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Breaking Analysis: VMware Announces vSphere 7


>> From the SiliconANGLE Media office in Boston Massachusetts, it's "theCUBE"! Now here's your host, Dave Vellante >> Hello everyone and welcome to this "Breaking Analysis

" We're here to assess the VMware vSphere 7 announcement, which is the general availability of so-called Project Pacific VMware has called this the biggest change to vSphere in the last 10 years Now Project Pacific supports Kubernetes in natively in VMware environments Why is this important? This is critical for Multi and Hybrid cloud, because Kubernetes and it's surrounding orchestration enable application portability and management As we've been reporting, VMware is one of the big players eyeing Multicloud, along with a crowded field of aspirants that include IBM with Red Hat, Microsoft, Cisco, Google, and a host of specialists in the ecosystem like Hashi and Rancher

As well, some players have focused in their respective stack swim lanes like security, and data protection, storage, networking, et cetera And with me to dig in to this announcement is Stu Miniman Stu is a senior analyst at Wikibon and co-host of "theCUBE" Stu, good to see you, let's get into it >> Great to talk about this, Dave

>> Okay, so, vSphere 7 What is being announced, and why is it relevant? >> Yeah, so Dave as you said in the open, this is the general availability of what they talked about at VMworld 2019 as Project Pacific So it really is integrating Kubernetes into vSphere The way VMware of course will position this is that they're now enabling the 90% of the data centers around the world that have VMware Hey, you're Kubernetes enabled

Congratulations, you're cloud native Everything like that Only being a little facetious here, but, this is very important You know, how do we get from where we were to live in this more cloud native environment? So, containers, in general, and Kubernetes specifically, are being a first-class citizen There's a lot of work Dave, in my understanding, this has been going on for a number of years

It's not like they just started working at this six months ago A overhaul to how this works, because it's not just, oh we're going to stick a couple of containers on top of the guest operating system in the virtual machine But there is a supervisor cluster for Kubernetes at the hypervisor level, and there's a lot of in the weeds things that we're all trying to understand and figure out, because you've got a hypervisor and you've got VMs, and now you've got the containers and Kubernetes, and some of them are living in my data center Some VMware of course lives on multiple clouds like the VMware on AWS solution So this will go there, and how do I manage that? How does this impact my operations? How does this change my applications portfolio, because the early value proposition from VMware always was, hey you're going to put VMware in there? You don't need to touch your applications

Everything runs like it did before You were running Windows apps on a physical server You moved them to virtual, it's all great There's a lot of nuance and complexity So, when VMware says this is their biggest change in a decade, I'd say probably is

I think back to, I remember when ESX 20 rolled out in vMotion Really changed the landscape That was big, the vVols moved to really allow storage to really understand that architecture and really fix storage was a huge undertaking that took many years This definitely stacks up with some of those previous changes to really change the way that we think about VMware

The advertising it would even seem from VMware some places is, don't think of them as VMware, they're cloudware or container ware or the like, because VMs are still there, but VMware is much more than VMs today >> So this feels like it's VMware trying to maintain it's relevance in a cloud native world, and really solidify, I mean let's face it, VMware is a platform It, Pat Gelsinger says, ride the waves It, tried it many times and many angles It tried to ride the cloud wave, and it finally settled on a partnerships with AWS specifically but others

And so really is this their attempt to become cloud native not get left behind and be cloud naive as many say? >> Yeah, great question Dave Absolutely, there's the question as to what's happening with my applications? Lots of customers, they say, well I'm just going to SASify the environments Watch the huge growth of companies like ServiceNow and Workday Those applications, well, customers don't even know what they live on Do they live on virtualization environments is in containers? I don't need to worry about, because SAS takes care of that

If I'm building modern applications, well, I'm probably not starting with VMs Containers are the way that most people are doing that, or, heck they might even be going server less now if we take these environments So how does VMware make sure that they have the broadest application support? Kubernetes really won the container orchestration wars, and his is a way that VMware now can enable customers to move down that path to modernize their environments What they want to have is really some consistency between what's happening in the cloud and happening in the environments that they control themselves >> So VMware's saying that containers now are first-class citizen within vSphere

What does that mean? Why is that important? First of all, are they really, and what does that mean, and why is that important? >> Yeah so Dave, my understanding is absolutely it's there The nuance that you will put there is we're not just running bare metal servers with a Linux and running containers on top of it It is, you're still sitting on top of the hypervisors One of the things I'm trying to understand when you dig down is, at the device driver level VMware always looked a little bit like Linux, but the people that use it and operate it they're not Linux people, Dave The OS, the number one OS that always ran on VMware was Windows, and the traditional applications that ran there

