Microsoft officially announced the public preview to a simpler and more reliable way to protect your VMware virtual machines.
To tackle the changing needs of the customers, they have performed a major overhaul of the hybrid disaster recovery and added necessary enhancements along with highly requested simplifications. They have implemented a new architecture with which, the configuration server has now been revamped as the ASR replication appliance.
Automatic upgrades for ASR replication appliance and Mobility agent
A big deal-breaker with the current architecture was manually updating various configuration server components and mobility services. – as soon as an update arrives, both the appliance and mobility service will be updated automatically and that too out of business hours.
Additionally, for automatic upgrades, machine credentials will not be required anymore. Currently, it is necessary to have the latest credentials for both Linux and Windows machines for a successful update. But with this preview, the credentials will be required only initially and will not be required once the installation is complete. After the installation of the mobility service, credentials can be removed for all the machines.
Easier scale management
The appliance is now a single unit of management and all its components have been converted into micro-services which are hosted on Azure. This will not only make the troubleshooting much easier, but scale management also becomes much smoother. To scale out an appliance, you will just need to set up another appliance and voila, it is done! No need to set up another Process server anymore.
High availability for appliance
Appliance resiliency has also been a highly asked about topic and we have that covered too. Customers are usually afraid of an appliance burndown. There are also scenarios where one may need to load balance an appliance and move a protected machine to another appliance, without disabling replication.
With the preview, you don’t need to take regular backups of your appliance anymore – just spin up another appliance and switch all your machines to the new appliance. All the configuration details particular to a protected machine will be switched to the new appliance without needing to go through the complete replication again.
Apart from the above-mentioned improvements, they have also removed –
- passphrase dependency – implemented a new certificate-based authentication,
- static IP address dependency – will rather use FQDNs to maintain connectivity,
- third party product dependency – MySQL installation on the appliance will not be required anymore.
Learn more about the preview architecture and check out the release notes for a detailed list of improvements.
VMware is undergoing a business model transition from perpetual-license software to subscription and software as a service (SaaS). In addition, a proliferation of new technologies, high user expectations, globalization, and the need for business continuity are all key factors driving a digital transformation across our major functions.
To effect this transformation, they have strategically steered our digital initiatives to drive growth and operational scale — all while delivering delightful experiences to customers, partners, and colleagues (employees).
Preparation is key
The transformation journey began over a decade ago based on foundational decisions that would impact how we operate in the future. Agility and flexibility were critical. They made decisions to build a modern and scalable infrastructure embedded with security-by-design and to embody a customer-first mindset in the way they work. This foundation enabled them to innovate faster and be responsive to their customers’ dynamic needs.
The preparation focus was on three main areas:
- Culture and finding innovative ways to strengthen connections amongst a distributed workforce.
- Infrastructure and making early decisions that support a drive towards resiliency, security, and usability.
- Experience and how to enable any device, anywhere
A journey of human experience
Providing a superb experience requires all parts of the transformation to be aligned. Therefore, they created a connected journey across five key areas—people, process, data, policy, and systems. It is the ability to connect these dots that have enabled them to drive a holistic business transformation.
A positive experience at every touchpoint, regardless of the stakeholder, is core to VMware’s digital transformation. They are rewriting the rules of the enterprise by pursuing a human-centric approach to all our initiatives. After all, technology, processes, data, and policies are only as effective as the people who bring these components to life. That’s why they established the VMware Digital Way, a modern approach to digital capability development. This represents the ethos for how they—as individuals and as a team—operate to deliver delightful experiences at every level.
Cultural change, as always, starts at the top. This is the reason VMware management-led from the front in promoting a customer-first mindset. The voice of customers is constantly monitored and listened to via in-product customer feedback surveys, their Customer Advisory Board, Skyline proactive support, and other channels. For their colleagues, this means embracing lean development methodologies, a fail-fast philosophy, and an agile approach to delivering quality products regardless of the changing environment. In turn, VMware IT enables colleagues to enjoy an equally positive experience
Process transformation requires a major shift in the traditional enterprise mindset as practices—and even teams—are rationalized and modernized by breaking down existing silos. An example of this was the complete redesign of their New Service Introduction process that enabled them to reduce the cycle-time to launch new SaaS offerings by 33%.
Data transformation goes beyond collecting and storing data. It is about empowering their colleagues to operate with a data-driven mindset to produce actionable insights that can inform decision-making. And with this data, they can create a baseline of where we stand today and drive progress towards specific business outcomes. An example of this was automating the reporting of monthly and annual recurring revenue (MRR/ARR) and churn to help them dynamically monitor our SaaS business growth.
VMware is on a relentless drive to reshape outdated policies that hinder speed and growth. This led them to create the SaaS Policy Board, an executive committee that met weekly and adhered to compressed decision-making timelines for a variety of policies impacting the SaaS business, covering areas such as renewals, sales compensation, and discounting.
