VMware Bets Big on Cloud Automation and Virtual Infrastructure
Earlier this week, VMware introduced three new elements in its cloud services lineup, and mentioned a fourth related item. According to a blog post from Vipul Shah, the company's Director of Product Management and team leader for its vRealize Automation product management, these new offerings are intended to let customers fully utilize a multi-cloud strategy with a "seamless experience across hybrid and native public clouds."
The intention is to permit them to use all the features and functions each cloud can deliver but also support them in formulating policies "to govern placement and utilization of their workloads across clouds." This is fascinating stuff, and it bound to have an impact on the company's certification offerings in Cloud Management and Automation.
I've been looking forward to learning more about the underlying technologies for this track in the VMware program, and I think this announcement helps to lay out the concepts, tools, and technologies that this track must cover.
Three New Cloud Services Get a Fourth for Security
The three new cloud services just introduced are meant to support programmable provisioning of virtualized, multi-cloud infrastructures. A fourth new service provides security coverage for the multi-cloud environments the other three enable. Details of the new services are as follows:
1) VMware Cloud Assembly: This is a multi-cloud provisioning service for VMware SDDC-based virtual infrastructures. Cloud Assembly supports creation of private clouds, including cloud zones for specific purpose-oriented computer, storage, networking, load balancing and security facilities.
Each zone can address different compliance and security requirements, support location and workload segregation, and work in multi-tenant environments. These structures and constraints can also be mapped to their public cloud equivalents. An API layer provides support for normalized, consistent infrastructure constructions across multiple clouds to direct, manage, and control where and how workloads run.
2) VMware Code Stream: This is a continuous delivery service with numerous prefab plug-ins for development tools such as Git or Jenkins, orchestration systems such as Kubernetes, and more. Cloud Assembly automates infrastructure and application deployments; Code Stream automates deployments through stages leading ultimately through testing and piloting, and into production to improve productivity.
3) Vmware Service Broker: Service Broker plays three major roles in a multi-cloud environment. First, it acts as catalog for curated templates from multiple clouds. Second, it manages use of templates and services via policy definitions and configurations. Third, it acts as a broker between VMware Cloud Assembly-managed services and third-party managed services.
4) VMware Secure State: This one is till in beta, as described in this announcement. Secure State is a monitoring tool to automate configuration security and compliance requirements in native cloud environments. It primary use, according to Silicon Angle, is to deliver "insights to IT teams that can help prevent any security incidents or breaches."
With cloud security concerns high, especially in multi-cloud environments, this is an essential ingredient for commercial use, to meet compliance requirements, and to limit potential liability.
What's It all Mean for VMWare Cloud Management and Automation Certifications?
Gosh, I wish I knew the answer to that question. At this point, I can only presume that the curriculum will be reworked to incorporate coverage of (and testing on) these new, purportedly mission-critical service offerings from VMware. To test and hopefully illuminate that hypothesis, I've sent an email to Dell's VMware certification maestro, Jedediah Hammond.
Stay tuned, and as soon as I hear more about what's going on here, I'll follow up with more information. There's no doubt, however, that automation and "network programmability" (as Cisco likes to call it) are increasingly important in our highly virtualized and cloud-oriented computing environments. For those who are interested in such stuff, these new VMware facilities are probably worth looking into sooner, rather than later.