VMware has given enterprises the tools to build cloud-native applications and adopt multi-cloud environments, where apps and data run on-premises and across multiple public clouds. Now the company wants to help organizations solve the management challenge that arises.
The company Tuesday announced VMware Aria, a software portfolio that enables data center administrators to centrally manage the cost, performance, security, and configuration and delivery of infrastructure and cloud-native apps in their distributed environments.
“You have one control window for all clouds and all platforms – VMs and Kubernetes,” said Purnima Padmanabhan, VMware’s senior vice president and general manager of cloud management, in a media briefing. “VMware Aria is about driving business agility with solutions that make multi-cloud complexity invisible.”
VMWare introduced Aria as one of several product announcements at its VMware Explore 2022 conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, including major updates to its vSphere server virtualization and vSAN storage virtualization software, new edge computing software, and network and security enhancements.
The company announced Tuesday that VMware vSphere 8 with support for data processing units (DPUs) will be available in 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 penetrate an emerging multi-cloud management market. As enterprises migrate to a multi-cloud architecture with distributed, containerized apps, they need integrated tools to monitor and proactively manage their internal data centers, private clouds and public cloud environments, analysts say.
The market for multi-cloud management tools is still booming and no vendor has come up with an all-in-one solution yet, so VMware has a huge market opportunity with Aria, said Matt Kimball, a senior data center analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. .
“VMware tackles a very big problem. It’s about managing a modernized computing environment, namely the private cloud, the edge, the legacy stuff in your core data center,” Kimball said. “You have built-in and optimized applications for Azure, AWS, Google or Oracle. Before you know it, you have a 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, said Roy Illsley, chief architect of IT ecosystem and operations at Omdia.
Analysts say the market potential is huge and VMware can capitalize on it.
“The market is fragmented and VMware has the brand equity that can provide a solid 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
The goal of VMware Aria 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 configure and deliver applications. to accelerate and automate, 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 make the tradeoffs between cost and performance of an application that has some elements in the cloud and on-premises, they should use about 10 tools to find the answer, she said.
In contrast, VMware Aria — which will be available in beta in October and shipping by January 2023 — offers a unified multi-cloud management solution with two key technology components:
- VMware Aria Hub, which provides centralized views and controls to manage the multi-cloud environment.
- VMware Aria Graph, a graph-based data store that collects all events, configurations and relationships of workloads in a multi-cloud environment in near real time.
All data is stored through a common definition, giving users a single source of truth, the company said.
“It’s like an engine under the covers. It’s about taking in a lot of data, capturing the relationships between the data, and getting people searched,” said IDC analyst Gary Chen.
Analyst: Multi-Cloud Trend Calls for ‘Orchestration and Management Layer’
Padmanabhan said VMware Aria combines VMware’s existing management solutions — VMware vRealize, CloudHealth by VMware and VMware Tanzu Observability software — with three new tools:
- VMware Aria Automation Guardrails, which enable IT personnel to set and automatically enforce security, cost, configuration, performance, and networking policies.
- VMware Aria Migration, which simplifies and helps automate the migration of workloads from one on-premises location to another on-premises or on-premises to the cloud or vice versa.
- VMware Aria Business Insights, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning analytics to provide organizations with business insights. For example, the tool can warn data center administrators that their applications are experiencing an increase in latency 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 number of installed vSphere customers.
“It’s really about capturing the customers they already have. VMware can say to them: ‘you can manage the VMware environment and your multicloud with the same stuff.’ That could appeal to a lot of people — the ability to consolidate tools,” Chen said.
Omdia’s analyst Illsley agreed. VMware customers using the company’s existing management tools, such as VMware vRealize, can easily transition to Aria, Padmanabhan said.
“VMware has recognized that the world is going multi-cloud and that needs an orchestration and management layer,” Illsley said. “End users will like it because it builds on existing skills and that means the administrators can now do more without having to retrain.”