My personal experience at VMworld is described here. In this post I just want to summarize my discoveries of the event.
It seems that one of common pinpoint that vendors see is “feature requests”. Almost every vendor faces the problem that they need to fill up all possible checkboxes to be considered during purchasing process by customer. Implementation of any feature requires investment but afterwards many features are not used at all or used by microscopic group of users. It means there is not only an investment with no real use-case application (or very limited area of use) but most importantly any product feature introduces additional complexity (compatibility and support come first, but also depreciation of the feature is also a pretty difficult process). It needs to be stopped if we try to limit complexity but I’ve never met a person yet who knows how it can be done.
VMware announced VMware Cloud on AWS. Actually VMC was announced last year but now it’s publicly available and also pricing is announced here My understanding that minimum purchase is four hosts that means prices need to be multiplied by 4 to get minimal cost of the solution. Another caveat is fixed storage size – as VSAN is used by those 4 hosts – the total storage provided by those 4 hosts is currently 21 TB. It seems that there can be some opportunity for partners to work out integration with external storage (i.e. add EBS or S3 to VMC) but it’s still not possible during original offering.
Another announcement is AppDefense – you can watch video that outlines details here – my take on it only time will be able to demonstrate (a) even if it’s not AV solution it’s pretty close to be one of them – so how it’s different from other AV solutions and (b) what is operational expense to maintain the solution in terms of avoiding false negatives and keeping the environment safe. Another caveat here – today you have to run NSX-V to start using AppDefense – no support in NSX-T currently. Great read on the topic here and NSX-T 2.0 blog announcment here.
Pivotal, Kubernetes and VMware announcement (PKS) – detailed article here. Please refer to the beginning of this post where market demand is discussed. The product is not released yet and probably needs first to be validated by customer’s need before significant investment will go into it. From my experience working with Developers organizations – mostly containers is something that developers run locally on their desktops or in a public cloud such as AWS or/and GCP. Operational team runs traditional applications in on-premise Datacenters. Of course there is use-case when application is sold and delivered to the customer in a container form and customer wants to run it in vSphere environment. It comes back to the question – “is there enough demand for such solution today?”.
There is a very large number of vendors presented on the floor I talked to few – BigSwitch is an absolute winner of my list as innovative vendor with a lot of potential. And Docker is my biggest disappointment of the event – talking to them reminded me Apple of late 90’s – “we are the best and all the folks that try to partner with us are annoying – we barely need anyone – we can everything by ourselves”. I love Docker and I believe the containers is the biggest IT disruptor of last few years, however there is lot of great technologies that also bring a lot of value (sometimes in conjunction with Docker).
To conclude – after VMworld US 2017 it’s obvious for me that the technology is still progressing on a very high speed. VMware confirmed that they are still the one of the most innovative IT companies in the industry. Certainly startups have advantage of moving much faster than any big corporations such as VMware, but VMware has great customers, people and ideas! And me being a realist is typical approach – there is a lot of great things happening but I’m still looking for the problems that still needs to be addressed.