VMworld 2017 General Keynote Overview

General Session Day 1

CEO, Pat Gelsinger, went to the stage talking about  daily expectations. From a one year old baby natively using a touch only device like an iPad to a self driving car and the experience going from wow to boredom. Every industry is being affected by these daily expectations. I believe the point Pat was making was in today’s world we have new expectations and businesses need to adapt to them. All of the industries, banking, retail, telco, and healthcare are changing. The leaders in these industries are embarrassing the digital transformation. Media industries like Netflix, HBO, and Comcast are offering digital content and this new business is exploding and is expected to surpass traditional media next year.

Businesses need to reshape customer experiences with new and better applications. VMware is focused on delivering this new experience by focusing on any device, any application, on any cloud with keeping security in mind for each area. Workspace ONE was introduced and focuses on Apps and Identity, Management and Security, Desktop and Mobile. The newest addition to the device list is a partnership with HP Inc.

The partnership between VMware and Amazon AWS was introduced. Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS, was invited to the stage and talked about running any app on vSphere and moving it into AWS. Andy briefly talks about how customers feel like they have to draw a line in the sand to decide between running their application either in their private data center or in the public cloud on AWS. The partnership gives customers the ability to have both. This offering is only available in one Availability Zone in the west region today, but will be expanding to east cost region and then globally with a promise that before the end of next year all Availability Zones will have this offering. Administrators can use existing tools like vSphere to manage workloads in either environment. Presented was the ecosystem of early partners offering this hybrid service.

Networking is the underpinning that’s allowing VMware to work with other cloud companies like IBM Cloud, Virtustream, GCP, and Azure. “NSX is becoming the connective tissue that ties everything together”. NSX is also being stretched into other areas beyond cloud. Areas like microservices with Docker, Mobile and Desktop, and IoT.

Lastly, Pat talks about security and introduced the five pillars of cyber hygiene. This graphic shows how VMware is trying to make security an easier process to maintain. One of the new ideas introduced, was using the compute layer to help with security. AppDenfese was introduce to help in this new area. AppDefense will reach out to other areas like Puppet to get an idea of how the workloads are suppose function and act. AppDefense will use machine learning and artificial intelligence to create a manifest for its own operations. At this time, the “VM can start monitoring itself and detect if its behavior deviates from good”. Lastly, automate responses by shutting off the VM, send alerts, start pcap, or quarantine itself.

General Session Day 2

The second day introduced more partnerships. Michael Dell came on stage and he and Pat talked about the partnership between Dell EMC and VMware. Next, was a partnership introduced between Pivotal and Google and specifically working closer with Kubernetes. This new partnership for Pivotal was called PKS (Pivotal Container Service). NSX will be integrated into these new services.

The keynote showed a skit where an organization that was in disarray and needed to improve the business . The business failed PCI audits, their mobile app stinks, and the business wants to move faster. The skit showed an executive talking to an IT engineer. The exec promoted the engineer on the spot to VP of IT. Now all the headaches belonged to the new VP of IT.

This theme sets the table for the rest of the keynote. This gives the presenters the opportunity to present multiple services that VMware offers. Things like AppDefense to monitor and secure applications and compute. vRealize Operations to get an overview of environment and their data center capacity. Use VMware on AWS to expand capacity to the public cloud. VMware Network Insight to give network views for migration planning as well as micro-segmentation planning. Lastly, use vRealize Automation to help migrate the apps off on-prem data center to the newly provisioned services in AWS.


My takeaways from the two day general keynotes were there was a big focus on the partnership between VMware and AWS, as well as a focus on NSX. NSX is the core component that gives VMware the ability to migrate their workloads to any public cloud offering. VMware has worked hard with partnering with cloud providers like AWS, IBM, as well Google Cloud Platform. It feels like NSX gives VMware the ability to extend their reach to these providers, but also gives the providers the chance to break into the enterprise data center. We’re early in making everything run in code, but it feels like things are going to take off very soon.

Day 1 video:

Day 2 video:

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