VMworld 2020: VMware’s Multi-Cloud Strategy Targets Red Hat OpenShift

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

• VMware announced general availability (GA) of vSphere with Tanzu Kubernetes integrations

• Tanzu integrations with vRealize/CloudHealth strengthen VMware’s multi-cloud management position

Since rolling out its Tanzu Kubernetes initiative a year ago, VMware has been integrating the technology throughout its flagship product lines including vSphere integration (GA’d last week during VMworld) and vRealize (please see VMware VMworld 2020: VMware Tanzu Coupled with vRealize Challenges Multi-Cloud Management Rivals,” October 1, 2020). Through this approach the virtualization giant leverages its massive customer base and enterprise-grade infrastructure strengths, including security, networking, and systems management, to differentiate in the highly competitive app modernization and cloud arena.

VMware’s overarching brand, Tanzu, represents an integrated platform to unify management of both VMs and Kubernetes containers. As part of that initiative, Tanzu Mission Control is an application central approach for managing Kubernetes clusters in various environments among the cloud ecosystem including VMware Cloud on AWS, and eventually Azure, GCP and Oracle Cloud.

During its digital annual conference, VMware detailed Tanzu integrations to further VMware’s multi-cloud management play, via vRealize Cloud Management Platform. vRealize (coupled with CloudHealth) has been evolving to represent VMware’s multi-cloud management play and help Tanzu go up against heavy hitters in this space including Google Anthos, AWS Outposts, Azure Arc, IBM/Red Hat OpenShift. vRealize includes key DevOps capabilities for managing Kubernetes workloads including vRealize Operations/Automations.

VMware has embraced Kubernetes by re-architecting its prominent vSphere technology over the past year, leveraging key acquisitions including Heptio and Pivotal. Kubernetes-based platforms help fulfill hybrid cloud initiatives and serve as the foundation for high-value services such as AI and automation. However, Kubernetes-based containerization in general threatens VMware, despite its attempts to co-opt new container strategies. The trend towards containers and cloud-native offerings encourages enterprises to move away from a bloated virtualized architecture, management and associated pricing.

The bulk of VMware’s application platforms announcements last week confirmed GA of announcements made earlier in the year. While VMware’s messaging was about abstracting complexities in development and deployment of modern apps and adding automation to improve operational provisioning, few details were provided around VMware’s strategy with emerging technologies such as intelligent automation, service mesh, and serverless architectures.

Following VMworld, VMware should now prioritize plans to provide the industry with product roadmaps for Tanzu and vRealize. Considering rival cloud and platform services have a hefty jump on Tanzu, it’s important for VMware to outline plans and progress in emerging technologies key to DevOps models as part of app modernization efforts.

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