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October 18, 2016updated 28 Oct 2016 2:28pm

VMworld 2016: VMware, the new guardian of hybrid clouds

Company is positioning itself to have a connection to the leading public cloud vendors.

By James Nunns

VMware descended on Barcelona for VMworld 2016 with plenty to discuss about partnerships and the company’s role in the future of IT.

Described from the off as an “industry event” the company is aiming to set the agenda when it comes to the future of cloud computing.

After the traditionally enthusiastic musical start, thanks to partners, and empowering ‘be tomorrow’ prelude, Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware got the conference underway by dismissing the notion of the traditional versus digital business.

“Traditional versus digital is nonsense, every business needs to be digital,” said the CEO, before continuing and saying, “any distinction between the two is meaningless. The question is, what is your strategy?”

The core pieces to be considered are on technology and culture, with Gelsinger choosing to focus more on the technology side on day one.

Building from a brief history lesson starting in 2006 – which is when Amazon Web Services was launched, the year Pluto stopped being a planet, and the first time Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, spoke about the opportunity of cloud -Gelsinger took the opportunity to look at what the state of cloud is, making some predictions that he will no doubt be reminded about in the future.

The CEO started by identifying cloud use of 2% in 2006, while traditional IT was 98% of a total 29 million IT workloads.

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Fast forward to 2011 and suddenly 7% of workloads are on public cloud and 6% in private, with 87% of 80 million IT workloads remaining with traditional IT.

2016, and it is 15% public cloud, 12% private and 73% remains traditional of the now 160 million IT workloads.

The big prediction is that by 2021, June 29th, at 2:57pm CET, there will be a 50-50 split between workloads in the cloud and those remaining with traditional IT. In that split, 30% will be public cloud and 20% private. By 2030 the CEO predict that 52% of IT workloads will be in the public cloud.

“It’s about providing freedom and control. Like having a teenager you both love and like.”

The point is that the future is cloud, and it is hybrid and it is complex.

VMware’s research highlighted that currently the typical business has to manage eight clouds, 175 third party (SaaS) applications, and six security solutions.

VMware wants to highlight this for a very good reason, because it wants to be the guardian of the hybrid cloud. The company wants to be on the private cloud side but also help to manage the diverse number of clouds being used.

The state of the cloud - 2006 vs 2016

The state of the cloud – 2006 vs 2016

That is why the company is introducing VMware Cross-Cloud architecture, with Gelsinger saying: “It’s about providing freedom and control. Like having a teenager you both love and like.” The strategy puts VMware is a management position for connecting and managing its workloads in numerous different clouds such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM SoftLayer, and Google Cloud Platform.

The company has been keen to present itself as the largest private cloud, but now it is capable of managing hybrid cloud in a much more expanded way than it has been able to do before.

What this was leading to was a display of VMware’s newly found capabilities with AWS, with which it announced a partnership last week.

Clearly the deal is significant for both companies, giving AWS a more complete hybrid cloud portfolio and VMware access to the leading public cloud in the market, according to Gartner.

Mike Clayville, VP, AWS

Mike Clayville, VP, AWS, joined CEO Gelsinger on stage to discuss the importance of partnership between the two companies.

Mike Clayville, VP, AWS, came on to the stage to say that the use cases are linked to hardly any customers wanting to build a new data centre, according to Clayville, and it being good for lots of workloads that would benefit from bursting into the cloud.

The areas that the VP highlighted as being potential areas of success were all highly regulated areas; oil and gas, healthcare, financial services, and the public sector. All areas that AWS is known to be interested in expanding to, but has come up against roadblocks when it comes to fears around meeting regulatory requirements.

Aside from demonstrating the VMware Cloud on AWS functionality, the keynote provided brief nods to the announcements of Virtual SAN 6.5, vSphere 6.5, and vRealise Automation 7.2, in addition to the VMware Cloud Foundation.

In summary, the first day keynote was a good opportunity for VMware to move away from the talk about Dell EMC, and to re-establish its identity, which is fully rooted in hybrid cloud and more significantly as the private cloud to go to when wanting to also work with public clouds.

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