Published on November 9, 2023, 6:27 am

In a thought-provoking post from 2020, Ernesto Garbarino, an enterprise architect, technologist, and author, raised the question of whether VMware is still relevant in the cloud age. He argued that while virtualization and VMware were once inseparable in the 1990s, the advent of the cloud has rendered traditional data centers obsolete, except in certain industries.

However, Garbarino did identify one area where VMware was succeeding: Tanzu. He hailed Tanzu as a logical upgrade path for organizations already running VMware on-premises. Tanzu allows for a smooth transition of virtual machines (VMs) into containers—a less disruptive approach than hastily shifting everything to the cloud.

Fast forward two years to 2022 when VMware introduced VMware Aria—an end-to-end solution designed to manage infrastructure and applications’ cost, performance, configuration, and delivery. Purnima Padmanabhan, SVP and GM of VMware Cloud Management Business Unit, referred to Aria as expressly tailored for cloud-native applications and public cloud environments.

To shed light on their game plan for Asia, FutureCIO spoke with Guru Venkatachalam, VMware CTO for APJ (Asia Pacific and Japan), during a regional media briefing for Aria’s introduction.

Venkatachalam explained that with Aria’s assistance in consolidating operations through its telemetry capabilities across different environments—including on-premises infrastructure and various hyperscalers—customers can manage their applications more efficiently. Fine-tuning operating models will become easier as organizations mature gradually.

When asked about competing against services offered by hosting companies and hyperscalers across Asia using Aria’s management capabilities, Venkatachalam confirmed that it aligns with VMware’s intentions. The company aims to expand its presence further in this region to help customers effectively manage both applications and infrastructure across different providers.

Considering what CIOs and IT teams should prioritize when presented with the concept of VMware Aria, Venkatachalam emphasized the need to simplify environments, enable seamless navigation through different infrastructures, and guide customers from cloud chaos to cloud smart. This includes supporting traditional on-premises applications while facilitating a transition towards cloud-native solutions on hyperscalers.

Regarding the learning curve associated with adopting these new technologies, Venkatachalam acknowledged that developers may not want to deal with infrastructure complexities beneath platforms. However, as businesses increasingly involve developers in DevSecOps models, VMware Tanzu’s application platform shields developers from the underlying complexities without requiring additional learning.

For operators, there will be a learning curve involved. But ultimately, Aria will make their work more streamlined by offering a consistent operating model across multiple hyperscalers.

When discussing AI and ML-driven autonomous decision-making in critical security matters, Venkatachalam stressed the importance of having a two-way street. Users expect an environment that is self-healing, highly productive, and secure—employing multi-factor authentication and robust identity and entitlement systems. This concept also relates to the autonomous workspace, similar to how a decade ago VMware introduced the idea of software-defined data centers and now seeks to extend it to workspaces.

In summary, VMware has responded to the challenges posed by technological advancements and changing industry dynamics by introducing VMware Aria—a comprehensive solution for managing infrastructure and applications in modern cloud environments. The company aims to simplify operations for customers across diverse environments while providing support for both traditional on-premises applications and cloud-native transformations. By leveraging Aria’s features and capabilities intelligently, organizations can navigate through complex technology scenarios efficiently and enhance productivity in their digital journeys.

This article was originally published on FutureCIO.

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