The application is clearly at the forefront of VMware’s strategy to transition IT infrastructure to the Software-Defined Data Center. VMware estimates that only six percent of the world’s computations are taking place in the Cloud, so in order to leverage the benefits that the Cloud brings, IT administrators and management have to accelerate the transitioning of the software defined data center to a hybrid cloud architecture. Doing so will ultimately give VMware solution providers the “liquidity” they need to increase flexibility as their businesses evolve and ‘bravely’ lead customers into a new era of computing, said VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, at a partner summit that I attended on behalf of KEMP, a VMware Elite Technology Alliance and VMware Ready vCloud Air certified partner.
Following are the top five “application-aware” topics I’ve taken away from talking to KEMP customers, partners and exhibiting vendors at VMworld 2014:
1, SaaS-ify Your Apps: Enterprise customers want 1-click, cloud ready applications. Solution partners want to integrate, package and deploy their management and application software with VMware seamlessly and with high availability built in. Services that support dynamic traffic steering across private and hybrid cloud boundaries are key to the new paradigm of IT. This requires a modular cloud architecture with an array of platform services that help partners and developers quickly build compelling applications.
2. Data Center Liquidity with Hybrid Cloud: Enterprise customers are interested in learning how to implement a Software-Defined Data Center strategy that achieves rapid ROI around: 1) high availability and disaster recovery; 2) virtualized data centers with hybrid cloud extensibility; 3) secure, dynamic networks with compliant IT; 4) optimized infrastructure performance and capacity; and 5) automated infrastructure and application provisioning across hybrid data centers.
3. Open Application Virtualization: Developers of next-generation applications have embraced a fully automated model of accessing cloud infrastructure via APIs. They use APIs to provision their apps, to scale those apps up and down, and to innovate with other vendor and open source platforms such as OpenDaylight and OpenStack. OpenStack is an open source framework that layers on top of virtual and physical infrastructure to abstract it and provide a set of open, vendor neutral interfaces. OpenDaylight is an open source effort to spur SDN (software-defined networking) and NFV (network functions virtualization) adoption through the establishment of an open, reference framework for programmability.
4. Network Security Abstraction: Without visibility into how application traffic flows in a virtual environment, IT faces the inevitable degradation of security implementation. New technologies brings new risks. To convince CISOs to sign off on new technologies and frameworks for delivering applications, there’s an inherent need to demonstrate how potential attack vectors can be mitigated. Customers demand that their security posture afford the same agility and security benefits they derive from server and network virtualization, rather than leaving network security out of the hypervisor equation and left behind in the manually operated, physical proprietary device realm.
5. Software Defined Everything (SDx): Application workload optimization plays a significant role in facilitating the fluid nature of migrating virtualized data centers to a cloud infrastructure. SDx infrastructure recognizes software and hardware profiles across a global topology, global physical and virtual resources that can be intelligently and automatically re-provisioned based on pre-configured factors like peak-performance patterns, end-point workload demands, and dynamic resource allocation. SDx streamlines the migration path to applications and services that can be provisioned and run on both customer premise private clouds and secure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) services.