The second day of VMware Explore 2023 kicked off with an energizing breakfast alongside my fellow Dallas/Fort Worth VMUG Leaders before heading to the main stage. As you might know, one of the highlights of attending VMware Explore is the sense of community and the chance to connect with fellow peers. These individuals are truly remarkable—a passionate group who share a deep appreciation for VMware and all things tech.
Today, was all about the main stage, where an exciting general session took place to a packed house. Attendees got to hear from key players who are shaping the future of enterprise tech innovation. Raghu Raghuram, the CEO of VMware, Sumit Dhawan, the President, Amanda Blevins, the VP and CTO AMER, along with other speakers, dived into how VMware and its partners are helping companies build, train, and run AI models.
Raghu Raghuram began by stepping onto the stage and discussing the profound impact that VMware has had on the industry throughout the last 25 years, culminating in the recent acquisition with Broadcom. According to Raghu, this event stands out as one of the most notable milestones. The question arises: What implications does this hold for VMware and its future?
Hock Tan, President & CEO of Broadcom, addressed this transformation. He initiated his discussion by highlighting how the merging of these two industry giants will foster healthy competition. This alignment will further propel the vision of enabling workloads to function seamlessly across any cloud, a concept championed by VMware. Tan noted that upon the completion of this acquisition, Broadcom will dedicate itself to enhancing VMware's products and services. This commitment involves an additional annual investment of $2 billion, with half of this sum allocated to research and development. The remaining half will be channeled towards partner professional services and solutions offered by VMware. This expanded investment in the partner ecosystem aims to support their growth in the realm of VMware-related ventures.
The focal points of the day were Generative AI and Multi-cloud, steering the discussions. Raghu initiated the session by delving into the trajectory of multi-cloud adoption. A significant statistic is that over 75% of VMware's customers are actively engaging with two or more public clouds. Additionally, these customers are making use of private and edge clouds. VMware is committed to guiding its customers towards embracing a Cloud Smart strategy. This approach revolves around tailoring the architecture to fit each application's needs precisely. The aim is to seamlessly integrate this architectural strategy with networking and security components. The overarching goal is to assist customers in achieving their multi-cloud aspirations more rapidly, while also simplifying management and optimizing costs.
Then it was Sumit Dhawan's turn, the President of VMware, to step onto the stage and discuss the portfolio, commencing with the topic of Modernizing Cloud Infrastructure. He elaborated on VMware's journey in constructing its cloud platform, which is founded on VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF). Notably, there has been a remarkable 31% year-over-year growth in VMware Cloud consumption, primarily driven by VMware Cloud Foundation technologies that encompass vSphere, vSAN, and NSX. He highlighted the benefits of this approach, including reduced costs, enhanced security, and heightened resilience. Customers have reported an average ROI of 171% over three years and a substantial 66% reduction in networking and security operational expenses.
He discussed five fresh innovations centered on VMware Cloud, which is established upon VMware Cloud Foundation, encompassing both on-premise and partner clouds. The initial innovation unveiled revolves around vSAN Max, which empowers customers to attain petabytes of disaggregated storage at a scalable level.
The second innovation centers on lifecycle management, featuring vSphere+. This enhancement streamlines the management of distributed ESXi infrastructure across multiple vCenter environments, all under central management. For VMware Cloud Foundation users, the need for migrations is now obviated, replaced by in-place upgrades that are three times faster. VMware has introduced greater automation to simplify these tasks, potentially eliminating the complexities of upgrading VCF.
Moving to the third innovation, NSX Plus emerges as the result of Project North Star, introduced at last year's VMware Explore event. This offering presents a SaaS-based L2 to L7 networking solution, allowing customers to establish policies once and deploy them across any cloud—a long-awaited development.
The fourth innovation involves enabling developers to orchestrate integrated containers while also enabling them to create VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) environments through APIs. This approach aims to create a sense of familiarity for developers, aligning with how they work within public clouds today.
Lastly, the announcements touched on ransomware recovery, furnishing customers with expanded options in the realm of public cloud. This feature permits customers to operate their production environments within the public cloud while their primary infrastructure undergoes recovery—all seamlessly automated.
