VMware unveils host of cloud-based apps for new hybrid cloud

The company's VMworld announcements included Project Pacific, a rearchitecting of vSphere, and upgrades to its VMware vRealize suite and CloudHealth.

SAN FRANCISCO -- In the wake of rolling out its next-generation Hybrid Cloud Platform, VMware launched a raft of cloud-based apps and services to largely bring corporate developers and IT operations people more in sync in creating and managing workloads across core data centers and out to edge locations.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises was the unveiling of Project Pacific, VMware's effort to embed Kubernetes natively into vSphere as a way to converge containers and VMs in hopes of positioning the product as a strategic application development over the coming years.

"[Project Pacific] will give users the ability to merge the development and operations parts of a user's business to solve a range of different problems," said VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, in a press conference following his keynote at VMworld 2019. "It is the biggest rearchitecting of vSphere we have ever undertaken."

However, Gelsinger was reluctant to offer specifics on exactly how VMware would embed the orchestration layer into vSphere, and into what version or when that version would be available. He did say the product would enter beta by year's end and would likely be available as a finished product sometime next year.

One San Francisco-based value-added reseller attending the conference, who spoke off the record, said these questions and others would have to be answered before he would commit resources to selling it.

"Kubernetes is difficult for a lot of people to learn and, in some cases, configure," he said. "I am curious to know how they might make it easier to learn."

Cloud-based apps get updates

In other cloud-based announcements, VMware rolled out version 8.0 of its VMware vRealize Operations offering, with features that allow "self-driving" for both hybrid cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure operations, along with the ability to monitor multi-cloud environments. The updated version also does a better job allowing users to continuously optimize the performance of their applications, as well as run their infrastructure much in the way they would in a public cloud.

Complementing the Operations product, VMware also rolled out version 8.0 of vRealize Automation, which now features a container-based microservices architecture designed to work with multiple cloud environments, including VMware Cloud on AWS, ServiceNow and Git integrations.

Accompanying the two vRealize products is the vRealize Suite 2019 highlighted by Lifecycle Manager 8.0 intended to help system admins in the everyday tasks of supporting the Hybrid Cloud Management Platform. The improved support allows VMware Operations users to better pinpoint and eliminate security threats, according to the company.

Continuing its focus on hybrid clouds, the company also rolled out a version of its CloudHealth offering. The new version -- CloudHealth Hybrid -- extends many of the product's existing public cloud capabilities to the hybrid cloud. Some of those capabilities include migration assessment governance and security features, along with a more efficient way of side-stepping unnecessary costs usually incurred by cloud-based apps, and more accurate updates on what corporate users are spending on cloud.

Officials from Cox Automotive, a supplier of products and web-based services across the automotive industry, said CloudHealth by VMware has "allowed them to test out new ideas not necessarily ready for production, and to do so less expensively," according to Jason Cornell, a senior cloud manager.

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