VMware Inc. today introduced a flurry of new products and features that will enable enterprises to manage their multicloud environments more efficiently.
The new additions to VMware’s product portfolio, which made their debut at the company’s VMware Explore 2022 conference, span multiple use cases. Some of the offerings are designed to help companies secure their multicloud environments, while others will ease network management. VMware is also making it simpler to optimize the cost and performance of cloud applications.
VMware Aria is a new collection of tools designed to ease the day-to-day management tasks involved in operating a multicloud environment. It’s meant to complement VMware’s existing cloud management tools, such as the company’s CloudHealth product for optimizing infrastructure costs.
The core component of Aria is a system known as Aria Graph. It’s a graph-based data store that collects information about the components of a multicloud environment and tracks how they interact with one another. According to VMware, Aria Hub can aggregate hundreds of millions of data points, as well as update them in real time to reflect changes made to a company’s multicloud environment.
“Developers need cost, performance, security, and configuration data – often sitting in disparate tools – to understand the complete characteristics of the application that they are building,” explained Purnima Padmanabhan, the senior vice president and general manager of cloud management at VMware. “VMware Aria’s API-first approach enables developers, SREs and Platform Engineering teams to pull relevant, correlated data from any source for quicker application analysis and debugging.”
VMware is using the information collected by Aria Hub to power three new offerings.
The first, Aria Guardrails, enables companies to create policies that regulate the security, cost and performance settings of their multicloud environments. Aria Migration, another new offering that draws on data from Aria Graph, helps companies move applications between disparate technology environments. VMware also debuted Aria Business Insights, which uses machine learning to analyze data from a company’s cloud deployments and highlight useful patterns.
Administrators can access Aria’s features through a centralized interface dubbed the Aria Hub. According to VMware, Aria Hub makes it possible to centrally manage a company’s multicloud environment and monitor important changes.
Companies often use software tools from multiple providers to manage their cloud infrastructure. To address that requirement, VMware will make it possible to integrate Aria Graph with third-party tools. Aria Graph includes an application programming interface that allows it to connect to cloud observability platforms, application performance management tools and other third-party software.
Alongside Aria, VMware today debuted two offerings known as Project Northstar and Project Watch. They’re designed to ease the task of managing the network that links together the different components of a company’s multicloud environment. VMware says that the offerings also provide features for related tasks, such as securing cloud applications.
Project Northstar, the first new offering, is an upgrade to VMware’s NSX network management platform. It includes a set of services that can be used to monitor a multicloud network for technical issues and cyberattacks, perform load balancing to optimize connections and find ways of optimizing a network’s configuration. Administrators can access the offering through a centralized interface.
“Enterprises are facing an unprecedented level of threat and complexity as they operate in today’s multi-cloud world,” said Tom Gillis, the senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s networking and advanced security business. “VMware is radically transforming how our customers consume networking and security – allowing them to realize the agility and efficiencies of the cloud operating model through a cloud-smart approach.”
Project Watch, which debuted alongside Project Northstar, makes it possible to create encrypted connections between application environments running on different public clouds. Project Watch’s encrypted connectivity features are complemented by a built-in cybersecurity risk assessment tool. According to VMware, the tool will make it easier to block application access requests that may present cybersecurity risks.
Expanded cloud alliances
VMware’s partnerships with the major cloud providers represent a core pillar of its multicloud strategy. At VMware Explore 2022 today, the company announced the updates to its product portfolio alongside expanded partnerships with Amazon Web Services Inc. and Microsoft Corp., the two leading cloud providers.
VMware Cloud on AWS, a version of VMware’s software designed to run on AWS, will receive support for Amazon EC2 I4i instances. The instances are optimized for running workloads such as databases that frequently read and write data. Compared with AWS’ previous-generation Amazon EC2 I3i instances, the EC2 I4i series offers up to twice the memory, three times the storage capacity and three times the network bandwidth.
VMware will provide more ways for customers to manage the data produced in their AWS environments. VMware Cloud on AWS now supports Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP and VMware Cloud Flex Storage Availability, two popular data management platforms.
In parallel, VMware is expanding its partnership with AWS rival Microsoft. The Azure VMware Solution, the version of VMware’s software optimized to run on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, can now be purchased through the VMware Cloud Universal subscription offering. VMware Cloud Universal debuted last year and enables customers to purchase the company’s software more conveniently than before.
VMware introduced updates for many of the core components of its product portfolio at VMware Explore 2022 today. The company debuted a new version of its virtualization platform, vSphere 8, that can run on DPU chips. There’s also an updated release of the company’s vSAN storage management platform that promises to provide an up to 40% reduction in total cost of ownership.
VMware is expanding its lineup of cybersecurity offerings with a tool dubbed Project Trinidad. According to the company, Project Trinidad uses machine learning to scan data traffic between the microservices that comprise a software container application. The offering’s machine learning algorithms alert administrators if they detect signs of malicious activity.
Carbon Black, VMware’s endpoint security platform, is receiving new features for detecting malicious network activity. In conjunction, VMware Cloud DR is being upgraded with the addition of a ransomware mitigation tool. VMware says that the tool makes it easier for companies to recover files after a ransomware attack and simplifies a number of related tasks.
“In highly distributed environments, customers need cloud and edge infrastructure that enables them to scale their operations with consistency, availability, and security–wherever their workloads are running–and at the lowest possible TCO,” said Mark Lohmeyer, the senior vice president and general manager of VMware’s cloud infrastructure business.
Photo: Robert Hof/SiliconANGLE
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