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Our Advisory Board members look back on VMware’s progress in 2017 and offer predictions for the company’s future in cloud, networking and security

VMware proved in 2017 that it has come a long way from its virtualization roots. After a few false starts, it seems to have finally found its niche in the cloud market, thanks in no small part to the company’s advantageous partnership with Amazon Web Services. All signs point to continued growth and development in this direction as VMware works to become a multi-cloud management platform.

VMware proved in 2017 that it has come a long way from its virtualization roots. After a few false starts, it seems to have finally found its niche in the cloud market, thanks in no small part to the company’s advantageous partnership with Amazon Web Services. All signs point to continued growth and development in this direction as VMware works to become a multi-cloud management platform.

It was also a memorable year for VMware networking with the release of both NSX-T for non-vSphere environments and NSX as a service. Based on these developments, it’s becoming increasingly clear that NSX will play a pivotal role in VMware’s product portfolio in the future, and that it could even become, as VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger claimed at VMworld 2017, “the next vSphere.”

SearchVMware asked its Advisory Board members for their thoughts on VMware’s year and what could be in the cards for VMware in 2018.

Stuart Burns, virtualization and Linux expert

Overall, this has been a very good year for VMware — even better than expected, in my opinion. On the surface, there’s a lot of new stuff happening, including a new NSX-T launch and feature additions to VMware Cloud on AWS.

NSX is the jewel in the crown of the VMware arsenal because, so far as I’m aware, no other company has anything remotely similar, and it provides all the functionality a security and network administrator could desire.

VMware’s partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the subsequent release of VMware Cloud on AWS made for the biggest news of the year. VMware Cloud on AWS — which is finally generally available — is a VMware cloud on AWS hardware. VMware manages all the customer-facing items.

Although VMware Cloud on AWS is a good product, in my opinion, it’s still a bit more expensive than it ought to be. That said, I suspect the price will come down over time.

VMware resellers have come up with their own take on VMware in the cloud, but instead use two compute nodes and Network File System storage, which reduces the entrance cost into the cloud. This method requires a minimum of three nodes due to the vSAN requirement of VMware Cloud on AWS.

From a business perspective, VMware has played its hand well and is forging strategic partnerships to suit its interests. It is VMware’s hope that these relationships will help it become the glue that enables cloud mobility, a bold but interesting idea. Despite the naysayers, many customers have actually increased their VMware estates over the past year.

The big focus for VMware in 2018 and beyond is to develop a consistent multi-cloud management platform. Medium and large companies are adopting hybrid cloud as their default setup at a growing rate, and they are using multiple platforms to manage their environments. This is a problem because using different platforms to manage multi-cloud environments is a waste of time and resources, and it leaves a cloud systems administrator with more platforms to learn and potentially troubleshoot.

Another major area of focus — one that has been relatively quiet in virtualization news for whatever reason — is automation. Automation tools, such as vRealize Automation, provide a bridge between relatively simple deployments, which any systems administrator can do, and a full-on portal experience.

Although automation requires significant upfront investment, it streamlines the deployment process while maintaining simplicity and convenience for the end user. In additional to developing a multi-cloud management platform, I suspect that this is another area in which VMware will continue to grow in 2018.

Brian Kirsch, IT architect and consultant, Milwaukee Area Technical College

VMware’s in a state of change as the software-defined data center (SDDC) gives way to the cloud. The lines that define where applications live have never been less clear. Just as server hardware companies have had to restructure their offerings, so must VMware.

Over the past few years, @VMware has embraced technologies outside of its core virtualization stack. #NSX was a huge shift for VMware, and it has become a massive profit engine for the virtualization company. While the cloud market is already full of established players, VMware is working to expand into cloud management and security, and will continue to do so in 2018. 

http://searchvmware.techtarget.com/feature/VMware-to-focus-on-its-multi-cloud-management-platform-in-2018

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