Exclusive interview with Rodolfo Rotondo, VMware Senior Business Solution Strategist (EMEA).

While waiting for the next news at VMworld 2016 in the US (Las Vegas, 28 August to 1 September) and VMworld 201 Europe (Barcelona, 17-0 October), we have interviewed Rodolfo Rotondo, VMware spokesperson who has a relevant position on an EMEA level: Senior Business Solution Strategist.


VMware has always been a leader in innovation, what do you think about the future, where do you see a better development opportunity? What is the technology that, according to your opinion, is today more “on the edge” in your vast offerings catalog?

VMware’s started to innovate since the ‘00s with computer virtualization, continuing with software defined data-center, a term coined by VMware itself, extending virtualization to networks and storage, then creating a bridge between on-premises data-center and public clouds thus allowing both a bidirectional transfer of workloads and an unified management and common policies, enabling real hybrid cloud. IT and Business are two faces of the same coin and because of that we talk about software defined enterprise, where processes are conceived in a mobile and digital optic. In this sector too VMware brought innovation by making easier the process of digital transition of companies and public organizations, with a perfect user experience thanks to a unified digital workspace.

In my opinion in this moment of strong transformation of the business model of companies, storage Virtual SAN (which offers a reduction of TCO, management simplicity and exceptional performances) and NSX for network virtualization security (which allows to optimize operational costs and make the infrastructure intrinsically secure while enabling a new way of doing cybersecurity, all of that safeguarding already done investments) are the two software-defined data-center enabling technologies that are getting more and more used. These products are the main areas of development with the Digital Workspace solution for the distribution of app, endpoint management and enabling of business mobility.

vSphere is still an important product but it’s quite expensive for the Italian SMB public, and it’s becoming a simple commodity in several situations. How is vRealize growing with respect to that?

Public clouds risk to become new silos hard to manage for the IT department as they require new processes and, in general, a new governance. At the same time they might compromise compliance and security of organizations that often use cloud solutions without the approval of the IT dept.

The focus of VMware is to offer an enterprise-ready hybrid cloud management platform to help clients to obtain an important competitive advantage.
VMware vRealize has been conceived to satisfy the most severe requirements of clients in services provisioning and in the devops/operations sphere on different private and public cloud environments.
VMware vRealize Suite offers its client the ability of providing and managing at scale computational resources, storage, network and application services in hybrid cloud environments. The features of complete management of the platform for software-defined data-center help clients to face three common use cases, on the basis of thousands of cases identified:

  • Intelligent Operations Management: it allows IT teams to proactively manage performances and IT services capacity management through heterogeneous and hybrid cloud environments with the aim of improving IT performances and availability.
  • As automated IT to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): it allows IT teams to automate the provision and the management of IT infrastructures in order to reduce the time needed to reply to IT resources requests, thus providing a self-service access to such resources to IT and internal users.
  • DevOps-ready: it allows IT team to build a cloud for development teams capable of offering a complete application stack; it supports developers choices as API and GUI access to resource; it provisions resources with an hybrid cloud. IT can further extend the coverage of solutions with continuous supply with VMware vRealize Stream Code to speed up application distribution.

In the future i see vRealize with software-defined components that can make cloud the new “hardware” to run traditional and cloud-native applications with unified governance and security.

Most hyper-convergent infrastructures sold as all-in-one package use VMware, but some are introducing alternative hypervisors, at least as an option. Do you feel threaten by that?

Extending the topic to a general level, our philosophy has always been to offer the best freedom of choice to our clients, as our multi-cloud and multi-hypervisor support of vRealize prove. Regarding convergent infrastructures, Hyper Converged Software (HCS) by VMware is the number one in terms of both adoption and sales volume. As a matter of fact, 70% of IT department chooses VMware HCS solutions in the second semester of 2015 instead of HCI solutions of the second biggest HCI vendor (clients count based on internal analysis, January 2016; Nutanix client count from Form S-1 Nutanix, December 2015).

The growth of HCS sales is almost 200% year on year in the last quarter of 2015 (internal analysis, January 2016), surpassing all other HCI vendors.
Our hyperconvergent solution allows to simplify infrastructures with a single integrated software stack and is in any case certified on more than 100 different hardware solutions. It offers excellent performances with over 100K IOPS per node and less than 1ms latency with all-flash systems and can bring many realities to cut costs, up to 50% of the TCO with respect to traditional solutions.
It offers the greatest implementation flexibility, choosing between certified HCI solutions, VxRAIL VCE appliances or EVO SDDC for the provisioning of a complete software-defined data-center.

Don’t you feel that, in a scenario like the Italian one, products like Virtual SAN and NSX still struggle to become widely adopted, also considering their price tags? Are you planning a sort of “Essentials” version for these packages?

vSAN and NSX aren’t struggling, they are growing. Naturally the process is long but it’s the same that brought VMware to be the leading server virtualization solution. The path we are covering is the one to be a top player in storage and network virtualization and security, too.

Do you have some anticipation about the next VMworld?

The thirteenth edition of VMworld US will be held in Las Vegas ad Mandalay Bay from 28 August to 1 September, and the ninth edition of VMworld Europe will be in Barcelona at Fira Gran Via from 17 to 20 October.
“be_ TOMORROW” is this year’s theme and attendants will met technologies, trends and people that are designing the future of digital business, during 4 days full of presentations and labs on the most interesting themes of the moment, like Unified Hybrid Cloud, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, Cloud Management and Network Virtualization.

As always, at VMworld you can partecipate to keynote held by Executives of VMware and other important companies of the sector where it will be discussed what is more important for today IT and what we can expect in the near future, meet market experts that will illustrate new perspectives and business opportunities, create networks within the ecosystem of VMware partners and other important players in the IT field and discover new products and solutions, best practices and success cases. Those who’d like to, can directly test the latest products with Hands-on Labs held by experts and catch certification opportunities.

About the Author

Filippo Moriggia

After more than 10 years of experience in the technical journalism with PC Professionale (the italian version of PC Magazine) and other newspapers of Mondadori group, Filippo Moriggia founded GURU advisor, the reference website for IT professionals, system integrators, cloud providers and MSPs. He has a Master of Science in Telecommunications Engineering and works as a independent consultant and contractor for different firms. His main focuses are software, virtualization, servers, cloud, networking and security. He's certified VMware VCA for Data Center Virtualization.