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VMworld 2019 Europe: View from the airport

Read time 3min 10sec
Pat Gelsinger, VMware.
Pat Gelsinger, VMware.

VMworld Europe is all wrapped up for another year, and the 14 000 customers, analysts, and press are, by now, back in their respective corners of the world.

There were plenty of announcements this year, and some that will prove foundational for years to come for the virtualisation giant.

It has also been on a buying spree this year, with seven acquisitions in eight months.

The biggest item on VMware’s shopping list was the loss-making Pivotal, and which is known for cloud platform hosting and containerisation, among other things.

Another was Carbon Black, which is known for its cloud native endpoint protection products. It’s thought that managing endpoints has become too complex for customers, and VMware majority shareholder Dell will now make Carbon Black Cloud the preferred endpoint security plan for commercial customers.

The future of containers

The company announced its new ‘Tanzu’ family of products at VMworld in the United States in August. This is going to prepare the company for the coming explosion of apps, of which there will be 792 million by 2024, up from 335 million now, according to CEO Pat Gelsinger.

More announcements followed at VMworld Europe around Tanzu, which makes managing containers easier with the Kubernetes orchestration tool.

Ask almost any enterprise if they’re using containers, and they’ll reply in the affirmative. But ask them if they’re using containers in production, and this number will drop significantly. IT teams like containers because they provide a lightweight and isolated environment in which to test code. But there still seems to be some difficulty in container management. VMware has been attempting to support the containerisation of applications through its vSphere product for some time and now with Tanzu embeds Kubernetes into the vSphere platform.

Cloud

As always, there were the cloud announcements, which the company has in recent years been moving to embrace, specifically hybrid cloud.

VMware has a strong partnership with AWS and said it will be launching VMWare on AWS in the hyperscaler’s new Stockholm region. This means it now has five regions in Europe and 17 globally.

It also said it had a new multi-tenancy agreement with AWS, which will be available to customers through managed service providers.

Working, from day one

It also had some news about Microsoft, saying there are some improvements in the Azure VMware hybrid cloud offering, making it apparently easier to migrate workloads. And, its Workspace One product will automate Windows 10 management tasks.

Workspace One provides a range of services for new employees; they can log into the company’s directory and intranet before they actually start their job. They can also order the technology they’ll need, and this will be delivered to them on their first day. Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work.

Technology for good

As VMware grows in size, and its suite of products becomes more important to businesses, the company is now taking a moral stance in its ‘technology for good’ programme. CEO Pat Gelsinger made no bones about his dislike of bitcoin, which he said was the antithesis of technology being used for positive change because it was used for criminal activity, and, according to him, used too much electricity.

It also announced a partnership with the African Union Commission, which will see it roll out VMware IT academies across the continent, providing training using VMware technologies.

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