Finally, VMware Explore 2022 wrapped up and I think the biggest takeaway is how great it was to meet and see everyone in person, since the last in-person conference was 2 years ago during VMworld 2019.
VMware Explore 2022 Event
I had a blast at this event. Lots of familiar faces and the in-person energy at the Moscone Center is something I've missed over the last few years. Although, I'll always be biased on having the VMware conference in Las Vegas. I just think we have a better infrastructure to accommodate all the guests. Hopefully VMware could find its way back to Vegas.
This was the first VMworld VMware Explore that I attended as an employee. It was definitely a different experience since I went only with the Expo pass to meet and help support some new customers. My badge was branded in a different color compared to the regular attendee pass and I wasn't allowed all the cool Expo swag which was a bit disappointing. 🙁
On the bright side, I got to meet up some old co-workers and even VMUG members from my local Las Vegas chapter. Walking the expo floor and seeing all the vendors showcase their technology partnering with VMware is always nice to experience.
VMware Explore 2022 Backpack
As with the typical VMware swag tradition, VMware Explore attendees were able to receive an official VMware Explore 2022 backpack.
I was not able to obtain one during the event as an employee, but thankfully one of the attendees that I met up with wasn't too interested in his so he generously offered it to me. 🙂
Honestly, the backpack is just "ok" I wasn't too impressed with it for this year. It's cool to have since they've changed the event name from VMworld to Explore but functionality and design-wise...it's not my favorite.
I'll just add it to the collection of VMware bags I've kept throughout the years.
Since VMware is moving towards this new SaaS consumption based model, a lot of our key announcements were made in order to enhance our existing offerings. Below is a high-level description of the key announcements that were made.
VMware Cloud Infrastructure
The next numbered version of vSphere is here. This was essentially known as Project Monterey for those that followed previous VMware announcements. vSphere 8 brings in DPUs or Distributed Processing Units.
VMware worked closely to collaborate with other tech partners such as Dell Technologies, HPE, Lenovo, Intel, AMD and Nvidia to bring a technology that offloads functions from the core CPU and processes them on the DPU which will accelerate network and security functions.
vSAN 8 introduced the next generation of HCI with a new architecture called (ESA) Express Storage Architecture.
ESA will allow for a new way to process data more efficiently by taking advantage of the more modern NVMe-based TLC Flash hardware. Express Storage Architecture was designed from the ground up and will be an alternative to the existing Original Storage Architecture (OSA) that vSAN originally was built upon.
VMware Cloud Foundation+
VMware Cloud Foundation+ will be enabled by VCF 4.5. VCF+ will add vSphere+ and vSAN+ as part of the full stack private cloud architecture. This will allow VCF to take advantage of hybrid cloud services to enable visibility and management across the entire enterprise.
Network & Security
This announcement essentially enables customers to leverage the management plane of their virtual networking stack to have visibility across their entire multi-cloud deployment.
Delivered now in a SaaS model, Project Northstar will help customers manage all their networking policies in a centralized fashion. Customers can take advantage of an enhanced HCX workload mobility service that will provide them the ability to rebalance and migrate workloads across multiple clouds.
VMware Cloud on AWS
I may be a bit biased here since this is the business unit I work out of 😉 but there were a number of key announcements for VMC on AWS.
Powered by the 3rd generation Intel Xeon Ice Lake processor. This new i4i.metal instance will offer 1.5x-2x the storage, CPU and memory compared to the current i3.metal. Shiny new hardware always hypes me up.
VMware Cloud Flex Storage
Finally a way to scale storage without also growing compute since VMC is build upon HCI nodes. VMware Cloud Flex Storage is fully managed by VMware and built upon the same filesystem that backs our VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery service. Flex Storage will help to scale all your storage-intensive workloads more cost-effectively.
Integration with Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP
VMC on AWS clusters can now take advantage of an AWS service that is jointly engineered with NetApp. Similar to the VMware Cloud Flex Storage, this service is fully managed by AWS and provides a way to leverage NetApp's mature ONTAP file system extended to the cloud.
VMware Cloud Flex Compute
This is another cool announcement in terms of lowering the barrier of entry into the cloud. VMware Cloud Flex Compute allows customers to take advantage of this new hostless offering. Flex Compute will offer small consumable t-shirt sized units that is comprised of CPU, memory, storage and network resources. Need a quick small dev test environment for your application? Spin up a Flex Compute nodes and only pay for the resources you use instead of committing to a full 2-node host. Pretty sweet!
VMware Cloud Management
VMware Aria is not simply a rebrand of vRealize but it's more of a repositioning of all the vRealize products customers already know and love combined with integrations in Tanzu Mission Control, Tanzu Observability, CloudHealth and Skyline under one umbrella. Aria will provide a tighter integration between all the vRealize products in order enhance the End-to-End Management of objects across all clouds.
Horizon Cloud Next-Gen
This is VMware Horizon next-generation DaaS architecture. This new architecture brings higher scalability and will be in limited availability for Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure customers.
VMware Modern Applications and Management
Tanzu Application Platform 1.3
Tanzu Application Platform provides developers an easier way to build, deploy and manage applications on top of K8S. This new TAP 1.3 version provides increased flexibility to enable the availability on RedHad Openshift. It also extends the ability to leverage Jenkins CI/CD pipelines and provides more security with Air-gap support.
Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.0
VMware Explore 2022 On-Demand Sessions
Didn't get to attend the conference? No worries. VMware Explore's on-demand sessions are available on the VMware Explore Video Library. You'll need a VMware Explore account to watch the sessions as there is no offline viewing.
William Lam also posted a bunch of the Breakout sessions on his GitHub page.
What a show! The amount of planning and detail that went into this event wasn't overlooked. Sure there were some shadow corner discussions about the elephant in the room, but overall it was great! Till next time...