VMworld provides opportunity to gauge VMware’s future plans for Tanzu and Telco Cloud Oct. 5-7 

Over the course of its 23 years, VMware Inc. has taken on the persona of a big-wave surfer. The company has ridden a multitude of major technology waves and emerged relatively unscathed on the other side.

This journey has included following a huge wave from the datacenter into the cloud and all the way to the edge, cruising the swells generated by containerized workloads and enterprise applications and navigating the competitive sea of major industry players by forming partnerships with heavyweights such as Amazon Web Services Inc., Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

As VMware gears up for its annual VMworld event in October, the central question on the minds of industry observers will be: Which big wave will the company surf next?

For answers to this and other key questions, theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s livestreaming studio, will be covering the VMworld event Oct. 5, starting at 10 a.m. PDT, through Oct. 7, concluding at 5 p.m. PDT. Coverage will feature interviews with VMware executives, industry visionaries, top customers and special guests. (* Disclosure below.)

Focus on Tanzu

One key area of VMware’s business worth watching is Tanzu. The company announced plans for its Tanzu platform in 2019 as a way for developers to build and manage modern, container-based applications, and it has been actively unveiling new products for the portfolio since then.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and Tanzu Mission Control were introduced in March of last year. Tanzu has been injected into vSphere, vSAN and VxRail and provided with a set of tools for focusing on DevSecOps. Earlier this year, VMware launched a new platform that combined its NSX Advanced Load Balancer with Tanzu Service Mesh and brought Tanzu and VMware Cloud Foundation into a single entity branded as VMware Cloud.

In a measure of Tanzu’s significance for VMware’s business, newly installed chief executive Raghu Raghuram described the platform’s market as “massive” during a debut press conference in February and again at another media event in September.

In a lengthy interview with theCUBE last year, former VMware executive Sanjay Poonen underscored the importance of Tanzu to the company’s long-term strategy.

“A lot of the world during the pandemic is now doing e-commerce and curbside pickup; people aren’t going to the store,” Poonen said. “That’s all based on Tanzu. I don’t think it will be 20 years before there’s a billion containers, and we seek to be the leader in that platform.”

Addressing telco and edge

It has become more apparent over the past two years that a key element of VMware’s edge strategy is tied to its pursuit of the Telco Cloud. This is based on the company’s belief, as expressed by Michael Dell in an exclusive interview with theCUBE, that 75% of data will be processed outside of the datacenter within the next four years.

From VMware’s purchase of 5G radio access optimization provider Uhana Inc. in 2019 to its partnership with Korean telecommunications giant SK Telecom Co. Ltd. to facilitate 5G and edge content delivery earlier this year, the evolving telco strategy has been very much in the news. In April, the company released its VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN as part of an expansion of its technology stack for network operators.

The telco push is also tied to VMware’s positioning of vSphere 7 for hardware virtualization. Last year’s vSphere release showed how this technology will play a key role in the company’s hybrid and container solutions going forward.

“Many of those applications that are deployed at telco edge are container applications,” said Paul Turner, vice president of product management for vSphere at VMware, in an interview with theCUBE. “We have a platform with vSphere 7 that can give the telco edge and 5G network deployments a much more secure, predictable runtime environment.”

Spin-off is coming

October’s VMworld gathering occurs at an interesting time for VMware as a whole. After being acquired by Dell Technologies Inc. as part of a mammoth $67 billion purchase of EMC in 2016, VMware will be spun-off in November by Dell and become an independent firm.

During an August interview, VMware’s Raghuram indicated that the planned divestiture was still on track. He also indicated that by becoming independent, the company will have more partnership opportunities with firms that viewed Dell as a competitor. VMware can now “be the Switzerland of the industry,” according to Raghuram.

However, nothing is as simple as it seems in the tech world. There has been speculation among some analysts that a marriage between Intel Corp., which is now led by former VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, and VMware could be in the future. It should also be noted that Michael Dell and his equity firm will retain majority ownership of VMware shares, despite the spin-off.

“This is about paying off debt, restructuring Dell’s balance sheet and unlocking value for core Dell, without messing up the ‘special relationship’ they have with VMware,” said Dave Vellante, chief analyst at SiliconANGLE sister market research firm Wikibon. “It’s a classic cake-and-eat-it-too strategy — quite genius, actually.”

Livestream of theCUBE on VMworld

TheCUBE on VMworld is a livestream event, with interviews to be broadcasted on theCUBE. Plus, you can watch theCUBE’s event coverage here on demand after the live event.

How to watch theCUBE interviews

We offer you various ways to watch the live coverage of theCUBE on VMworld event, including theCUBE’s dedicated website and YouTube channel. You can also get all the coverage from this year’s events on SiliconANGLE.

TheCUBE Insights podcast

SiliconANGLE also has podcasts available of archived interview sessions, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify, which you can enjoy while on the go.


During VMworld, theCUBE will speak with VMware’s Raghu Raghuram, chief executive officer; Carol Carpenter, senior vice president and chief marketing officer; Sandy Hogan, SVP of the Worldwide Partner and Commercial Organization; and Sumit Dhawan, president.

Also during the event, theCUBE will interview VMware’s Kit Colbert, chief technology officer; Tom Gillis, SVP and GM of the Networking and Advanced Security Business Group; Mike Hayes, SVP and chief digital transformation officer; and Sanjay Uppal, SVP and GM of the Service Provider & Edge Business

Stay tuned for a complete list of speakers.

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for VMworld 2021. Neither VMware, the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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