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Five Key Findings From VMworld 2017

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Sam Routledge

Chief Technology Officer

The Softcat team were out in force at the recent VMworld 2017 event in Barcelona. There's always a lot to take in at these events, and that was definitely the case here. As a veteran of VMworld, I was impressed by the buzz this year – loads of excitement, especially about the VMware and AWS partnership as well as in the Solutions Exchange where it was clear the VMware ecosystem is as vibrant as ever. For those of you who didn't make it, and for those of you who were there only in body after a late night or two, we thought we'd summarise the key points:

1. VMware are making a strong play as a security platform company.

This is a really important initiative for them – they want to ensure services that run on the VMware platform are more secure by default, which will be ensured by inbuilding a certain level of security (more on this shortly). They are not looking to replace key vendors such as Trend, Check Point, Palo Alto etc. (although they did observe that the security market is hard to navigate as there are so many vendors!) – rather to work alongside them by providing a secure substrate into which these vendors can integrate.

2. AppDefense is the next step in this initiative.

The solution, formerly known as 'Project Goldilocks,' looks like it could be very useful. In a nutshell, it baselines each VM, giving it a 'birth certificate' and thereby effectively allow-listing the permitted processes within that VM. If anything changes, it alerts the administrator and takes an action that you can configure and choose yourself. For example; quarantining the specific VM using NSX, rebooting it, etc. Of course, you will still need firewalls and other protective measures – but this is a good step forward in building security directly into the platform.

3. NSX is HOT!

Again, the security theme continues and microsegmentation is the primary use case. Extensibility of your network and security parameters into the public cloud using NSX promises to be a key driver.

4. Talking of public cloud, VMware's clear direction of travel is to be a cross-cloud management layer.

This seems to be very well received – the anticipation around the launch of VMware Cloud on AWS is significant. There's no clear UK availability date yet, but 'spring to summer 2018' is our estimation. Our sources have whispered that the UK is likely to be the first region outside of the USA, so fingers crossed!

5. Which brings us to vSphere – which is still clearly relevant.

The very clear message was that if you want to be in a position to take advantage of VMware Cloud on AWS, you must be on vSphere 6.5 – and deploying NSX is pretty close to essential also.

Get in Touch

If you want help understanding what these initiatives mean for your organisation we can offer assistance navigating the landscape described above. If you want to know more or have any further questions please get in touch with your Softcat account manager or contact us using the button below.