So, when we talk about containers and we're enabling that in a Kubernetes environment there are some questions about how do we make sure my applications get certified? Dave, you've got a lot of history knowing things like SAP and Oracle, need to make sure that we've tested everything, and this works This is not what we were running traditionally in VMware, and if VMware just thinks hey, vSphere 7, turn the crank, everything's certified Well, I would tell customers, make sure you understand that your application has been tested That your ISV has certified this environment, 'cause this is definitely, as VMware says, a huge architectural change So therefore, there is some ripple effects to make sure that what I'm doing in this environment stays fully supported

Of course I'm sure VMware is working with their huge ecosystem to make sure that all the pieces are environment You mentioned things like data protection We absolutely know that VMware's making sure that day one, that data protection plugs in and is supported in these environments when you're using the kind of, Kubernetes persona or containers solutions in vSphere >> Well this sort of brings me to my next question I mean we were talking to Bernard Golden the other day, and he was saying, Kubernetes is necessary for multicloud, but it's insufficient

So this seems to me to be a first step in as they say, VMware maintaining and growing it's relevance, but there's got to be a roadmap here that goes beyond just containers and portability There's other management factors You mentioned security, enabling the ecosystem to plug in So, maybe talk about that a little bit in terms of what's necessary to really build this out over the next decade >> Yeah, and actually it's a great point

So first of all, vSphere of course is the core of VMware's business but is only a piece of the overall portfolio So this it lives in, I believe they would consider this part of what they call their Tanzu family Tanzu is their cloud native overarching piece of it, and one of the updates is their product Tanzu Mission Control, which in the existing product really came out of the Heptio acquisition is how we can really manage any Kubernetes anywhere? And this is pure software Dave I'm sure you saw the most recent earnings announcement from VMware, what's going SAS, what's going subscription VMware's trying to build out some of their software portfolio that isn't kind of the more traditional shrink wrap software

So Tanzu can manage any Kubernetes environment So of course day one, hey vSphere 7 It's a Kubernetes distribution Absolutely is going to manage this environment, and, but also, if I've got Kubernetes from Azure, Kubernetes from Amazon, Kubernetes from other environments, Tanzu can manage across all of those environments So, what VMware has always done, if you think back in the early days of virtualization, I had a lot of different servers

How do I manage across those environments? Well, VMware was a layer that lived across them VMware is trying to do the same thing in the cloud Talk about Multicloud, and how do I manage that? How do we get value across them? Well there's certain pieces that VMware is looking to enable with their management software and to go across them, but there are a lot of other companies, Amazon, Google, actually not Amazon yet for Mutlicloud, but Microsoft and Google absolutely spent a lot of time talking about that in the last year As well as, you mentioned companies like Rancher and Hashicorp absolutely play across lots of these multicloud environments >> Well, let's talk about the competition

Who do you see as the number one competitor? >> Well so the number one competitor absolutely has to be Red Hat, Dave We've been in a Kubernetes ecosystem for a number of years For many years when I would talk to practitioners, the number one, what Kubernetes are you using? Well the answer for many years was, well I'm grabbing it, the open source, and I'm building my own stack And the reasons customers did that was because there wasn't necessarily maturity, and this was kind of the leading edge, bleeding edge customers in this space The number two, beside build my own, was Red Hat, and it was because, I'm a Red Hat customer a lot of the Linux tooling, the way I'm building things

The way my application developers do things fit in that environment And therefore that's why Red Hat has over 2,000 OpenShift customers leading distribution for Kubernetes, and this seems purely targeted, directly targeted at that market that Red Hat did A big reason why IBM spent $34 billion on the Red Hat acquisition, is to go after this multicloud opportunity So, absolutely this shot across the bow, 'cause Red Hat is a partner of VMwares, but absolutely is also a competitor >> Well, Maritz told me years ago, yeah it's true

We're at war with everybody, and you can see that sort of playing out But what if, you look at what VMware could do, and some of their options, what if they gave it away? That would really be a shot across the bow at OpenShift, wouldn't it? >> Yeah, absolutely Dave, because look, Kubernetes is not free If you're enabling Kubernetes on my Google environment, I just within the last week saw some things that were like okay wait, if you're testing an environment, yes it is free, but started talk about the hourly charges for the management layer of Kubernetes So, Kubernetes, call our friend Corey Quinn, Kubernetes absolutely is not free, and he will give you an earful and his thoughts on it So an Amazon or Google and absolutely Dave, it's important revenue stream for Red Hat

If I'm VMware, and maybe for some period of time you make it a line item, it's part of my ELA A good thing for customers to look out for, is when you're renegotiating your ELA to understand if you're going to use this what is the impact? Because absolutely, from a financial standpoint, Pat Gelsinger and the VMware team has been doing a lot of acquisitions Many of those, Dave, have been targeted at this space Not just Heptio but Bitnami and even the Pivotal acquisition all fit in this environment So they've spent billions of dollars

