Bridging the Gaps…

Let’s talk about our latest announcements that came out last week and what they would drive as “Outcomes” for our enterprises.

Most of our enterprise conversations are driven by the following :

  • Reducing technical Debt
  • Automation (self-service), Infrastructure as code
  • Speed to business : Offer services to business at their speed
  • Cloud right (right workloads on right cloud)
  • Governance and compliance across Multi-Cloud
  • Standardization of services
  • Software life-cycle for Day-2 Ops
  • Integration of existing tool chains across clouds
  • Developer productivity

Of-course, not everything is covered above but most of the common ones.What are you all seeing in your discussions,feel free to add in the comments..

Industry is leaning towards HCI, here is the IDC’s market share, if you haven’t seen it.

Let’s dive into “Why enterprises are adopting VxRail platform”.

It’s a joint vision across Dell technologies and VMware. VxRail is a full-stack integrated system that offloads customers from hardware and software integration work, provides automated full stack life-cycle management, and delivers a known-good state for both Day 0 and Day 2 operations.Majority of our operational challenges have been Day2 (patches,upgrades,interoperability,integrations) and making it as seamless to enterprises as a public cloud, where end-user responsibility starts from Operating systems (patching,upgrades etc).

This vision is drawn by joint engineering commitment of 400+ dedicated engineering teams across Dell technologies working to build this stack with agile release cycles, committed to 30 days , post VMware software releases and updates. This commitment propelled VxRail not just beyond niche applications into the data center for enterprise business critical workloads but a consistent foundation from edge to distributed core to cloud.

Above is the quick overview of use cases across edge,core and the cloud.

The vision substantiates Dell technologies and VMware ‘s focus to provide customers with the business outcomes through services and cloud like experience across edge,core and cloud.

There are whitepapers for all the above,here is a quick example.

Let’s tie back the recent announcements (HCI To Extremes) to business outcomes and why it matters.

Dell Technologies Cloud Platform Enhancements:

Enterprise customers are continuously looking for innovative solutions for their business to provide services which business needs.It is so imperative to enable IT with extreme simplicity, so IT can accelerate developer productivity, develop modern applications, offer extreme flexibility with an entry level cloud configuration.

Accelerating the innovation and partnership with VMware, customers can now run vSphere Kubernetes on the Dell Tech Cloud Platform, VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 on VxRail 7.0.

VM’s and Containers in a single platform with a single control plane

Customers now have access to a hybrid cloud platform that supports native Kubernetes workloads and management, as well as your traditional VM-based workloads, so containers are now first-class citizens of your private cloud alongside traditional VMs.  This is now available with VCF 4 on VxRail 7.

Unique integration across the stack enables developers and operators to quickly and easily support modern application development with infrastructure managed as a single automated private cloud.

Here is snapshot of the platform services :

The platform provides IT with single control plane to offer not just IaaS but CaaS services to it’s business with no additional management overhead.

VMware Cloud Foundation 4 on VxRail 7 is a Hybrid Cloud Platform that accelerates the development of modern applications by automating the deployment and life-cycle management of complex Kubernetes environments.

It consists of two families of services – Tanzu Runtime Services and Hybrid Infrastructure Services.

·         Tanzu Runtime Services deliver core Kubernetes development services, including an up-to-date distribution of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.  

·         Hybrid Infrastructure Services include full Kubernetes and RESTful API access that spans creating and manipulating virtual machines, containers, storage, networking, and other core capabilities. 

From an Infrastructure Up perspective: IT Ops admins have complete visibility and control of global cloud infrastructure resources through VCF and the very familiar vCenter Server.

Hybrid Infrastructure Services are abstracted from virtual infrastructure and container resources into Hybrid Infrastructure Services. Let’s review what these are:

1) vSphere Pod Service –Introduced as part of the Hybrid Infrastructure Services, the vSphere Pod Service extends Kubernetes with the ability to run pods directly on the hypervisor. When developers deploy containers using the vSphere Pod service, they get the same level of security isolation, performance guarantees and management capabilities that VMs enjoy.This is so critical for organizations that adhere to strong compliance and governance.

2) Registry Service –Introduced as part of the Hybrid Infrastructure Services, the Registry Service allows developers to store, manage and secure Docker and OCI images using Harbor. 

