VMworld 2021 Recap:

A Summary of This Year’s Biggest Announcements

VMworld 2021 may have ended earlier this month, but many attendees still have their heads in the cloud with all the exciting updates from this year’s premiere multi-cloud event. And it’s easy to understand why. From product launches to security overhauls, there were enough announcements to make you feel like you needed cloud-level data storage just to keep track of everything new.

That’s why we’re here to refresh you on the biggest highlights from VMworld 2021.


As VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram put it, “It’s no longer a ‘cloud first’ approach – it’s about being ‘cloud smart’. Organizations should have the freedom to choose the ‘right’ cloud, based on their strategic business goals.” And while most organizations operate across several cloud platforms according to their varying needs, these platforms don’t always play nice together. Hence, VMware Cross-Cloud Services, based on 5 foundational components:

All told, these services collectively promise to enhance the experience of building, running, and protecting applications throughout multiple clouds.

DELL x VMware

Continuing their prior collaboration, Dell’s APEX Services have combined with VMware Cloud Services to offer an on-site Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) package. The package will allow customers to setup a local cloud using Dell’s hardware and VMWare’s software, with the service supported and managed by Dell. More here.


VMware announced a slew of ambitious projects that span across its array of functionalities. These include:

  • Project Arctic – aims to integrate VMware Cross-Cloud Services into existing vSphere technology, making the hybrid-cloud model the default. Notable features include scaling out capacity to any cloud, VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, and opportunities for on-premise setups to transition to an as-a-service model
  • Project Cascade – aims to provide a consolidated Kubernetes interface for on-demand Infrastructure-as-a-Service and containers across the VMware Cloud, accessible through a CLI, APIs, or a GUI dashboard. i.e., provide true open multi-cloud powered by Kubernetes
  • Project Capitola – aims to alleviate hassle of building silos of memory tiers for different workflows by creating a transparent, unified, and scalable software-defined memory tier for all applications. PMEM, DRAM, NVMe, and other technologies will be aggregated to  a unified consumption model of memory assets
  • Project Santa Cruz – aims to unify VMware SASE (more below under “SASE AND EDGE”), SD-WAN, and Tanzu Mission Control to offer a scalable edge platform for containerized applications
  • Project Ensemble – See below under “vRealize Cloud Management”

Additional projects include Project Radium and Project “cryptographic agility”.

VMware Cloud x AWS

In a celebratory moment for AWS fans, VMware announced availability of Tanzu Services with VMware Cloud on AWS. These services will be built into AWS pricing, meaning that they come at no extra cost.

Similarly, VMware updated the AWS community that VMware Cloud will now be available on AWS Outposts.

You can also find limited-time promotional announcements here.


Released earlier this year as part of a security revamp, VMware’s Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) has been upgraded to include 2 new services:

  • Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), which supports IT efforts to gain visibility into shadow IT, as well as controls trusted/untrusted application use according to a given user in an organization
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP), which, as promised by its title, safeguards against data leaks. It also assists with compliance for data privacy laws

VMware further gave notice of a new service called Edge Compute Stack. In the words of VMware, Edge Compute Stack allows you to “build, run manage, connect, and protect edge-native applications at the Near and Far Edge while leveraging consistent infrastructure and operations across clouds with the power of edge computing.” Nice.

vRealize Cloud Management

Through its initiative entitled “Project Ensemble,” VMware will integrate and automatically deploy vRealize Operations across all components of your cloud, allowing you to track application performance and metrics from a singular interface. Coupled with Machine Learning capabilities, this feature will provide insight into app behavior in context with underlying cloud infrastructure.

On the heels of this announcement, VMware also noted that all editions of vRealize Operations will now include all compute and storage management packs at no extra cost. These changes mark improvements to the existing vRealize True Visibility Suite (TVS).


  • VMware Marketplace, VMware’s online catalog for discovering, trying, and deploying solutions, will launch a commercial transactability function. This capability seeks to enable users to buy and sell capabilities commercially at VMworld.
  • New for vSphere: vSphere 7.0 update 3
  • VMware unveiled a demo for Telco Cloud Automation, a service that allows you to leverage network resources to across multiple domains to deliver 5G capabilities.
  • While announced in advance of VMworld 2021, you may also want to check out the release of VMware Cloud Director 10.3.


It’s a pivotal time in the world of cloud technology. As evidenced by CEO’s opening statement cited above, VMware no longer concerns itself with building a “cloud-first” computing environment, because that landscape has already arrived.

Make sure you catch up now so you’re not out of sync for next year.

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