It shouldn't be a net zero revenue to the top line of what VMware's doing in this space >> Yeah so that would be an issue from Wall Street's perspective, but at the same time it's, again they're playing a long game here Do we have any pricing data at this point? >> So, I still have not gotten clear data as to how they're doing pricing, no >> Okay, and in others that are in there in the mix? We talked about Red Hat Certainly Microsoft is in there with Arch

I've mentioned many times Cisco coming at this from a networking perspective, but who else do you see in there? Anthos with Google? >> Yeah, and Dave all the companies we're talking about here, Pat Gelsinger has had to leverage his Intel experience, to how to balance that line between, partnering with everybody but slowly competing against everybody We've spent many hours talking about the VMware Amazon relationship Amazon does not admit the Multicloud solution yet, and does not have a management tool for supporting all of the Kubernetes environments, but absolutely Microsoft and Google do, Cisco has strong partnerships with all the cloud environments and is doing that hybrid solution And yeah, Dave just a thing to expand on a little bit there, if you talk about vSphere, and you say okay, vSphere 7's rolling out Well, how long will it take most of the customer base to roll to this environment? There will be some that absolutely want to take advantage of Kubernetes and will go there, but we know that it's typically a multi-year process to get most of the install base over on to this

And if you extend that out to where VMware is putting their solution into cloud environments, there's that tension between is there a match actually between what I have in my data center and what is in the manage environment, managed by VMware and Amazon or managed for, to support some of the other cloud environments So, the positioning always is that you're going to do VMware everywhere, and therefore it's going to be consistent everywhere Well, the devil's in the details, because I have control on what's in my data center, and I might have a little bit less control to some of those managed services that I'm consuming So absolutely something to keep a close eye on, and not just for VMware, everybody is having these concerns Even if you talk about the native Kubernetes distributions

Most of the Kubernetes services from the cloud providers are not immediately on the latest revision of Kubernetes >> Right, so okay, let's talk about that a little bit Remember when OpenStack first came out, we said it was Hail Mary against Amazon >> Yeah >> Well the new Hail Mary, and it looks like it has more teeth, is Kubernetes right? Because it allows portability, and of course, Amazon doesn't publicly say this, but that's not good for Amazon

If you're porting things, applications, moving things around, moving them out of the Amazon cloud, and that makes it easier Of course Amazon does support Kubernetes, right? But- >> Yeah >> You've got alternatives >> So Dave, it's fascinating I've talking to many practitioners that have deployed Kubernetes, and one of the top reasons that they say why they're using Kubernetes, is so they have options with the cloud

When you also ask them what cloud they're running, they're running Amazon Do they have plans to move off of it? Well probably not I had a great customer that I did an interview with at one of the CubeCon shows, and they'd actually started out with Azure just because it was a little further ahead with Kubernetes, and then for the services they wanted, they ended up moving to AWS, and Dave, it's not a, click a button, and you move from one Kubernetes to another You need to match up and say okay Here's the five or six services I'm using

What are the equivalents? What changes do I need to make? Multicloud, is not simple today I mentioned Hashicorp as one of those companies that help people across these environments If you have Hashi Solution and you're managing across multiple clouds, you look in the code, and you understand that there's a lot of difference between those different clouds, and they simplify that, but don't eliminate it There is not a way today This is not a utility when you talk about the public cloud

So, Kubernetes absolutely is existentially a little bit of a threat to Amazon, but, Amazon is still going strong in that space, and the majority of customers that have deployed Kubernetes in the public cloud are doing it on Amazon, just because of their position in the marketplace >> Right, so let's double click on that So Jassy, in an exclusive interview with Jon Furrier before last year's re:Invent, said look, we understand there's a lot of reasons why people might choose multiple clouds We can go through them, MNA, developer preference, blah blah blah, and I think, people want a optionality and reduced lock-in potentially

I've always said, by the way just as an aside, that the risk of lock-in is far down on the list relative to business value People will choose business value over no lock-in every time About 15% of the customers might not agree Nonetheless, Jassy claimed that typically, when you get into a multiple cloud environment, he didn't use the term multicloud, that it's not a 50/50 It's a premier, primary cloud supplier

So it might be 70/30 or 80/20 or even 90/10, but it's really that kind of imbalance First of all, do you see that? And then what does that mean for how they approach this space, multicloud in particular? >> So I'm sorry You're asking how Amazon should approach this space Dave? >> Yeah, and you've said that you think they'll eventually enter this marketplace >> Yeah, absolutely Dave First of all, in general, yes I do agree

It is not, there are certain financial companies that have always chosen two of everything, because for regulation and certain, we need to protect ourselves, we going to have two suppliers, we're going to keep them as even as possible, but that is a corner case Most customers, I have a primary cloud That's what I'm doing That's what IT tries to get everybody on, and do you need to have, is there a reason why you want to use a secondary or tertiary cloud? Because there's a service that they need Of course, Google

