VMworld 2019: Day 2

I was awakened right on time by a fire truck screaming past my window. After taking care of my morning tasks, I packed up my tech and headed to Moscone South. We were herded into a massive theater for the General Session, where VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger lays out the roadmap for the next year of VMware. I had heard about VMware’s intended acquisition of Pivotal and Carbon Black, so I was interested in how those products were being positioned in VMware’s portfolio.

Gelsinger announced Tanzu, a new product from VMware that combines the technologies from multiple acquisitions, including Heptio, Pivotal and Bitnami, into a complete container workload management, management and security ecosystem.

The management layer will be provided by Tanzu Mission Control, which is a management platform that will manage Kubernetes, whether deployed on prem, in the cloud, or in some combination of both.

I was stunned by the announcement of Project Pacific, VMware’s headlong dive into the Kubernetes pool and the backbone of Tanzu. The fact that VMware would be involved in Kubernetes was not the shocking part; any platform company not getting involved will be left behind. What stunned me is that Kubernetes will be deeply integrated into ESXi itself. It’s the first major rearchitecting of ESXi in some time, with containerization and Kubernetes at its core. According to Gelsinger, the new architecture of ESXi will allow containerized workloads to run up to 8% faster than running on Linux on bare metal. This is an incredible result, and speaking as an IT practitioner who will soon be deploying containers on our vSphere cluster, this news is very exciting. (Of course, the best part is that I can roll out Kubernetes today and then re-deploy workloads onto Tanzu when it becomes available.)

The General Session about to begin at VMworld 2019

After the General Session, I proceeded to the VMware {CODE} classroom for a quick how-to and demo about using ‘kubeadm’ to deploy Kubernetes. In the VMware Community booth, community member Marc Huppert gave a talk about the evolution of homelabs over the years and Jaap Brasser gave a talk about the basics of using APIs to automate vSphere. In the Performance Best Practices session, there were many tips about vSphere performance, including how server power management settings and guest page sizes affect vSphere performance and ability to manage memory usage as the hardware approaches its limits.

Finally, I attended a session about certificate management in vSphere. This was a technology preview and subject to change of course. Discussed were new changes designed to make certificate management in vCenter easier, starting with a reduction in the number of certificates required and the ability to deploy certificates using an API. Also discussed were the support of external identity providers using OAuth (including Ping and Okta) or ADFS, with SAML coming later. Interested persons can sign up for the beta on VMware’s site and it should soon be available.

After dinner, I wound down for the night. Rubrik was having a blowout at a nearby night club, but those aren’t really my scene. I headed back to the room and turned in.

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