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October 18, 2016

VMworld 2016: Containers, hybrid cloud & virtualisation

VMworld Barcelona had VMware showcasing lots of new product features.

By James Nunns

With 10,000 attendees in town for VMworld Barcelona, VMware had plenty of work to do in order to keep everyone happy.

The company made several announcements around hybrid cloud, containers, and revealed new releases of vSphere, Virtual SAN and vRealise.

CBR highlights the biggest product releases to come out of the first day of the conference.



VMware’s Cross-Cloud architecture is designed to provide a common operating environment across private and public clouds.

The outcome that it hopes to achieve is reduced complexity and increased control over cloud deployments.

The company first revealed the solution towards the end of August, but it has been working on beefing it up with the latest releases of vSphere, Virtual SAN and vRealise.

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VMware said that the advancements being made help it to deliver consistent deployment models, security policies, visibility and governance for all applications whether they are running on or off-premises.

VMware's Cross-Cloud architecture.

VMware’s Cross-Cloud architecture.

This is essentially a big hybrid cloud enabling product which Raghu Raghuram, EVP and GM, Software-Defined Data Center Division, VMware says will: “These new releases will deliver significant new customer benefits including support for containerized applications in production and simplifying operations at scale with these new releases. They represent important building blocks of our Cross-Cloud Architecture to help customers scale out their hybrid clouds.”

vSphere 6.5

Despite declining sales of vSphere, as revealed in reported earnings in May, the company is continuing to push what is one of its core products.

The virtualisation platform, which is designed to provide a flexible and secure foundation to help accelerate digital transformation to the cloud has had several enhancements added to it.

VMware has added scale enhancements through new configuration maximums to support larger app environments. VMware vCentre Server Appliance, the single control centre and core building block has been added, as has vCentre Server High Availability.

Version 6.5 aims to improve scalability.

Version 6.5 aims to improve scalability.

Audit-quality logging, security at scale REST APIs, Encryption, and vCentre Server Appliance Tool have also been added.

The company said that the key benefits are capabilities such as being able to run any app on any cloud, streamlined administration, a 53% reduction in cost of IT infrastructure management, and a 30% improvement in visibility, availability, capacity utilisation, and satisfaction with IT, the company claims.

vRealise Automation 7.2

The cloud automation software, which allows users to deploy across a multi-vendor hybrid cloud infrastructure, has been given an update.

VMware introduced out-of-the box support for Microsoft Azure, which adds to its support of AWS and vCloud Air, along with container management capabilities.

On the container front there is Admiral, a container management portal designed to deploy and manage containers to Docker hosts.

This means that developers will be able to provision container hosts from the vRealise Automation service catalogue. Admins will also be able to manage container hosts and apply usage governance.


Containers make a significant appearance in the updates to vRealise Automation.

Containers make a significant appearance in the updates to vRealise Automation.

VMware also added vRealise Log Insight 4.0, vRealise Operations 6.4, both of which will integrate with vSphere 6.5.

The company is also testing Admiral to deploy and manage containers to virtual container hosts on vSphere Integrated Containers, this is in a private beta.

Virtual SAN 6.5

One of VMware’s core building blocks for the software-defined data centre, version 6.5 is the fifth generation of VMware’s software that they say is powering hyperconverged infrastructure solutions.

Included in the updates are; vCentre Server Appliance, so that customers can patch, upgrade, and do backup and recover more easily. The company also said that it has a two times increase in the scale and performance of vCentre Server environments.

REST APIs have been added to help control and automate virtual infrastructure, while HTML5-based vSphere Client is included to simplify admin.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware announced update version of Virtual SAN.

Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware announced update version of Virtual SAN.

The inclusion of virtual machine-level encryption to help safeguard data at rest and Secure Boot, which will help to prevent image tampering and the unauthorised loading of components into vSphere environments, highlights the importance VMware is placing on security as a top level desire of the enterprise.

The latest version has also added vSphere Integrated Containers in order to provide a Docker-compatible interface for teams.

Nothing was said on the container front during the first day keynote, it might be a safe bet to expect the topic to make an appearance tomorrow.

Kubernetes as a Service

Little may have been said about containers during the keynote, but that didn’t stop VMware from announcing built-in-support for Kubernetes in its Photon Platform.

Lots of work is going on around the container ecosystem by numerous vendors, VMware being the latest.

Kubernetes can now be deployed as a service in the Photon Platform.

Kubernetes can now be deployed as a service in the Photon Platform.

This announcement will allow users to deliver Kubernetes-as-a-Service, while the company is also adding networking and storage services to the Photon Platform.

The idea is to allow IT operations teams to deliver Kubernetes to developers in a multi-tenant style that will deliver workload isolation and security.

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