3) Storage Service –Introduced as part of the Hybrid Infrastructure Services, the Storage Service allows developers to manage persistent disks for use with container, Kubernetes and virtual machines. 

4) Network Service –Introduced as part of the Hybrid Infrastructure Services, the Network Service allows developers to manage Virtual Routers, Load Balancers and Firewall Rules. 

The other portion of services that make up the VMware Cloud Foundation Services include the Tanzu Runtime Services that delivers Tanzu Runtime Services directly to developers. All Services delivered self-service through Kubernetes and Restful APIs

From an Application Down perspective: Developers have friction-less access to comprehensive developer environments and infrastructure resources through VCF Services. Let’s review what these are:

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service:– Introduced as part of the Tanzu Run time Services, The Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service allows developers to manage consistent, compliant, and conformant Kubernetes clusters. All VMware Cloud Foundation Services are delivered self-service through Kubernetes and Restful APIs.

The industry is focussed around providing single control plane across on-premises and off-premises for K8’s, will focus on TMC (Tanzu mission control) in the next blog.

Consolidated Architecture :

Dell Technologies Cloud Platform can now be deployed starting with 4-node consolidated configuration,lowering the cost of entry level hybrid cloud.

For something that allows customers to start smaller, VMware developed a validated VCF Consolidated Architecture option. This allows for the Management domain cluster to run both the VCF management components and a customer’s general purpose server VM workloads. Since you are just using the Management Domain infrastructure to run both your management components and user workloads, your minimum infrastructure starting point consists of the four nodes required to create your Management Domain. In this model, vSphere Resource Pools are used to logically isolate cluster resources to the respective workloads running on the cluster. A single vCenter and NSX-T instance is used for all workloads running on the Management Domain cluster. 

Enterprises looking for remote office use cases with single control plane would be a great use cases.If you have workloads running in ROBO offices,Retail chain stores with single control plane and remote management, the consolidated architecture is a great use case.

VCF consolidated architecture

For customers to get started with an entry level cloud for general purpose VM server workloads, this option provides a smaller entry point, both in terms of required infrastructure footprint as well as cost.

Let’s focus on other key announcements here.

Technical innovation to drive value at the edge:

The latest announcements continue to drive Dell technologies innovation at the edge for the business use cases which are relevant in every industry.

  • Keeping in view the dense high-power workloads, the ideal use cases of database, unstructured data, virtual desktop infrastructure and HPC workloads driving the business outcomes at the edge.Technical advancement with AMD EPYC processors offers customers a new option, with up to 64 high performance cores and support for PCIe® 4, that can be deployed at the edge or in data centers. Coupled with high-efficiency power supply, these compact 1U systems are an ideal option for customers that need high-performance computing power, in a single socket platform for edge environments.
  • For power demanding applications,such as  in-memory databases like SAP HANA and artificial intelligence/machine learning applications. AI/ML are moving out of the trend quadrant to key technologies driving business across every industry.

Why AI/ML , Here is the quick snippet from Gartner Hype Cycle for AI (2019)

  • Adding to that VxRail will now support:
    • NVIDIA® Quadro RTX™ GPUs, whichcombine with NVIDIA virtual GPU (vGPU) software to bring the power of accelerated rendering, AI, advanced graphics and compute to the data center for a wide range of workflows. With Quadro RTX and NVIDIA vGPU software, customers can deploy VxRail solutions that help end users be more productive and data centers run efficiently.
    • Intel Optane Persistent Memory maintains improved data integrity with 90% lower latency.

With latest NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 and 8000 GPUs,Designers and artists across industries can now expand the boundary of what’s possible, working with the largest and most complex graphics rendering, deep learning, and visual computing workloads.

Rugged platforms use Cases :

Enterprises looking for workloads built for a data center in extremely harsh environments — from manufacturing plants to oil rigs to submarines — in remote locations where dust is blowing or in sub-zero temps, and expect it to operate. D-series is built for the extremes — extreme heat, extreme cold, extreme altitudes — so customers can get the power and simplicity of VxRail no matter where they need it.Running CAD/CAM,CNC, SaaS applications for drilling,machining, are great use cases in extreme conditions.

The D560/D560F is a ruggedized, durable platform that delivers the full power of VxRail for workloads at the edge, in challenging environments, or for space-constrained area.

