VMware – VMworld 2019 – Monday General Session Notes

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2019 – US.  My flights and accommodation were paid for by Digital Sense, and VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated by VMware for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my rough notes from the Monday General Session at VMworld US 2019. You can grab a PDF of them here.

Pat Gelsinger takes the stage. Welcome to VMworld 2019 and thank you. Thrilled to be back in San Francisco, the hub of tech on the planet. Sorry to those Las Vegas lovers out there.

Tech in the age of any. There’s a natural tension between choice and complexity. We create that choice, but we have to make it work.  “Strength lies in differences, not similarities” (Stephen Covey).

At VMworld there are 100 countries represented, 5000 different organisations, 22% are learning Klingon (!). NuqneH!

[image courtesy of VMware]Welcome the Pivotal family to team VMware. Welcome Carbon Black to the family too. Read more about those acquisitions here.

In October it will be 4 decades in technology for Pat. Each of these areas are permeating our every day life


  • 52 Million apps in the world
  • 5 million app developers


  • 335 Million apps
  • 13.5 million developers


Technology for Good

Tech amplifies the good and the bad. But what does it mean to shape technology as a force for good? We, as technologists, need to participate in the shaping. For example, schools at Nairobi in Kenya. On Friday, Callum Eade swam the English channel to raise money for cancer research. Callum takes the stage.

PG: Why do it?

CE: It was an insurmountable goal. Something I wanted to do was “Make My Mark”. I’m also wearing a jacket from Tour de Cure. Specific cancer – children cancer. No one should have to bury a child. Program for a tumour called DIPG. Mortality rate unchanged – every diagnosed child dies within the first 12 months.

PG: My son battled Hodgkins-Lymphoma. It takes a team.

CE: It does. My wife, son, and daughter are here in the front row. The training was arduous. Pat, you stood up at our all hands meeting in APJ six months ago and reinforced the importance of career and family balance.

PG: Why the English Channel?

CE: 10 years ago it seemed like a really good idea. The distance is the same as from SFO to Palo Alto and it was really cold.

PG: What’s next?

CE: As far as the charity was concerned, a lot of people in this room contributed. The request from the pledge was $100K. We raised $130K. We’re going to go on holiday as a family, do something together.

CE leaves the stage.

PG: From floating hospitals to flying hospitals. Let’s hear from Angel MedFlight – Video.

Higher success bringing the patient to the organ.

But what about the law of unanticipated consequences. We’ve bought together communities online, and then created platforms for disinformation. End of privacy. Bitcoin is bad – it’s not okay. Apparently. VMware wants to “Do good engineering, and engineering for good”. 12 million non-profits in the world. 4.5% of global GDP is non-profit sector. Larger than the GDP of Germany. They do great work, but they’re technology sucks. Video – Working with Tech Soup enable all of those other missions out there. Grow the tech talent pool. Historically served the smallest organisations. Working with a million coders. 24% are women (not enough). Rebecca Masisak (CEO) is here. Working with them to scale their mission.

Who’s Doing It?

“There’s never been a more exciting time to be a technologist”. There’s also never been a more important time to be a technologist. Who will operationalise the powers of edge, AI, IoT in the world? You. No one is more qualified, more capable to do that. If you’re a VCP, you’re qualified. Shout out to VCIX folks, VMUG leaders, the VCDXs.

The VMware vision remains unchanged. Any cloud, any app, any device, with intrinsic security. Is this innovation helping us or harming us? Does it inspire us? Empower us?


  • Comcast – getting a handle on chaos. Built a modern private cloud with connection to the public cloud.
  • FedEx – leveraging VCF and Pivotal.
  • IHS Markit


Multi-Cloud Strategy

VMware have worked hard on multi-loud, and have built a preferred partnership with Amazon. They’re also working with IBM, Google, and Microsoft, enabling an “any-cloud” environment. They want you to be able to “Build, Run, Manage, Connect, Protect” your workloads. Kubernetes has emerged as ubiquitous infrastructure, joining developers and IT operators. Now Pat’s going to “get some help from a Kubernetes celebrity”. Joe Beda – the first committer to Kubernetes, this guy’s a rock star – and he’s now a Principal Engineer at VMware. Joe takes the stage. PG: “Can we take a selfie?”. Joe talks about “Goldilocks level between devs and IT ops”. Wanted it to span any infrastructure.

Complexity vs flexibility.

