I wrote this blog post to introduce some new friends (@dfwvmug, @vbrownbaglatam and @vbrownbagbrasil) to the VMware Communities Podcast, it is an oldie but goodie for sure. So if you have never listened to it, you can check it out here and please subscribe if you like. This podcast is one of my all-time favorite Podcast’s and is alive weekly Podcast on Talkshoe. You can log in and participate if you want to every Wednesday at noon PST. It provides a wealth of varying related VMware and the VMware Community topics that change weekly.
I actually started listening to it a few years back during the John Troyer (@jtroyer) days, during my weekly long 3-4 hour commute between Dallas and Houston. So I started to listen to these recordings on my iPhone plugged into my rental car sound system via Apple iTunes to help sharpen my skills and broaden my VMware Community knowledge and experiences. The Podcast is very entertaining at times and again discusses events and things going on in the various VMware Communities and ecosystem. Normally a 1-hour show that features interesting topics with talented VMware guest(s). The PodCast is now hosted by Eric Nielsen (@ericnipro).
Today’s episode is “#407 – Cloud.VMware.com featuring Richard Munro” (it was recorded earlier today 11/17/2017). Richard Munro (@RikMunro) is the director of Global Cloud Strategy and head evangelist and started at working at VMware 2012.
The following quote is a VMware CIO Vantage Article called Introducing VMware Cloud:
“VMware’s cloud strategy is to enable our customers to run, manage, connect, and secure their entire application portfolio on any cloud to any device.”
Reflecting on the quote above and after participating in today Podcast with Richard, we can see that VMware has several cloud offerings in its portfolio and strategy. The Key Focus is on cloud services with a “consistent infrastructure” for providing both service provider and enterprise-ready cloud foundations with multi-cloud capabilities and ease of management.
People care about services and they require cloud service models that support a cloud platform for private, public and hybrid clouds. NIST definitions of the cloud are a good start, and the expectation for a cloud to provide and empower DevOps automagically. The users do not care about the underlying infrastructure, they want to focus on their business and just want to consume services and need cloud technology platforms that provide a self-service cloud delivery model regardless of cloud model (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, XaaS)
So, why buy VMware Cloud on AWS? Why not just buy EC2 directly for public cloud and use VMware for private cloud? People want to have their cake and to eat it too! VMware Cloud on AWS exists because of customer demand. Customers spoke, they said, I need cloud and wished VMware and AWS would just work together. Given this mandate, both VMware and AWS listened to their customers and this is why we have VMware Cloud on AWS.
My opinion on the subject is as most consultants, the well-known answer to any cloud question is, it depends. Yes as Richard says everything can move to the cloud given the proper use case(s). The question then becomes which is the best cloud? VMware, AWS, VMware Cloud on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform? The answer is based your uses cases, it depends. So to me, it is like ordering a pizza, it depends, what are you in the mood for, what do the kids want, who is coming over, you want stuff crust, hand-tossed, a meat lovers pizza or cheese pizza, with anchovies or not? Then there are a plethora of pizza and pizza places, national chains like Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Papa John’s or do we get from local hometown pizza from Mimi’s, Piggy Pie or Lover’s Pizza. So like the pizza scenario, based on your requirements and use cases, you choose your kind of pizza and where you want to buy your pizza. Back to Richard and Cloud Strategy, the reality is we are in a multi-cloud world, and this is the “new normal” and can include a combination of virtual machines and containers.
Richard asks us to think back to when VMware started virtualization and going back to the basics and to do the same for core cloud basics. So we can reflect on VMware cloud services and see that VMware has a very good foundation with infrastructure lifecycle management and abstracting the physical layer. VMware uses this to provide unified service offerings that enable a consistent infrastructure. These foundational services provide the bases for an on-premise cloud, public cloud, and network peering relationships globally to ensure low latency between multiple clouds enabling new stretch services running across multi-clouds.
Also, VMware vRealize Suite and Wavefront enable real-time monitoring, metrics and analytics services for a comprehensive cloud management platform (CMP) solutions. VMware Cloud Technology manages and optimizes a cloud that spins up and one that spins down. Customers want to just consume cloud services and don’t care if it is VMware or AWS or VMware on AWS that delivering the consistent infrastructure and manageable services.
Customer’s do not want to have to think about the infrastructure, they want whatever advantages they can get from all vendors and at the same time they do not want to be constrained by vendors. They want Consistent Infrastructure as Code. Cloud native micro-services, containerized code, well-defined relationships between services and layers. For example using NSX to enable micro-segmentation and attaching firewall rules via a kernel level policy that allows the VM to take it’s firewall rules wherever it moves. Consumers want the same experience on-premise as they get in the Cloud from AWS. They want standard platform services that are mobile.
VMware Cloud Foundations (VCF) also is a platform that provides a consistent infrastructure.
VCF is Beyond VMware on AWS, Beyond VMware Cloud Services, it allows and enables multi-cloud workload mobility. Also for service providers and multitenancy requirements, there is vCloud Director, this is the VMware Cloud Provider Platform of Choice for Service Providers.
So how do we avoid Vendor Lock-in for the cloud? How do you manage your data in the cloud? What is Too Much Data? How does Data Mobility work? Cloud providers want to capture data. Your data and data requirements in the cloud need to be something that you address and understand. Again it depends. What does all this mean for moving large workloads? The simple fact is if you have PB of data you need to move, as in the physical world, large data sources do not easily move around and getting PB data out of the cloud can be a real issue.
Also one needs to understand workload cloud compatibility and where and how high availability (HA) works for a cloud service. HA and apps distributed over multiple clouds need to be a well-defined requirement and with low latency to avoid latency service issues.
So do we close down our datacenter and move everything to the cloud? Again, it depends. In most cases to optimize your apps may require a hybrid approach as new apps in the cloud was designed to live in the cloud whereas legacy apps can be challenging. A Latency assessment is a key to understanding cloud network requirements and bandwidth to support.
Leverage cloud flexibility to do what makes sense based on your business requirements, there is no silver bullet. Traditionally built apps and legacy apps, apps that have huge data stores may not be good candidates for moving to the cloud. Some workloads just won’t work in the cloud. Take the approach of doing the simple things first to get into the cloud quickly and start learning, manage and operate workloads in the cloud. Leave the difficult stuff for last. So use the 80/20 rule when moving to the cloud, do the simple 80% first and leave the heavy lifting and difficult stuff for the last 20%.
Now to close out the Podcast with the last 15 mins we changed gears to discuss the new vExpert Cloud Program. Cory Romero (@vCommunityGuy), describes that the vCloud vExpert subgroup is designed for VMware cloud community contributors who are actively evangelizing cloud and including VMware, AWS, Azure and/or Google Cloud community work. It was noted that the application period is now closed that they are evaluating 248 applications. There was a comment if this was a lot of people and that if a smaller group might be more effective. Corey commented that a study has shown that 100-150 is a good number and based on what people are doing and the quality of the candidates he said if for example if there are 170 good candidates that are actively contributing to the community he would do the 170. The program is rewards based on contribution and Corey said he would announce the newly selected candidates to new vExpert Cloud Program on Oct 27th. There was also the question regarding candidate program enablement including software, licenses and how would the program work, this is all TBD for now.
Guidance regarding Cloud Strategy Futures for 2018, was to stay tuned as a number of service changes are coming. Nothing on the table at this time to discuss and hope is for projects to be lined up and to be communicated in the near future including what happens to apps with a new paradigm and stretching across multi-clouds.
As for cloud training, it was noted that there is some Hands-on Labs free training that is currently available for VMware on AWS, VMware on HCX, Cloud Services, and WaveFront.