Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Friday, October 23, 2020
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VMware, New Dell Unit, Refreshes Cloud Platform 

VMware rolled out a batch of upgrades to its hybrid cloud management platform a day after it was merged as part of EMC Corp. with Dell Inc.

VMware (NYSE: VMW) unveiled a "complete refresh" of its cloud management platform during a company event on Tuesday (Oct 13) in Barcelona, Spain. The upgrades include new versions of its vRealize Automation and vRealize Standard management tools. These and other vRealize upgrades are intended to speed the delivery of services across public and private clouds and make it cheaper to do so, the company said.

As more enterprises move to hybrid cloud infrastructure, "We are moving to a faster release cycle" on the vRealize management platform, Rob Smoot, VMware's vice president for cloud management product marketing, noted in an interview.

Its vRealize Automation 7 tool is intended to deliver "unified" services across hybrid clouds so IT and DevOps teams can accelerate the secure delivery of multi-tier applications across public and private clouds. The version 7 release also is integrated with NSX 6.2, VMware's network virtualization platform for software-defined datacenters, to help configure networks and enable micro-segmentation that is "unique to each application.

NSX is designed to dynamically configure networks to meet specific performance requirements for each cloud-based application. "Micro-segmentation is the key use case for NSX," Smoot stressed, adding that the management platform upgrades position it for virtual environments as well as software-defined datacenters.

The upshot is the accelerated delivery of applications by what VMware claims is an average of 18 days along with reduced cloud capacity usage and improved hardware cost "avoidance" per application.

Potential cost savings are also the key selling points behind the upgraded vRealize Business Standard tool designed to help IT teams control costs while improving hybrid cloud services. The tool allows administrators to compare costs between vCloud Air, Amazon Web Services and other public clouds supported by vRealize Automation. The upgraded version of the business tool adds support for Microsoft Azure.

"Cost is really a critical factor to compete with other cloud providers—cost and where to put critical workloads," Smoot noted.

Other vRealize cloud management tools being released by VMware include Operations and Log Insight tools.

The latest versions of the vRealize Automation and Business Standard will be available as standalone products or part of a vRealize suite by the end of the year.

Smoot emphasized that the upgraded cloud management tools target initial provisioning of applications as well as "Day 2 operations" covering the lifecycle of a given application.

The product upgrades come one day after the announcement that VMware's parent, storage leader EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) will merge with Dell Inc. in a deal estimated to be worth $67 billion. VMware would remain an independent, publicly-trade company.

Analysts see the merger as part of an ongoing datacenter consolidation as compute, storage, networking and virtualization continue to converge. One reason, according to Loring Wirbel, a senior analyst who tracks networking and storage for the Linley Group, is the inevitable demise of storage network specialists that are being "swallowed up by server or server-and-switch players."

Added Wirbel, "The one thing that deals like Dell-EMC point out is that some form of diversification in the datacenter must take place at another level, say in a new slew of startups in virtualization or [network function virtualization] because customers won't stand for single-supplier lock-in for their server banks and their switches and their storage subsystems."


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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