Leveraging The Core
While vSphere might not be the focal point of VMware's new story, it's the linchpin that makes the story possible to tell. "I always think of vSphere as that most-critical foundation we have in the company. It's what brought everyone here [to VMworld]," said Mike Adams, director of vSphere product marketing.
Public cloud started eating market share faster than almost anyone expected, forcing VMware to adapt rapidly, said Adams. But don't discount the core VMware product's continued significance in the modern IT landscape, and the toehold that gives VMware in a market increasingly characterized by heterogenous solutions. "The cloud came in as a disrupter and we knew we had to add capabilities. We are one of the few software companies in the world positioned to tackle these things," Adams said. "At the heart of all that is vSphere."
A hotly debated question in the IT industry is the percentage of workloads that will ultimately end up in hyper-scale cloud data centers, as opposed to remaining either on-premises or in private hosted environments.
Adams — and just about everyone else you ask in the VMware ecosystem — sees an even split down the road.
Launching VMware into that 50-50 hybrid future is the latest release of vSphere, version 6.5, which has seen faster adoption than any of its predecessors. VMware tuned 6.5 to support a cloud delivery model and bridge the public-private divide — it's the only version of vSphere capable of running in an AWS data center.
VMware Cloud on AWS, AppDefense, vSAN, all those disparate products come together at the vSphere layer, Adams said. As do containers, he said, which are "just another object in the environment."
Despite all the talk of competing platforms and disruption, VMware sees a world of harmonious coexistence between virtual machines and containers, and plans even deeper integrations to support popular container tech solutions, like Kubernetes. Ultimately, enterprises will have "pockets of IT," Adams said. "A little AWS, Microsoft, Google." The vendor that triumphs in that market will be agnostic to infrastructure types and providers. "We want to be that connection point, allow people to have a choice. If it's a vSphere environment, great, if it's not, that's OK too," Adams said. "We see our place as bringing all that together. Our philosophy is join them all."