VMware has given enterprises the tools to build cloud-native applications and embrace multicloud environments, where applications and data run on-premises and across multiple public clouds. Now, the company wants to help organizations solve the resulting management challenge.
The company on Tuesday announced VMware Aria, a software portfolio that enables data center operators to centrally manage the cost, performance, security, configuration and delivery of cloud-native infrastructure and applications in their distributed environments.
“You have a single management panel across all clouds and all platforms – virtual machines and Kubernetes,” said Purnima Padmanabhan, senior vice president and general manager of cloud management at VMware, during the talk. a press briefing. “VMware Aria aims to drive business agility with solutions that make multi-cloud complexity invisible.”
VMWare featured Aria among many product announcements during its Explore VMware 2022 conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, including major updates its vSphere server virtualization and vSAN storage virtualization software, new state-of-the-art computing software, and network and security enhancements.
The company announced on Tuesday that VMware vSphere 8 with support for data processing units (DPUs) will be available by October. Previously announced as Project Monterey two years ago, vSphere support for DPUs offloads network and security functions from CPUs, resulting in faster application performance and improved security.
With Aria, VMware hopes to break into an emerging multi-cloud management market. As enterprises migrate to a multi-cloud architecture with distributed and containerized applications, they need integrated tools to proactively monitor and manage their internal data centers, private clouds, and public cloud environments, according to analysts.
The market for multi-cloud management tools is still emerging, and no vendor has yet offered an all-in-one solution. VMware therefore has a huge market opportunity with Aria, said Matt Kimball, senior data center analyst. at Moor Insights & Strategy.
“VMware is tackling a very big problem. It’s about managing a modernized compute environment, which is a private cloud, the edge, the legacy elements of your main data center,” Kimball said. “You have applications integrated and optimized for Azure, AWS, Google or Oracle. Before you know it, you have this hodgepodge of an environment with no centralized control, so security is compromised, control is absolutely compromised, and costs are skyrocketing.
VMware’s competition in the space includes IBM Red Hat with its OpenShift management tools and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which offers a combination of its HPE OneView IT infrastructure management software and its HPE Ezmeral software platform, which includes container orchestration, he said.
Other competitors include Oracle, Microsoft, LogicMonitor, Morpheus, NetApp and OpsRamp, says Roy Illsley, chief IT ecosystem and operations architect at Omdia.
Analysts say the market potential is huge and VMware can take advantage of it.
“The market is fragmented and VMware has the brand equity that can provide a strong footprint in this space,” said Paul Nashawaty, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.
VMware’s Aria wants to streamline access to your multi-cloud data
VMware Aria’s goal is to simplify multi-cloud management and enable IT organizations to monitor and manage costs, monitor and troubleshoot application performance, manage consistent security policies, and accelerate and to automate application configuration and delivery, Padmanabhan said in an interview with Data Center Knowledge.
Today, each public cloud provider offers its own set of management tools, and each discipline, such as cost management and performance management, also has its own tools, she said.
If customers want to understand the cost-performance tradeoffs of an application that has certain elements in the cloud and on-premises, they need to use about 10 tools to find the answer, she said.
In contrast, VMware Aria – which will be available in beta by October and ship by January 2023 – provides a unified multi-cloud management solution with two key technology elements:
- VMware Aria Hub, which provides centralized views and controls to manage the multicloud environment.
- VMware Aria Graph, a graph-based data store that aggregates all workload events, configurations, and relationships in a multi-cloud environment in near real time.
All data is stored under a common definition, giving users a single source of truth, the company said.
“It’s like an engine under the covers. It’s about ingesting a lot of data, capturing the relationships between the data and letting people query it,” said IDC analyst Gary Chen.
Analyst: Multi-cloud trend calls for ‘orchestration and management layer’
Padmanabhan said VMware Aria combines existing VMware management solutions – VMware vRealize, CloudHealth by VMware and VMware Tanzu Observability software – with three new tools:
- VMware Aria Automation Guardrails, which enables IT staff to automatically set and enforce security, cost, configuration, performance, and networking policies.
- VMware Aria Migration, which simplifies and helps automate the migration of workloads from on-premises location to another on-premises location or on-premises to cloud or vice versa.
- VMware Aria Business Insights, which leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning analytics to provide organizations with business insights. For example, the tool can alert data center operators that their application latency is increasing due to an infrastructure issue.
Chen, the IDC analyst, said VMware has a lot of competition in the multi-cloud management market, but has the potential to succeed due to its large installed base of vSphere customers.
“It’s really about capturing the customers they already have. VMware can tell them: “you can manage the VMware environment and your multi-cloud with the same elements”. That could be appealing to a lot of people – the ability to consolidate tools,” Chen said.
Illsley, the Omdia analyst, agreed. VMware customers who use the company’s existing management tools like VMware vRealize can easily upgrade to Aria, according to Padmanabhan.
“VMware recognized that the world is moving to multi-cloud and that requires a layer of orchestration and management,” Illsley said. “End users will appreciate it because it builds on existing skills, which means its administrators can now do more without having to retrain.”