This year, the VMware Explore 2023 world tour kicked off in Las Vegas, with regional conferences planned for Barcelona, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Tokyo later this fall. There were a handful of announcements that I found compelling at the U.S. event, and I would like to share my insights. In particular, I believe that VMware can Excellerate in some areas to compete for a greater share of wallet, especially with mid-market companies—so let’s dive in.
VMware NSX is the company’s cloud networking software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution; it integrates security to enable consistent policy, operations and automation across multi-cloud environments. At VMware Explore, the company announced its newest cloud-managed service offering—NSX+.
As the name implies, NSX+ provides incremental enhancements, including support for global policy management, improving network and application visibility and providing consistent access control through a single click. From a security standpoint, NSX+ integrates VMware’s network detection response (NDR) and Carbon Black endpoint security capabilities into a single service. This has the potential to ease management and harden security by employing zero-trust principles across hybrid and multi-cloud instances. The convergence of networking and security is not new, but what I like about NSX+ is its ability to operate across AWS, Microsoft Azure and other public cloud platforms, simplifying the journey for both network and security operations staff.
Also worth noting is the company’s introduction of NSX+ virtual private clouds (VPCs) to facilitate the complete isolation of networking, security and adjacent services. This enhancement is designed to prevent impact to other tenants while enabling developer and application teams to select optimal cloud resources based on application requirements. I like VPCs' flexibility and the potential to accelerate developer innovation and provide improved application performance and end-user experiences.
Finally, VMware announced the initial availability of its VMware Private Mobile Network Service, a managed private cellular connectivity service for enterprises. VMware will provide the orchestration layer and private converged 4G and 5G core to facilitate overall management and integration into existing IT environments, both on-premises and in the cloud. The company is wisely partnering with Federated Wireless as one of its initial launch partners to build and operate the requisite 4G and 5G on-premises radio access network infrastructure, which spans Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) and privately licensed spectrum. Federated Wireless continues to demonstrate a solid track record in private networking and should help accelerate the new service’s adoption.
It’s good to see that VMware has entered the private networking space, but I wonder if the company is late to the game. Cisco, Cradlepoint and Nokia each have very mature private networking offerings and a considerable lead in market adoption. Consequently, VMware must make a solid case to vie for market share.
VMware’s Ransomware Recovery as-a-service solution was launched last year. Fundamentally, it facilitates the automation of workflows that isolate recovery environments in the cloud to prevent reinfection. This year at VMware Explore, the company announced enhancements that expand protection and accelerate recovery. New support for concurrent multi-virtual machine (VM) recovery operations aims to Excellerate the overall efficiency of the solution. Production VMs can also run in the cloud during forensics analysis before production workflows return on-premises. It's all very compelling, but seems complex compared to startup Airgap Networks, which offers a seemingly more straightforward Ransomware Kill Switch that is cloud-managed and does not require agents on endpoints.
Extended detection and response (XDR) is a hot category in cybersecurity right now, and at VMware Explore, the company announced advancements in its XDR offering through Carbon Black. At a high level, the product’s new extensibility applies to cloud-native application security, providing visibility and control within modern application environments leveraging containers and microservice architectures. The dynamic nature of these environments and the resulting blind spots make them ripe for infiltration by bad actors, so VMware is wise to address this area of concern, with expected general availability of its XDR offering within the next six months.
From a networking and security standpoint, there was a lot to unpack at VMware Explore this year. The company's “North Star” vision (which is also its project code name for NSX+) provides a single platform that allows customers to manage multi-cloud infrastructure and networking and security operations through consistent policy constructs. That is a compelling value proposition, but the tradeoff comes in the form of VMware’s traditionally higher licensing costs, greater complexity and a steeper learning curve for IT operators and the greater demands on compute resources that VMs introduce. If VMware can address these challenges, it could expand its market presence, especially in smaller organizations that lack skill depth and employ lighter IT staffing models. From my perspective, that mid-market opportunity is ripe for the picking.
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With the rapidly evolving world of IT and virtualization, staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and obtaining relevant certifications is crucial for career growth and professional success.
VMware is the gold standard when it comes to the most renowned and respected virtualization certifications. In this blog post, we’ll explore the state of VMware certifications in 2023 and identify the best certifications for you.
Short answer: Yes! Obtaining one or more VMware certifications is worth it for IT professionals looking to advance their careers and validate their knowledge and expertise. VMware certifications are well-regarded in the industry and validate the skills and knowledge required to implement and manage VMware products effectively. They can also open doors to new job opportunities and increase earning potential.
VMware offers certifications that align with technology tracks across the VMware portfolio. Each track focuses on different VMware products and solutions. There are occasionally small amounts of overlap between tracks, but this is typically only with a handful of test objectives.
Six tracks are currently available:
Data Center Virtualization: Design, install, manage, and support vSphere environments
Cloud Management and Automation: Design, install, configure, optimize, and support VMware Aria and other cloud solutions
Security: Configure, manage, and support security features of key VMware products
Network Virtualization: Design, implement, manage, and support an NSX-T environment
Digital Workspace: Design, configure, deploy, manage, optimize, and troubleshoot Workspace ONE and Horizon with View
Application Modernization: Develop, manage, and migrate applications through the VMware Tanzu portfolio
Within each VMware certification track, you can achieve different levels of certification. These levels are Technical Associate, Professional, Advanced Professional, and Design Expert. As you can see, these levels align to job roles. Most tracks have all levels available for certification (though there are a few where some of these levels might not exist).
This is an entry-level technical based certification for those new to the technology, or even new to the industry, and targeted at those who can perform operational tasks with the technology.
These are typically broad technical-based certifications for those who install, configure, manage, and optimize the technology. It’s expected that individuals going for a VCP have worked with the technology in the test for more than a year.