Sumit gave us a sneak peek into the exciting new VMware Cloud Editions: Essentials, Standard, Pro, Advanced, and Enterprise. These editions offer a variety of options so that you can pick the one that fits your cloud needs just right. Let's dive a bit deeper into each of them.
He also touched upon the challenges that developers often encounter, particularly in the realm of Kubernetes. He highlighted that developers find themselves navigating a complex partner ecosystem, as illustrated in the image, which can be overwhelming and lacks scalability.
In 2019, VMware unveiled Tanzu with the aim of simplifying this landscape. The mission of VMware Tanzu is to provide developers with a platform that streamlines their development, operational, and optimization processes while taking into account factors like cost, performance, and security. Companies that have embraced this platform are witnessing a remarkable 40% improvement in application delivery.
During today's presentation, Sumit introduced Tanzu Application Engine as a key component of their platform. This tool acts as a bridge between the infrastructure and applications, enabling developer teams to integrate advanced infrastructure capabilities such as high availability, auto-scaling, encryption, and more—all without requiring developers to delve into the intricacies of these functions. This approach works seamlessly across various versions of Kubernetes and different Kubernetes clusters.
Sumit also unveiled Tanzu Intelligent Services, which is designed to help customers optimize their expenses, enhance security, and boost performance.
He discussed VMware's Anywhere Workspace solution, which combines three key capabilities into one unified solution. The first of these is Virtual Apps and Desktops, followed by Unified Endpoint Management and Security, and lastly, Digital Employee Experience (DEX). In today's announcement, they introduced enhancements to DEX Insights, incorporating additional data sources like SaaS applications and expanding anomaly detection to expedite issue resolution.
Additionally, he introduced Apps on Demand, a feature that supports both Horizon and Citrix platforms. This advancement provides customers with a centralized hub to efficiently manage various applications, covering persistent VDI, Azure Virtual Desktop, and AWS AppStream. This offers users a single, convenient location to oversee a diverse range of applications and services.
Software-defined edge solutions were also on the agenda. Earlier in the year, VMware introduced the VMware Edge Compute Stack. Sumit expressed his belief that this technology will spark a wave of innovation across various sectors, including retail, government, hospitality, and healthcare. Customers are eagerly turning towards the edge to foster even more innovation.
In today's update, he unveiled a fresh enhancement to their product: Zero Touch. Through the VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator, enterprises can now benefit from right-sized infrastructure, pull-based orchestration, and network programmability. This addition empowers businesses to scale extensively with security in mind, deploy the most efficient stack, and initiate provisioning with utmost simplicity through a zero-touch approach.
Raghu returned to provide the concluding remarks on some of the most significant updates, focusing on the next wave of App Innovation through Generative AI. This groundbreaking platform empowers enterprises to customize models and operate generative AI applications, including intelligent chatbots, assistants, search engines, and summarization tools—all accessible through natural language interactions. He envisions this advancement leading to a remarkable one hundredfold enhancement in creativity. In essence, this opens doors for creating applications that might have previously seemed impossible. This innovation spans various enterprise domains, from marketing and legal to supply chain and customer experience, among others. The projected result of Generative AI is an annual economic value addition of approximately $4.4 trillion.
As we embark on the journey to embrace this technology, there are a few key challenges to overcome: safeguarding private intellectual property, preserving the privacy of private data, and ensuring private access. The first challenge revolves around issues such as data ownership and rights. The second concern centers on maintaining data privacy and establishing responsible guardianship. The final challenge revolves around governing access and control over the AI model itself. Addressing these challenges is crucial for AI to fully realize its potential for customers.
To assist its customers in navigating these challenges, VMware established VMware AI Labs just over a year ago. The outcome of this extensive effort is the architecture unveiled today, known as Private AI. This architectural approach harmonizes the business benefits of AI with the organization's privacy and compliance requirements.
In today's announcement, VMware introduced the VMware Private AI Foundation in collaboration with NVIDIA. Given that customers' private data is dispersed across private, public cloud, and edge environments, ensuring seamless compute and AI where the data resides becomes a challenge. This presents a multi-cloud issue that necessitates a multi-cloud solution. VMware's Private AI addresses these concerns, forming a comprehensive enterprise-wide solution that addresses factors like privacy, cost efficiency, performance, and compliance.
There's still much more to look forward to this week as we wrap up VMware Explore.