began my IT career by migrating the company I was working for off of mainframe
and onto a client/server environment. That was a major shift in how IT was done
at the beginning of the Internet era. During that time, individual business
units at many companies stood up their own LAN servers (e.g. Novel NetWare and
Microsoft Windows NT Server). You could call this the first instance of “Shadow
IT”. At some point, IT departments brought those servers and applications under
IT management. VMware then came along and helped those servers and applications
to run more efficiently on vSphere.
cloud emerged, many individual business units started consuming cloud resources
at Amazon, Microsoft, and Google and exposing sensitive company data. I was
working for EMC at the time as a vSpecialist and remember one of my colleagues
talking to a customer about “Shadow IT”. Many IT departments scrambled to gain
control of those company assets to secure them. For a while now, VMware has
helped IT with its Hybrid Cloud strategy to help support, manage, and secure
public and private cloud resources.
the mobile space, for a long time, many companies would issue cell phones to
their employees. Then Apple and Android phones became popular and workers
demanded these personal devices be able to access company applications and
data. VMware helped IT provide secure access and control with its Mobile Device
Management solutions using AirWatch and now Workspace ONE.
Internet of Things (IoT) has been going on for 20+ years back as long as I can remember when my first university internship was helping to build SCADA systems for a power company. Back then and until recently, each IoT use case was implemented and managed by the vendor providing the solution. My friend and colleague, Grant Challenger, posted a blog on the evolution of IoT in the enterprise here: What is IT’s role in IoT? He talks about the challenge with what he calls “Shadow IoT” and how now there’s a need for IT to get involved. Grant also coined the phrase “IT runs IoT” which means that it’s now time to bring IT disciplines to IoT, just like they did for LAN, Cloud, and MDM. This is the problem VMware is now targeting to help IT solve. There are millions of Edge gateways and IoT devices that need to be onboarded, managed, and secured and VMware Pulse IoT Center does just that.
When I was in a meeting last week and “IT runs IoT” came up again, I was sitting next to another long time colleague who was drinking his favorite coffee. So, I had my resident graphics artist create the image you see at the top. I hope you like it!
This is a result of some great work by our Edge and IoT product and engineering teams to test and validate gateway vendor hardware with our Pulse Agent and Pulse IoT Center.
I think VMware does 2 things really well.
1) Provides world class software to manage infrastructure and help it run more efficiently
vSphere provides an efficient and secure compute platform
for hybrid cloud and vCenter is a centralized platform for managing vSphere
environments across hybrid cloud. Workspace ONE delivers and manages any app on
any device with an integrated digital workspace platform. And now with the emergence
of Edge and IoT, Pulse IoT Center provides a secure, enterprise-grade solution
for IoT device management and monitoring.
2) Maintains an extensive VMware Compatibility Guide (VCG) of vigorously tested hardware from many different vendors that is supported by VMware software.
If you browse the VCG for Servers/Systems you’ll find Dell, HP, Cisco, Lenovo, and many many more. If you search for vSAN you’ll find thousands of HDD and flash media listed. If you search for End User Computing you’ll find various Thin Client vendor hardware listed. And now for Edge and IoT, you will find a list of devices supported by Pulse IoT Center. This is only the beginning. The VCG will be updated to reflect the rapidly expanding Edge and IoT market as new hardware is certified and new versions Pulse IoT Center are released.
IoT is an emerging topic and much has been written about all the exciting use cases around manufacturing, healthcare, smart cities. You can read some of VMware’s perspective here: Transform Your Industry with IoT. Many of these exciting use cases include the use of the Raspberry Pi and in some instances, there are hundreds to thousands of them. VMware is working with one manufacturer that has 400 Raspberry Pis in a single manufacturing plant.
Onboard, Monitor, Manage and Secure
While it’s fun to think about how these are being used and the amazing business value that is being achieved, it’s also important to talk about how to onboard, monitor, manage and secure these devices. That’s where VMware Pulse™ IoT Center™ comes in. What vCenter does for data center infrastructure, and Workspace One does for EUC, Pulse IoT Center does for IoT and Edge. VMware Pulse IoT Center is a secure, enterprise-grade, end-to-end IoT infrastructure management solution that allows OT and IT to have complete control over their IoT use cases, from the edge all the way to the cloud.