There are two certifications at this level. The first is a VCAP Deploy certification for those who manage and optimize the VMware technology in question. The VCAP Deploy test is a hands-on experience in a real environment, where you need to show hands-on skills with managing, troubleshooting, and optimizing the products. The second is a VCAP Design certification for those who design and build solutions for VMware technology.
This represents the pinnacle of VMware expertise and the highest level of certification. Candidates must hold the VCAP certifications in the relevant VCDX track, submit a design proposal, and defend their design in front of a panel of VMware experts. There are currently 300 VCDXs in the world.
With around 30 available certifications, it’s difficult to suggest a few key certifications. If your expertise is in a particular area, such as digital workspace, it makes sense to go deep into that stack from a certification standpoint.
However, if you’re looking for suggestions on key VMware certifications that are helpful from a knowledge perspective and to advance your career in the ever-evolving world of virtualization and modern workloads, the following three certifications top the list.
The VCP-DCV certification is designed for IT professionals who want to demonstrate knowledge and expertise in deploying and managing core VMware vSphere environments. The certification validates their skills in working with VMware’s chief virtualization technology.
The VCP-DCV is VMware’s flagship certification and often singled out as a key requirement in virtualization role job descriptions. Studies have shown holders of the VCP-DCV have improved career opportunities and higher earning potential compared to those without it.
Assess your Vmware VSphere skills >>
Start prepping for your VCP-DCV certification >>
The VCP-NV certification is targeted at IT professionals, virtualization specialists, and network administrators who want to demonstrate proficiency in deploying and managing VMware NSX, which is VMware’s software-defined networking solution.
Networking plays an important role in the reliability and performance of applications, especially as you start to support modern and next-generation workloads in the data center and provide hybrid connectivity between multiple environments and clouds.
I remember sitting for the VCP-NV back in 2018 when the main NSX product was NSX-V. I learned so much about networking in general and took that knowledge into other roles and when working with public cloud platforms.
Start prepping for your VCP-NV certification >>
Cloud-native and modern applications are hot right now. The VCP-AM certification is targeted at IT professionals and developers who want to showcase expertise and knowledge in modern application design, development, and containerization using VMware Tanzu and Kubernetes.
Kubernetes has been on the rise for many years and has become the gold standard of container orchestration for modern applications in cloud-native environments. VMware has been supporting Kubernetes for a while. Achieving this certification will help you understand how cloud native applications are deployed and run on VMware platforms.
This is a great certification to earn after you have the foundations of the VCP-DCV and the VCP-NV. While they aren’t prerequisites, understanding those technologies at a VCP level will assist with the Application Modernization certification path, as Kubernetes on vSphere relies on core vSphere technologies and NSX-T for the networking provider.
When you consider the different VMware product tracks, there are approximately 30 certifications available at the VMware Certified Professional (VCP), VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP), and VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) levels. The right VMware certification for you depends on your career aspirations and expertise level.
My advice is to target a few certifications at a VCP level to demonstrate broad experience and knowledge across VMware technologies. Then dive a bit deeper into tracks that make sense for your current role and technology focus by going for the advanced certifications.
If you’re looking to validate your expertise as an architect, the VCDX could be worth considering. But understand that this requires a significant investment of money and time. It’s not for the fainthearted, but I’ve read a lot of stories from people who passed and failed the VCDX noting how much they learned on the journey.
Preparation for VMware certifications is essential, and while your specific approach might differ, my advice is to take a three-pronged approach:
Hands-on experience. Everything at the VCP level and above will expect you to have hands-on experience working with the relevant VMware products in the real world. Yes, you can pass the exams without this level of experience, but the recommended candidate (as described by VMware for VCP certifications) has at least one year of experience with the products and technologies being tested.
Training and study. You’ll want to ensure your knowledge and expertise cover the objectives you’ll be tested on in the exam. My suggestion is to put the test objectives in a spreadsheet and self-evaluate your knowledge on each one. Then use your favorite training material to solidify what you know and learn new skills as you study.
Test-taking skills. Sitting an test to achieve a certification from any vendor is almost a skill itself. Questions are typically worded in specific ways. And depending on how many exams you’ve taken, it can be an experience that makes you a little nervous. Take practice exams and assessments to get yourself comfortable with what to expect for the real exam.
VMware publishes documents for all their exams. These test guides provide information on how the test will be delivered, which objectives will be tested, and other material you can reference. Always review the test guide in detail when exploring a new certification.
VMware certifications continue to hold significant value in the IT industry and have been proven to increase your earning potential and present opportunities for career growth. By understanding the available certifications and tracks, planning for how they relate to your role and aspirations, and ensuring you know how to prepare for a certification, you’ll be setting yourself up for success with VMware certifications in 2023 and onward.
If you’re seeking to leap into VMware certification, Pluralsight offers a number of courses that can help you prepare, as well as acquire useful working knowledge — you can sign up for a 10-day free trial with no commitments. If you’re not sure what course to start with, you can do a free Pluralsight SkillIQ assessment.
Here are some learning paths with courses you might want to check out:
David Davis’s vSphere 8 courses are also great for skill building for the core VMware vSphere product:
VMware Inc. is kicking off its annual Explore user conference today with a bushel of new and enhanced products designed to simplify multicloud management, support evolving edge use cases and streamline the administration of end-user computing environments.
VMware Cloud, which combines the company’s Cloud Foundation software and Cloud Services, is being repackaged into five editions — Essentials, Standard, Pro, Advanced and Enterprise — that span the stages of cloud adoption in enterprises. The intent is to provide ”a prescriptive pathway for customers to buy and consume VMware cloud based on where they are in the journey to modernization,” Prashanth Shenoy, vice president of cloud platform, infrastructure and solutions marketing, said in a press briefing.
The Essentials Ddition packages virtual machines and software containers with cloud services and workload management. The Standard edition adds integrated computing and storage in a hyperconverged infrastructure platform with operations management. The Pro edition adds high-performance storage.
