This year I had the opportunity to go to VMworld 2018 in Barcelona together with four of my colleagues! I had a blast, a lot of great information and some under NDA, so unfortunately can’t tell you any of that NDA inside info. VMworld is a four-day event, in this post I will summarize some of the sessions I found interesting, if you as a reader like more in depth info in the future, please do let me know!
This years VMworld is hosted at the Fira Barcelona in, you guessed it, Barcelona, Spain. A great entrance was set up to make sure all attendees were able to register smoothly, setting me up with a nice quality VMworld 2018 backpack, score! At the main hall a lot of VMware stands were placed, like the Partner and Alumni lounges, Hands on Labs area, Certification lounge and an arcade games area in the middle.
The first day was mostly looking at the venue and getting to know my way around in the morning. The afternoon was completely filled with a 4-hour long NSX-T workshop. With a near impossible pace I was dragged through both theory and hands on labs! Fortunately I already have experience with NSX-V, else it would not be do-able. Some short things that were covered:
- VXLAN replaced by GENEVE.
- New virtual switch named the N-VDS.
- Full management from the NSX-T Manager, no longer vCenter.
- Service Router functioning on an Edge.
- Load Balancers running on an Edge.
- Edge is nothing like we know from NSX-V’s ESG.
- Day 2 – Keynote, N-VDS and Containers
- Technology Superpowers
Pat Gelsinger during the Keynote
The start of the day was the official opening of VMworld 2018 with the Keynote on the big stage. The first “wow” from my side seeing the sheer amount of people present at this event. The keynote was named “Technology Superpowers”.
From within the superpowers, multiple roads to take by VMware were explained. During the keynote it was specifically pointed out what VMware does about the environment and other good causes being the driver for success.
For the Cloud superpower it became clear what has come and what is to come in regards to cloud strategies and possibilities for VMware. Not only is VMware running on AWS, it’s soon also possible to leverage the IBM Cloud for all you VMware cloud needs. Aside from already having VMware on AWS, it is expanding to natively operate AWS services within the VMware environment in the future. One other announcement is that VMware has aquired Cloud Health for optimizing cost, security and compliancy in the multi-cloud (currently AWS and Azure).
During the Mobile superpower there was news regarding the roadmap or vision to use any device, any application, on any cloud. There was also a Workspace One demo on stage.
Although nothing concrete about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning yet, the IoT part showed something new and very interesting. VMware have managed to run ESXi on a RaspberryPi, that means on ARM devices! It was showcased as ESXi version 6.8 on the stand, but everything else was kept secret and absolutely alpha/beta stage.
N-VDS performance scaling
In this session there was a lot of technical information about how the new N-VDS works and what it’s possibilities are. The most important part is that they are now greatly modular and configurable.
- Completely rebuilt network stack based on NSX-T. (NFV3)
- Enhanced mode, capable of 40Gbit/s speeds.
- Intel DPDK support.
- Telco grade performance.
- Full NUMA alignment.
- Multiple CPU assignments.
- Dedicated physical hardware possible.
- Full data-plane separation.
Unlike what I expected, this session was completely focused on Pivotal Container Services (PKS). I for one expected to hear something about vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC) too, but not a word! At the end of the session I asked the presenter, what about VIC?! He responded it was not to be mentioned in this session and strictly following strategy towards PKS. When the session ended, the guy next to me said, “Hey, interesting you ask about VIC, I’m one of the VIC developers”, what are the chances right? We had a nice chat about VIC and how it’s developing right now, it might surprise you that it’s actually a fully supported production ready container platform for vSphere! Some PKS specific information from the session:
- Aimed at Enterprise environments.
- HA Kubernetes product.
- Focused on security through NSX-T.
- Multi-tenant set-up.
- Fully scalable in the multi-cloud.
- SaaS based in AWS.
- Vanilla Kubernetes, fully certified.