Digital transformation is disrupting businesses today. IT leaders are under tremendous pressure to act as enablers of business growth and gain competitive advantage. Businesses are demanding speed and agility with faster time to market more than ever before. The industry has gone for a massive digital transformation in terms of how it procures, consumes, and utilizes technology today.
In the early days, organizations had to wait for days for procurement, application deployment, and for every change after that. Every time this happened, there was a delay in reaching out or serving the customer. With digital transformation, the industry witnessed a massive revolution in the form of application provisioning and scaling.
Virtualization came to the rescue of organizations in terms of cost and some agility but as the scale increased and customer expectations went beyond “simply connected” to more agile and flexible, alternatives were being sought. The need of the hour was to continuously develop, integrate, and deploy code into production thereby reducing the time-to-market. IT became the enabler of competitive differentiation and hence containers were thought as one of the options to fulfill this requirement. The advent of containers turned out to be a game changer in terms of how applications are created, deployed and managed in an era of digital transformation. Container orchestration is helping enterprises to increase efficiency, gain agility, and enable multi-cloud IT operations at a faster pace than before.
Kubernetes as the new industry norm
When it comes to the Cloud Native Applications, container orchestration plays a very crucial role because of their ease in portability, flexibility, and better orchestration capabilities than virtual machines (VMs). A leading research and advisory company has predicted that the application container market will grow from $762 million in 2016 to $2.7 billion by 2020 and is expected to reach $4.3 billion by 2022. When it comes to container orchestration, Kubernetes has established itself as the de-facto standard. It is the most widely used orchestration tool in the cloud native industry by some distance. The Kubernetes cluster has a rapidly growing ecosystem. In one of the recent surveys conducted on container management tools by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), it was found that Kubernetes remains the leader with 83% of respondents mentioning its use in comparison to Amazon ECS, Docker Swarm, and Shell Scripts.
How VMware market is evolving
It was less than a decade ago that Marc Andreessen, the co-founder and general partner at the venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz, predicted that software is “eating the world”. Cloud native applications today are making this real.
In this era of modernization and digitalization, vendors are redefining themselves and VMware is not left behind. Last year, with the acquisition of Heptio, a leader in the open Kubernetes ecosystem, VMware added a considerable advantage to its already long and impressive list of acquisitions such as Bitnami, Pivotal, Avi Networks, and Carbon Black.
Moving forward this year, VMware has shown its interest to build, run and manage cloud native applications irrespective of the cloud platforms. With organizations aiming to shift towards multi-cloud functions, this move is helping VMware boost its multi-cloud strategy and double the length and breadth of its current offerings.
Bitnami, Pivotal, and Heptio are contributing to the “build” category of the portfolio, VMware announced Tanzu Mission Control at VMworld 2019. The portfolio of products provides multi-cluster management across distributed Kubernetes clusters and Project Pacific, which integrates Kubernetes more closely with vSphere. Tanzu and Project-Pacific fall into “manage” and “run” category of the portfolio, respectively.
Tanzu Mission Control: One-stop solution for multi-cloud management
According to one of the analyst firms, by 2021, over 90% of enterprises worldwide will rely on multi-cloud strategy and legacy platform to meet their infrastructure needs. The enterprises today are dealing with complex ecosystems composed of integrated technologies, platforms, and applications. While the enterprises plan to scale up hybrid cloud, one of the key challenges which arises is in terms of management of these complex applications across multi-cloud platform and to enforce policies around applications running across different platforms. This is where VMware has chipped in with the announcement of Project Pacific and Tanzu Mission Control to provide a common multi-cloud management platform for managing and running applications.
Tanzu Mission control will help its customers run any application on any cloud be it private, public, or at the network edge. It has a SaaS-based control plane which can integrate with the customer’s different Kubernetes clusters and will provide a common management platform for all the workloads. Tanzu will help organizations interested in scaling their applications across different clouds or different platforms manage the entire life cycle of applications and perform day-2 operations across different platforms.
Tanzu is expected to provide VMware with a broader portfolio, one that can establish it as one of the leaders in the cloud native industry by addressing the enterprise needs to build and manage modern, distributed, or microservices-based applications across different platforms.
Opportunity for HCL
The announcement of Tanzu Mission Control has opened doors for many opportunities for partners like HCL. Tanzu’s roadmap has been announced with a lot of features and enterprises who have taken their journey towards Application Modernization can harness these to build modern applications that can run consistently across different environments.
VMware Tanzu is expected to let customers have a better strategy to design, deliver, and deploy applications at the speed of light at the same time in different environments. This is also expected to lead to an increase in the number of skilled resources who can understand and manage both infrastructure and platforms together. This shall give HCL an edge over its competition as we have been delivering as well as preparing ourselves for these unified yet diverse cloud scenarios for some time now.
Various use cases where HCL can play a part (apart from cross-skilled resources) would include as service strategy design and execution, self-service portals, optimization, DevOps, and new propositions in the hybrid cloud scenario for mission-critical or other applications.
VMware is focusing in the right direction to lure its existing and new customers who are gradually moving towards cloud or adopting a third-party technology stack to gain agility and flexibility in their IT environments. This move can prove to be a game changer for VMware provided it can also address the areas like migration to the Kubernetes platform or application modernization with some tools/frameworks or designs that can accelerate the customer’ digital journey or develop some of these jointly with partners like HCL.
With Tanzu and Project Pacific, VMware has not only tried to bring the developers and platform teams together but also given developers the independence to manage and run workloads on any platform or any cloud with the help of self-service resources. With these latest announcements about Tanzu and Project Pacific, VMware has given a sign about its appetite for Kubernetes clusters and a cloud native approach. This can easily convert into a leadership position for VMware and help them stay relevant in this constantly changing market landscape.