The Cloud Advanced Edition comes with full-stack hyperconverged infrastructure encompassing computing, storage, networking and management, integrated lifecycle management and on-premises cloud infrastructure. Cloud Enterprise is the highest-level package, with storage encryption and site reliability engineering services. All three can be managed either on-premises, as a VMware-managed cloud service, or by third-party service providers such as IBM Corp.
“VMware customers report challenges with existing licensing models, including complexity that creates confusion and uncertainty,” said Andrew Lerner, a distinguished vice president at Gartner Inc. “Any attempt to simplify and streamline licensing likely will resonate. That said, it is too early to say whether this is a moderate incremental improvement or a dramatic improvement.”
The Cloud Foundation component of VMware Cloud is getting a number of performance and capacity boosts, including a tenfold increase in the number of tasks that can be executed simultaneously and double the graphics processing unit capacity. Upgrade times have been cut by a third and workload domain capacity boosted by 60%.
The enhancements are intended to address the competing priorities information technology organizations are encountering to develop applications faster while also controlling cloud spending, Shenoy said. “We are evolving our VMware cloud portfolio to provide a single multicloud infrastructure as a service platform so they can deploy their applications wherever they want using a consistent infrastructure and operating model,” he said.
Furthering the multicloud theme, VMware is extending its NSX multicloud networking software with a new cloud-managed service offering for multicloud environments called NSX+. The software-as-a-service service supports a single cloud operating model with zero-trust security and consistent networking and security across VMware Cloud environments. It allows for centralized security policy creation and enforcement, full network and application visibility, and network detection, VMware said.
“Eighty percent of organizations have a multicloud strategy,” said Umesh Mahajan, senior vice president and general manager of the networking and security business unit. “Networking is the glue that ties it together.”
NSX+ virtual private clouds add full isolation of networking, security and services to multiple tenants on a shared VMware Cloud infrastructure with self-service provisioning managed by a single NSX instance.
The offering is intended to address the security gaps that multicloud environments create, said. “It provides comprehensive visibility into applications’ security posture regardless of where they’re deployed,” Majahan said.
There are four core services in NSX+. Policy management is said to enable policies to be consistently enforced across multiple clouds from a single console and speeds up cross-cloud application and network deployment. Unified application visibility identifies security gaps across multiple clouds and provides visibility into applications and security regardless of where they are deployed.
Network threat detection reduces the risk of ransomware by identifying “emerging threats that could become full-blown intrusions,” Mahajan said. Advanced load balancing is an automated service for rapid application deployment with transaction visibility so problems can be diagnosed quickly. It’s available on VMware Cloud and Amazon Web Services Inc. infrastructure-as-a-service. Existing NSX users can migrate to the expanded platform via a software update.
Gartner’s Lerner said the new offering is “a more robust investment from VMware in terms of feature capability and focus,” but that the multi-cloud networking software market as a whole has underperformed expectations. “Some of the barriers to entry for customers are that the native offerings from cloud providers are seen as good enough, it is hard to justify the return on investment and the cutover to MCNS is tedious,” he said. “As a result, MCNS vendors struggle fiercely to expand their business.”
VMware Cloud storage is getting scalability and cost-efficiency upgrades with vSAN Max, a new offering within the vSAN storage area networking line that delivers up to 8.6 petabytes of disaggregated storage with a single administration point. Storage can be scaled independently from computing for better utilization and can support up to 3.6 million inputs/outputs per cluster, VMware said. It can withstand failures across sites and hosts and can heal itself up to 92% faster than previous vSAN versions, according to company data.
“We’re seeing an explosion of data and new technologies like AI that require a new approach for storage-intensive applications where customers can independently scale the storage clusters from their compute clusters,” Shenoy said. He said early vSAN Max customers have seen operational cost savings of as much as 30%.
New ransomware recovery capabilities allow for concurrent multi-VM recovery operations and the ability for customers to run production workloads in the cloud until forensics are completed and protections established. VMware also unveiled a technology preview of secure storage that integrates recovery workflows with native vSAN snapshots for data transfer optimization.
With International Data Corp. expecting worldwide spending on edge computing this year to grow 13%, to $208 billion, VMware is introducing new and enhanced orchestration capabilities for the edge that is says help IT organizations to better match workloads with computing capacity.
“Because the edge is stretched across so many locations, full synchronization is critical so you can get asynchronous behavior combined with installation and maintenance done with precision,” said Sanjay Uppal, general manager of service provider and edge business. “When workloads match with the network, magic happens.”
Edge Cloud Orchestrator, which was formerly called VMware SASE Orchestrator, will provide unified management for VMware secure access service edge and the VMware Edge Compute Stack. SASE is a converged network and security service that includes software-defined wide-area networking and cloud native security functions.
Enhancements to the orchestrator are said to help customers plan, deploy, run, visualize and manage their edge environments based on business outcomes with a single console to manage edge infrastructure, networking and security. The approach is based on shrinking the stack to the smallest possible footprint with security and administrative updates “pulled” by the workload along with network programmability in code.
The company also unveiled new orchestration capabilities for the VMware Edge Compute Stack based on Project Keswick, an effort to optimize endpoint deployment through automation in code. It combines pull-based configuration with zero-touch provisioning and desired state management principles as defined by the GitOps operational framework for infrastructure automation. Users can automate security updates across edge infrastructure and ensure that updates are applied to edges that lack a stable inbound network connection.
Finally, VMware is integrating artificial intelligence features into its Anywhere Workspace platform, a cross-cloud services portfolio that covers digital employee experience, virtual desktop infrastructure, unified endpoint management and security.
The improvements are meant to address growing pressures on support organizations to accommodate variable work schedules, support a profusion of devices and ensure security with a distributed workforce, said Renu Upadhyay, vice president of product marketing for the end-user computing business unit.
“It’s about allowing IT to do more with less by allowing the platform to be self-configuring, self-healing and self-securing to make it easier to support employees with a scalable approach,” she said.
