There are a lot of ways to detect the technical trends in the industry. My friends who work (or have worked) at IDC, Gartner, and the like will cringe when I say: “The auto-rickshaws in India serve as a very helpful pointer as well.” I clicked a photograph (see inset above) while waiting in traffic, and it reminded me of some of my sessions at VMworld last August.
“Clearly, at the heart of everything we do at VMware is Networking, NSX… what vSphere was for the first 20 years, NSX will be for the next decade or two,” said Pat Gelsinger, giving all of us network automation geeks a high. Here are a few things that stood out:
- Pulse IoT: VMware is clearly pushing into IoT. A theme was cloud to edge – IoT, which confirms that the trend of edge/fog computing is alive and kicking. NSX(-T) is used in Pulse to ensure that policy definitions will be seamless for those with enterprise networking background.
- Pivotal Container Service (PKS): What virtualization was a decade ago, containerization will be in the next two. Using BOSH, Cloud Foundry will be able to provide a uniform lifecycle-management process for container instances across clouds. NSX is again an underlying function which ensures a common strategy toward enterprise networking across all VMware partnerships. The vRealize Suite is also included so that VMware product knowledge and network automation development can be used by the enterprise IT teams here. With DevOps going from a new kid on the block to the theme for CIOs, PKS is sure to have a lot of traction in the lifecycle management community.
- VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) (Second Life): Given the recent announcement of Azure Stack, this area will be interesting. AWS CEO Andy Jassy was onstage and highlighted the joint strategy. Although Azure and Google cloud were also mentioned in this announcement, Google got more mention in PKS with Google’s Sam Ramji onstage. Azure, as usual, was an afterthought, seeming like a tick in the checkbox.
- AppDefense: This seems to take the security use case of microsegmentation a step further. The platform monitors behavior and records the ‘known good’ activity. It can trigger everything from killing a process and blocking traffic to inserting an external virtual firewall on any unexpected activity. Integration of NSX Service Composer with AppDefense gives rise to numerous security automation use cases. With PKS and AppDefense, VMware’s container networking story becomes more convincing.
- WaveFront: Building on its recent acquisition, VMware has announced it as a SaaS product that offers operational insights using data points. Functionalities in the demo seemed similar to analytics tools like Splunk.
Finally, one of the longest waiting lines in the sessions that I saw was for NSX on Cisco infrastructure. I will admit that most of the sessions I attended were around enterprise networking and automation – so there might have been longer lines in other sessions. But it did make me ponder on what is going to happen in the near future in the lifecycle management space.