And I mean that literally. The AWS booth was blasting their presentations so loudly, those of us attending the Best of VMworld Awards Ceremony in the Solutions Exchange Theater could barely hear who the winners were.
A rep from the theater area eventually got them to turn down, just in time to hear that Quali won the Finalist award for "Agility and Automation", second only to Puppet. We were super excited to win the Finalist Award a second year in a row; and to share the accolades with a sexy startup like Puppet was really an honor.
As I left the Award Ceremony I couldn't get the sound of AWS out of my head. It wasn't just their excessive volume. It was that, for many of us, seeing the technical fruit of the AWS and VMware strategic partnership being made available to actual customers was quite shocking. As Forbes recently reflected, VMware's CEO Pat Gelsinger really swallowed his pride when he made the decision to move away from public cloud and align his company with one of its key competitors. That takes a lot of guts.
I've always admired Pat Gelsinger. In 2015, he was already suggesting that in order to succeed "Elephants must learn to dance." And great tech leaders like Gelsinger, Chambers, and Jobs know that the best dance move is the pivot. So here we are with VMware and AWS dancing together, and very loudly.
In many ways it makes sense. For both VMware and AWS, their loud dance helps block an elephant more than triple their combined size: Microsoft. Now VMware can pivot back to what it does best without the threat of the public cloud dampening core data center technologies like vSphere and NSX. I spoke with one of the Product Directors for VMware Cloud on AWS. According to him, the "it just magically works" approach will actually help on-prem customers stay on-prem. Often the flight to public cloud is driven by fear based "what-if" scenarios, and knowing that migration can happen securely when needed will help assuage existing vCenter customers' anxiety about migrating to public cloud.
Another interesting announcement was the partnership between VMware and Dell EMC to bring Dell EMC data protection to the VMware Cloud on AWS. This gives customers end to end data protection across public and private cloud with Dell EMC’s Data Domain and Data Protection Suite for Applications. Another reason to not worry about moving everything to the public cloud for now.
During the day two keynote, a big announcement was made about VMware and containers. Containers are often touted as the lightweight alternative to bulky hypervisors. However, VMware announced PKS: Pivotal Container Services. The "K" stands for Kubernetes - the rapidly growing container management platform that is largely responsible for driving enterprise adoption of container technology. It's also the technology Google's cloud services runs on. PKS makes it super easy to deploy Kubernetes on vSphere. And what's more cool is that PKS has VMware's NSX SDN technology built in. Networking has long been the Achilles heel of containers. With NSX's ability to provide seamless cross-cloud networking, PKS offers a solution that allows applications to seamlessly span on-prem data centers and public cloud.
I wish I could have spent the entire VMworld attending keynotes and seminars. I particularly wanted to get into the gory details of how VMware Cloud on AWS actually works. Unfortunately booth duty called. However, this year I had many enriching and fun conversations. The transformation from legacy IT to customer based on-demand IT is in full swing. Every one I talked to is trying to figure out how to transition to an "as-a-service" approach. That's great to see. People were very eager to catch a live demo - especially when I talked about how critical it is to get cloud automation and self-service IT solutions in place that deliver fast time to value. I was also happy to be able to offer a Free Trial of our award winning cloud automation software for the first time. While the past couple of years I would say most folks were contemplating self-service, this year many folks were truly evaluating and re-evaluating soup to nuts solutions.
It's an exiting time for IT. The partnerships and technology developments across today's IT landscape continue to benefit the consumer. However, it's still a changing world, with technologies like hybrid cloud still evolving. Abstracting that complexity away while making services available to end users via on-demand, self-service portals will help businesses ride the wave of innovation.
Hot though it was - another great time was had in Vegas! If you didn't make it out to see us at VMworld, you can find us at the upcoming Delivery of Things in San Diego in October as well as the DevOps Enterprise Summit in San Francisco in November. See you all again soon!