Digital Employee Experience, a software platform that monitors user experience and helps remediate problems, can now monitor seasonal variations and monitor the availability of the SaaS applications employees use. The workspace suite can also now deliver application performance scores in addition to existing mobile, desktop and virtual environment experience scores. If a SaaS service goes down, IT and affected employees can be automatically notified.
Playbooks, which are step-by-step guides to proactive problem resolution, now include machine learning algorithms and expanded access to help data. IT administrators can create step-by-step remediation workflows and use success rate analytics to automate the resolution process and streamline execution over time through machine learning.
An expanded partnership with Intel Corp. will integrate VMware’s Workspace ONE with Intel vPro, a microprocessor optimized for remote management and security. The integration should make it easier for IT organizations to secure and remotely manage devices entirely from the cloud with no additional on-premises infrastructure or management software needed, VMware said.
Intel vPro provides centralized visibility into PCs, rapid patch remediation and remote diagnosis and repair. The capabilities complement an expansion of VMware App Volumes to enable support teams to deliver applications to persistent virtual desktops from VMware, Citrix Systems Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.
Most of the enhanced products will become available during the third and fourth quarters.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then VMware Inc.’s current narrative was written in a three-minute video that introduced the company’s keynote session during its Explore conference in Las Vegas today.
The video featured brief remarks from several top enterprise company executives on the subject of generative AI, including Amazon Web Services Inc. Chief Executive Adam Selipsky, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian Advanced Micro Devices Inc. CEO Lisa Su and Hock Tan, CEO of Broadcom Inc. The presence of these leading executives captured VMware’s interest in simplifying its clients’ use of multiple clouds, building new alliances with chipmakers, and preparing for its imminent acquisition by Broadcom.
This week’s VMware Explore gathering comes at a time when the use of generative AI is attracting widespread enterprise interest. The company made several announcements today in this area, including VMware Private AI Foundation with Nvidia, a platform with generative AI software for building, training and deploying models out of the box.
“Our goal is to dramatically decrease the complexity for what it takes for an enterprise to be productive with AI,” VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram (pictured, right, with Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang) said during a briefing for the media on Tuesday following his keynote remarks. “We are providing customers with their choice.”
VMware’s expanded partnership with Nvidia Corp. highlights enterprise concern around the risks that come from using proprietary business data to train generative AI large language models in applications. Private AI Foundation offers enterprise customers the ability to run AI services adjacent to data with the goal of preserving data privacy.
The announcement also provides developers with access to Nvidia’s AI Workbench to test and customize AI models, and the platform includes NeMo, Nvidia’s cloud-native framework for deploying generative AI models nearly anywhere.
“This is groundbreaking computer science,” said Huang, who appeared on the Explore keynote stage with Raghuram. “For the first time, enterprises around the world will be able to do Private AI at scale and deploy it through your company.”
VMware’s generative AI announcements were coupled with a slew of new releases for multicloud support. Generative AI and multicloud are intertwined in the company’s view and this will drive customer decision-making.
The challenge will be developing AI architectures that are not based on a single cloud platform, but rather can be deployed as a consistent, secure and cost-efficient operating model across various clouds. This will require a “cloud smart” approach, according to Kit Colbert, VMware’s chief technology officer, who expressed an interest in avoiding previous sole-source cloud limitations.
“How are we going to architect these AI systems and are we going to learn from the past?” Colbert asked during the post-keynote press briefing. “This is the opportunity we have by taking a cloud smart approach with AI. This is going to be a multicloud problem.”
There was no shortage of multicloud announcements from VMware today. The company kicked off its conference with numerous enhancements including extension of its NSX multicloud software called NSX+ to support consistent networking and security across VMware Cloud environments. VMware also announced the integration of AI features into its Anywhere Workspace cross-cloud services portfolio and new orchestration capabilities for the edge, the next multicloud frontier.
A key element of VMware’s multicloud message is that its partnerships with hyperscale cloud providers allow customers to run cloud solutions directly on its virtualized infrastructure.
“We run our stack on metal from these partners,” Krish Prasad, senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s Cloud Infrastructure Business Group, said in an exclusive interview with SiliconANGLE. “There is no intermediate layer. That’s the beauty of this.”
In remarks today, VMware executives remained cautiously optimistic that the company’s acquisition by Broadcom would finally come to a long-awaited conclusion. Movement toward final approval gained steam earlier this week when regulators in the United Kingdom greenlighted the $69 billion deal, although additional clearances are still needed by numerous countries, including China.
Asked during the press briefing about whether he was concerned about China’s inaction to date, Raghuram sidestepped the question and simply said, “We are well underway with the regulatory process with the remaining geographies.”
Broadcom’s Tan offered little in his own remarks during a short video aired during the keynote, other than to express confidence that the deal would close during Broadcom’s fiscal 2023 ending Oct. 30 and that the company is committed to its investment in VMware. “We will focus on investing in VMware products and services,” Tan said.
What was VMworld is now (as of 2022 and onwards) known as VMware Explore and the Computer Weekly Developer Network team has its multi–cloud bags packed ready to attend the show.
Held at The Venetian Las Vegas from August 21-24 this year, the event features five key ‘learning tracks’ themed around the following core topics…
The Cloud & Edge Infrastructure track features sessions devoted to examining the processes involved with modernising infrastructure, operating models and operations. In the VMware world (and if not elsewhere) multi-cloud spans private, public, hybrid, telco and edge cloud. VMware says it is focused on working with businesses to modernize, protect and migrate across and between clouds.
“Whether deploying private cloud, securing access to multi-cloud meeting sovereign or industry-specific requirements, deploying a telco cloud for 5G, or beyond or building edge-native applications at the near or far edge [VMware works to] Excellerate performance and security all while ensuring a more sustainable future,” notes the company, in its promotional show literature.
Throughout a track known as Modern Applications & Cloud Management, the company details its focus on cloud-native applications and its capabilities related to automating Kubernetes operations securely.
