VMware upgrades multi-cloud capabilities on multiple fronts

Multi-cloud has become one of VMware’s top focus areas, and the new and enhanced offerings include vSAN Max, which allows storage to be disaggregated and scale independently from compute, as well as new multi-cloud virtual private clouds for storage and networking.

Sumit Dhawan, VMware’s President, onstage at VMware Explore

LAS VEGAS – At the VMware Explore event here, VMware announced a series of announcements focused on advancing the company’s multi-cloud strategy. The next evolution of VMware Cloud has new editions and capabilities that will help customers modernize, optimize, and better protect their organizations, as well as recover faster from ransomware attacks.

“There are two key themes you will hear over and over at this event – multi-cloud and Generative AI,” VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram told his keynote audience. “A few years ago, when we first talked about multi-cloud, very few of you were doing it. Now 75% are using two or more public clouds, plus private cloud, plus the edge.”

Raghuram said that as VMware’s multi-cloud strategy has evolved, they have honed both their strategy and their services offerings.

“Our Cloud Smart approach means finding the right infrastructure for the right application, and this is why we created cross-cloud services,” he stated.

This modernizing of VMware’s cloud infrastructure is built on top of VMware Cloud Foundation and vSphere, said Sumit Dhawan, VMware’s President.

“We have seen over 30% growth year over year in VMware Cloud consumption, because you want better infrastructure, management and security,” Dhawan said in the keynote.

Dhawan introduced what he termed five fundamental innovations in the multi-Cloud area.

“When we originally introduced vSAN, it was an amazing announcement that changed the world of storage,” he said. “Now we are introducing VMware vSAN Max, which provides petabyte scale disaggregated storage, which is managed like vSAN.”

“This is a groundbreaking innovation for storage intensive applications and modern databases, said Prasanth Shenoy, VP Marketing, Cloud Platform, Infrastructure and Solutions at VMware. “Customers can now independently scale their storage customers with their vSphere compute clusters. By doing that, we are seeing them have up to 30% less TCO cost.”

This ability of vSAN Max to scale storage elastically and independently from compute to maximize utilization, will scale up to 8.6 petabytes of capacity and 3.6 million IOPS per cluster. It is designed to withstand failures across sites, hosts, and even discrete storage devices in a stretched cluster topology. It can lower TCO up to 30% for mission-critical databases through hardware and license consolidation.

vSAN Max is expected to be available in 2HFY24, will be licensed separately from existing vSAN editions, will be offered as a subscription, and is planned to be licensed on a per tebibyte metric.

The second innovation in this space is vSAN+, virtual private clouds that provide full isolation of networking, security, and services to multiple tenants on a shared VMware Cloud infrastructure managed by a single global NSX interface.

“vSAN+ lets you upgrade your entire ESXi fleet quickly, and  makes doing this on VMware Cloud Foundation three times faster,” Dhawan said.

Third is NSX+, which delivers full SaaS based L2-L7 networking, to provide deep visibility for all a customer’s networking all in one place

“We tech previewed NSX+ last year, when it was known as Project Northstar,” said Umesh Mahajan, SVP and GM, Networking and Security Business unit at VMware. NSX+ VPCs will provide full isolation of networking, security, and services to multiple tenants on a shared VMware Cloud infrastructure managed by a single global NSX interface.

“The newly announced  Multicloud VPCs are the next generation of VPCs, and are specifically designed for multi-cloud,” Mahajan said. “This is a logical unit of networking and is designed for multi-cloud self service.”

“We are also making infrastructure developer-ready to allow them to create VPCs for their DevOps team using APIs like in the Public Cloud,” Dhawan said.

“This is pretty important because multi-cloud VPCs bring about the next generation of VPCs, making it safe and easy to deliver applications faster at cloud speed.” Mahajan stated. “Customers want a self-service capability here. Now in private clouds, VPCs can be created on any physical underlay, fully vendor agnostic, and with security guardrails.”

Finally, ransomware recovery, which VMware emphasizes is more important than just ransomware protection, has also been enhanced.

“It now has options for the public cloud, so it can run there while the primary backup is being recovered,” Dhawan indicated.

“Ransomware continues to be top of mind for every company that we talk to,” Shenoy noted. “We announced our Ransomware Recovery solution last year, and now we have enhanced the foundational capabilities to make recovery time a lot faster by allowing you to recover in parallel. We are also announcing a Tech Preview for Cybersecure storage, which integrates the ransomware workflow with native vSAN snapshots, and expanded where we protect our workloads to include Google Cloud VMware engine. This is now truly a multi-cloud ransomware solution.”

VMware Cloud is now available in five prescriptive VMware Cloud editions (Essentials, Standard, Pro, Advanced, and Enterprise).