At the core of the VMware approach to cloud computing is a VMware Cloud Foundation platform that combines storage and network virtualization software with the company’s core hypervisor platform. Now via the release of VMware Cloud Foundation 2.3, integration with the VMware vRealize portfolio of IT automation software is being added.
Matt Herreras, director of product marketing for VMware, says the inclusion of VMware vRealize Automation, vRealize Operations and vRealize Log Insight will make it easier to deploy application workloads on a platform that VMware manages on behalf of customers, whether it’s deployed on-premises or in a public cloud.
IT organizations will also be able to use the management console VMware provides with VMware Cloud Foundation to configure the vRealize automation framework.
At the same time, VMware is adding support for heterogeneous servers within a single rack, including be able to specify specific servers for each workload domain.
Additionally, VMware has revealed it is working with Intel to include the latest family of Intel Xeon Scalable processors in an existing Intel Select Solutions for VMware Cloud Foundation program. Those processors are expected to be certified in the first half of 2018.
VMware Cloud Foundation is rapidly becoming a centerpiece of the VMware approach to DevOps. VMware claims that a VMware-based cloud can be spun up six to eight times faster using VMware Cloud Foundation, while total cost of ownership of a private cloud will drop 30 percent to 40 percent and administrator productivity will increase by a factor of two.
IT organizations that have standardized on VMware are under significant pressure from developers to become more agile. In many cases, those developers end-run the internal IT organization by programmatically invoking cloud services, even if it would be more cost-effective for the application workloads to deploy locally. The challenge those administrators and VMware both face is convincing developers that VMware environments are flexible enough to meet their need to access IT infrastructure on demand, now that an IT automation framework has been tightly coupled with VMware Cloud Foundation.
In the meantime, VMware is also betting that as large numbers of existing applications are lifted and shifted into the cloud, most IT organizations would prefer to not have to refactor them. To allow IT organizations to avoid that issue, VMware is making VMware Cloud Foundation available jointly with Amazon Web Services (AWS), while partners including IBM provide their own managed instance of VMware Cloud Foundation. Herreras notes that the VMware vRealize automation suite also includes tools for managing AWS and Microsoft Azure environments as an extension of a local VMware environment.
In addition, VMware has invested in container technologies including Docker containers and Kubernetes clusters, which can be deployed on VMware. Herreras says that from an IT operations perspective, the company is betting that most IT organizations will prefer to deploy legacy monolithic applications and emerging microservices applications on top of a common base infrastructure to minimize costs.
It might be a little while longer before VMware can completely pull all the elements of its DevOps strategy together. But the one thing that is clear is that, at the very least now, the company understands just how much of its continued future relevance in enterprise IT is at stake.