VMworld 2018 once again proved to be one of the biggest technology events of the year, yes you can point out Dreamforce and OracleWorld and Microsoft Ignite as potentially larger but VMworld is still a ~20K person conference and ranks as one fo the larger ones around. Its also no surprise that VMware takes the time to make major product announcements during the show to make it exciting and get the user base hyped for another year. This year I heard alot about how the release of Amazon RDS Services natively in a private datacenter and connected as a custom region in AWS was the biggest news. While I I do believe this is a great thing for many enterprises and specifically cloud first companies, I don’t think it will be the release that has the largest impact on the future of VMware.
Welcome vSphere on ARM! Yes ARM, that little processor you hear about for cell phones and IoT devices. This was touched on in one of the keynotes and I think alot of people just thought it was a gimmick and since there is no firm release date, thats reasonable but lets for a moment take a look at a few places that vSphere on ARM could have a huge impact.
- Connected Car
Automakers are developing analytics for connected cars and roads that will process data in massive hadoop or MapR clusters while retaining large amounts of sensor data but all that data takes time to get form the car to the data center and doesnt help with near-real time analysis for a car to know how to react. Now if you can have a small ARM processor in the car and multiple virtual machines you can have historical data stored on roads someone had a problem driving on with a virtual storage appliance, you can have multiple nodes of a small MapR instance that analyzes the weather conditions along with the GPS location to know if a car should slow down faster for an upcoming turn, you could even use it to have storage of critical health information for the passengers riding in the car in the event of a disaster, all fo this without having to have separate systems or depend on a slow network connection.
- Utility Monitoring
This was part of the example shows with a system in a windmill, now lets take that a step further, utilizing a small processor on an offshore drilling rig where the analysis of 100s of sensors checking for abnormalities could stop major ecological disasters and alert for oil spills, those same processors could now have a second VM running a system for NOAA that is watching wave patterns to aid in early warning and projections for Hurricane tracking. Add in a third VM that is collecting tag data from endangered species as they swim past and we can learn more about mating habits. We could do all this now with separate systems but if one system can do it we cut down on the electronic waste dramatically and with vMotion and HA we have more reliability.
- Ruggedized Solutions
Today’s warfighter needs every advantage possible to stay safe and know whats going on in their surroundings. As with many of the other edge solutions, this comes back to data analysis. If a small pack can carry the radio equipment needed as well as a system that can in real-time be analyzing sensors for an entire team plus comparing that to wind patterns to know if chemical or biologicals could be impacting them it could steer a team clear of a threat. Or if the soldier’s info can be connected to the vehicle they are in and all of the critical data about the surroundings be processed in real time on small hardened gear, it could be a life saving analysis.
These are just a few of the places that I can see off the top of my head that the tech could be a game changer and with VMware pushing all the extra parts of the portfolio recently, it is nice to see the core product take a step forward and in reality it opens a whole new market at the edge for a company known to support your core.