Clients have a huge set of challenges when they move to the cloud; the average company, today, has its data sitting in 4.5 clouds, according to Guido Appenzeller, chief technology strategy officer, network/security business unit, at VMware Inc. A client may well have data in the AWS, Azure, Google and IBM public clouds, as well as in an on-prem data center. The question becomes, how do you connect them all together?
Appenzeller said that VMware’s Cross-Cloud services, which are currently under development, look to provide consistent deployment models, security policies, visibility and governance for all applications — whether they are running on-prem or off and regardless of the underlying cloud or hypervisor.
Appenzeller, who is leading VMware’s Cross-Cloud Services effort, recently joined John Furrier (@furrier), co-host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio. They discussed the advantages of multiple clouds to customers, as well as VMware’s future in Software as a Service. The conversation was conducted onsite at the VMware campus in Palo Alto, CA, this week as part of an editorial series of interviews intended to find out what’s coming next for the virtualization products maker.
Why customers want multiple clouds
“I think what we’re seeing is, customers are using different clouds for their specifics, or best-of-breed properties,” said Appenzeller. For example, AWS has, by far, the largest catalog; Google has cheap storage; and Microsoft is very aggressive about licensing its own products on top of Azure, he explained. A client may choose any of them — or all of them — to get their individual advantages.
In the cloud, the network is the hardest problem, including configuring a firewall, Appenzeller stated. This is where VMware has found an opportunity, as its NSX network virtualization platform already allows a user to span a network across heterogeneous hardware in the data center. It can take a Cisco or an Arista switch and create a virtual network, so why can’t it do the same in the cloud, Appenzeller asked?
Appenzeller explained that NSX really shines by not moving around workloads, but rather by giving IT teams powerful tools so they can manage these workloads across clouds, in the same way.
The future of managing cross-cloud architectures
In the next five years or so, Appenzeller predicted that the majority of workloads will still be on-prem but an increasing number will be moving to the cloud. When organizations move into the cloud, they need to do in a thoughtful way and decide how to scale it in the future, he explained. Thus, enterprises will start to understand the complexity of managing the cloud or several clouds.
“This whole transition of VMware from on-prem to providing SaaS services for the public cloud; this, to me, is the future, and I’m very excited about it,” said Appenzeller.
Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of VMware 2016.