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VMware takes aim at multicloud services, security

News Analysis
Oct 05, 20215 mins
Cloud ComputingCloud ManagementVMware

New cross-cloud services, cloud management tools and bolstered security offerings from VMware are designed to help enterprises manage and secure the multicloud world.

cloud security
Credit: CIS

VMware is heavily targeting the challenging multicloud universe with a raft of VMworld announcements.

With its latest offerings – which include a new cross-cloud service, cloud management and bolstered security wares – VMware is positioning itself to manage the growing multicloud world and address the enterprise ecosphere of distributed applications and infrastructure.

“The average enterprise has about 500 applications, and all of them are getting modernized. Some of them are going to continue to live in the private cloud. Many of them are going to move to the public cloud but may not get changed much. Some of them are going to get changed, some of them are going to get fundamentally rewritten. So it’s a very diverse application landscape, and you can’t say one size fits all,” VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram told IDG.

“VMware’s position in the industry is to be a multicloud Switzerland, letting customers have the freedom to choose the ‘right’ cloud based on their strategic business goals, Raghuram said.

Today’s enterprise apps are distributed across clouds. Roughly 75% of VMware customers are relying on two or more public clouds, and 40% are using three or more, Raghuram said.

One of the new tools VMware is offering to help enterprises navigate the multicloud world is a package called VMware Cross-Cloud services. It will allow customers to pick specific services they need on the cloud platform they want, including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Oracle.

VMware Cross-Cloud services integrate a variety of new and existing VMware offerings from container support to networking, security and desktop software. Specifically, the services include support for Tanzu, VMware Cloud, vRealize, NSX, Carbon Black, VMware Workspace One and its new Edge software.

For existing VMware customers, integrating that many components might make things easier, but otherwise, that’s a quite a large package of requirements, experts said.

“Would customers need all of that? Probably not right away. But VMware is telling customers that they can start building and deploying cloud-native applications as needed with this package,” said Brad Casemore, research vice president with IDC’s Datacenter and Multicloud Networks group. “Enterprise workloads will increasingly become cloud native, and microservices will become the norm, so VMware is on the right road.”

VMware Cross-Cloud services will also be part of a new family of multi-cloud SaaS services previewed at VMworld. Nicknamed for now Project Arctic will integrate cloud connectivity into VMware’s core vSphere software, allowing customers to manage cloud resources across multiple public and private clouds from a single console, VMware stated.

“Project Arctic will bring multi-cloud to the fingertips of vSphere customers, by natively integrating cloud connectivity into vSphere – making vSphere cloud-aware, and making hybrid cloud the ’default’ operating model,” wrote Krish Prasad, senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s Cloud Infrastructure Business Group, in a blog.

“Millions of IT admins who use vCenter on-premises will be able to leverage their domain expertise and benefit from expanded cloud capabilities. Customers would be able to instantly access VMware Cloud capacity and deploy VMware Cross-Cloud Services – for example, they would be able to enable disaster recovery to the cloud with just a few clicks, or leverage security services for threat detection and ransomware protection.”

Arctic is one of many cloud-related developments announced at the virtual VMworld. Project Capitola is an effort to build software-defined memory. It’s designed to allow customers to automatically grow memory as applications need it without requiring major infrastructure changes.

Project Cascade is aimed at simplifying the way Kubernetes developers access resources in a cloud environment, while Project Ensemble will offer customers a unified view of cloud resources across vRealize Cloud Management services.

On the security front, VMware talked about what it called an “elastic security edge” service that lets the networking and security infrastructure at the data center or cloud edge stretch and adjust as app traffic changes.

“VMware provides an elastic set of data plane services for networking, security, and observability, and a unique scale-out distributed architecture that enables an EASE [elastic application security edge] environment to grow and shrink as app needs change,” the company stated.

Part of that elasticity service will be a Secure Workload Access feature that lets businesses extend security policies across workloads that are spread across multiple locations.

Some additional cloud security tools VMware talked about include:

  • VMware Carbon Black Cloud security service can now be enabled with a simple switch in VMware vCenter, making protection from ransomware attacks simpler and faster to deploy, the vendor stated.
  • Tanzu Service Mesh advancements enable developers and security teams to each gain a better understanding of when, where and how APIs are communicating, even across multi-cloud environments, enabling better DevSecOps.
  • VMware announced rapid recovery capabilities in the event ransomware gets through defenses. To improve the recovery process, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery provides file- and folder-level recovery for customers to extract specific files or folders from VMs without powering up those VMs. Customers will be able to quickly extract recent, uncorrupted files and data, which can be injected into a clean restore point as part the of ransomware recovery process.
  • VMware’s CloudHealth Secure State now delivers Kubernetes Security Posture Management that delivers the ability to provide deep visibility into misconfiguration vulnerabilities across both Kubernetes clusters and connected public cloud resources.
  • VMware and Intel are working to secure edge environments starting from the silicon and extending to devices and apps. The idea is to meld the Intel vPro platform and VMware Workspace ONE to enable automated out-of-band maintenance that keeps PCs up to date on the latest security patches and infosec policies no matter where they are located.

“VMware is telling customers traditional network security devices and architectures are outdated for the multicloud world,” Casemore said. “VMware has a good security story because they are offering to maintain protection and simplify the management of the security infrastructure. That’s important as customers move towards a zero-trust approach for multicloud and edge.”