What enterprises need is a secured opinion through this journey, and VMware is well placed to do this, with Heptio acquired, Pivotal, and Bitnami. We’re excited to be bringing this to market – VMware Tanzu (Swahili for branch).

  • Build Modern Apps
  • Run Enterprise Kubernetes
  • Manage Kubernetes for developers AND IT

Pivotal and Kubernetes like peanut butter and jelly. What if we build it into vSphere? Announcing Project Pacific.

  • Uniting vSphere and Kubernetes
  • Extending vSphere for ALL modern apps
  • Enabling Dev and IT Ops collaboration
  • 30% faster than a traditional Linux VM, 8% faster than bare metal

VMware Tanzu Mission Control. How do get started right now? PKS is the answer.

Managing Multi-cloud

Talked about build, but what about run? The challenge is how we manage across a diverse environment. There’s a loss of efficiency, security. This is why VMware acquired CloudHealth and they’ve now announced “CloudHealth Hybrid”. But what’s the difference between multi-cloud and hybrid cloud? The goal is to give you the tools to manage or have consistent ops in a multi-cloud world. What about hybrid cloud? You also want a consistent infrastructure experience. VMware Cloud Foundation is the platform for Hybrid cloud.

Migrate or modernise? Migrate and modernise?

Cost of migration is expensive

  • Native cloud – $1M to migrate 1000 VMs
  • Years to refactor apps

Migrate to VMware Cloud – it’s easy :)

Video – Jensen Huang.

Also working with MS Azure (announced at DTW earlier this year). Now globally available. US and Europe. Australia by the end of the year. Announced Project Dimension with Dell. Now available VMware Cloud on Dell EMC. DCaaS. Partnership with Equinix

Operate in a hybrid cloud world?

Taking vRealize hybrid

  • Automation
  • Operation
  • Network insight
  • Log insight

DRaaS and DPaaS – doing a lot with Dell EMC.


Edge and Telco

What’s the edge?

1. Where the physical and the digital worlds intersect

2. Distributed, low-latency infrastructure located close […]

Thin edge, Medium Edge, Thick Edge


Massive capital scale out

Vertical hardware to horizontal software

Thrilled to acquire Uhana.

Video – Verizon – 5G will save the world

Started this journey a number of years ago. Started in the DC. Now connecting all the clouds together.

NSX-T supports all types of workloads

VeloCloud – #1 in SD-WAN marketshare, 150K+ sites

AVI Networks acquisition

vRealize Network Insight

It’s time to move all that hardware into software

  • 59% redaction in CAPEX
  • 55% reduction in OPEX


Customer Testimonials

Sanjay Poonen (COO) takes the stage. You fired up?

2 Customers

  • Rathi Murthy – CTO of GAP
  • Tim Snyder – Deputy CTO of Freddie Mac

RM: 80% of purchases still happen in store. We’re all getting more and more impatient by the day. Speed, responsiveness, scale is all becoming critical. 90% of our production workloads on VMware

TS: We have 600 apps. 5 or 10 SaaS. The others needed to move to cloud. Why not refactor? We’re a heavily regulated environment. We can’t take the risks to transform our apps. Sitting on 100 million lines of code. Moved all apps to VMC on AWS. Well, 95% +. We’re 2/3 through the journey.

SP: Do you migrate, modernise, do both?

RM: 1000 apps across the board. Critical to us to migrate what’s critical to the business without disruption. There hasn’t been a database we didn’t like. Being able to modernise without disrupting was a challenge. Pivotal played a critical role. 60 – 70% of apps modernised through PKS.

SP: We don’t call it lift and shift, we prefer migrate.

SP: Your migrate strategy is Azure. But in the middle is VMware. Yes.

SP: Tim, in the M and M world.

TS: Running 5% of apps in containers now. We wanted to push to migrate this year.

Why is consumer life so easy and enterprise so hard?

Consumer simple, enterprise secure. “Every employee in the world should be using Workspace ONE”. Dell unified workspace product.

Why invest in digital employee experience?

  • 23% more likely to be an industry leader
  • 60% more likely to be a growth company
  • 41% more likely to have a positive Employee Net Promotor Score (eNPS)

Video plays. SP: My latest favourite topic is security.

“Intrinsic security”

5 control points

  • Endpoint device
  • Endpoint workload
  • Network infrastructure
  • Apps
  • Data

Talked briefly about the Carbon Black acquisition.

Solid session. 3.5 stars. Watch the replay here. Read more about Project Pacific and Tanzu here. Scott Lowe’s coverage of the general session can be found here.