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Highlights from Las Vegas: News from VMware Explore

Stephan OetzelPractice Lead – Solution Sales VMware Virtualization

Highlights from Las Vegas: VMware Explore News

VMware Explore in Las Vegas was a huge success, with lots of exciting news and developments from the world of VMware. SoftwareOne's experts were on hand to summarise the key highlights and announcements. Read this blog post to find out everything you need to know about the latest VMware developments.

Introduction of VMware Private AI Foundation with Nvidia.

VMware Private AI is an approach to AI services that emphasises enterprise privacy and control, choice between open source and commercial AI solutions, rapid time to value, and integrated security and management.

A VMware Private AI implementation provides the flexibility to run a wide range of AI solutions. These include NVIDIA AI software, open source community repositories, and independent software vendor solutions. Outstanding performance is achieved by integrating GPUs with vSphere and VMware Cloud Foundation. Productivity can be increased by eliminating redundant tasks and introducing intelligent process optimisation mechanisms to achieve the best possible solution for your application and use case.

Moving AI workloads to virtualised solutions continues to ensure high performance while leveraging the benefits of virtualisation such as ease of management and improved security. This enables productivity gains by creating private chatbots, automating repetitive tasks, implementing intelligent search capabilities and building efficient process monitoring tools.

Streamline provisioning with vSAN Max

vSAN Max is a new optional vSAN deployment model that provides petabyte-scale disaggregated storage for vSphere. Scale storage independent of compute for greater flexibility to support all your workloads. The new vSAN Max offering is licensed separately from existing vSAN editions.

Simplify multi-cloud with the introduction of VMware NSX+

NSX+ is a new multi-cloud service offering for VMware NSX that makes it easier than ever to achieve a consistent and secure multi-cloud infrastructure for applications.

VMware NSX+ is a cloud-based, as-a-service offering. NSX services can be consumed and operated in private, hybrid and public modes from a single cloud console.

NSX+ optimises the availability, performance, security and cost of mission-critical networks. Customers benefit from unified policy management, unified visibility, network discovery and response, and simplified cloud operations to accelerate multi-cloud deployments at scale.

VMware Tanzu Innovations and Enhancements

VMware Tanzu is a comprehensive platform for developing, deploying and managing container-based applications. It provides a range of features to help organisations build and run their applications quickly and securely. In recent months, VMware has announced a number of innovations and enhancements to Tanzu. These new features extend the capabilities of Tanzu, making it an even more powerful and easy-to-use platform.

Tanzu Intelligence Services proactively optimises the cost, performance and security of applications across clouds with built-in ML/KI capabilities.

VMware Tanzu with Intelligent Assist improves operations from reactive to proactive and significantly streamlines operational workflows by providing a conversational chatbot experience.

VMware Tanzu CloudHealth enables cost savings through ML-powered forecasting (beta) to improve budget planning and dynamic sizing of Kubernetes without downtime.

VMware Tanzu Insights enables operations teams to better troubleshoot and resolve issues with holistic visibility and deeper ML/AI-powered insights across distributed Kubernetes, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure environments. Initial availability is planned for Q3 FY24.

VMware Tanzu Guardrails improves multi-cloud governance with new policy-based automation to create target zones on AWS and Azure, and introduces automated policy enforcement.

VMware Tanzu Transformer increases the success of application migration and modernisation initiatives by supporting migration assessment and planning to VMware clouds and public clouds with planning workflows. APIs for third-party integrations will be released in beta.

Autonomous workspace: Apps on Demand now available on non-Horizon clients.

VMware has announced new ways to measure user experience, including synthetic network testing, Horizon in-guest session and network monitoring, and more. To analyse the user experience, VMware is introducing enhancements to its Workspace ONE Intelligence Insights feature, which uses machine learning to identify anomalous security, usage and performance issues in an EUC environment. The next-generation architecture makes it easier to create insights for different types of data and provides new insights for Horizon and Frontline use cases.

A new playbook framework in Workspace ONE Intelligence is available for troubleshooting. Playbooks help IT organisations increase efficiency by providing the help desk with step-by-step instructions on how to resolve recurring issues directly in the console.

Edge Cloud Orchestrator

VMware has announced new capabilities, solutions and services to help customers accelerate their digital transformation at the edge. These include:

  • New VMware Edge orchestration capabilities to orchestrate and manage multiple edge services at scale.
  • A new edge industry solution for retail to better support customer engagement, loss prevention and point-of-sale transformation.
  • A forthcoming VMware Edge Managed Connectivity service that enables mobile operators to deliver private 4G/5G services to enterprises.