  • Resilience to extreme heat, sand, dust and vibration​ – VxRail D Series is certified to take heat up to 45C/113F and can even go up to 55C/131F for up to 8 hours, and have a certified cold start down to -15C/5F
  • Light-weight, short depth, durable form factor that allows for flexible deployment options​ — at only 20” deep, it’s our smallest form factor
  • Rugged build and rigid cover to withstand sudden shocks ​– certified to withstand 40G of operational shock and for operation at up to 15K feet of elevation.

The innovation acceleration continues to drive customer outcomes with Dell and VMware.Enterprises today have the key elements of VMware technologies, be it the software or the Ops Knowledge (People,process), the success lies for IT to blend the delivery of services, extending from IaaS to CaaS, to provide developers with the same API experience,mapping enterprise architecture to business outcomes.

Let’s keep that for another day…….

VMworld 2018, What is different…!!

With VMworld 2018 around the corner, everyone out there wants to  have a productive event.I often get asked by customers, what sessions do you recommend.

The fact is , all of our customers are at different stages of their digital transformation and approach of single size fits all doesn’t work .

Who is driving this transformation , of-course “Business needs” are driving  the outcomes for all enterprises.

Businesses are looking towards  “Speed to Market” , forcing internal IT to bridge the gap and be service provider to business , similar to a Public Cloud Provider, the approach that drives internal IT to adopt “Software Defined Data Center” and a clear Multi-Cloud Strategy.

Enterprises  while competing with Startups are creating a culture of “Startups in the enterprise”, focusing on reducing the technical debt, application modernization,creating competitive advantage with “Software”.

As Highlighted by Forrester Research,  “every company is in the software business.”

In a world that is changing at breakneck speed, the ability to identify and respond to digital innovation opportunities more quickly than your competitors will determine if your company sinks or swims.

This new paradigm shift in the world meant a change not just for Operators but Developers. For Developers , that speed is driven by Appdev transformation , Monolith to Micro-services,Cloud Native Platforms, CaaS,FaaS (Serverless) leading to not just Multi-Cloud but Multi-Platform enterprise strategies.

Every enterprise is at different levels of transformation at realm of Multi-Cloud and Multi-Platform adoption.

Here is a look at their priorities over the next one to two years (Multi-Platform CF report June 2018) :

The adoption of containers and questions like “Will Containers take over VM’s” have already been answered ? They drive organizations on their cloud journey a way to test out cloud-native technologies, for example building in continuous delivery practices and refactoring applications. For example, companies using containers can orchestrate them with the much-discussed Kubernetes, which IT Decision Makers rank as the top orchestration tool, overtaking Docker Swarm for the first time  on container orchestration tools.

Let’s discuss where are containers in the eco-system of technology, from the same report

We can clearly see, broad deployments trending across containerization followed by CI/CD ,Cloud Native platforms and Serverless.

The crux is the fact that “Every Enterprise either has a Multi-Cloud and Multi-Platform Strategy” or is planning one.

Rolling the discussion back to the topic, I consider this VMworld to be a differentiated one. VMworld has mostly been focused around Multi-Cloud Strategy , IT Operators but the current one surely has great technology led discussions for Developers with huge presence of Pivotal and providing them what they need to just focus on their Developer Productivity with PAS and PKS.

Here is a quick draft of sessions which you will see huge value based on the above discussion for your enterprise .

– Kubernetes On Fire (One of the Favorites) :

How do we take our Kubernetes workloads to production? Pivotal Container Service, PKS (Managed Kubernetes)  is a popular option – come learn why! Pivotal’s Sr. Director of Technology, Cornelia Davis, showcases PKS customer stories and the security, isolation, and high availability of K8s clusters.

When: Sunday, August 26, 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. | #CNA1780QU

The ability to #DevLikeaStartup sounds nice, but executing the seamless capabilities associated with rapid CI/CD deployment is challenging in a worldwide enterprise with strong data gravity and compliance mandates.  If you ever are the one to lose sleep over how to maintain controls while providing developers the freedom to code and use Kubernetes, this session is for you. The question enterprises would want to know how can they leverage  existing VMware investments to implement PKS.

When: Wednesday, August 29, 1:50 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.

Real-World Stories from PKS Customers : 

Existing customers discuss their successes, their challenges, the unique company demands and hurdles they jumped through to reach their goals. For those of you serious about bringing Kubernetes containers to your IT environment, this panel session is a must-see.

