Thursday, 29 August 2019

VMware Showcase Keynote – Multi-Cloud Strategies to Operate at Scale-Summary

VMware Showcase Keynote – Multi-Cloud Strategies to Operate at Scale - My notes

The session presenter was Joe Kinsella

The evolution of the cloud has taken 10 years to get where it is today, we have moved from the cloud being used by developers and IT departments for test and dev, to where we are today running business productivity apps across a broad range of industries.

Primarily the cloud was used as IaaS, it is now for much more including Functions as a Service, modern apps, AI, machine Learning, and much more.

Customers are embracing multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud deployments, and using the flexibility and functions of each public cloud vendor to tailor their systems to provide the best user experience.

Just when we think we’re there, new innovations come along daily, along with new features to further boost productivity and the user experience, this gives us a dynamic environment in which to develop systems to give us the competitive edge.

Why move to the Cloud?

They’ll be a number of factors as to why companies move to the cloud and here’s a few.

·         Agility
·         Innovation
·         Consumption based model
·         On demand infrastructures
·         Global datacenters

However, a challenge of a multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud model is management, how do we manage multiplatform efficiently? This can in turn lead potentially to an increase in operational costs.

This can be for a number of reasons.

Number one is the speed of change, new features are added on a fast pace, which we have to leverage to give us efficient apps.

Number two is the distributed management of multiple clouds, sometimes apps are team based and designed by departments, rather than by IT, management interfaces can be different across all clouds. This may mean that potentially companies have multiple cloud accounts for multiple vendors, which in turn may mean that we have a completely distributed set of security issues to worry about.

Number tree is pervasive multi-cloud, companies now not only look after their own apps, but now have multiple SaaS based solutions as well, their CRM system may be running on VMware vSphere, their messaging and collaboration systems maybe running on Microsoft Azure, their web front ends maybe hosted in AWS, and test systems in Google Cloud.

How to be Successful in a Multi-Cloud World

Four factors are taken into account.

1)    Cost and visibility - As the cloud is based on a service model, sometimes costs can be unpredictable, so we need to understand our workloads and identify waste, and then optimise the services.
2)    Governance and Security - Need to push out to teams the information required in order to ensure best practices are followed based on policies, also managing the security of the business in the public nature of the cloud.
3)    Automation - Deploy, manage and maintain systems within a policy framework, the automation of policy decisions, allows system to grow and contract as required. If waste is identified automation can quickly release that resource to further manage cost, rather than awaiting an email or alert to be actioned by IT.
4)    Service Integration – Integrating on-prem systems and giving them on-prem and cloud visibility for optimal system management.

VMware Multi-Cloud Management

·         Provides Multi-Cloud Visibility,
·         Cost management by uncovering hidden costs, monitoring increases in spend, and making impactful changes based on custom recommendations.
·         Cloud Security, by allowing policies across business units, and receiving proactive notifications on potential security risks.
·         Cloud Governance, easily maintaining control over the cloud environment with custom policies and workflows based on how the business should be ran.

·         Identify and Increase Visibility. Better understand your cloud’s security and compliance posture by visualizing object relationships and mapping associated violations, metadata, and changes to objects.
·         Correlate & Mitigate Risk. Prioritize issues based on smart risk scores and gain deep insight into misconfigurations, complex violation chains, anomalies, and activities.
·         Automate & Scale Security. Receive immediate notifications to proactively detect threats within seconds and build security guardrails to automatically remediate violations.
·         Collaborate & Organize. Distribute cloud security responsibilities and empower developers to focus on critical issues by eliminating false positives.

·         To accelerate application delivery for multi-cloud and Kubernetes.

·         Self-Service Hybrid Cloud. Out-of-the-box experience for VMware Hybrid Cloud on par with public clouds.
·         Multi-Cloud Automation and Governance. Apply consistent orchestration & guardrails across all clouds.
·         Delivery with DevOps. Embrace DevOps and expedite infrastructure and application deployment.
·         Kubernetes Workloads. Manage PKS and Kubernetes clusters and container apps.

