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VMworld Brings New VMware OpenStack, Docker, and Hardware Technologies

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VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger kicked off his company’s VMworld 2014 conference with a message – Be Brave. Gelsinger’s message was intended for attendees but is also a message that is reflective of his company’s approach to the rapidly evolving Software Defined Data Center landscape.

During his VMworld keynote address, Gelsinger noted that the biggest risk to IT today is in perpetuating the status quo. To that end, Gelsinger outlined a number of new innovations and initiatives at VMware to shake up the landscape.

Among the new items announced by Gelsinger is a hardware appliance effort known as the EVO initiative. VMware has always been a software company and that’s not changing with EVO. Gelsinger explained that EVO is an attempt to deliver a simpler solution for hyper-converged infrastructure.

“EVO is the next evolution of infrastructure,” Gelsinger said. “It is a family of products that is the fastest way to deploy the Software Defined Data Center.”

The EVO hardware is VMware’s software, packaged and integrated with hardware for an easy to deploy solution. There are currently two efforts within the EVO platform. The first is known as EVO RAIL, which is an appliance solution designed for up to 100 Virtual Machines to run. The promise of EVO RAIL is getting a systems up and running inside of 15 minutes. VMware’s initial set of EVO RAIL partners include: Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, inspur, net one and Supermicro. The second EVO solution is known as Rack and is about enabling an entire data center deployment in under two hours.

OpenStack and Docker

Gelsinger also used his keynote as the platform to announce new OpenStack cloud and Docker virtualization initiatives. In the past, many industry pundits have often thought of OpenStack and Docker as being competitive alternatives to VMware, but that’s not the case at all.

The new VMware Integrated OpenStack platform is a complete cloud platform that provides deep integration with VMware’s virtualization and management tools. The basic premise is to offer enterprises choice in the cloud with a VMware optimized platform. Gelsinger noted that the new VMware OpenStack solution can enable VMware users to embrace OpenStack if they so choose.

“It is choice without disruption,” Gelsinger said.

That same idea of choice is driving VMware’s embrace of Docker. VMware’s ESX hypervisor is a traditional Virtual Machine (VM) technology, while Docker is a container virtualization technology. Gelsinger said that to date, developers and users and have had to choose between using a virtual machine and a container for virtual application delivery.

VMware now has multiple partnerships in place to make Containers run well in VMware. Those partnerships include a PaaS partnership with Pivotal, a development partnership with Google and its Kubernetes container management technology and a partnership with Docker Inc. Gelsinger also announced Project Fargo, which is a VMware effort to enable Docker containers to run faster on a virtual machine than they can running natively on Linux.

“The best way to deliver containers is through a virtual machine,” Gelsinger said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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