To accelerate their digital transformation journey, VMware IT has had to deliver new capabilities in an accelerated timeframe while also improving performance and user experience. Their teams modernized several mission-critical applications by leveraging VMware IT’s Chief Digital Transformation Office (CDTO) Modern Application Platform (MAP), powered by VMware Tanzu™.
One excellent example is the modernization of their My VMware portal (since then updated and rebranded as VMware Customer ConnectTM) used by millions of their customers to download software binaries, manage licenses, and request support. Modernization of My VMware delivered a 40 percent improvement in service response time, saved 1,000 person-hours in maintenance, and over 25 percent in annual license savings.
They continue to find ways to augment and deliver delightful experiences for our customers, partners, and colleagues. Equally important is their focus on enabling their customers to be future-ready. This means continuing to deliver products and services that provide flexibility and Intrinsic security so that their customers can continue to rely on them.
Contact us to learn more, we would love to hear from you
“BPS” in collaboration with “Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal organized a webinar entitled “Cloud Talks 2021”, to discuss the services and applications offered by cloud computing providers in order to empower digital business transformation while preserving security, privacy and compliance with laws and regulations. Over 120 persons representing senior executives from 12 different countries participated in the webinar, which hosted experts from leading companies and technology providers from the MENA region.
The Digital Transformation Journey
Mahmoud Moussa -Senior Cloud Solution Architect for Data & AI, Microsoft – confirmed, during his participation in the webinar, that the “Azure IoT Edge” technology provided Microsoft allows the delivery of sensors from all the company’s departments and its use in order to connect to another backend related to the Internet of Things where the data is sent after being initially processed. He explained that cloud services seek to enable digital technology through several domains, most notably: The Internet of Things and Edge technology, advanced analytics, artificial and cognitive intelligence, graphic technique, Blockchain technology, digital workplace and 3D imaging.
For his part, the Sales Manager at Citrix, Abbas Ali-Ahmad pointed out that success will go to the organizations and companies that will be able to provide a stable and safe work experience. He emphasized on the importance of knowing how to support any type of users wanting to access information; whether they were employees, contractors or business partners, and the possibility to work from any place, using any type of device or computing system.
As for Eiad Al-Aqqad -the Principal Solution Architect at “VMware Cloud Providers Program”- he discussed the vision of “VMware Cloud” in the world of cloud computing, he explained that their vision allows users and cloud service providers to activate any application on any device of any kind.
Cyber Security and Cloud Computing
In a panel discussion, moderated by Parthasarathy Pillairkulam – EVP-Chief Information Security Officer at First Abu Dhabi Bank- General Manager of Capital outsourcing, Chadi Ghazal, indicated that his company was the first to own a cloud platform in the MENA region since 2000. He explained that cloud computing is a virtual process for hardware, software, networks, storage spaces and services used by developers to implement complex operations. Adding that when using cloud computing, companies are not compelled to purchase any new devices or services, however they need to upgrade their virtual storage for a certain fee.
As for Alain Sawaya -General Manager of the Jordanian “Zain Datapark”- he explained that his company is an entity that was founded to enable “Zain Group” to provide cyber security and cloud computing services everywhere. He added that every country aspires to have its own cloud located within its territory for multiple reasons: legitimacy, data sovereignty and to secure data especially for governments. Furthermore, he announced the transfer of severl financial and banking applications to private cloud servers.
On his behalf, Mohamed Ayad, Vice President and Business Development Manager of “Libyan Spider” considered that country cloud and public cloud approaches are closer to each other today more than ever, indicating that “Microsoft” is expanding this service very quickly.
Ayad pointed out that there have been concerns about data security and privacy from the very first day of the cloud model’s birth, which has greatly affected companies’ work. He continued adding that many companies have switched to using public cloud more than before due to the flexibility with which entrusted public cloud providers work.
On the other hand, General Manager of “Gulf Infotech” in Oman, Yahya Zakir Sait, said that the largest companies providing cloud services have neglected the Middle East region in 2009 due to the low adoption of cloud solutions, pointing out that the high demand for adopting these solutions has created a quantum leap for the region in general.
“BPS” and Digital Transformation
BPS provides vendors with multiple licensing programs, services and technical supports to partners in order to develop their businesses, in addition to “SAM” consultations. The company focuses on supporting MSP focused channel, telecom companies, internet service providers, database centers, service providers, integrated systems, managed services, software companies and IT distributors who are heading towards digital and cloud transformation.
The company always strives to add more services to its own affiliated program. It started its operations as a cloud distributor in 2005 and has earned years of local experience in the cloud channel business, to become today a pioneer in this field in the MENA region.