·         Is a SaaS-based metrics cloud monitoring and analytics platform that lets you visualize, query, and alert over data from across your entire stack (infrastructure, network, custom app metrics, business KPIs, etc.)
·         Massive scale built for the enterprise.
·         Ask questions and get instant insights to quickly diagnose and fix application and operational issues.
·         Create smart alerts to alert on things that matter.
·         Enable better collaboration between Dev and Ops teams since they can see data and get insights from one single platform.

VMware Multi-Cloud

With the VMware product stack, the following is possible, you can Build, Run, Manage, Connect, and Protect across your multi-cloud / hybrid-cloud.

VMware has support in AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

VMworld 2019-General Session 2-Summary

VMworld 2019 US General Session 2 

Presented by Ray O’Farrell

Ray in this session focused on Digital Transformation, and how the infrastructure and apps work together to give an excellent user experience.

The session also focused on how IT is no longer just about IT companies, but how different industries need to leverage the technologies available to become more efficient and productive in order to not be left behind their competitors.

The Problems of Modern Apps

Problem 1 - How to build modern applications that is repeatable, secure, and allows developers to be productive.

Problem 2 – How do we take advantage of all the new multi-cloud infrastructures.

With the above four questions should be asked.

1.    How do I build and run the applications?
2.    How do we connect to and secure those applications?
3.    How do we manage those applications?
4.    How do we give the best application experience?

The above should be a cyclic journey and ever evolving.

VMware have technologies to help in all of the above.

Build and Run

VMware Tanzu gives the following functionality

It can be used to build modern apps using Existing, Open Source, or Cloud native technologies.

It can run those apps via Enterprise Kubernetes, in any of the following locations, those being On-prem, Public Cloud or on Edge devices.

The apps can then be managed via Kubernetes for Developers and IT across Multi-cloud, Multi-Cluster, and Multi-Team

From the build point of view, Pivotal can be used to build theses apps, and we can package the apps via Bitnami.

To run we now have VMC on Dell EMC, and this allows the customer to order the kit via the cloud interface and then build the kit, Dell build the kit and install the kit.

To allow running of Kubernetes natively with VMware vSphere, VMware have announced Project Pacific. This technology makes the Application a unit of control, very similar to a running VM, the app can be limited, and those flows down to all components of the apps.

Project Pacific allows developers to deliver applications in an automated fashion, but still within the guard-rails defined by IT Operations.

From an enterprise point of view, customers maybe running a multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud environment application, customers need to manage these applications centrally and efficiently, the product to use is Tanzu Mission Control which uses an application centric control model. This allows for complete management of the app without having to use multiple consoles on multiple clouds.

Connect and Protect

How do we manage complex service level agreements in a multi-cloud world?

We can leverage the built in capabilities of NSX-T, by creating Service Level Objective policies. This can define acceptable levels of latency, and error rate for our applications.

The app can then leverage NSX Service Mesh to return back to an acceptable level of performance.

How can we successfully implement micro-segmentation in an ever-changing dynamic environment?

We can leverage a new capability of NSX called NSX Intelligence which allows granular planning and troubleshooting of the underlying infrastructure. The product can create automated policies and allow simulation before publishing policies.
How can we classify and mitigate vulnerability and critical security events for infrastructure and apps?

VMware can leverage the AppDefense plugin within vSphere, which can then leverage Carbon Black to identify vulnerabilities within applications, the vulnerabilities can then be patched.


Across multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud we need consistent management. VMware have a product called WaveFront, which provides enterprise observability as a service for all teams and at scale.

The product collects millions of metrics to a data lake and then pinpoints the offending metric to identify issues.

Wavefront can also switch into vRealize Operations to identify and fix the issues with the infrastructure, Project Magna can also be leveraged to provide AI driven adaptive optimisation and self-tuning for vSAN

How do we proactively optimise cost overruns on Cloud before they happen?

CloudHealth by VMware allows customers to manage the sometimes unexpected cost of the cloud across multi-cloud environments.

User Experience

We need to onboard employees as quickly as possible, so that they have a great employee experience.

This can be achieved by using Horizon Desktop as a Service, Horizon can be provisioned on-prem, or VMC on AWS, or within Microsoft Azure, and all this can be provisioned from the VMware Horizon management console. This is also a GUI driven wizard.

For application support VMware have Workspace ONE that allows management of any device, with any operating system, with any app, in any location.

Emerging Technologies

ESXi or ARM, low cost virtualisation hosts.
Cross Cloud vMotion, run apps and multi-cloud services without boundaries.

