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The journey toward Cloud Smart 

VMware CEO Raghu Raghuran focused his Explore keynote on the multicloud universe and how customers can accelerate their business through insight and innovation. He went on to emphasize the importance of VMware's Cross-Cloud services and the important role partners play in guiding organizations throughout their multicloud journey.

VMware breaks the typical cloud journey down into three common phases:

  1. Cloud First: An approach that entails embracing the public cloud with a focus on building customer-facing mobile apps in a single cloud environment.
  2. Cloud Chaos: Adopting multiple clouds can introduce more complexity and chaos. Roughly 80 percent of organizations are grappling with this current state multicloud model, according to VMware.
  3. Cloud Smart: Cloud Smart is the desired destination of every multicloud journey, providing the freedom to select the right cloud for the right app based on its specific needs. This approach empowers teams by providing a consistent operating model across the different clouds they rely on, with lateral security and consistent control across private clouds, hybrid clouds, public clouds and the edge.

VMware plans to address the challenges of converting a Cloud Chaos approach to a Cloud Smart approach in three ways:

  1. By delivering an accelerated application development model that gives partners and customers the ability to combine separate development, operations and security initiatives into one accelerated application model.
  2. By replacing existing siloed cloud infrastructure with a more consistent enterprise infrastructure.
  3. By making the application access experience more frictionless than fragmented.

Cloud management: VMware Aria

To accelerate the journey to becoming Cloud Smart, VMware announced a new multicloud management offering called Aria. The product portfolio will provide a set of end-to-end solutions for managing the cost, performance, configuration, and delivery of infrastructure and cloud-native applications across any cloud. 

VMware Aria is powered by VMware Aria Graph, a cloud-scale data store technology that captures the complexity of our customers' multicloud environments, including applications, users, configurations and associated dependencies. With VMware Aria, customers can accelerate business agility, optimize costs and performance, and strengthen control across multiple clouds.

Graphical user interface, application

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VMware's new cloud management solution

Product enhancements to jumpstart the Cloud Smart journey

Below is a quick roundup of some of the other product enhancements touched on at Explore:

vSphere 8: VMware vSphere 8, the enterprise workload platform, brings the benefits of cloud to on-premises workloads, supercharges performance through DPUs and GPUs, and accelerates innovation with an enterprise-ready integrated Kubernetes runtime.

vSAN 8: Through a next-generation storage platform optimized for modern hardware with hyper-converged infrastructure, VMware vSAN 8 introduces breakthrough performance and hyper-efficiency. The new vSAN Express Storage Architecture will enhance the performance, storage efficiency, data protection and management of vSAN running on the latest generation storage devices.

VMware Cloud Foundation+: Through a subscription model, VMware Cloud Foundation+ will deliver a cloud-connected architecture for managing and operating full-stack hyper-converged infrastructure in data centers. VCF+ will deliver new admin, developer and hybrid cloud services through a simplified subscription model and keyless entitlement.

VMware Edge Compute Stack 2: This product portfolio will help customers address the needs of simplicity and scale at the edge including support for smaller cluster sizes to run containers efficiently on smaller COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) hardware.

Tanzu Application Platform (TAP 1.3): VMware Tanzu Application Platform is designed to unlock developer productivity by providing Application Accelerators and a pre-paved path to production with all the needed components preconfigured for developer teams to build and deploy software quickly and securely. VMware announced new capabilities that enrich developer and app operator experience for any Kubernetes environment, increase supply chain and offer additional integration options.

Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations: In a continued effort to simplify Kubernetes delivery, management and reliability, Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations adds capabilities to help streamline and secure Kubernetes deployments at scale across various clouds.

Azure VMware Solution: Azure VMware Solution (AVS) will be joining VMC on AWS, VMC on Dell and Google Cloud VMware Engine (GCVE) on the list of managed VMware software-defined data center solutions that customers may purchase through VMware Cloud Universal. VMware Cloud Universal is a flexible purchasing and consumption program for executing multicloud and digital transformation strategies.

VMC on AWS: VMC on AWS customers are getting a new AWS EC2 bare metal instance to build their clusters with. The I4i.metal instance represents a serious upgrade over the older i3.metal instance. Powered by third generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors (Ice Lake), the I4i instance helps deliver better workload support and delivery, lower TCO, and increased scalability and application performance. Compared to I3, the I4i instances provide nearly twice the number of physical cores, twice the memory, three times the storage capacity and three times the network bandwidth.

Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP Integration Availability: As a native AWS cloud storage service certified as a supplemental datastore for VMware Cloud on AWS, AWS FSx for ONTAP offers fully managed shared storage built on the familiar NetApp ONTAP file system trusted by VMware customers running on-premises today. Customers can now use FSx for ONTAP as a simple and elastic datastore for VMware Cloud on AWS, enabling them to scale storage up or down independently from compute while paying only for the resources they need.

VMware Cloud Flex Storage: A new VMware-managed and natively integrated cloud storage and data management solution that offers supplemental datastore-level access for VMware Cloud on AWS. Via the VMware Cloud Console, customers can scale their storage environment without adding hosts and elastically adjust storage capacity up or down as needed for every application. Customers also benefit from a simple, pay-as-you-consume pricing model. Together with VMware vSAN, VMware Cloud Flex Storage offers flexibility and customer value in terms of resilience, performance, scale and cost in the cloud.

VMware Cloud Flex Compute: A preview of a new cloud compute model that will help customers get started faster with VMware Cloud on AWS. With this new model, VMware introduces a "resource-defined" cloud compute model in place of "hardware-defined" compute instance model which will provide customers higher flexibility, elasticity, and speed to better meet cost and performance requirements of enterprise applications. It will also help customers get started faster with VMware Cloud on AWS by using smaller consumable units.

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