When:  Monday, August 27, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | CNA1199PU

– Automate Everything, Cars, Trains, NSX and CNA :

As we saw above, automation is key to businesses to drive innovation.This session is to discuss automation of the platform using CI pipelines with Concourse to automate NSX, PKS and Pivotal Application Services.

– Wells Fargo Discusses Security with Pivotal Cloud Foundry :

Security being Key to success of our enterprises, Leaders from Wells Fargo will offer their story how they tackle compliance while managing the daily needs of a business with speed and agility.They will discuss how PCF enables them to fend off cyber attacks that threaten their business.

Time: Wednesday, August 29, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. | #CNA1464BU

– Demos & Hands-on Labs with Pivotal :

How does PRA Pivotal Ready Architecture (Framework of best of breed technologies and best practices to deploy PAS and PKS) ,concrete plan for how Kubernetes, NSX-T, vSphere, PKS and Pivotal Ready Architecture fit into your IT strategy.

Overcome the challenges with a Scalable and repetitive architecture for the enterprise, providing IT Operators the speed what business needs.

Dive into product architecture and perform LIVE demos at the booth, and offer four 5-minute talks throughout the day where you can hear about customers who have installed PRA and PKS.

VMworld also offers Hands-on Labs (HOL) which allow you to get in the driver’s seat to build ,test and deploy.

NSX Container Networking for Pivotal Application Services 

NSX is Key to Multi-Cloud and Multi-Platform strategy for our customers ,this would provide great insight to container Networking.

Monday 27th Aug , Meet the Experts, Level 2 Foyer, Table , 3:15 – 4pm

Technical Deep Dive: Kubernetes Networking and Security with NSX-T on PKS

Value of NSX-T offering C2C networking ,LB’s,security framework for PKS

Tuesday 28th Aug , Breakers F, Level 2, 2-3pm 

– Architecting PKS for Production: Lessons Learned from PKS Deployments

This session is focused on lessons from the field , the speakers have been involved in drafting cookbooks for NSX-T and PKS based on their experiences with customers.Don’t miss it !

Tuesday 28th Aug , Mandalay Bay L, Level 2, 3:30 – 4:30pm

Operating and Managing Kubernetes on Day 2 w/ PKS

This session is the “know-hows”of our enterprise which lies in the success of managing Day-2 operations of the platform (Upgrades or should i say rolling upgrades, Patching).The speakers from the product management have vast experience of enterprise customer needs and what a successful platform would look like , encompassing  the current challenges of dev’s and operators.

Wednesday 29th Aug , Islander B, Lower Level, 8- 9am

– Enterprise Kubernetes: Balancing Developer Needs with Enterprise Controls

Pivotal’s Sr. Director of Technology, Cornelia Davis would discuss on  balancing developer needs keeping in view the enterprise controls,persona management with need to have a managed K8 platform.

Wednesday 29th Aug , Solutions Exchange Theater, Level 1, 1:50 – 2:10pm

– Run Stateful Apps on Kubernetes with PKS: Highlight WebLogic Server

Running Stateful apps is one of the best quantified use cases of PKS/K8 and how containers can move across with PV’s. This session would focus on this discussion.

Wednesday 29th Aug , Pwr Session Theater, VMTN Lounge,9:30 – 10am

– K8s Self-Service Deploy & Ops at Scale w/ PKS

This session will focus on ease of deployment and scale, as a K8 user or a non-user both you will find value in this session.

Wednesday 29th Aug , 12:30-1:30pm

Lastly, i see NSX becoming key to success of enterprises adopting Multi-Cloud and Multi-platform strategies , here is more on that.

Next-Generation Reference Design with NSX-T Data Center: Part 2

This would cover the ref architecture for data center design leading to deep dive use cases.

Wednesday 29th Aug , Mandalay Bay I, Level 2,11:30 – 12:30pm

– NSX Design for Cloud-native Apps with Pivotal Cloud Foundry

Niran is an expert on NSX with PAS,PKS, he would provide great insight on design criteria’s for CNA with NSX.

Wednesday 29th Aug , Islander C, Lower Level,2:30 – 3:30pm


This is a wrap, look forward to great VMworld 2018 with so much of content,meetings, roadmaps.

More to follow….feel free to add your Comments,feedback …!!