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It’s been a few years since I was able to venture to Leicester for the UK VMUG UserCon, the national VMUG event here in the UK. After Covid laid wasted to the previous two years, there was certainly excitement from all attendees, and it was fantastic to see such a great turnout at this year’s event on Thursday, 17th November 2022.

Yes, the technical content at VMUGs is always fantastic, with customer-driven challenges/stories/fixes, complementing VMware sessions, however, the main thing I love about these events is that they give attendees the ability to catch up with members of the community and to discuss their challenges within a safe and informal forum. They are also a great way to catch up with customers, partners, and friends over a coffee.

So, after a two-year hiatus of the UK VMUG UserCon, the ‘in-person’ community is very much alive!

Following on from the theme of the recent VMware Explore, I was eager to eager hear (and see) more about VMware Aria, VMware’s brand-new multi-cloud management solution with a common data model across a suite of tools.

The important wording here is ‘with a common data model’. Think about the current range of disparate products within the vRealize Suite – vROps, vRA, vRLI, vRNI, etc. All handle endpoints (for example) differently, so interrogating each of these products/tools requires a separate UI, different API calls due to the product-specific endpoint UIDs, etc.

VMware Aria has been developed from the group up to align these tools and enables customers to consistently deploy and operate apps, infrastructure, and platform services across private, hybrid, and multiple clouds from a single platform with a common data model.

Led by VMware’s Sam McGeown, Sam delivered a fantastic overview of VMware’s new strategy for multi-cloud management, dived into the Aria UI, and gave a live demo to visualise some of its capabilities, specifically application interdependencies, network flow analysis, etc.

Such a cool product, and with so much potential for customers, the majority of which now have a footprint spanning private, hybrid, and (multiple) public clouds.

VMware Aria offers…

  • VMware Aria Automation – Integration with Tanzu Mission Control
  • VMware Aria Automation for Secure Clouds – Adds support for cloud entitlement visibility, anomaly detection, and threat correlation for AWS
  • VMware Aria Operations (formerly vROps) – Monitoring that provides application KPIs for key performance and availability metrics, the capability to deploy open-source Telegraf agents, rule-based application discovery, and more
  • VMware Aria Operations for Logs (formerly vRealize Log Insight)
  • VMware Aria Operations for Networks (formerly vRealize Network Insight)
  • VMware Aria Cost (powered by CloudHealth) – Delivering AI/ML-based anomaly detection, enabling customers to monitor unusual or abnormal spend via cost spend patterns and historical data aligned with industry trends
  • VMware Skyline (formerly VMware vRealize Cloud Universal) for automated endpoint discovery and reporting

VMware Aria is certainly not a rebrand, and I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing more as Aria progresses from Beta to GA. As a vExpert, I have a further sneak-peak briefing later this week, after which I’ll be releasing more content on 5th December, which aligns with VMware’s December 2022 Multi-Cloud Briefing on 5th December 2022. There are some big announcements coming!

Thank you, UK VMUG. Such a brilliant event, and if you’ve not managed to get along to either a national or regional event in the past, I cannot overstate how fantastic they are. Have an IT challenge (not just VMware) that you’re struggling to overcome? There are hundreds of your peers in the same room, all happy to chat. Need to find out what’s on the horizon in terms of VMware and partner products? Speak to representatives from VMware, partners, vendors, or attendees, all of which are just an arm’s length away.

Last but by no means least, thank you to the VMUG leaders and all involved who make these events not just possible but so fantastic.

Stay tuned for the 2023 regional and national dates, and I look forward to seeing both old and new faces at the next one.

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