VMworld Day Two: Five Imperatives

Today is the second day of VMworld 2015 in San Francisco. The general session started at 9AM for about one and half hours. Today’s topic includes desktop, networking, and 5 imperatives for digital business.

First coming onto the stage was Sanjay Poonen, the EVP and GM of the end user computing business unit. The announcement was the VMware Workspace Suite which covers the desktop, mobile, and content collaboration, supported by the identity manager. The theme there is “Enabling any application, Any Device.” I think he should have added “Anywhere” because the mobile already endorses that. The mobile part is mostly from the Airwatch acquisition. Security is also a big part in the end user computing with ultimate goal of consumer simplicity plus enterprise security.

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A big surprise was that Microsoft corporate VP Jim Alkove joined Sanjay talking about the Windows 10 security with a big red heart on the screen showing VMware loves Windows 10. This is a very positive sign that both giants in IT industry collaborate. After that quick standing interview, was a demo on the system provisioning using App Volumes under project name A2 (A Square).

The networking show came the second by Martin Casado who joined VMware as Nicira acquisition and became the SVP and GM for VMware networking and security BU. Following the famous “The Network is The Computer” by Sun Microsystem, he coined a new one: “The App is The Network.” He listed challenges in IT: provisioning and configuration, troubleshooting, followed by VMware NSX as the solution. The NSX 6.2 is packed with many new features. One of the features is the NSX API enhancements, something I may cover in future blogs.

At the second half of the general session was the keynote by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger. The keynote was titled as 5 Imperatives for digital business, the best ever of all his keynotes. He started off with quite a few pages of stats like rate of connectivity of different continents, mobile share of web traffic (global average is 33%, US is 25%), connected devices per person along the history (1995 0.1, 2015 2.9, 2020 5.9 – not sure if it’s a good trend or not), app industry by passed Hollywood in revenues, $8 trillion of Internet economy representing 21% of global GDP growth. With the context set, he went on his 5 imperatives: (the following are based by my photos from the general session with mostly quoted content)

1. “Elephant must learn to dance.” If you’ve read the book by former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner “Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? :Inside IBM’s Historic Turnaround,” you know what exactly it means. Unlike before, “Asymmetry ruling today’s business today.” It basically means the incumbents can be disrupted by newcomers any time. So, companies must “Innovate like a startup, deliver like an enterprise.”

2. “Message to clouds: Can’t we all just get along? We’re now entering professional era of cloud.” He used a picture of San Francisco Gold Gate Bridge during construction as the state of the cloud(s) today. When the cloud is fully constructed, it should be hybrid cloud with public and private combined, and with applications across both. I think the professional cloud is just another way of pitching VMware Hybrid cloud vision. Pat also mentioned “Post Snowden accelerated demand for home grown clouds.” Not sure about the logic, but what Snowden had leaked was the private cloud. It does prompt other nations to set up policies around data locality though.
3. “Would you like security that that? A renaissance in security has begun. Carpe Diem.” Security should be built in vs bolted on? “For the first time ever, security is architected in – virtualization enables alignment and ubiquity: twice as secure with half of cost.
4. “Next wave of innovation: proactive technology.” He especially discussed artificial intelligence with 30 years’ review. Pat shared a little story of himself while working on 486 at Intel: his marketing colleague asked him to support AI. After researching a bit, he concluded that the speed is all that matters, which was already an achieved goal. Without doing anything more, the marketing claim the 486 support AI.  The key difference of reactive and proactive is “what should I do?” vs. “I’ve got this.” Under the hood of building blocks of proactive technologies are big data, analytics, and app.
5. “Welcome to the age of rattling the cage. Taking risks = lowest risk.” “As a tech expert, this is your time to lead.” “Be the entrepreneur and innovator for your business.” “Our commitment: your best partner to navigate this world.”

Compared with the other keynotes Pat did before, today’s keynote was pretty VIRTUAL in the sense it’s most detached from VMware’s business. There also a slide that reviewed the big initiatives after he took over VMware. I felt it might be a sign that he would move on for something bigger: taking over the parent company EMC, maybe?

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