You often run at it It's like oh well there's certain data services that they're doing well, and of course the business productivity solutions that Microsoft's doing or the relationship with Oracle that are driving people towards Microsoft, but just as we saw Amazon soften on their hybrid solutions, we spent a lot of time at re:Invent talking about all their various hybrid solutions Since their customers are going to have multiple clouds and even you take most of their customers that have MNA involved You buy another company, they might be using another cloud As Microsoft's position in the marketplace has grown, you would expect that Amazon would have not just migration services, but management services to match what customers need especially in this Kubernetes environment

It seems a natural fit for them It's possible they might just leverage partnerships with Red Hat, VMware, and some of the other players for the time being, but if the market gets big enough and customers are asking for it, that's usually when Amazon responds >> So let's wrap with sort of what this means to the customer I mean I've said that last decade really multicloud was a symptom of multi-vendor and not so much of the strategy that's changing You know, clearly, jokes (laughing)

CIOs are being called in to clean up the crime scene and put in edicts, corporate edicts, around security and governance and compliance and so forth So, it's started to become a complicated situation for a lot of companies We've said that multicloud is going to be there People are going to put the right workload and the right cloud, et cetera and there's advantages to certain clouds But what should customers be thinking specifically as it relates to vSphere 7? >> Yeah so, Dave, the biggest thing I would say that people need to look at it is that, it is that, understanding in your organization that, boundary and line between infrastructure and application

People have often looked at you looked at the ascendancy of VMware and VMs, and then what's happening with cloud and containers, and we think of it from an infrastructure standpoint that I'm just changing the underlying pieces This is where it lives and where I put things, but the really important thing is, it's about my data and my application, Dave So, if I'm moving an application to a new environment, how do I take advantage of it? We don't just move it to a new environment and run it the same way we were doing it I need to take advantage of those new environments Kubernetes is involved in infrastructure, but the real piece is how I have my application, my developers, my app devs, working on this environment, and therefore it might be that if VMware's the right environment, and I'm doing a lot of it, that the development team says hey, I need you to give me a pool and provision this for me, and I can have my sandbox where I can move really fast

But VMware helped initially customers when they went from physical to virtual move faster from an infrastructure standpoint What it needs to do to really enable this environment is help me move faster on the application side, and that's big gap from VMware's history It is where the Pivotal people, and Heptio people, and Bitnami and all the new people, are helping along to help that whole cloud native team But that is a big shift from customers So, for this to be successful it's not just, oh, the virtualization admin

He upgraded to the new thing He made some changes and said, okay hey, I can give you Kubernetes cluster when you need it It's really understanding what's going to happen on the application side, and a lot of that is going to be very similar to what you're doing in cloud environments, and I think this is, Dave, often where you hear customers, they say, oh well I did that cloud, and it was too expensive, and it was too hard, and I repatriated everything else Well, you probably didn't plan properly, and you didn't understand what you were getting yourself into, and you jumped into the deep end of the pool, and oh wait, I forgot how to learn how to swim So, that is where we, Dave, the technology part always the easiest piece

It's getting all of the organizational and political things sorted out, and the developer, we know how important that is We're seeing it's great to see VMware pushing faster in this environment Kudos to them for how fast they've moved Project Pacific to GA That is really impressive to see, and can't wait to hear the customers rollout, 'cause if this is successful, we should be hearing great transformation stories from customers as to how this is enabling their business, enabling them to move faster That has been one of the favorite stories that I've been telling with customers on "theCUBE" the last couple of years

>> Well the vast majority of VMware's business of course is on Prim And what essentially what they're doing here, is enabling developers in their customer base, and they have half a million customers, to really develop in a cloud native manner The question is, from a cultural standpoint, is that actually going to happen, or are the developers going to reject the organ and say no? I want to develop in AWS or Microsoft, et cetera in the cloud And I think VMware would say, we're trying to embrace, no matter where they want to develop But there's still going to be that interesting organizational tension or developer tension in terms of what their primary choice is, is there not? >> Yeah Dave, absolutely

We've been saying for years that cloud is not a location, it is an operating model So this is helping to enable that operating model more in the data center There's still questions and concerns, of course around consumption on demand versus whether you've bought the entire thing as more and more services become available in the public cloud Are those actually enabled to be able to be used in my data center or hosted environments? So, this story is not completed, but we are definitely ready I believe we are saying it's the Multicloud's chapter three, of what we've been watching

>> Well and you're seeing a major cham expansion yet again from VMware that's started with ESX and then, of course went into networking and storage, and now they've got a cloud security division We're talking about the cloud native capabilities here and on and on it goes Stu, thanks for helping us break this vSpere 7 announcement down, and good job >> Thanks Dave >> All right and thank you for watching everybody

This is Dave Vellante for Stu Miniman We'll see you next time on "theCUBE" (upbeat music)

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