRail which is now fully capable of running the VMware Cloud Foundation. It’s the atomic building block for your private data centre, your private cloud in the future.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, sharing more about VxRail at CIO Forum 2019

“We’ve taken that building block and scaled it up to data centre scalability making it array ready, fully natively cloud-connected and made it to manage on-premise environments on the VMware cloud. We’ll manage that on your data centre and also move on the edge. We have also made it developer ready with full support for Kubernetes and PKS.”

Pat also highlighted the recent partnership with Microsoft, where they’re running the VMware software on the app for the customer. He added that the one partnership that changed the industry the most in the last couple of years was the partnership with Amazon. The leader of the public cloud industry coming together with the leader of private cloud, VMware, created a true hybrid cloud offering.

Apart from partnerships, Pat spoke about the acquiring of CloudHealth, the leading provider of cloud management for costs and customer relations for the Amazon environment. Now that its part of VMware, Pat said they are rapidly expanding the support for all clouds as well as the VM private cloud environment. It provides the ability to manage, control, measure and optimise a multi-cloud environment.

Moving on, Pat spoke about next-gen applications. VMware believes in the digital institution. Every company needs to become good on software and needs to become skilled in developing applications. He added that VMware believes this is essential for everyone in their digital transformation.

“When we think about software extraction, the last great software extraction that had industry consensus was Java. It defined software extraction for the last two decades. The next great software extraction is Kubernetes and containers. We believe this will be the consensus technology [over] the next decade or two, of how software is built, packaged, deployed, automated, patched and updated. We are committed to being the dial tone provider for enterprise Kubernetes.”

For that, VMware has been building technology and recently acquired a company called Heptio, giving them the pole position in driving and helping to standardise the Kubernetes community. VMware has three product offerings in the VMware Kuberneted Portfolio, which are Essential PKS, Enterprise PLS and VMware Cloud PKS, which is a SaaS. VMware is committed to being the leading provider of Kubernetes Portfolio to give that enterprise dial tone, which they believe is the most critical software extraction.

Next, Pat spoke about network security whereby they have been building their NSX portfolio, which is now natively available on clouds, and built into the VMware Cloud offering as well as HCX that can-do hybrid migrations and hybrid cloud operations. It’s being built into the network and helping telco companies with their 5G transformation. On the edge, with VMware’s SD-WAN acquisition, there is the ability to take an overlay network all the way to branches, retailing locations and emerging edge use cases.

“In a multi-cloud world, networking cannot be done in hardware. It must be done in a software overlaying network. NSX and the virtual cloud network is a consistent software overlay network where we abstract the network functions in the software by switching and routing, consistently enabling them in a multi-cloud environment.”

On security, Pat said the fundamental problem is that 80% of security spending is spent on detecting and responding to threat instead of preventing. He suggested that the underlying infrastructure needs to be built with security. VMware is embarking on this strategy through NSX with built-in micro-segmentation that is able to lower the attack surface by data firewalling. All data should be encrypted all the time, he stressed.

In closing, Pat acknowledged that it is important to deliver the best employee experience. And this is where he talks about VMware Workspace One, a consistent set of tools to manage all devices and user experience. To put it simply, it is one tool for all Macs, IOS, Windows, Android and VDI. Going back to DTW 2019’s partnership with Microsoft, Pat said Microsoft will be operating the VMware Cloud Foundation on the Azure Cloud.

“What we find is that ultimately, customers want their key partners and key technology providers to get along.” 

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