VMware talks up multi-cloud and Kubernetes at VMworld 2020

(Image credit: Adam Shepherd/Dennis Publishing)

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger last year said “multi-cloud is the new model for enterprise IT” while explaining the company’s acquisition of Pivotal just before the kickoff of its annual VMworld conference in California.

Since then, a lot has changed. Like many companies’ big annual conferences, VMworld has gone virtual in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and attendees are watching from the comfort of their own homes rather than the expansive Moscone Center.

But there are many things that haven’t and for VMware that includes its focus on multi-cloud - using services from multiple public cloud vendors - as a key strategic direction for enterprise IT.

“There's a big shift in mindset among CIOs I talk to when it comes to multi-cloud,” Gelsinger told his audience. “Old view: Multi-cloud is a confusing mix of different services. It's a mess I need to clean up. Today, they have a different view: Multi-cloud is the strategic platform to move my business forward, multi-cloud allows you to innovate by leveraging the strengths of different cloud services. But how do I make sure my multi-cloud strategy does not turn into a multi-silo story.”

The answer, at least according to VMware, is the company’s very own VMware Cloud product: “We are the unifying layer for today's multi-cloud world,” Gelsinger said. “The cornerstone of VMware cloud is VMware Cloud Foundation, bringing together market leading compute, storage networking and the management, all in a single integrated stack.”

It’s not just about using multiple clouds and bridging them with VMware cloud, though. Gelsinger also took time to highlight Kubernetes, describing it as “the de facto API for today's multi-cloud world”.

“Much like Java, two decades ago, Kubernetes is a rare technology that brings everyone together,” said Gelsinger. Indeed, like multicloud, Kubernetes was a highlight of last year’s VMworld with the launch of VMware’s management portfolio, Tanzu.

Touching on the updates announced for Tanzu this week, Gelsinger said “the best way for [VMware] to demonstrate [its] belief in the power of Kubernetes … [is to] re-architect vSphere to put Kubernetes at the core. And that's exactly what we've done”.

“What we called Project Pacific is now fully available; vSphere today is the best platform to run your virtualized apps and the best platform to run your containerized apps,” he continued. “We're putting enterprise grade Kubernetes directly into the hands of millions of mighty operators, no training required.”

Gelsinger concluded by alluding to the idea of the “new normal” that’s emerging in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and what that means for the IT community.


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“If you are a technologist, this is your time. We have the will to drive change, plus the environment for change. And we have the platform we need – the digital foundation – for an unpredictable world.

“I think about all the students around the world, whose lives have been disrupted. We owe it to them to act with empathy and urgency right now. We owe it to them to chart a path forward by unlocking the power of software. Each of us must play our part, by building a better and more resilient future for all.”

Jane McCallion
Managing Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.