VMware has embraced a multi-pronged strategy that spans multiple clouds and extends to a broad array of emerging container and open-source technologies.
VMware estimates that 73% of application workloads are still running on traditional IT platforms. At that rate, it will be 2021 before half of all application workloads are running in the cloud, and even by then, only 30% of those workloads will be running in the public cloud. From VMware’s perspective, that means the software-defined data center extends well beyond on-premise IT environments that it currently dominates.
VMware intends to support multiple public clouds, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud and vCloud Air. Core to that effort is the ability to run NSX network virtualization software on all those platforms to enable hybrid cloud computing. Overall, VMware claims to have 1,700 customers running NSX.
VMware has two approaches to containers. One involves using VMware Integrated Containers (VIC) to deploy containers in an existing VMware environment. The other is based on Photon OS, a lightweight Linux host that runs on top of the ESXi hypervisor. The latter approach natively provides containers with access to compute, storage and networking resources via a single API.
VMware makes available an instance of OpenStack that runs on top of its hypervisor. VMware is now providing support for the latest Mitaka release of an OpenStack platform that gets updated twice a year. VMware claims to be one of the top 10 contributors to OpenStack.
Based on the open virtual switch (Open vSwitch) that VMware developed, the company is working with Red Hat and Cisco to drive development of a network overlay that is native to Open vSwitch.
Microsegmentation of network traffic to improve security is one of the main reasons IT organizations deploy NSX. In the future, VMware will be building on that base to address a broad range of IT security opportunities.
VMware has been a pioneer of converged and hyperconverged platforms following the launch of VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN). VMware claims it now has 5,000 customers employing VMware VSAN. Perhaps more importantly, VMware claims it is adding new VMware VSAN customers at a rate of 100 per week.
Today, only about 10% to 15% of all desktops are virtual. VMware concedes that number may never reach higher than 25%. As such, VMware has recrafted its desktop strategy to include managing workspaces as well as authenticating endpoints.