VMware talks cloud freedom to Australian IT pros

VMware pushes Cross-Cloud Architecture

VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger and CTO Networking, Bruce Davie, used the vendor's vForum conference in Sydney to give Australian IT professionals their first glimpse of VMware’s new Cross-Cloud Architecture.

The architecture is designed to to enable the management of multiple cloud resources – private, hybrid and public – from a single portal and for applications to be deployed, shifted and managed anywhere between these disparate resources.

VMware announced the Cross-Cloud Architecture at VMworld in August, describing it as a SaaS offering to “enable visibility into cloud usage and costs, enhance consistent networking and security policies, and automate the deployment, management, and migration of applications and data across vSphere and non-vSphere private and public clouds.”

By providing a common operating environment for both public clouds and on-premises workloads, VMware said central IT would be able to “give developers the ability to work cross-cloud, and IT the ability to manage cross-cloud applications with security and compliance.”

Demonstrating the Cross-Cloud Architecture at VMware’s vForum in Sydney, Davie positioned it as a means for IT departments to re-assert their relevance in the face of a growing shift to shadow IT (Gelsinger quoted local research firm IBRS estimating that shadow IT accounted for 30 percent of the IT budgets of many Australian organisations).

Davie said the Cross-Cloud Architecture was “really going to empower the next generation of IT professionals to drive their businesses forward.” He dismissed suggestions that IT was becoming less relevant to the enterprise, saysing: “The IT department could not be more relevant that it is today You are still responsible for maintaining security in an environment where you control less and less of the physical pieces.”

He told his audience the Cross-Cloud Architecture was “all about giving you the tools and capabilities you need to maintain the security, the productivity of your enterprises while the landscape is shifting underneath you.”

Davie positioned the Cross-Cloud Architecture as a logical extension of what VMware has been doing since its inception: first decoupling operating systems and applications from servers with virtualisation and, more recently, decoupling networking functions from the underlying hardware with software defined networking technologies (developed from its acquisition of SDN startup Nicira).

“We can now start to deliver services that are not only decoupled from your choice of server and your choice of network but also from your choice of infrastructure provider,” he said.

“If you want to provide your own infrastructure in your own data centres or if you want to use infrastructure from Google, or Amazon or IBM we can give you a uniform experience and all the controls you need in that multicloud environment.”

He said VMware had taken the decision to develop the Cross-Cloud Architecture based on customer feedback. “As we have been talking to customers for the last year or two we have been getting a very strong message that it is not sufficient to have everything running on VSphere infrastructure. People want to run on any cloud infrastructure: AWS, Azure, Google, etc.”

VMware’s August press release announcing the Cross-Cloud Architecture at VMworld described it as being “under development” and gave no indication of availability. Davie said his demonstrations at vForum were real demonstrations of functioning software and the commercial offering would be available some time in 2017.