CSPs, Virtualization

VMworld: VMware NSX Multi-Cloud Management Tools to Debut

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger
Pat Gelsinger

VMware's push beyond server virtualization will take multiple steps forward later this month at VMworld 2016. But the most important step of all likely involves VMware NSX and/or vRealize enhancements that will provide multi-cloud management capabilities for Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and many other platforms.

First, the big picture: Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services have emerged as the de facto public cloud leaders. VMware's own vCloud Air has a following for certain cloud workloads but the company is no longer chasing Azure and AWS for mainstream leadership.

Instead, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger has been evangelizing a cross-cloud management and security strategy. In some ways, it's similar to Rackspace's managed services push across AWS, Azure and more. But in other ways, VMware's strategy is vastly different.

VMware Multi-Cloud Management

VMware, instead of being a multi-cloud MSP like Rackspace, is preparing a portfolio of cloud management tools for partners and customers.

“VMware’s new multi-cloud and multi-device strategy will transcend the limitations of individual cloud services by providing customers with the ability to run, manage, secure and connect all their applications across all clouds and all devices,” Gelsinger told Wall Street analysts during an earnings call earlier this year.

Fast forward to July 2016, and Gelsinger essentially confirmed that multi-cloud and cross-cloud management tools would debut in August -- though he didn't mention the VMworld conference by name.

NSX: Secure, Encrypted And More

That’s where new NSX and vRealize offerings potentially enter the picture. In the area of NSX, new tools will help customers to create secure and encrypted overlay networks across public clouds including AWS and Azure and On-Premise Data Centers, Gelsinger said during that earnings call earlier this year.

Ross Brown

Generally speaking, the overall NSX business -- focused on network virtualization -- has been growing quickly. But Channel Chief  Ross Brown isn't resting on NSX's technical laurels. Instead, he has overhauled VMware's partner program to boost NSX partner margins -- which could entice more partners to embrace network virtualization now... and multi-cloud management pretty darn soon.

In fact, it's a safe bet VMware Chief Technology Strategy Officer Guido Appenzeller will describe the strategy during his VMworld session on Aug. 29...

Multi-Cloud Management for Partners

If VMware's multi-cloud management strategy works as advertised, it could be a huge win for channel partners.

At present, MSPs and VARs typically juggle multiple tools and dashboards to manage, monitor and protect workloads across multiple clouds and on-premises servers. ChannelE2E has been tracking at least 50 tools for managing public cloud workloads, though there are likely hundreds of additional options.

If NSX somehow manages to redefine and simplify cloud management, security and network virtualization, then VMware could be turning the rarest of triple plays.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.