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VMworld US 2016 Buzz: VMware Chief Technology Officer Panel & Trends and Futures – CTO9943

September 14th, 2016

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

VMware CTOs, Shawn Bass, Ray O’Farrell, Paul Strong & Chris Wolf took to the stage to give their perspectives. The role of a CTO is two fold, looking outward to understand technology and business trends to define a companies strategy and then look inward to direct that strategy internally and also to connect customers to R&D.


I had been fortunate recently to interview VMware Europe CTO Joe Baguley so it would be interesting to see what his colleagues said.

Introductions from everyone, they see their role as to “Drive thought leadership and accelerate technology leadership.”

Ray: Focused on digital transition, cloud, multi-cloud, new apps, containers, DevOps, take the same abstraction of hardware virtualisation and apply it to abstract clouds.

Shaun: Seen plenty of bad user interactions, wanting consumer simplicity with enterprise security. Users wanting self service, push button approach, getting data quickly, combining web, windows, mobile apps together

Chris: IT people generally started managing desktops and then tried to get out of it as quickly as possible! EUC is now becoming strategic rather than connecting just employees to data but now also customers. Also focused on enterprises operating multiple clouds.

Paul: How everything comes together, driving the VMware simplicity of mission, bringing clouds together, helping people so they don’t have to worry about infrastructure. We’re also moving from managing just virtual machines to managing virtual cars, virtual aeroplanes, virtual pumps, all these virtual things to model physical things.

There was talk of moving from centralised computing with cloud to more edge analytics for IoT. There will be too much data for all IoT devices to send data centrally. The devices themselves will aggregate and possible crunch the data to make it more efficient and do some actions before sending it to the cloud.

They see IaaS becoming the building block for PaaS and Serverless. You still need IaaS but it will be abstracted away but is still very important.

There was a question about whether the format of isolation, be it VM/container, will not matter in 10 years? There isn’t a time, but sure, this will happen, now you don’t care about where Intel put the memory boards on their latest chip but you used to care.

Saving the state of data will become cheaper and managing it will be done with software distributing things.

An interesting point was they see an increased amount of attacks on containers as it becomes more mainstream. If you have a poorly patched Linux OS you could be in trouble so either this needs to be factored in, vSphere already provides very secure silicon isolation for VMs which can mitigate poor Linux OS patching when you have containers as VMs such as with VIC.

Another question about surveiliance which led to a discussion on us becoming more happy to give up our privacy for more functionality.

As for security they all agreed that breaches are going to get much worse until it gets better with new software and analytics to even find out if you have been compromised.

It was an interesting panel from the people charged with VMware’s future. Talking about more future direction and elevating ourselves from some of the mundane reality we all live in! I hadn’t heard Shawn Bass speak before and he came across well.

As VMworld2016 has made the recording publicly available, you can view the session here:


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