Perhaps aiming to coin a new term, VMware urges attendees to learn how to embrace what it calls ‘a cloud-smart operating model’ that provides cost management and further controls focused on managing capacity while optimising performance and establishing secure configurations.
When it comes to so-called ‘modern applications’ – a much over-used term that is rarely validated – we hope to hear VMware explain how to increase developer productivity, scale the adoption of Kubernetes, automate and ease the operational burden of apps and data across distributed environments.
Into the Networking & Security sessions, VMware will be looking to inform attendees on the mechanics involved when creating application experiences with unified, consistent networking and security. Key words here will be dynamic resiliency, observability and control.
According to VMware, “[Attendees will] learn how you can deliver a distributed security architecture based on full-fidelity data analytics and rooted in virtualisation. VMware enables you to accelerate your transition to the cloud operating model with zero proprietary appliances and zero tickets to deploy workloads, networks and load balancers all within a zero-trust framework.”
Not the most widely used term full-fidelity data is understood to refers to all data streams, flows and resources including raw unformatted, unstructured and unprocessed data in any format.
Logically also (in these post-pandemic times) featuring a Hybrid Workforce track, attendees can learn how be productive from anywhere with more secure, frictionless access to enterprise apps from any device.
VMware also notes that it is mitigating the carbon emissions associated with VMware Explore 2023 attendee participation by investing in nature-based solutions that sequester carbon. More specifically, VMware supports the Three Rivers Grasslands Restoration project, which removes carbon from the atmosphere by restoring degraded grasslands.
Principal speakers at this year’s VMware Explore include Raghu Raghuram, CEO at VMware – Sumit Dhawan, president at VMware – Kit Colbert, CTO at VMware – Amanda Blevins, VP and CTO for Americas region at VMware. With guest speakers including Jensen Huang, founder, president & CEO, Nvidia – Robert Ballard, president and founder, Ocean Exploration Trust – Leland Melvin, engineer, educator, author, former NASA Astronaut and NFL wide receiver.
Keynote sessions are listed as follows:
Below are keynotes for attendees to consider:
Sister events will be staged around the world, but the VMware Explore event central starts with this summer’s Las Vegas gathering.
“We are looking forward to kicking off the VMware Explore season in Las Vegas, with events being held throughout the world, where we will host our loyal community of technology users and industry leaders looking to learn more from VMware and others on efforts to solve today’s multi-cloud complexities,” said Laura Heisman, Chief Marketing Officer, VMware. “Our goal is to deliver a comprehensive program that allows every attendee to navigate this multi-cloud era and focus on creating the business value they envision.”
A fifth track is focused on vision & innovation to explore advanced – perhaps in some cases still-nascent prototyped – technologies and emergent trends, such as generative AI and machine learning.
VMware tweets at @vmware and the event hashtag is #VMwareExplore this year.
Ramsey, NJ, Aug. 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta) today announced it has achieved VMware Cloud Tested status.
The Cloud Tested badge signals to customers that Konica Minolta offers a service running on top of the complete VMware Cloud infrastructure. Through Cloud Tested partner services, customers attain access to the full set of VMware Cloud Infrastructure capabilities including integration and interoperability, cost optimization and flexibility.
“We are extremely pleased that VMware has placed their trust in our use of their service as an enterprise-leading solution, from the tools we are using within our environment, to our level of knowledge and confidence in what we have built using those tools,” said Glenn Mathis, Senior Vice President, Managed IT, North America, Konica Minolta. “Our partnership has allowed us to better support our customers and grow our solutions offerings, and this Cloud Tested status designation will propel us even further.”
“Partners that are VMware Cloud Tested provide organizations with complete and advanced VMware Cloud technologies, along with interoperability across clouds for greater advantage for their customers’ businesses,” said Jim Aluotto, director, Cloud Provider Business, Americas Region, VMware. “Cloud Tested services delivered by VMware Cloud Providers can provide the efficiency, agility and reliability inherent in cloud computing. We look forward to supporting Konica Minolta as it empowers organizations with a simple and flexible path to the cloud.”
VMware’s global network of more than 4,000 VMware Cloud Providers leverages VMware’s consistent cloud infrastructure to offer a wide array of services, provide geographic and industry specialization and help customers meet complex regulatory requirements. Cloud Providers operating under the VMware Cloud Provider Program deliver individually tailored cloud solutions and services in more than 120 countries.
For information on how to become a VMware Cloud Tested partner, please visit VMware online.
Learn about Konica Minolta’s cloud services here.
About Konica Minolta
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.'s (Konica Minolta) journey started 150 years ago, with a vision to see and do things differently. The company innovates for the good of society and the world. The same purpose that kept it moving then, keeps it moving now. Konica Minolta aims to partner with clients to supply Shape to Ideas by supporting their digital transformation through its expansive Intelligent Connected Workplace portfolio. Its business technology offerings include IT Services, intelligent information management, video security solutions and managed print services, as well as office technology and industrial and commercial print solutions. Through its ongoing work, the company is fortunate to be continuously recognized for its products and services. This includes, but is not limited to being included on CRN’s MSP 500 list numerous times; named a finalist in the IT Software Category by The World Technology Awards; recognized as the #1 Brand for Customer Loyalty in the MFP Office Copier Market by Brand Keys and presented with Keypoint Intelligence’s BLI 2021 A3 Line of The Year and BLI 2021-2023 Most Color Consistent A3 Brand Awards for its bizhub i-Series.
Sustainability also continues to be a key driver for the company. As such, Konica Minolta Inc. has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for nine consecutive years and has spent six years on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list. For more information, please visit Konica Minolta online and follow its accounts on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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CONTACT: Maggie Grande Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. 551-500-2659 PR@kmbs.konicaminolta.us
The new VMware Private AI Foundation With NVIDIA enables enterprises to prepare their Businesses for Generative AI.
