ZeroStack = VMware Cloud + Project Dimension + Project Magna

Last week was VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas, which is VMware’s flagship conference. I did not attend the event in person this time but saw the keynotes and some of the other videos later on. It was great to see the new product features, new integrations and some of the new projects that are in the pipeline for the near future.

Two of the new projects that caught my eye were Project Dimension and Project Magna.

  • Project Dimension extends the management capability to a customer’s local datacenters or edge locations. It remotely manages the local infrastructure, does monitoring, patch management and upgrades. VMware runs this as a managed service.
  • Project Magna collects lots of machine data from local servers and VMs to provide an AI/ML layer on top of existing infrastructure. Now, there weren’t a lot of details on this, but the goal seems to be creating a self-optimizing and self-driving cloud.

I found this interesting because:

ZeroStack = VMware cloud + Project Dimension + Project Magna + An on-premise control plane.

Interestingly, that is exactly what the ZeroStack self-driving cloud provides given our unique architecture. We launched a cloud solution where local infrastructure is completely managed by a SaaS-based application. The local cloud is built using hyper-converged infrastructure including software-defined compute, storage and networking. This infrastructure is then monitored using both a local, on-premise control plane and a remote management application. This local control plane handles any software or hardware failures within seconds so as to heal the cloud in case of failures. These failures are then shown to customers to handle cases where some hardware replacement is needed. This goes one step beyond project Dimension, since there is a local control plane that knows how to create a cloud, scale it using node addition, monitor all of the cloud services and heal in case of any failures. So the key features of ZeroStack include:

  1. A local control plane to create a cloud in minutes and monitor it
  2. Remote SaaS-based management of local hyper-converged cloud
  3. Automated upgrades and patching delivered via remote management

In addition to this, the ZeroStack SaaS platform includes a big-data analytics engine, which collects telemetry, events and health data from these on-premises clouds. This data is analyzed both in real time and batch mode to provide several key capabilities:

  1. Real-time alerts based on stats/events
  2. Capacity planning and infrastructure buying insights using long-term stats
  3. VM right sizing
  4. Anomaly detection to uncover security and other issues
  5. And many more

We have gained a lot of experience in building these capabilities over the last four years and have learned from real production deployments in the field. It is great to see VMware going down this journey on their own and realizing that private clouds need to be managed remotely to provide real parity to public clouds in terms of ease of use.

At the end of the day, picking a cloud to run your applications should be a business decision and not a technical decision based on the operational complexities of one side.

If you want to know more about how to get the future of cloud infrastructure delivered today, post a comment below or send me a note and our team will be happy to show you a demo!

ZeroStack: VMware’s software-defined self-driving cloud delivered today!

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