IOD Tech Talk: Takeaways from VMworld 2019 Europe

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In my previous life, I was a journalist. Every now and again I find myself in situations where I get to wear that hat again. Last week, for instance, I joined 14,000 other attendees in Barcelona for VMworld Europe 2019 as a reporter for Israel’s leading IT publication, People and Computers. In addition to meeting with many industry insiders and attending keynotes, I interviewed and networked with a bunch of tech professionals on the exhibitor floor from companies such as Infinidat, Actifio, Quest, NetApp, and others.

In my capacity as IOD VP Operations, I also had my eyes and ears open to try to gather intelligence on the latest trends, products, and solutions for us to pass on to our clients in our content strategy sessions. Here are a few of my takeaways.

VMware Knows Their Audience

The video that kicked off the first keynote totally set the tone. It positioned the IT guy as a kind of under-appreciated superhero, a person no one pays much attention to, but is always there to solve everyone’s problems. Comparing him to Morpheus from The Matrix films definitely won the crowd of geeks over and got them engaged in what was coming next.

VMware Has Jumped on the Containers Bandwagon

CEO of VMware Pat Gelsinger (pictured with me below) brought celebrated Kubernetes innovator Joe Beda up on stage, and together they talked about VMware Tanzu (with Tanzu apparently being the Swahili word for branch). Gelsinger also claimed the company believes in open-source Kubernetes. Ray O’Farrell, VMWare’s Executive Vice President, followed up by saying, “There is demand for solutions, services, education, and training to help customers harness the full potential of Kubernetes and successfully build, run, and manage their applications and multi-cloud Kubernetes clusters.” With VMWare moving away from virtualized machines and towards containerized applications, also announced Project Pacific, which converges containers and VMs into VMware’s vSphere platform with native Kubernetes. and the new cooperative efforts between VMware and cloud providers, such as AWS and Azure.

VMware Takes Security Seriously

With the announcement of Intrinsic Security, VMWare has released solutions for “more automated, proactive, and pervasive protection across the entire distributed enterprise. A source within VMware who I talked to during the conference confidently referred to VMware as “the largest security company in the world” as a result of this announcement, and while there will be people who will debate this, the mere framing of the new security phase as “intrinsic” sends a clear message. VMware is addressing customers’ critical needs: flexibility and security. Cost is always important, too, but in a multicloud/hybrid cloud world, in which enterprises are working with five different clouds on average–according to the keynote by Gelsinger–flexibility and security are the top issues.

Conclusion

Tech updates aside, I’ll add that I love it when large enterprises make an effort to connect with customers and users at the conferences they organize. VMware totally succeeded with this intention at this year’s VMworld Europe.

Further, it may sound corny, but I admire companies as forward-thinking as VMware with initiatives that make a difference in the world –one high level executive told me the company gives their employees time off to volunteer! Tech companies are well-positioned to do this, and it makes me proud to be in this industry when I see how we can contribute not only to the improvement of tech, but to the improvement of lives.

*The writer would like to extend a special thanks to Peli the Tiger, founder and head of People and Computers, for his help in creating this article. 

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