Speaking at the opening keynote of VMware’s Explore conference in Las Vegas today, Vmware CEO Raghu Raghuram and NVIDIA’s CEO Jensen Huang jointly announced the expansion of their strategic partnership to ready the hundreds of thousands of enterprises that run on VMware’s cloud infrastructure for the era of generative AI.
“Generative AI and multi-cloud are the perfect match,” said Raghu Raghuram, CEO, VMware. “Customer data is everywhere — in their data centers, at the edge, and in their clouds. Together with NVIDIA, we’ll empower enterprises to run their generative AI workloads adjacent to their data with confidence while addressing their corporate data privacy, security and control concerns.”
“Enterprises everywhere are racing to integrate generative AI into their businesses,” Jensen Huang, founder and CEO, NVIDIA added. “Our expanded collaboration with VMware will offer hundreds of thousands of customers — across financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and more — the full-stack software and computing they need to unlock the potential of generative AI using custom applications built with their own data.”
McKinsey estimates that generative AI could add up to $4.4 trillion annually to the global economy.
VMware Private AI Foundation with NVIDIA will enable enterprises to harness this capability, customizing large language models; producing more secure and private models for their internal usage; and offering generative AI as a service to their users; and, more securely running inference workloads at scale.
The platform is expected to include integrated AI tools to empower enterprises to run proven models trained on their private data in a cost-efficient manner. To be built on VMware Cloud Foundation and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software, according to the two companies, the platform’s expected benefits will include:
• Privacy — Will enable customers to easily run AI services adjacent to wherever they have data with an architecture that preserves data privacy and enable secure access.
• Choice — Enterprises will have a wide choice in where to build and run their models — from NVIDIA NeMo™ to Llama 2 and beyond — including leading OEM hardware configurations and, in the future, on public cloud and service provider offerings.
• Performance — Running on NVIDIA accelerated infrastructure will deliver performance equal to and even exceeding bare metal in some use cases, as proven in recent industry benchmarks.
• Data-Center Scale — GPU scaling optimizations in virtualized environments will enable AI workloads to scale across up to 16 vGPUs/GPUs in a single virtual machine and across multiple nodes to speed generative AI model fine-tuning and deployment.
• Lower Cost — Will maximize usage of all compute resources across, GPUs, DPUs and CPUs to lower overall costs, and create a pooled resource environment that can be shared efficiently across teams.
• Accelerated Storage — VMware vSAN Express Storage Architecture will provide performance-optimized NVMe storage and supports GPUDirect® storage over RDMA, allowing for direct I/O transfer from storage to GPUs without CPU involvement.
• Accelerated Networking — Deep integration between vSphere and NVIDIA NVSwitch™ technology will further enable multi-GPU models to execute without inter-GPU bottlenecks.
• Rapid Deployment and Time to Value — vSphere Deep Learning VM images and image repository will enable fast prototyping capabilities by offering a stable turnkey solution image that includes frameworks and performance-optimized libraries pre-installed.
VMware Private AI Foundation with NVIDIA will be supported by Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo — which will be among the first to offer systems that supercharge enterprise LLM customization and inference workloads with NVIDIA L40S GPUs, NVIDIA BlueField®-3 DPUs and NVIDIA ConnectX®-7 SmartNICs.
The NVIDIA L40S GPU enables up to 1.2x more generative AI inference performance and up to 1.7x more training performance compared with the NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU.
Also announced was the availability of fully tested reference architectures with either two, four or eight GPU models ready for customer test projects.
It would still seem however that most business applications for this kind of AI are little more than souped-up ‘help desk’ systems where the AI is used to distil and extract from existing knowledge bases within the organisation.
At an event pre-briefing, we asked about this and an NVIDIA representative said, “I think that there's all of these use cases across industries and the possibilities are pretty endless. I'll be honest, like when we look at this, we're looking at generative AI to help software developers write code. We're looking at generative AI to help security teams almost write policy as code where they don't need to understand the low level programming of regex and other languages. We're using it as co-pilots to help people ask questions in the business systems. So I think, the uses will range across industry, and there's quite a broad number that we're going to see coming out as this new technology and new research is being applied to businesses in practice.”
Unfortunately, that still sounds a lot like ‘help desk’ to us. Perhaps we well see new and exciting uses, but not for a while.
The author is attending VMware Explore as a guest of VMware.
Today at VMware Explore 2023, Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) and VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) announced the first turnkey solutions from their joint Edge and Cloud Innovation Labs, delivering modern hybrid multi-cloud capabilities to mid-size companies and helping customers more easily harness data to empower their intelligent transformation. Lenovo also unveiled its newest Reference Design for Generative AI in partnership with VMware, a fully integrated Lenovo ThinkSystem solution featuring NVIDIA-accelerated computing and software that is purpose-built to help businesses implement AI and delivers one of the most versatile, accelerated computing platform on the market. The solutions are part of a newly expanded partnership with VMware that is focused on providing businesses of all sizes with an accelerated path to digital transformation through new, integrated edge-to-cloud solutions that simplify the deployment of next-generation AI and data intelligence. Lenovo is also working with VMware and NVIDIA in support of the new VMware Private AI Foundation with NVIDIA generative AI solution announced today at VMware Explore.
“Lenovo is committed to being the most trusted partner and empowering our customers’ intelligent transformation by enabling IT modernization,” said Kirk Skaugen, President of Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group. “This expanded collaboration with VMware is a pivotal next step in enabling more businesses to seamlessly leverage modern edge, AI, and hybrid cloud capabilities powered by NVIDIA in order to harness data for accelerated business outcomes.”
“VMware and Lenovo are partnering to help clients of all sizes become digital companies by investing in the infrastructure required to power a new generation of modern applications, such as Generative AI,” said Krish Prasad, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cloud Infrastructure Business Group, VMware. “The results from our joint Edge and Cloud Labs and the new fully integrated Lenovo systems are important milestones. Together we’re helping mid-market and enterprise customers manage their changing IT landscape, deliver faster innovation, and Excellerate business outcomes.”