VMware vSphere 8 Update 2

One of the most important new features at VMware Explore 2023 will be vSphere 8 Update 2 (U2). This includes a cloud service for ESXi lifecycle management, faster vCenter upgrades, Azure AD support and improved GPU scalability. This move is part of a new release model where updates not only fix bugs, but continuously add new features.

ESXi Lifecycle Management: New Cloud Service in vSphere+

Lifecycle management is a top priority for VMware. Updates and upgrades to vSphere need to be done on a regular basis. This can be challenging as they can be very large. Rapid response is essential. This is where VMware comes in. It also makes it easier for IT administrators to centrally manage authentication.

The ESXi Lifecycle Management Service is a significant and important enhancement. It allows administrators to centrally orchestrate updates for their entire fleet of ESXi hosts. This reduces the time and effort required to manage the lifecycle of ESXi hosts.

Significantly reduced downtime for vCenter upgrades.

vCenter downtime during an upgrade is reduced from approximately one hour to a few minutes. This is essentially the time it takes to stop services on the old vCenter and start them on the new vCenter. As a result, scheduled maintenance windows are shortened and upgrades can be performed more frequently.

Simplify security audits with Entra ID

For example, VMware has expanded support for Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure AD) in recent years, including Microsoft Active Directory Federation Service (ADFS) and, more recently, Okta Identity Service. When authentication is performed using a third-party provider such as Entra ID, the authentication is no longer handled by vSphere. Logins and passwords are therefore no longer stored in vSphere, making security checks easier, faster or even unnecessary.

Double workload performance

Increases the maximum number of vGPUs per VM from 8 to 16. Larger workloads require more GPU power. This latest release increases the maximum number of vGPU devices that can be assigned to a single VM to 16. VMware has doubled the upper performance limit.

At the same time, the GPU-enabled DRS workload has also been improved. DRS now recognises vGPU profile sizes and consolidates vGPUs of the same size on the same host. As a result, the improved GPU resource utilisation results in lower costs because less GPU hardware resources need to be purchased to achieve the desired performance level.

Accelerate innovation for DevOps

In vSphere 7 Update 2a, VMware introduced the Virtual Machine Service, which enables developers and DevOps to manage VMs using Kubernetes APIs. In vSphere 8 U2, the VM Image Registry Service is added to make it easier to reuse VM images. This service allows images to be published, customised and deleted via Kubernetes APIs.

Previously limited to Linux VMs, the Virtual Machine Service in vSphere 8 U2 now supports Windows VMs and removes many hardware restrictions, including the use of GPUs. In addition, Update 2 provides the ability to export the configuration of a Supervisor cluster and import it onto a new cluster, greatly simplifying setup.

VMware Aria

VMware Aria continues to deliver cloud management solutions with the Aria Automation and Aria Operations product families for VMware cloud-based infrastructure environments. The Aria Universal Suite is available individually and as part of VMware Cloud Editions.

Ransomware Recovery Now Available on More Hypervisors

Using a purpose-built, fully managed Ransomware Recovery as a Service solution that leverages real-time behavioural analytics in an isolated recovery environment (IRE) in the cloud, systems can recover from an advanced ransomware attack in a secure and controlled manner.

VMware Intelligent Assist for Tanzu, NSX and WorkspaceOne

VMware Tanzu Hub with Intelligent Assist is a comprehensive language modelling capability that enables management tasks to be completed in less time and with less friction. These capabilities enable search and exploration across all resources in the environment and will later be extended to more complex use cases such as generating and running infrastructure as code based on requirements.

Intelligent Assist enables natural language search in cloud environments without the need for a specific query format. Simply ask Intelligent Assist in VMware Tanzu Hub what you are looking for and the results include the relevant resources, data, configurations and status within your cloud environment, limited to your access rights.

An abstract image of a green spiral tunnel.

VMware strategies are our speciality!

SoftwareOne's VMware Software & Subscription Advisory Services can help you meet the challenges of digital business by providing a complete overview of your current VMware licences, subscriptions and entitlements to help you develop a VMware strategy that meets your long-term IT goals.

VMware strategies are our speciality!

SoftwareOne's VMware Software & Subscription Advisory Services can help you meet the challenges of digital business by providing a complete overview of your current VMware licences, subscriptions and entitlements to help you develop a VMware strategy that meets your long-term IT goals.



Stephan Oetzel
Practice Lead – Solution Sales VMware Virtualization