VMware made a critical decision last year when it decided to partner with Amazon and turn its attention to its customers' hybrid cloud ambitions. This year, the company announced new partnerships with Amazon's closest public cloud competitors, Microsoft and Google.
At the VMworld conference in Las Vegas this week, the virtualization company is demonstrating how it's expanding its offerings for customers who may be using any combination of those public clouds.
The company is introducing an expanded set of products and services to help customers run, manage, connect and secure any application across their clouds and devices. They could come into play, for instance, if a customer's going all in with public cloud and using specific provider-native services, such as AWS Mobile Hub, explained Chris Wolf, CTO of global field and industry at VMware.
"What we're looking to do is take on key operational challenges customers have with these. applications across cloud providers and centralize those areas," he said.
The offerings, he said, provide customers with some consistency across different operational silos with the intent of saving time and money.
So for instance, NSX Cloud expands NSX support to cloud and cloud-native apps. The new offering should give customers a consistent way to enforce network and security policies no matter what cloud their applications might run on. Another tool, Cost Insight, helps optimize cloud expenses. Wavefront, meanwhile, offers a rich set of real-time analytics to understand how cloud applications are operating.
VMware is also rolling out Discovery, a tool to help IT teams understand what's happening on the cloud. This can enable more proactive devOps, Wolf said.
"Developers might provision resources they need to get the job done, but it's still important for the enterprise to bring those into compliance," he said. "It's not standing in the developer's way from an innovation perspective, just more proactively partnering with them."
One of the more significant tools VMware is releasing is AppDefense, which takes a different approach to security across clouds, Wolf said.
"It's impossible for any enterprise to fully see every packet traversing their network," he said. Instead of trying to do that, AppDefense creates "a baseline of what is a known good state. We know what an application should look like, what processes it should include... how it works with the operating system kernel."
When an app drifts from that baseline, AppDefense can automatically notify the owner and security team through, for instance, a mobile alert.
"It really starts to redefine what we can do from a security perspective," Wolf said, adding that multiple security partners are getting behind AppDefense. Managed security service providers are able to build new data center and cloud security offerings around AppDefense, with initial partners that include RSA, IBM Security, CarbonBlack, SecureWorks, and Puppet.
Meanwhile, VMware is also on Monday making a series of announcements related to its core business. That includes a new acceleration kit for hyperconverged infrastructure, extending vSAN to the edge for distributed processing of real-time data. It's priced at $7,852 and will be offered by Dell EMC, Fujitsu, Lenovo, and Supermicro.
VMware's vRealize Network Insight is getting an update with increased monitoring and PCI compliance capabilities for VMware NSX. VMware also continues to innovate around OpenStack with the release of OpenStack 4, which offers support for OpenStack Ocata and continues to enhance support for containerized applications. Customers can upgrade their version of OpenStack with a simple software update. VMware is also introducing the vSphere Scale-Out Edition tailored to big data and high-performance computing (HPC) use cases.
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