“Lenovo, NVIDIA and VMware are helping customers harness the potential of generative AI with full-stack computing, integrated systems and advanced AI software,” said Manuvir Das, Vice President of Enterprise Computing at NVIDIA. “Together, we’re helping enterprises create custom models using their valuable business data that will enable them to run intelligent generative AI applications, including intelligent chatbots, assistants, search and summarization.”
The proliferation of data is fueling the demand for computing everywhere. Businesses across all industries, including manufacturing and retail, need IT solutions that help deliver AI and real-time insights from any location, from the data center to the edge and cloud.
Lenovo is extending its partnership with VMware to help customers harness the value of their data, deploying purpose-built NVIDIA AI solutions to transform their business with more predictable outcomes by leveraging NVIDIA AI Enterprise, the enterprise-grade software that powers the NVIDIA AI platform. NVIDIA AI Enterprise includes NVIDIA NeMo software to accelerate the development and deployment of production-ready large language models (LLMs). Lenovo’s newest Reference Design for Generative AI based on LLMs shows businesses how to deploy and commercialize powerful generative AI tools and foundation models, using a pre-validated, fully integrated, and performance optimized solution for data centers running on VMware vSphere.
The solution features NVIDIA GPU-dense platforms that are purpose built for AI workloads, including the Lenovo ThinkSystem SR675 V3 and ThinkSystem SR670 V2, offering up to eight-GPUs in a compact 3U or smaller footprint for the highest performing accelerated workloads. The Lenovo computing platforms serve as the most versatile, accelerated computing platforms on the market with three server configurations in one, including support for NVIDIA HGX A100 4-GPU systems with NVIDIA NVLink technology and Lenovo Neptune hybrid liquid cooling, as well as four or eight GPU configurations featuring NVIDIA L40S and 80GB NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPUs, or NVIDIA H100 NVL servers. Combining the power of Lenovo and NVIDIA technologies with VMware, these servers will help professionals worldwide advance AI and bring generative AI applications like intelligent chatbots, search, and summarization tools to users across industries.
To further support critical network integration, Lenovo is adding the latest NVIDIA Spectrum-X™ networking technology from NVIDIA to its AI portfolio, using NVIDIA BlueField®-3 data processing units (DPUs) and NVIDIA Spectrum-4 switches in its generative AI reference design for more advanced AI workload integration. These add to existing options for accelerated networking with NVIDIA ConnectX-7 Ethernet NICs.
Additionally, new ThinkAgile VX Integrated Systems with VMware are designed to help mid-market customers enter the next wave of AI and machine learning with more efficient IT that is easier to deploy across hybrid multi-cloud and edge environments. The new, jointly developed hyperconverged infrastructure solutions are factory-integrated, pre-configured, and ready-to-go, simplifying the path to hybrid multi-cloud for midsize customers. Offering advanced scalability, high performance, and reliability, Lenovo ThinkAgile VX with VMware Cloud Foundation delivers a complete and integrated multi-cloud infrastructure solution for building and managing private and hybrid clouds, leveraging VMware’s tools for automating the deployment and management of infrastructure and applications.
Lenovo is also delivering a future-ready, on-demand model with Lenovo TruScale Hybrid Cloud for VMware. This new private cloud infrastructure as a service offering will enable IT admins and developers to more easily build, run, manage, and secure traditional and next-gen applications across multiple private data centers and cloud providers. Lenovo TruScale Hybrid Cloud for VMware combines the extensibility and enhanced security of VMware Cloud infrastructure with the simplicity of cloud operations, enabling customers to easily scale hybrid cloud workloads on demand. With the Lenovo TruScale for VMware, customers are supported by a single, integrated billing, pay-as-you-grow model to achieve total cost of ownership savings.
Together, the extended collaboration between Lenovo and VMware will expand joint, go-to-market strategies and deliver new on-demand services, making modern IT infrastructure solutions more easily accessible to a broader range of customers.
Visit https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/servers-storage/alliance/vmware/ to learn more.
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Fujitsu delivers cloud-smart solutions in partnership with VMware to help businesses and societies progress.
Fujitsu is focused on digitizing enterprises around the world by bringing together a broad portfolio of advanced technologies and services, working with a select group of trusted partners. For more than 20 years, one of those key partners has been VMware.
Paul Kember, Fujitsu’s head of global strategic alliances in Europe, says, “VMware is one of our most important partners globally. They touch Fujitsu at every point of our portfolio. We work with VMware on the platform business, on infrastructure, data protection solutions, all the way through to desktop services, and importantly these days, the move to hybrid or multi-cloud.”
For Fujitsu, serving customers is all about delivering the right solutions that enable them to transform their businesses to not only enable growth and profitability but also benefit societies and have a positive impact on the environment. Kember points out that VMware complements that mission perfectly: “VMware supports the portfolio we take forward to deliver business and societal impact. Our companies share a mutual understanding of the future needs of our customers, and there’s great synergy in how we work together. That spans everything from enabling customers to work in a hybrid environment to having the flexibility to scale their compute resources up or down across a multitude of clouds.”
Fujitsu has built its successful VMware practice in part by investing in training and certifying its people with the highest levels of VMware credentials. This empowers the Fujitsu team to advise customers on the right combination of VMware and Fujitsu offerings to ensure those customers achieve the outcomes they want.
In many cases, Fujitsu works with organizations that require assistance reviewing their infrastructures to understand what changes will help them operate most efficiently and with maximum agility. But at the same time, they need to ensure their infrastructure assets are protected for the future. Fujitsu’s work with cycling apparel maker Bioracer is a prime example of this scenario in action.
Like many companies, Bioracer historically had all of its information assets in one data center. They came to Fujitsu needing disaster recovery and the ability to scale their data-intensive files for the future. Kember explains, “In conjunction with VMware, we created a solution that enabled Bioracer to move to dual data centers, replicate their data, and access that data from wherever they operate in the world. And with secure backup, we helped them protect their business with digital resilience.”
