VMware is now an established company, so there's always a risk that it could become a dull one too. After all, what exactly is new in server virtualization these days?
Well, it turns out there's quite a lot that's new, and much of it was revealed and discussed at VMworld 2017, VMware's annual all-things-virtualization jamboree that was held in Las Vegas at the end of August.
Well, VMware Cloud on AWS for starters. This includes a hypervisor, storage and networking capabilities in the form of vSphere, VSAN and NSX, all running on an Amazon host in an AWS data center. The host has to be a beefy one, with 18 cores per socket and two sockets, 512 GB of RAM and a huge 14 TB of storage.
The idea is to run up to 16 hosts on AWS controlled by VMware's vCenter software, and you can connect virtual machines to other AWS resources like S3 storage, RDS databases and EC2 instances. This can be turned into a hybrid environment by connecting the hosts to an enterprise data center using NSX Edge virtual appliances to provide security and cloud gateway services.
AppDefense and Pivotal Container Service Make Their Debuts
VMware also unveiled a security product called AppDefense, which is, you guessed it, designed to defend applications — specifically, applications running in the cloud or on virtualized infrastructure. In many ways it works like Twistlock or other container security products in that it profiles applications to work out what they should be doing, and then monitors them to watch what they do in practice so that anomalous behavior can be spotted. It can then react to attacks automatically in certain circumstances. Pricing for AppDefense is $500 per CPU per year.
Another item of note is the rather curious Pivotal Container Service, known as PKS. You might imagine that it would be "PCS," as container is spelled with a "C", but apparently the powers that be want to emphasize the fact that PKS uses Kubernetes, the open source container management software. Basically what PKS does is make it easy for users to deploy Kubernetes on vSphere, so developers can work with containers if they wish, while providing monitoring, high availability and so on to keep containerized apps running.
These apps will work equally on PKS (using the latest version of Kubernetes) and Google Container Engine (GKE). This means apps can move to and from GKE for multiple cloud or hybrid on-premises/public cloud setups.
Updates Arrive for NSX-T and VMware Integrated OpenStack
VMware also announced some updates to its software, notably NSX-T (which replaced NSX - Multi-Hypervisor) and VMware Integrated OpenStack. NSX-T 2.0 provides network virtualization for a multi-cloud and multi-hypervisor environment. It now provides network virtualization for workloads running on either VMs or containers, and VMs can be located either on-premises or on AWS.
Meanwhile, VMware Integrated OpenStack 4.0 supports containers, integration with vRealize Automation, and multiple vCenter servers. It also has additional capabilities for better performance and scale, such as live resize of VMs (changing RAM, CPU and disks without shutting down the VM), Firewall as a Service (FWaaS), and CPU pinning.
That's a lot for one show. And certainly it should be enough to persuade onlookers that even though it may now be part of the establishment, VMware hasn't gotten dull just yet.
Paul Rubens is a technology journalist and contributor to ServerWatch, EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and EnterpriseMobileToday. He has also covered technology for international newspapers and magazines including The Economist and The Financial Times since 1991.