Kathy Gibson reports from VMware Explore – The burning issues for CEOs today are their cloud journey and artificial intelligence (AI).

This is the word from Raghu Raghuran, CEO of VMware, who points out that VMware realised a couple of years ago that the cloud journey was quickly becoming multi-cloud.

“And today that is the norm,” he says. “More than three-quarters of VMware customers are using three or more public clouds, as well as private clouds.”

VMware has advanced an approach called Cloud Smart, an architected approach that lets the application and the application’s requirement dictate where it is deployed. “And we tie all the applications together with common management and common security.

“This the cloud-smart rather than cloud-first approach.”

VMware is today announcing enhancements to its multi-cloud stack that make it easier to manage data and quicker to run artificial intelligence (AI) apps, through a consistent and unified operation model.

The new announcements include VMware Cloud Foundation 5.1, VMware vSAN Max Momentum and new developments in Sovereign Cloud.

A key part of the new Cloud Foundation updates relate to data management. Raghuran explains that 25% of AI workloads are databases and other data services. “Organisations need a unified way to provision the infrastructure to provide services to all data, with a consistent and unified operation model.

“This is why the data management plane on top of VMware Cloud Foundation is critical for all modern applications.

“Today we are releasing Data Services Manager 2.0, which is natively built into Cloud Foundation and can rapidly deploy data services in minutes.”

Announcements at VMware Explore include:

* The VMware Data Services Manager empowers IT to manage data services running on VMware Cloud consistently and more securely, and new VMware Cloud Foundation advancements that provide benefits for modern AI/ML and generative AI workloads.

* Google Cloud AlloyDB Omni as the first third party PostgreSQL-compatible database natively integrated with VMware Cloud Foundation through VMware Data Services Manager and VMware vSAN.

* Comprehensive prevention, detection and recovery from ransomware with the tech preview of VMware Intelligent Threat Detection and the introduction of VMware Live Recovery.

* With more than 50 partners globally, VMware Sovereign Cloud now includes new developer, data, and security services such as integrated data services through VMware Cloud Director and ecosystem partners and expanded capabilities within developer-centric tools like VMware Tanzu and VMware NSX to enable rapid application delivery with precise controls around data flow.

* New updates to Spring, the leading Java development framework, plus enhancements across Tanzu Application Platform, Tanzu Data Solutions, and Tanzu Intelligence Services that will help teams develop, operate, and optimize higher-performing applications more quickly, cost effectively, and securely.

The edge is rapidly becoming the place where much compute takes place, so enterprises and communications service providers are seeking ways to simplify, better secure, and modernise their edge environments.

VMware is announcing new innovations to help customers accelerate software-defined edge adoption, including:

* New VMware Edge Cloud Orchestrator telemetry capabilities to provide insight and visibility into edge workloads, identify end devices.

* Intelligent Assist for VMware Software-Defined Edge to operationalise connecting, securing, and managing workloads, users and IoT devices at the edge.

* An expanded Microsoft and VMware collaboration to enable VMware SASE customers to use Microsoft Security Copilot, a tool focused on identifying threats and anomalies leveraging the power of generative AI.

* New Workflow Hub for VMware Telco Cloud Automation to support the rapid rollout of cell sites.

* Initial integration with Symantec Cloud Secure Web Gateway to better secure the software-defined edge.

The company is also announcing advanced automation capabilities and new third-party integrations delivered through the Anywhere Workspace platform that provide organisations with the tools needed to simplify IT workflows, enhance security, and improve overall efficiencies.

Updates include:

* The introduction of next-gen Mac management to simplify IT workflows and reduce costs. VMware is announcing Hub Health, new third party security baselines, and a new updates management dashboard for macOS To further establish a self-healing, self-configuring, and self-securing autonomous workspace.

* An expanded Workspace ONE integration partnership with Intel to automate the detection of vulnerabilities at the hardware, firmware, and driver level.