VMware is talking about the business of IT and how they enable their own business to deliver applications. It’s all about vCloud (vCloud Automation Center and vCloud Director) and NSX (yet to be released). Kit and Carl went through a pretty corny but effective scripted demo of provisioning an application from the business users perspective.
NSX, NSX and more NSX
The process is very similar to other demo’s I’ve seen from other Cloud Management vendors. The big difference is the push for the NSX platform. According to VMware a mature NSX environment allows you to not only orchestrate and provision layer 2 and 3 characteristics of the network associated to the application and VM’s but the network elements all the way up to layer 7 as well.
The ability to virtualize the network devices such as firewalls, IPS and load balancers also means that these once physical devices that have discrete interfaces can be controlled by software. Since they can be provisioned and configured by software means that they can now be automated using vCAC and vCD. This is no small announcement and shows the complexity of releasing NSX.
The second major area is storage automation. The key to a successful cloud management strategy is provisioning and controlling storage. VMware is of course pushing their virtual SAN solution (vSAN) to provision and control storage. What’s not clear is if VMware is pushing vSAN as an enterprise ready solution. My discussion with other attendees has been that the deep dive sessions have been around small office/remote office and VDI implementations vs. a solution that frontends an enterprise cloud management platform.
Single Pane of Glass
Joe Baguley, took on the challenge of trying to plead to Carl that IT has the ability meet the business’ desire to drive every ounce of innovation and efficiency out of IT. The question is if IT has the ability to implement and support a physical data center let alone a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). Joe used the opportunity to dive into the operations side of the house on from the vCenter Operations Manager interface. As software becomes the primary control point for the data center the ability for software to actually peer into what’s going on from a hardware layer. This is where partnerships from both hardware vendor and existing software management solutions. I’m a bit skeptical about the shinny demo because virtual or not, integrating management systems into a single pane of glass is a tough nut in practice.
It’s a demo so Joe of course convinced Carl that with vCOM can manage the SDDC. However, I still skeptical that the reality is still as always a bit in the future.