VMworld 2019 announcements, Pivotal & Carbon Black

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Just prior to VMworld 2019 USA, VMware announced the intent to acquire Pivotal and Carbon Black. Pivotal has been an active partner of VMware’s for a number of years now and VMware has been doing a lot of work with Carbon Black as well.   

Pivotal acquisition

As Pat mentioned in his keynote, VMware has been working with the Kubernetes (K8s) and Pivotal ecosystems for a while now and had decided it was time to bring Pivotal’s team closer to the family. 

Pivotal supports a widely used Java development framework – Spring and also offers a number of products and services, including:

  • Pivotal Labs is a professional services organization which trains customers in development best practices and guides enterprises through application modernization .
  • PAS or Pivotal Application Service is a multi-cloud application platform that supports various developer frameworks. It also bundles other components and application services to help developers build, deploy and run their applications. It is part of Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF). PAS supplies a modern runtime for Java, .NET and Node Apps and allows Dev teams to push code into production rapidly, scale applications to support enterprise class SLAS, and improve application security through automation 
  • PFS or Pivotal Function Service is in development and will support event-driven architectures and serverless programming that runs on any cloud. This will trigger functions via HTTP/message broker, run those functions anywhere, scale from 0 to N and back down to 0 instances. It is a Kubernetes-based, multi-cloud function service. Along with PKS and PAS it is part of the Pivotal Cloud Foundry offering.

Finally, Pivotal and VMware have had a joint development and go-to-market relationship for VMware PKS. VMware PKS can be deployed as a tightly integrated container management platform that includes lifecycle management and networking, or as a Kubernetes core on which to build a custom footprint. 

Tanzu Portfolio and Project Pacific 

VMware introduced VMware Tanzu—a portfolio of products and services to build software on Kubernetes. The portfolio was based on two solutions. 

First is Project Pacific, an effort to embed Kubernetes in a future release of vSphere. ESXi native pods will allow operators to manage VMs and containers side-by-side on a single platform; a supervisor cluster will manage guest Kubernetes clusters on this platform. 

Second is VMware Tanzu Mission Control, which allows customers to manage all their Kubernetes clusters from a single point of control. Customers will be able to assess the health of their entire Kubernetes estate, and apply policy to individual clusters or to groups of Kubernetes clusters that span environments. 

VMware Tanzu Mission Control provides direct linkage to other assets in VMware’s portfolio, including Wavefront, CloudHealh and NSX Service Mesh. 

Carbon Black

Carbon Black’s cloud-native security platform leverages big data and behavioral analytics to provide endpoint protection. The combination of Carbon Black with VMware’s security offerings, including AppDefense, Workspace ONE, NSX and SecureState, will create a security cloud platform for any application, running on any cloud, on any device. The combined offerings will provide advanced threat detection and in-depth application behavior insight to stop sophisticated attacks and accelerate customer response. 


There were more announcements at VMworld, but these seemed most significant from our perspective. Native ESXi support for K8s is a great step but a logical outgrowth to VMware’s work with Linux, Windows, VDI and all the other work they have done to virtualize workload processing. 

There was also a lot of talk at the show about the edge and how VMware saw this space evolving. Processing at the edge would be based mostly on response time requirements and scale of devices. But ultimately, VMware could play at many of these locations with current products and others on the roadmap (e.g., Pulse IoT, ARM based vSphere).

VMware also discussed a recent push into Telco clouds and providing some tailored services for these environments. Somewhere I swear I heard OpenStack mentioned but couldn’t remember where. Apparently, Telco’s are one of the environments where OpenStack has a significant presence. 

All in all, VMware seems to be in an expansive mode, going after new business for cloud native apps, IoT edge processing and even Telco’s.

[This storage announcement dispatch was originally sent out to our newsletter subscribers in August of 2019.  If you would like to receive this information via email please consider signing up for our free monthly newsletter (see subscription request, above right) and we will send our current issue along with download instructions for this and other reports. Dispatches are posted to our website at least a quarter or more after they are sent to our subscribers. ]  

Silverton Consulting, Inc., is a U.S.-based Storage, Strategy & Systems consulting firm offering products and services to the data storage community.

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