To watch the entire General session 2 go to

VMworld 2019 The digital workspace keynote my notes

VMware The Digital Workspace Keynote

Speakers Noah Wasmer, Shankar Iyer, and Shawn Bass

All images were sourced from VMware

This session was all about empowering the workforce, due to disruption the average worker loses a day and a half per year due to inefficient digital tools.

Another startling figure is that companies with highly engaged workforces out perform their peers by +147% earnings and market share.

Also as mentioned in Finance Digest Magazine, “Employee Experience: New way to win the war for talent” , it’s not all about the money, work has to be engaging and the company must make the environment easy for staff to do their job.

Services in The Cloud

VMware now have 100% of their Global SaaS Services Workspace ONE Ready.

Horizon On-Prem is a cloud ready VDI solution and now has the ability to have your VDI solution running on public cloud, whether that be AWS, Microsoft Azure or IBM Softlayer, and these vendors provide 25 datacenter locations globally to run this service.

Automation is key with the cloud, and with Workspace ONE Intelligence monthly over 450 billion data points are analysed to create a more secure environment for services.

Any Device, Any App, Any Cloud          

As technology evolves , users will require apps to allow them to be productive, today that may be on Windows, tomorrow it may be Chrome OS, in the future that may be Apple, but we as the IT team need to support all technologies easily and efficiently so that users do not suffer dips in productivity.

This is where VMware Workspace ONE comes into play.

Workspace ONE allows for the abstraction of Digital Silos and allows a unified workspace that gives a great experience to users, allows the support of any device, with any OS, running any app, in any location, it reduces the cost of management and maintenance, and increases the security of those devices.

The five pillars of Workspace ONE

1.    Enhanced customer experience
2.    Modern management
3.    Simplified VDI
4.    Real time insights
5.    Automation

With Workspace ONE the Intelligence-Driven Workspace comes to life, by redefining modern management, Simplifying App and Desktop Virtualisation, and finally Delivering Transformational Employee Experiences.

Redefining Modern Management

This involves radical simplification through intelligent automation.

Users and businesses can expect.

Day 0 Productivity, Actionable insights, software is always up to date, users gain self-service empowerment, and we implement zero-trust security, and this can all be managed from the cloud.

With the partnership with Dell, not only does VMware software have it’s place, but Dell can also offer Ready-to-Work experience, Zero touch restores, and trusted software authority, adding deployment technologies to the mix. This also allows management of devices below the operating system.

This will allow a device to be delivered and ready to go out of the box in minutes, by using Dell factory and Workspace ONE. Delivering a true Ready-to-Work experience.

VMware have also introduced Industry baselines for Windows 10, allows Microsoft baseline support, supported 3rd party baselines, custom baselines or industry standards baselines such as HIPAA. This also gives 100% GPO support.

As Microsoft give you a new OS every 6 months VMware are also supplying functionality to ensure app compatibility across different versions of Windows, and allows insights to see which devices will run new apps and which ones won’t, reports can then be generated in order to resolve these issues.

Workspace ONE also provides vulnerability lists imported direct from NIST, and gives extensive dashboards that allow remediation of these vulnerabilities automatically.

Workspace ONE added Device Support

Security Within the New Workspace

It has been reported that now 50% of workers work outside the walls of the traditional office, and this creates new security issues, as we now have moved the traditional perimeter of the office.

On average users also have multiple devices, including laptops, desktops, phones, and tablets, and they want the same user experience regardless of which device they have at that moment.

With these new devices come new attacks, have stated that on a daily basis more than 350,000 new attacks are being registered.

What is zero trust security? It’s that “trust no one” Workspace one protects the 4 main attack vectors.

Workspace ONE also allows for partner integration, such as Okta which allows device trust capabilities.

Simplifying Virtual and Physical Modern Management

Workspace ONE allows for Modern Management with virtual Apps and Desktops, this is achieved by leveraging automated setups, always up to date operating systems and apps, all managed from a single console, and managed with comprehensive insights, and automation delivered as a cloud service.
VMware with Horizon 7 are expanding existing VMware Horizon deployments across multiple clouds.

