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VMworld 2021 announcement roundup

VMware‘s VMworld 2021 event was all about the cloud. The company announced a slew of big updates to its product portfolio to support multi-cloud environments and to enhance security. Here’s a rundown of the announcements.

Strategic shift with VMware Cross-Cloud services 

VMware announced a revamped strategy to help businesses navigate the multi-cloud era with VMware Cross-Cloud services.

“It’s no longer about a ‘cloud first’ approach—it’s about being ‘cloud smart’. Organizations should have the freedom to choose the ’right’ cloud, based on their strategic business goals,” said Raghu Raghuram, VMware chief executive officer.

According to the company, the average organization uses roughly 500 apps distributed across multiple clouds. It says that 75 per cent of VMware customers are using two or more public clouds, and 40 per cent rely on three or more. While the multi-cloud approach allows businesses to choose the best solutions for their needs, it also introduces higher diversity, complexity, and distribution, which makes it more difficult to manage risk, slowing down execution while increasing costs.

Credit: VMware

In introducing the VMware Cross-Cloud services, the company hopes to eliminate some of the headaches companies face when innovating and growing in a multi-cloud environment. The Cross-Cloud services are comprised of five building blocks:

  • A state-of-the-art platform for building and deploying cloud-native apps
  • Cloud infrastructure for operating and running enterprise apps
  • Cloud management for monitoring and managing the performance and cost of apps across different clouds
  • Security and networking that spans entire multi-cloud operations to connect and better secure all apps
  • A digital workspace to empower the distributed workforce, along with edge solutions to deploy and manage edge-native apps

In addition, VMware has introduced new services for Cross-Cloud services, including

  • Cloud Infrastructure and Management: new multi-cloud services to assist with cloud migration, app modernization and adopting a cloud operating model. 
  • Apps: Improvements in the VMware Tanzu portfolio to help developers with building and deploying apps in a multi-cloud environment.
  • VMware Edge: a product portfolio that allows customers to run and manage edge-native apps across multiple clouds.
  • Security and Networking: end-to-end zero trust architecture inside and across cloud and app environments.

New VMware Cloud features

The company announced new features coming to VMware Cloud that, it says, can “enable customers to move their enterprise apps to the cloud in nearly half the time and at less than half the cost.” These include:

A new portfolio of managed Kubernetes services to modernize apps on VMware Cloud. 

The VMware Cloud with Tanzu services offers a new portfolio of managed Kubernetes services. It will be available for no additional charge as part of VMware Cloud on AWS. VMware says that its new service is more cost-effective than existing approaches and offers exceptional ease in deployment.

Capabilities to make it simpler and safer to run enterprise apps in VMware Cloud. 

VMware cloud value
Credit: VMware

VMware Cloud provides flexible cloud migration timelines and runs vSphere workloads on the cloud of the customer’s choice. Additionally, it uses a scale-out distributed architecture and a cloud delivery model to enhance security and data protection, all without increasing complexity for the customer.

A new initiative supporting the need for customers to run their businesses in sovereign clouds. Through this initiative, VMware aims to connect customers with trusted national cloud service providers to meet geo-specific requirements around data sovereignty and jurisdictional control. The first official VMware Sovereign Clouds are UKCloud, OVHcloud, AUCloud, Datacom, NxtGen, Noovle, Telefonica, TietoEvry, Telmex and ThinkOn. The company expects to continue to expand its partnerships in the future.

Security improvements and focus on Zero Trust security

Adopting a multi-cloud approach increases complexity when making security decisions, but the security conversation extends beyond the cloud adoption model.

VMware security suite benefits.
Credit: VMware

In the continued effort to enhance security for its entire product stack, VMware has announced new safeguards for endpoints, virtual machines and containers with an end-to-end Zero Trust architecture. These include:

  • Secure workload access for Zero Trust inside clouds and data centers. Workloads running on VMware gain the benefit of identity with authoritative context and micro-segmentation, as well as workload-attached policies with scalable automation.
  • VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery and VMware Carbon Black Cloud for ransomware protection and recovery
  • CloudHealth Secure State for better visibility and security across multiple public clouds
  • API security and Kubernetes Security Posture Management to better protect modern apps
  • VMware SASE and VMware Workspace ONE now include a new inline cloud access service broker (CASB) to increase visibility and control over app access. IT teams can better apply role-based access policies to cloud-delivered apps and block unsanctioned apps. Moreover, the upcoming Data Loss Prevention capabilities will increase compliance with data privacy laws like HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI by preventing sensitive data from leaving pre-defined environments.

App modernization for any cloud

App modernization is a pillar of digital transformation. Migrating monolithic, mission-critical applications to the cloud increases their scalability, updatability, and reduces cost of ownership. App developers today are also faced with the demand to build adaptive and secure applications on any cloud. For these scenarios, VMware introduced its Tanzu application platform in August 2019. It’s still in beta, but at VMWorld 2021, Tanzu gained a collection of new features to bolster its appeal.

  • Supply chain choreography: based on the open source cartographer project, allowing app operators to create pre-approved paths to production for developers that integrate Kubernetes resources and existing toolchains.
  • Developer tooling including IDE plugins: gives developers the opportunity to interact with the platform or its open source components easily and efficiently to execute important and frequent pre-commit development tasks.
  • Intrinsic security: adds features for signing, scanning and storing images along the path to production.
  • Service bindings: Operators can specify how endpoints and credentials from data services are exposed to workloads in a portable and Kubernetes-native way.
  • Source controller: Enables app developers to create or update workloads from local source code.
  • Convention Service: provides a framework for platform operators to configure policies of deployed workloads to ensure that all workloads follow the best development practices.
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