He adds, “We provided them a platform for growth. Not only did it protect their assets in a time of great difficulty and massively rising costs, it now gives them a platform to move to public cloud in the future. It gives them flexibility and, within that, the ability to scale up and scale down. That’s where VMware complements our capabilities with a range of offerings that we can match to each customer’s unique situation.”
To that point, Fujitsu and VMware are currently working on an innovative offering called uScale, which provides flexible resource consumption. Kember notes, “VMware have been fantastic in collaborating on this service capability where customers benefit from only paying for what they consume.”
This consumption model is ideal for many types of companies that face periodic spikes in end-customer demand. For example, a company like Bioracer may see a surge in sales during the busy holiday shopping season. With uScale, companies can seamlessly scale up their capacity during peak demand and then scale back down when volume returns to normal. “Customers are demanding this type of infrastructure agility today,” Kember points out. “Consumer service expectations are so high, companies must live up to them, but do so in a secure, automated, and protected fashion. That’s what Fujitsu and VMware deliver.”
As Fujitsu and VMware pursue ongoing opportunities to benefit businesses and societies with transformative technology solutions, Kember says that being part of VMware’s cloud-smart ecosystem is an important advantage. “We like the idea of being cloud-smart. It’s about delivering the right cloud for the right application. Not everything is going to public cloud. A lot of data needs to be kept on-prem or in sovereign clouds. We’re seeing almost every company adopt a multi-cloud and hybrid IT strategy. So, cloud-smart is exactly how we approach those situations.”
In addition to enabling customers to adopt private clouds, Fujitsu works with all the public cloud providers, providing extensive cloud assessment services to identify which type of cloud is best suited for which workloads. Fujitsu then leverages VMware’s multi-cloud offerings to make the match.
“We have an offering called Fujitsu Cloud Managed Services, designed in conjunction with VMware, which allows us to not only move workloads but to manage those workloads across multiple clouds,” Kember notes. “This saves the customer time and complexity.”
Looking forward, Kember adds, “As a partner, we are very optimistic about VMware’s multi-cloud roadmap because it totally fits with our key focus areas. Our two strategies are completely in sync in terms of where customers need to protect themselves and build digital resilience. Increasingly, this is why customers come to Fujitsu and in collaboration with VMware we are ready to help.”
SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 22, 2023 – Supermicro, Inc. today announced a new VMware vSAN solution optimized to run enterprise class hyperconverged virtualized workloads. As virtualized workloads become more advanced, processing power and storage performance requirements increase, requiring greater capacity to meet application SLAs and maximize virtual machine density. This solution also utilizes the latest Intel AMX accelerator for AI workloads.
When compared to the Supermicro X11 BigTwin, benchmark testing conducted by Supermicro showed up to 4.7X higher IO throughput and 8.2X lower latency on the HCIBench benchmark, up to 4.9X faster image classification inference throughput on the ResNet50 model and up to 4X faster natural language processing throughput on BERT-Large model. In addition, the superior power and efficiency of the Supermicro X13 BigTwin architecture can deliver up to 3X cost and performance improvement within the same node footprint compared to a similar deployment based on older generation Supermicro systems, creating a compelling case for organizations to upgrade their aging infrastructure.
“Supermicro continues to lead the HCI industry with the first Gen5 vSAN solution based on the 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors,” said Charles Liang, president and CEO, Supermicro. “Our industry leading Supermicro BigTwin platform supports the latest generation of flash storage media in dense, multi-node form factors optimized for HCI to run vSAN out of the box. Supermicro’s X13 BigTwin and vSAN customers can benefit from 4.7X higher throughput and 8.2X lower latency on the HCIBench benchmark with gen-over-gen performance improvements. This solution enables customers to run more instances on the same hardware and rack space, improving performance and utilization while reducing costs.”
To learn more about the Supermicro vSAN Solution, click here to watch the short video.
The Supermicro X13 BigTwin platform delivers the ideal balance of compute power, memory density, storage capacity, and redundancy for HCI deployments, with vSAN-ready nodes ready to deploy immediately without needing traditional enterprise storage systems. The Supermicro X13 architecture with 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors delivers support for the latest industry-standard PCIe 5.0 NVMe drives from industry-leading vendors for unprecedented storage performance.
Download the Solution Briefs, which describe, in detail, the Supermicro vSAN solutions:
The Supermicro X13 BigTwin solution is available as a 2U 2-node or 2U 4-node configuration with optional liquid cooling. Each node is powered by up to two 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and up to 4TB of DDR5-4800MHz memory. The system runs the latest VMWare vSAN 8.0 software stack featuring the new Express Storage Architecture (ESA) to create a single storage pool across the up to 48 NVMe drives accessible by the four nodes.
For more information, please visit Supermicro.com. This solution will also be discussed in more detail in a session of Supermicro’s Open Storage Summit 2023, airing at 1:00 PM EDT on August 22, 2023. Visit the event registration page to sign up.
About Super Micro Computer, Inc.
Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI) is a global leader in Application-Optimized Total IT Solutions. Founded and operating in San Jose, California, Supermicro is committed to delivering first to market innovation for Enterprise, Cloud, AI, and 5G Telco/Edge IT Infrastructure. We are transforming into a Total IT Solutions provider with server, AI, storage, IoT, and switch systems, software, and services while delivering advanced high-volume motherboard, power, and chassis products. The products are designed and manufactured in-house (in the US, Taiwan, and the Netherlands), leveraging global operations for scale and efficiency and optimized to Excellerate TCO and reduce environmental impact (Green Computing). The award-winning portfolio of Server Building Block Solutions allows customers to optimize for their exact workload and application by selecting from a broad family of systems built from our flexible and reusable building blocks that support a comprehensive set of form factors, processors, memory, GPUs, storage, networking, power, and cooling solutions (air-conditioned, free air cooling or liquid cooling).