We start with Workspace ONE Intelligence and Insights, this sits with VMware Horizon Cloud Management Console, which provides

·         Desktop and App Management
·         Automated Install
·         Service Updates
·         Monitoring and analytics
·         License Management
·         System Health

On-prem Horizon can talk to the cloud with the cloud connector, Horizon can also be installed with VMC on AWS, or Microsoft Azure, or future locations.

VMware Horizon also supports up to 10 users collaborating by sharing the same desktop, leveraging technology such as NVIDIA.

Workspace ONE can allowing mixing virtual and physical desktop support as a unified service with Workspace ONE Intelligence Insights and Automation.

This gives the following functionality.

·         Over-the-air OS and Application updates.
·         Unified policy management.
·         A single pane for endpoint health.

Delivering Employee Experiences that Drive Transformation

Making sure that employees are ready to go on day 0, and also within their first month is important to recruiting the best talent, but also ensuring they have a productive environment in which to thrive.

VMware have now delivered Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub which delivers a great employee experience with IT flexibility, allowing support for both BYOD and company owned devices.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

VMworld 2019 - General Session 1 - Summary

VMworld General Session 26/8/19 Make your mark

Pat started with this sessions theme which is Tech in The Age of Any ,

In this first General Session, Pat Gelsinger introduced us to the new members of the VMware family.

These are:

The world’s most established companies run on Pivotal. The results are transformational. Through adoption of our platform, tools, and methodology, these companies have unleashed innovation and reduced time-to-market, spending less to maintain their existing application portfolio. Results span industries, including automotive, financial services, industrial, media, retail, government, technology, and telecommunications.

Building software that matters - Our cloud-native platform, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, enables developers to spend more time writing code, and operators to improve security and uptime. Together, these teams deliver greater business value at lower costs.

Solving Security As A Big Data Problem - Cybersecurity has become a big data problem. Solving it requires sophisticated analytics and the computational power and agility of the cloud. With the CB Predictive Security Cloud platform, we are transforming cybersecurity with a cloud-native endpoint protection platform (EPP) designed to protect against the most advanced threats.

Digital Life vs Daily Life has Now become Digital Life

In the past we used to have set times for email, work and using tech, then as time progresses digital assistants came along allowing us to access email on the go. We then had the advent of the smart phone, which gave us full internet access.

Wearables came into play allowing us to monitor texts, emails, health, and then take that data and push it to the cloud, this allows us to analyse data and make decisions based on that data, whether that be investments, or figuring out how to lose that weight and become healthier.

However, this leads to us always being “on”, and sometimes never taking the time to just relax.

Apps Everywhere

In 2009 there was approximately 52 Million Apps in the World, with 5 Million App Developers, move forward to 2019 and now we have 335 Million Apps, with 13.5 Million App Developers, moving forward 5 years and we think there will be 792 Million Apps.

VMware in the Cloud

VMware are developing Cloud technologies such as 5G, Edge Computing and AI, and redefining what’s possible for applications.

VMware are firmly committed in using tech for good, and as such support many companies that do good, such as Mercyships and Angel MedFlight

VMware has a vision of Any Device, running any app, on any cloud, and as such VMware believe that technologists who master multi-cloud will own the next decade.

VMware have enhanced their multi-cloud strategy to work alongside AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP, and IBM Cloud, allowing apps to be built, ran, managed, connected, and protected on any cloud.

VMware and Kubernetes

Joe Beda, who was one of the original developers and adopters of Kubernetes joined Pat to explain that Kubernetes was developed to bridge the gap between Developers and Operation teams, VMware are working to produce platforms that are flexible and easy to develop.

VMware Tanzu allows Modern Apps to be built with Pivotal and Bitnami, and ran on vSphere with Project Pacific which will run Kubernetes natively within vSphere clusters and finally Managed with Kubernetes for developers AND IT using VMware Tanzu Mission Control, which will in turn manage Kubernetes on any platform.

Cloud Health by VMware

Last year VMware acquired CloudHealth, the product is a multi-cloud management solution and currently has 7000+ customers, $10B+ services under management and gives customers on average a 25% cost save.

VMware today announced CloudHealth Hybrid, this platform will provide Cost and Visibility, Governance and Security, Automation, and Service integration with Private cloud in the form od VMware vSphere, and also Public Cloud with AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM.

