VMware CEO highlights tech upgrades and skims over impending Broadcom purchase

VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram kicked off the company’s flagship user conference in San Francisco, noting the event’s new name and return to an in-person venue after two years of being held virtually due to the pandemic. . What used to be called VMworld is now VMware Explore in a Switch that recognizes how the audience has evolved over the years.

“When we started VMworld, it was a community of data center professionals. But over the years we have expanded,” Raghuram said. It’s now a community for app developers, platform engineering teams, cloud operations teams and security teams, he said. “It’s all of these roles…not just in the data center, but in all the clouds. It really is a multi-cloud community.

New VMware products also cover the IT horizon, including application development, data center infrastructure, network security and multi-cloud management. VMware’s flurry of technology previews and announcements include:

  • Project Northstar, a family of multi-cloud networking and security services available through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) consumption model.
  • New versions of vSphere server virtualization and vSAN storage virtualization software, as well as new resource-based consumption models designed to better align costs with application needs.
  • Launch of Aria, a software portfolio designed to centralize the delivery, management and security of infrastructure and applications in a multi-cloud environment.
  • Tanzu application platform updates, including support for Red Hat’s OpenShift Kubernetes orchestration platform.

Overcome cloud chaos

VMware’s new and improved products are part of an overarching theme that Raghuram presented in his keynote: businesses need a smarter, more cohesive, and less chaotic approach to the cloud.

IT organizations of all sizes face similar challenges as they try to accelerate the pace of innovation, drive greater automation and increase productivity, he said. Digital transformation hinges on further expansion into the cloud, “re-training everything in the business,” Raghuram said, but CIOs and CEOs tell him it’s not happening fast enough.

“Roadblocks tend to be very common regardless of the sector,” Raghuram said. The three main obstacles are: the lack of skills, the weight of enterprise applications to be modernized and the fragmentation of development, operating and security models.

“All of your teams are building apps across multiple clouds in the data center, following different patterns. There is no consistent development experience, which slows them down. There is a fragmented operations model that slows them down. There is a fragmented security model that increases risk. All of these things are slowing down the big re-platform,” he said.

At last year’s conference, VMware talked about VMware Cross-Cloud Services, its vision for a set of technology services and platforms that enable businesses to be “intelligent in the cloud,” and that year, the company offers some of these products, Raghuram said.

An example is VMware vSphere 8. It took two years to build and, according to Raghuram, it lays the foundation for the next decade of modern computing – a single computing infrastructure that can support a variety of CPUs, GPUs and DPUs. (processing unit data).

“vSphere is going to be the single platform that lets you deploy and manage workloads and run them efficiently and securely, regardless of the underlying processor technology,” Raghuram said. “And it’s going to allow you to run not just today’s applications, but also the next decade of artificial intelligence and machine learning applications and data applications, real-time applications, telecommunications applications, etc.”

VMware Aria is another key release, targeting multi-cloud management. The Aria portfolio includes a set of products for managing the cost, performance, configuration and delivery of cloud-native infrastructure and applications. It is powered by VMware Aria Graph, a graph-based data store that captures the elements of a multi-cloud environment.

“We created a graph of all your cloud assets, your hundreds or thousands of [virtual private clouds] and Kubernetes clusters, and serverless, and on-premises, and so on,” Raghuram said. “And using that graph, we can do all kinds of management, security, and automation that you never thought of before. It’s VMware Aria. It’s at the heart of our multi-cloud management strategy.

Continuing the multi-cloud theme, Raghuram announced that VMware’s Cloud Universal program now supports Microsoft Azure.

“When we introduced [the Cloud Universal program] last year we introduced it for private cloud and VMware Cloud on AWS. So you said, “Hey, that’s great, but it’s not multicloud.” So we got back to work. Earlier this year we added support for Google. And today, I am thrilled to announce that Microsoft Azure VMware Solution will be part of VMware Cloud Universal.

With Cloud Universal, “you don’t have to predict or wonder where your developers want to build the next big app, what cloud services they want to connect it to, how to manage them, et cetera, et cetera,” he said. he declares. “You can choose to flexibly build your apps on-premises, move them to the cloud, build them on one cloud, run them on another cloud, go crazy. All of this is covered by a business model.

Broadcom’s plans for VMware

At the start of the keynote, Raghuram alluded to Broadcom’s plans to acquire VMware, and he took the opportunity to welcome Broadcom Chairman and CEO Hock Tan, who was in the audience, within the VMware Explore community. But Raghuram said nothing specific about the $61 billion deal, first announced in May.

At a press conference after the opening speech, Raghuram was pressed on the pending deal.

“Things are on the right track,” he said. “They go through all the regulatory approvals, for one thing. On the other hand, we work with the Broadcom team and help them understand the depth and breadth of our business and product portfolio.

“And in the meantime, as we are required to, we operate as a completely independent and autonomous company with our own strategy and our own execution strategy.”

Broadcom expects the acquisition to close in its 2023 fiscal year, which begins in November and ends in October next year.

Asked about pre-acquisition concerns, Raghuram said the initial flurry of concerns among VMware employees and customers appeared to have subsided. Any large transaction should be expected to raise questions and potential concerns, he said. “It existed with our employees in the beginning,” he said, but “a lot of that has stabilized. Employees know what the roadmap is going forward.

“When it comes to customers, I think it’s more or less the same. Customers are very mature. They’ve been through many big business deals and they see us execute every day. »

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