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VMware AWS cloud goes down... under, launches in Asia-Pacific, touts devops-ish tools, etc

Your quick announcement summary

VMworld US The VMware world's VMecca – VMworld 2018 US – is upon us this week in Las Vegas.

The virtualization giant has a large bunch of stuff to announce to kick off its three-day conference today. It likes to talk about holistic experiences such as empowering the vision of cloud native workload deployment velocity synergies with the Internet of Things.

However, that's no use to vSphere admins sitting down at their desk on a Monday morning, coffee in hand, staring at a load of angry logs from the weekend. And unread Slack messages from sleep-deprived on-call engineers. And an email from above with the subject line "Fwd: Blockchain (?)"

So to make your life easier, here's all the new stuff, as claimed by VMware, distilled down into a double shot to drop in your coffee and kick start your week, and listed in no particular order.

  • VMware Cloud on AWS is now available in Asia-Pacific, hosted in Sydney in the Land Down Under aka Australia. Also new on VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services:
    • Folks can specify exactly how many CPU cores they want to assign to particular Oracle and Microsoft database packages, and similar applications, allowing them to reduce their per-CPU licensing costs.
    • Data centers can be "evacuated" into the cloud by live-migrating thousands of virtual machines using VMware NSX Hybrid Connect, which used to be known as VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension. This uses vMotion and vSphere Replication to shift running systems into a cloud environment.
    • Amazon EC2 R5.metal VMware Cloud instances can use Amazon Elastic Block Storage with VMware vSAN technology for high-capacity storage.
    • VMware NSX micro-segmentation will provide "granular control over east-west traffic between workloads," we're told. There are a bunch more optimizations and updates, as described here.
  • There's the new devops-ish VMware Cloud Services that are separate from the existing vRealize product, which also threatens to automate the deployment of virtual machines and code running on guests. These latest cloud services are made up of these components:
    • VMware Cloud Assembly: Build and run virtual machines in an automated way on VMware Cloud on AWS, native AWS, Microsoft Azure, and other public and private clouds, using YAML script files, API calls, or a GUI.
    • VMware Service Broker: Control and police virtual machines on these clouds using templates picked from a catalog and security policies.
    • VMware Code Stream: Build, test, and run software in these virtual machines using Git, Jenkins, Kubernetes, and so on.
  • VMware Secure State promises to flag up any detected misconfigurations and insecurities within virtual machines, alerts admins in real-time to changes in the cloud infrastructure, and performs compliance monitoring.
  • Infrastructure monitoring tool Wavefront can now handle up to 100,000 containers in a single environment, and is better at keeping check on AWS-hosted resources, serverless code, and Kubernetes installations.
  • Windows patching assistant Workspace ONE Intelligence now, we're told, wrangles group policy objects and other security policies on workforce PCs. Migrating Microsoft System Center Configuration Management collections and applications into Workspace ONE can now be automated, too. Workspace ONE Trust Network is expanding to receive alerts of possible incoming malware attacks from Carbon Black, Netskope, and Lookout. All the changes are listed here.
  • So-called vSphere Platinum is a combination of vSphere 6.7 Update 1 and VMware AppDefense. The latter, we're told, is a tool for ensuring virtual machines are booted and run in a known good state – with no malicious changes to the guest operating system, apps, and data going undetected. It uses machine learning to flag up any irregularities in the software.

    Essentially, if a miscreant or malware meddles with a virtual machine, this tampering should be highlighted by AppDefense. This service relies on VMware's cloud backend for real-time scanning of application and OS behaviors, and analytics to make the decision on whether or not malicious activity is taking place – so you need to have VMware's cloud plugged into your systems at all times to make full use of it.

  • vSphere 6.7 Update 1 has a full HTML5-based vSphere Client user interface, meaning you can control your systems using your browser without Adobe Flash. VMware has been signaling its move away from Flash for a while now, we're assured, and businesses have until December 31, 2020, to get used to the HTML5 interface – that's the date when Adobe ends-of-life Flash. The update also supports live migration of virtual machines using Nvidia vGPUs – you can move a guest to another compatible host while performing maintenance on the original server.
  • Meanwhile, vSAN 6.7 Update 1 promises to reduce maintenance time, allow hyper-converged clusters to be spun up faster than before, and includes various other tweaks. It is in private beta, it seems.
  • vRealize Operations 7.0 has a handful of optimizations to make your life easier, allegedly. vRealize Automation 7.5 has a new user interface, and works more nicely with AWS and Azure clouds. Also, check out vRealize Suite 2018 if you're into enterprise-grade devops.
  • NSX multi-cloud networking and security now handles workloads running on "AWS, Azure, VMware Cloud on AWS, and on-premises software-defined data centers, and both Linux-based and containerized workloads running on bare-metal servers without a hypervisor," according to VMware.

We're at this year's event in Sin City, and will update you on any more details we can wring out of VMware. ®

Updated to add

Amazon and VMware have announced a preview of Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) running on VMware. It is said to support Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and MariaDB databases.

The virtualization giant has also bought CloudHealth, a biz that, well, monitors the health of cloud systems.

VMware is also touting its open-source enterprise-grade blockchain software, Project Concord.

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