VMware leans on hybrid cloud for 'any app, any device' strategy

"We all know an app is meaningless without a device to get access to it anytime, anywhere," said VMware's president and COO.

SAN FRANCISCO---Hybrid clouds are the way of the future in IT, and they must be run through software-defined architectures, as opined by VMware executives on Monday morning.

Kicking off the virtualization giant's annual VMworld expo, VMware president and chief operating officer Carl Eschenbach outlined the company's vision for any app, running at all times on any device through this infrastructure model.

"We all know an app is meaningless without a device to get access to it anytime, anywhere," said Eschenbach.

Eschenbach suggested to the more than 23,000 attendees at this year's conference -- a record for VMworld -- that IT departments have a few different options of achieving this kind of success rate, from building hybrid cloud environments on their own or running everything on top of hyper-converged infrastructures, among a few other options.

But those infrastructures, he argued, need to be scalable and reliable to support both legacy and cloud-native applications.

"We need to make sure everything is secure, from the data center to the application," Eschenbach asserted.

Deploying a mobile app in the public cloud needs to link back to data typically residing in private cloud environments, added Bill Fathers, general manager of VMware's hybrid cloud services unit, presenting this as one of the most complex (and expensive) challenges for enterprises deploying new cloud models.

"Latency kills revenues," Fathers summarized, hinting at the financial risks and detriment incurred by muddled cloud infrastructures -- whether its airline ticketing systems or a major sporting event on Pay-Per-View television.

The bottleneck is networking, explained Fathers, which he acknowledged "makes sense" in a third-party cloud environment, insisting VMware's portfolio is different because it extends its networking architecture to the cloud.

The EMC-owned company unveiled a bevy of new services and upgrades on Monday with the "any app, any device" strategy at the core, from the new Photon Platform, an API-centric platform designed for containers and and high-churn workloads to a unified hybrid cloud platform running on VMware's software-defined technology.

"We're seeing the rise of the hybrid app," observed Raghu Raghuram, executive vice president and general manager of the software-defined data center group at VMware. "Part is running in public cloud and part is running in private."

Thus, the manner in which IT departments deploy apps, Raghuram continued, are now business choices -- not choices made based upon architectural constraints.