VMworld 2018: Five Things VMware Needs to Do to Support an Enterprise DevOps Model

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

• Having laid out its private cloud management and strategy, VMware needs to set its sights on easing microservices and multi-cloud deployment complexities next.

• Articulating its DevOps roadmap, including microservices, service mesh, and serverless computing, would go a long way instilling confidence among customers.

A year after rolling out new cloud services including visibility, cost monitoring, analytics, and security, VMware released during VMworld SaaS-based automation tools, but this is only the tip of the iceberg in helping address customers’ app modernization plans.

Enterprises are now seeking private/hybrid cloud solutions addressing APLM (application and platforms lifecycle management) issues around new development architectures such as microservices and eventually serverless computing. VMware is well positioned through its vSphere enterprise and SP customer base to provide services to enterprises moving to provision containers with security, storage, and networking. While VMware is focused on providing private and hybrid cloud management around early containerization projects involving monolithic applications, it must now turn its attention towards supporting IT operations teams through important product integrations of key technologies such as Istio service mesh and Knative.

During this week’s VMworld, within VMware’s Cloud Services division there was little context in the way of DevOps strategy, including updates on its containerization strategy which centers around Pivotal Container Service (PKS), VMware Kubernetes Engine (VKE), VMware Integrated Container (VIC), and Photon (microservices) portfolio. VMware needs to ratchet up efforts in coming months to move further up the cloud stack and address enterprise IT operations teams’ APLM issues. This blog post provides five crucial moves VMware needs to make to remain competitive with rival application platforms and hybrid cloud rivals.

1. Focus on enterprise DevOps pain-points: VMware needs to throw its weight behind key OSS projects and create a roadmap on when and where advanced tools and frameworks will be integrated as part of VMware’s Cloud Services portfolio. Important OSS technologies for addressing operational issues include Istio (service mesh), Knative (serverless computing), Envoy (proxy), Grafana, and OpenTracing (analytics and monitoring), among others.

2. Become a leading APLM provider: VMware’s acquisition of CloudHealth this week provided a big step towards enhancing customers’ hybrid and multi-cloud management experience. VMware needs to immediately begin integrating Wavefront and CloudHealth technologies, in addition to relevant OSS technologies related to APLM concerns.

3. Strengthen its private cloud strategy via uniform provisioning: This week VMware’s Cloud Services group announced new cloud automation services in the form of SaaS offerings. These include VMware Code Stream, VMware Cloud Assembly, and VMware Service Broker. This announcement represents a significant move by VMware to support a DevOps model, particularly via Cloud Assembly to unify provisioning across hybrid and multi-cloud deployment scenarios. The company needs to keep momentum going around these CICD pipeline tools, building on its newly coined term VMware Cloud Operations (cloud management).

4. Dump VIC and consolidate its container portfolio: VMware’s developer messaging is convoluted under a confusing container solutions portfolio, undercutting confidence in its DevOps strategy. The company needs to hone its portfolio by dropping VIC and emphasizing the importance of PKS as playing a key role in VMware’s private cloud initiative, with the ability to build distributed applications.

5. Prioritize thought-leadership around blockchain: After outlining plans to enter the blockchain space last year, VMware announced this week Project Concord, a decentralized trust infrastructure described as being highly scalable and energy-efficient to support smart contracts and other digitized consensus projects. VMware needs to expand on plans to create an audit framework, visibility, and infrastructure tools in blockchain, including a vSphere roadmap and developer opportunities.

For more additional details expanding on these five recommendations please see: VMworld 2018: Action Items for a DevOps Strategy at VMware, August 29, 2018).


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