VMware explain their thoughts on the differences between Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud

Multi-Cloud – Diverse Infrastructure, across multiple clouds

Hybrid-Cloud – Consistent Infrastructure, across connected clouds.

VMware have developed VMware Cloud Foundation for their Hybrid-Cloud Solution, bringing together vSphere the leading hypervisor for compute, vSAN the leading HCI software and appliance for storage, NSX the leading software defined networking product, and vRealize , the leading Cloud Multi-Platform management solution.

VMware VMC on AWS is now the leading Hybrid-Cloud solution, as customers now what to both modernise and migrate, VMware Cloud allows companies to migrate to the cloud with No downtime, No refactoring, and No retraining, using the Same tools, the Same policies and, the Same skills.

VMware have also announced Azure VMware Solutions Global availability, which is now available in US West, US East, and West Europe, soon tobe available in US West 2, South Central, Northern Europe, and South East Asia, and finally available in Canada and Japan in 2020.

VMware have also released VMware Hybrid Cloud Services to allow management of clouds across multiple providers.

 VMware in the Edge and also with Telcos

What is the Edge, it’s where the physical and digital worlds interact, and provides, distributed, low-latency infrastructure located close to where data is created, processed, protected, and/or consumed.

VMware provides various technologies to run and manage Edge Solutions, such as Pulse IoT Center and NSX, SD-WAN by VeloCloud, and VMware Network Functionalisation.

5G has moved from hardware based and is utilising virtualisation to run the services with products such as VMware Uhana

VMware are now using NSX-T to connect both VMware and non-VMware systems together. NSX-T provides firewall, load balancing and other networking services fully in software. NSX customers are seeing a 59% reduction on CAPEX costs, and a 55% improvement in OPEX.

VMware Digital Workspace

VMware Workspace One is a product that allows management and security of multi-device , and multi-operating systems including IOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Chrome, VMware wants all employees worldwide to use Workspace One

Companies are being asked Why invest in Digital Employee Experience? Answer is companies that do, are more likely to be an industry leader, are more likely to be a growth company, and are more likely to have a positive Employee Net Promotor Score.

Workspace one virtual assistant

Is a product that starts from the job offer letter, the new start downloads Workspace One Virtual assistant and this allows the new start to be ready for their first day, this includes allowing them to select their new laptop, accessories, and even their type of desk.

On the first day the new start receives digital notification to activate their full company portal access, this includes apps, team members, and FAQ sections for the company.

Intrinsic Security

Today there is over 5000 security companies in IT , VMware believe their must be a better way, and their solution should be security on any device, in any App, on any cloud.

There are five points of intrinsic Security.

·         Endpoint – Devices
·         Identity – Users
·         Endpoint – Workload
·         Cloud
·         Network

VMware now provide Carbon Black. The leader in Endpoint Detection Response. This is an AI enabled Data lake and provides Endpoint Protection Response, Next-Gen AV, Device control, Rogue device detection, audit and remediation, compliance reporting, and managed detection.

VMware are going to add in App defence and vulnerability management. VMware also plan to integrate the product with vSphere allowing agentless workload security.

VMware are also going to integrate Carbon Black into Workspace One.

VMware are also going to integrate Carbon Black with NSX

VMware also plan to allow their products to also secure the hardware running software with their partnership with Dell and other VARs.

To watch the Keynote in full visit VMworld website

Friday, 2 August 2019

My Journey to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

My Journey to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Over the years I have worked with the cloud, I started in 1987 with a mainframe, this consisted of a central datacentre, and users accessing services via a TCP/IP network.

I then moved to Novell networks, Microsoft networks.

Then in 1999 I started using VMware products, and created my first “private cloud”, I worked with vCloud Director, vSphere, and VMware Cloud Foundation.

My first look at Public Cloud came with Microsoft Azure, then AWS.

I then started to get involved with VMware Cloud on AWS.

This prompted me to start my journey to GCP.

Fortunately, I work for QA Training, and as such I have access to a variety of training materials as QA are a Google training partner

Also, within the QA family we have Cloud Academy, who offer some excellent self-paced content on GCP.

As with any journey it starts with the first step, and even though I’ve worked with Clouds for many years, I’m going to start at the beginning with:

As I go, I’ll post more of my thoughts and map out my journey.

Have a great one, as always, I’m #alwayslearning.