It’s a Multi-cloud Life… For Us

This is a follow up post to “VMware: A Cloud Company” which you can find here.

Key questions addressed in this post:

  1. Why does VMware believe in a multi cloud life?
  2. What are VMware Cloud Services?
  3. Who is the Cloud Technology and Solutions team?

Definitions Matter 

(Native) Public Cloud — Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud

VMware Hybrid Cloud — On-Premises SDDC, VMware Cloud on AWS and/or VMware Cloud Provider Partners (IBM Cloud)

Multi-cloud Reality 

If you have not read my previous blog, referenced above, VMware considers multi-cloud as follows:

  1. Combination of public clouds i.e. AWS and Azure usage
  2. Combination of public clouds and VMware Hybrid Cloud

Research Matters, Data Matters 

For the past few years, research has been conducted with an emphasis on VMware’s existing customer base and their organization’s usage of public clouds. In 2016, 67 percent of VMware customers used a public cloud (or multiple) in some form. There was no emphasis on IaaS, PaaS or any other individual services.

In early 2017, I joined a small team within VMware called VMware Cloud Services. Our singular objective was to launch the foundation for the VMware Multi-cloud Strategy. The following individuals set out to understand what public cloud meant to VMware customers:

  • Guido Appenzeller — CTO Cloud and Networking
  • Bahubali (Bill) Shetti — Director of Cloud Solutions
  • Dan Illson — Cloud Architect
  • Sean O’Dell —Cloud Architect

Not discounting the work of others,we were not “product” focused like product managers and product owners.

Our goal was not to convert public cloud customers to existing VMware solutions—it was to understand why and how they were using public cloud. Keep your workloads in the public cloud if you want!

In 2018, we removed the questions asking VMware customers if they were utilizing public cloud. Why do you ask? Throughout 2017, our small team quickly gathered from customer conversations that multiple public clouds were prevalent and asking the question was pointless.

We should all assume that every VMware customer is utilizing the public cloud because they are.

There is varying usage of public cloud. Anything from “we are getting out of the data center business” to “the CIO says we need to move 33 percent of our workloads to AWS.” The reasons are varying, and chaos seems to be the new norm. DevOps principles seem to be driving the idea of choice, from open source solutions to public cloud consumption.

One of the goals for VMware Cloud Services is choice and freedom. Not only from a solution perspective, but also how our customers consume VMware solutions.

Software as a Services Reality 

The industry has shifted over the years and customers are asking for different consumption models.Think about Microsoft and Adobe. They pioneered the subscription movement from an enterprise perspective. Think about Apple and Spotify. They pioneered the subscription model for apps and music. Amazon Web Services (and others) helped shape the consumption of technology services in the cloud.

Subscription is nothing new at VMware, thanks to our friends from Airwatch, now called Workspace ONE Unified Endpoint Management.

VMware is building out SaaS solutions while maintaining perpetual license solutions to ensure customers have choice when it comes to consumption models.

Challenges Moving Forward 

One of the beautiful challenges of being VMware is having to evolve within the technology space while building upon our success. VMware is and will continue to be the leader in the hypervisor space. Followed by building the best of breed Hybrid Cloud Management Platform with the vRealize Suite and revolutionized networking with proliferation of NSX and Network Insight. Did anyone think I wouldn’t mention my love for the NI team? Long live Arkin!

One of the challenges (and subsequent opportunities) VMware faces is that DevOps principles have proliferated over the past few years. I find it fitting that I am writing this final section while attending DevOps Enterprise Summit 2018 in Las Vegas. DevOps means different things to different people and organizations, but it is real, and it is here to stay. VMware continues to update our existing code base and solutions to ensure that they adhere to DevOps principles. Think about the NSX Provider for Terraform. Find more info here.

Perception vs Reality 

Outside of VMware community circles, VMware is perceived as an infrastructure company. I am not going to argue the merit of this, but the reality is that VMware needs to grow. Both internally and externally.

When I began talking with public cloud and cloud native customers in the lead up to the VMware Cloud Services launch in 2017, I often had to preface my talk with the following message: “My name is Sean O’Dell and I work for VMware. I do not touch vSphere and/or on-premises anything. I am solely dedicated to native public cloud and cloud native consumption and how VMware plans to support your efforts in these areas.”

The resistance to VMware being something more than and infrastructure company is nothing new. There was an initial struggle from within the IT community to see VMware as a networking company. Time and execution of the vision has changed that perception.

The Voices of Change

The VMware Cloud Services Solutions and Technology team is the voice of hope! Responsibilities of this team include the following:

  • Developer relations
  • Public cloud and cloud native evangelism
  • Technical blogging, including VMware Cloud Services + open source solutions
  • Voice of the (non-traditional) VMware customer
  • VMware Cloud Services solutions
    • Multi-cloud operations
    • Cloud native and Kubernetes

Our team is actively blogging, attending and speaking at industry related events. You can also find us on Twitter. Follow us and ask questions! The team is young and small, but we are growing as we move into 2019.

So, what’s next 

The goal for the next few blogs will be to highlight some of the areas our team is responsible for. First of all, I will focus on the multi-cloud operations announcement that was made at VMworld US 2018. Yes, we played a major role in the acquisition of CloudHealth Technologies, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

VMware Cloud Service + CloudHealth Technologies = Better Together

We will also focus on the efforts of Kubernetes-related solutions and where VMware Kubernetes Engine fits into that strategy.

Until next time…

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